Since We Last Spoke: The Disappearing Honeybee

Updates to past Pacific Standard stories.
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Editor's Note: A version of this story first appeared on PSmag.com on May 18, 2015, with the headline "Honeybees Are Screwed." This edited version was published in our November/December 2015 print issue.

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Honeybees. (Photo: dni777/Flickr)

Honeybees. (Photo: dni777/Flickr)

Honeybees are in trouble. Their numbers have been falling fast, and no one knows why. In our January/February 2015 issue, Josh Dzieza wrote about the vast ripple effect that their disappearance is having on agriculture (“Save the Honeybee, Sterilize the Earth”).

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Agriculture released a survey of more than 6,100 domestic beekeepers. The news isn’t good: 27.4 percent of all managed honeybee colonies disappeared during the summer of 2014, marking the first summer in history when the percentage of bees lost was bigger than the subsequent winter. It’d be like seeing more humans die as a result of the flu in July than January, Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the study’s co-author, told CBC News.

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Since We Last Spoke examines the latest policy and research updates to past Pacific Standard news coverage.

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