Queen bees could be the key to reviving decimated honeybees
So as scientists struggle to understand the bees' sudden decline, beekeepers are working to produce more queen bees in hopes that they will revive the population. Bees are vital to agriculture worldwide for their ability to pollinate crops and add billions of dollars in value by making the plants more bountiful.
Clint Walker, a third-generation Texas beekeeper told McClatchy that after his hives were hit by colony collapse disorder in 2006, he switched his focus to breeding queens.
"I can't raise enough queens; I turn down orders every day," he said.
"The California almond crop alone requires 1.3 million colonies of bees, roughly half of all honeybees in the U.S. By 2010, the almond crop is projected to need 1.5 million colonies," McClatchy reports.
-- Tony Barboza
Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press