Sadly, it appears the weakened, inbred, drugged (!) bee population is also falling prey to some weird disease. I can't help wondering, too, because more people have lawns, that the poor bees don't have anything to eat? We have native plants (including bee balm!) in a sea of pesticidey lawns, and get lots of busy bees all the time...but we realize how weird it looks. Our lawn almost looks infested (buzzing, etc.) everyone else's lawn is quiet...tranquil. Please plant something this year for bees to eat...and don't use pesticides, this goes without saying.
I originally saw this in the New York Times, but here is it from CNN/Reuters.
"PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (Reuters) -- A mysterious disease is killing off U.S. honeybees, threatening to disrupt pollination of a range of crops and costing beekeepers hundreds of thousands of dollars, industry experts said on Monday.
Beekeepers in 22 states have reported losses of up to 80 percent of their colonies in recent weeks, leaving many unable to rent the bees to farmers of crops such as almonds and, later in the year, apples and blueberries.
'It's unusual in terms of the widespread distribution and severity,' said Jerry Bromenshenk, a professor at the University of Montana at Missoula and chief executive of Bee Alert Technology, a company monitoring the problem."
Read more here.