Bee Industry Hosts US EPA for Tour of Almond Pollination Sites
Dead Bees and Empty Hives Show the Extent of the Losses
Oakdale, CA — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator, Jim Jones spent a day with beekeepers and almond growers to learn more about this year’s massive colony losses, and beekeepers’ concerns about the role of pesticides in the decline. The National Pollinator Defense Fund (NPDF) Board provided Jones with a view of the disaster from inside the hive. It was not a pretty picture. Dead hives littered the landscape at one bee yard, and even the hives with bees in them were not at full strength.
“I started out last spring in the Midwest with 3,150 healthy bee colonies; of which 992 still survive, and most of those are very weak. More than 2,150 of my valuable bee colonies are now just gone,” said Jeff Anderson, third generation beekeeper, and owner of California-Minnesota Honey Farms where the tour began.
Escalating colony losses are making replacement difficult. In the meantime, without bees, they are unable to fulfill pollination contracts or make honey. Beekeepers are...