In a world where many majestic animals are increasingly endangered due to climate change, the plight to save the honeybee may not seem as dire as it truly is. For agricultural experts and conservationists alike, the general decline of the honey bee (and the 4,000 species of wild bees overall) has been quietly alarming for many years — but recent data suggests that the decline has turned into a full-blown freefall.
Bee colony deaths surpassed all-time highs last year, with beekeepers reporting an average loss of 38% of honeybee colonies in the winter season, per a 2019 survey issued by the Bee Informed Partnership, a nonprofit established by the United States Department of Agriculture. But what has caused the death of upwards of 40 to 50 billion honeybees last winter, you might ask? According to a new feature published by The Guardian this week, the American almond industry may be tipping the scales with their huge demand for honeybees to pollinate their orchards, and could be to blame for the loss of billions of bees over the last year alone.
Excerpted from Good Housekeeping