Almost a third of managed U.S. honey bees died last winter, according to a new survey of commercial and home beekeepers. That’s more than triple the losses of 5 to 10 percent that used to be normal for beekeepers before 2005 — and double the 15 percent that beekeepers say is acceptable for their businesses to continue unharmed. The finding marks a disturbing trend among honey bees: each winter since 2006, the Bee Informed Partnership has documented losses of 21.9 to 36 percent of U.S. hives. …The most likely culprit of this Colony Collapse Disorder is a pesticide class called a "neonicotinoid". My understanding is that while Europe has started controlling these substances, the U.S. has been moving much slower.
Personally, we've actually seen a growth of bees around my house - a colony of bees have moved in nearby and while i'm not entirely comfortable with all these bees swarming around my children, we're not going to take any action so we can, in our small way, support the honey bee population.