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Honeybees

It's a sweltering morning in Beltsville, Md., and I'm face-to-face with bee doom. Mark Dykes, a "Bee Squad coordinator" at the University of Maryland, shakes a Mason jar filled with buzzing honeybees that are coated with powdered sugar. The sugar loosens the grip of tiny Varroa mites, a parasite that plagues bees; as he sifts the powder into a bowl, they poke out like hairy pebbles in snow.

Almond bloom comes nearly all at once in California — a flush of delicate pale blooms that unfold around Valentine's Day.

And beekeeper Bret Adee is hustling to get his hives ready, working through them on a Central Valley ranch before placing them in orchards.

He deftly tap-taps open a hive. "We're gonna open this up, and you're going to see a whole lot of bees here," Adee says.

Under the lid, the exposed sleepy occupants hum away. He uses a handheld smoker to keep them calm and huddled around their queen.

It's planting time in America. Farmers are spending long days on their tractors, pulling massive planters across millions of acres of farmland, dropping corn and soybean seeds into the ground.

nationalgeographic.com

Unseasonably warm weather last fall and winter has created confusion for honeybees and has added to a list of problems they face as researchers investigate how to help them survive and continue their vital role in pollinating crops.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is using a roadway in Ross County as a path for honeybees to do their work. 

Ohio Beekeepers Lost Colonies Over The Winter

Apr 24, 2014
Beneficialbugs.org

State agriculture officials say beekeepers lost 50 to 80 percent of their honeybees over the winter, threatening the farming industry.