The Washington Post reports: On a recent summer morning in a bright green meadow off a winding country road, Devon and Landon Prescott were prying open beehives. They moved quickly among the 1,400 wooden boxes, eyeing each brood and locating its queen.
Landon, 19, spoke up after finding four hives with missing queens.
“That’s pretty bad,” said Devon, 21, peering over his brother’s shoulder to search the bee-
covered screen. A hive without a queen is likely doomed. “That’s really high.”
There was a crate of replacement queens in the truck, each housed in its own tiny wooden box. Each queen, specially ordered and shipped from warm-weather climates, costs at least $20. Too many queenless hives could put young beekeepers like the Prescotts out of business.
Over the past decade, billions of bees have been lost to colony collapse disorder, an umbrella term for factors thought to be killing honeybees in droves and threatening the nation’s food supply. Amid the die-off, beekeepers have been going to extraordinary lengths to save both their bees and their livelihoods. [Continue reading…]