We Still Don't Know Why Honeybees Are Dying But They're Hard At Work Pollinating Your Food

There’s some new buzz about honeybees, and while not all of it is super positive — namely, that we still can’t figure out why so many of them are dying — there are some bright spots in the latest action from the hive.

CNNMoney says that while bees continue to mysteriously die off at a rate of 30% of captive honeybees at the end of each winter, because of efforts by beekeepers to rejuvenate those hives every summer, bees are still going about their business of pollinating your favorite foods.

Bees do the hard work of pollinating plenty of food crops, including treats like almonds, cantaloupe, apples and blueberries, but experts say we shouldn’t worry about paying more for those items at the supermarket.

“It shouldn’t be a significant item on the radar screen of consumers,” said Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economist at The University of California Davis and an author of the paper “Bee-conomics.” “It’s not that big of a deal.”

Of course, it still is a pretty big deal in environmental terms when the fact that wild bees are also dropping dead is brought into the equation, or just flat out disappearing without leaving any tiny bee bodies around to study.

“They could just fly away,” said Kim Kaplin, a spokeswoman for the Agricultural Research Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “But that would be unusual because they aren’t taking any of their honey with them.”

Maybe they’re just sick and tired of being treated as a meal ticket and are leaving their old lives in the hive behind to join the circus or finally fulfill their dreams of climbing Mt. Everest. It’s a mystery!

Honeybee die-off shouldn’t sting [CNNMoney]

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