Why are bees hurting? A lineup of suspects


In my last piece I made the case that the rumors of honey bee extinction have been greatly exaggerated, but honey bees are still suffering larger than usual losses, and some wild bees are probablygoingextinct.

So what is it that’s hurting bees? And what are our options for helping them?

In working to figure this out, I bumped into Randy Oliver on the UC Davis campus. Oliver is a beekeeper based in the California foothills of the Sierra Nevada. He’s tall and lean with an unapologetic ’70s mustache. He’s been writing extensively to try to understand what’s happening to bees, drawing on the scientific literature and his own experience, and he made a lot of sense.

I was drawn to Oliver because I have a lot in common with him: He lives just outside my hometown, amid the ponderosa pines. He cares a lot about science, and the environment…

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