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Are Regulators Doing Enough to Prevent Bee Die-Offs?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Colorado News page, Honey Bee Health & Colony Collapse Disorder page, and our Environment and Climate Resource page.

For beekeepers, loss is something that comes with the territory. It's accepted that the cold winter months will whittle down the number of honeybees in a colony. But for Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald, like many beekeepers across the country, the past several winters have brought losses that eclipse the regular die-offs.

"I'm expecting my worst losses this winter," said Theobald on a mild February morning at one of his bee yards in Niwot, a sleepy town in Boulder County on Colorado's Front Range.

He was standing amidst a collection of silent white bee boxes, located on a corner of a friend's property. Some were stacked two levels high, reaching about waist-height. Each had a brick on the lid.

"I started with 24 colonies here. By the end of winter I'll be lucky to have six left," he said.

Behind the wire fence separating the home from the neighboring ranch, a herd of horses grazed on the brown grass. Miles behind them the highest mountains peaks were capped with snow. The intermittent sounds of traffic on the highway punctured the clean morning air. 


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