Here's What Climate Change Could Do to Honey Bees

By Laura Dattaro

Modern food consumption may seem driven solely by factory farms, assembly lines, and plastic containers but, at its heart, the food system remains highly dependent upon the natural process of pollination — powered largely by the western honey bee.

For the last decade, those bees have been dying off in massive numbers, with beekeepers in the United States losing about 30 percent of their colonies every year since 2006. One of the causes is parasites, and, according to a new study from Queen's University Belfast, climate change may help to drive one of the more virulent ones farther into Europe and North America, where bees are already suffering.


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