Reports of catastrophic declines in the bee population have scientists buzzing. Is it mites? GM crops? Mobile phones? Habitat loss? Here's what the plight of the humble bee says about our own relationship to nature.
Forget everything you thought you knew about the sedate and rarefied world of beekeeping. Bees are big business. In 2006, a Cornell University study found that in the U.S., bees annually pollinate more than $14 billion worth of seeds and crops--mostly fruit, vegetables and nuts. In the UK, they are responsible for the pollination of $420 million worth of food crops.