Dan Rather's team produced this 30 minute documentary from California's Almond groves, describing the current bee-disaster - with one bee farmer describing losses of 60% - many more losing 30-50-% of their hives.
One bee-farmer says: "this may be the last year for large-scale beekeeping in the USA."
Every year, some 1,500,000 bee colonies are trucked from all over American to pollinate 825,000 acres of Almond trees in California's Central valley. The Almonds are the most valuable single crop on earth and generate more cash than California's wine and tourism industries combined.
Since 2006 there has been a catastrophe among the bees with roiughly 30% of America's bees dying each winter with the scientific evidence pointing overwhelmingly toward neonicotinoid pesticides used on corn (maize), oilseed rape. soybeans and cotton, as well as on the almonds themselves.
This year there has been an even greater disaster with some beekeepers losing up to 60% of their colonies. One beekeeper lost 10,000 colonies out of the original 13,000 healthy colonies he took to the Almonds.
This represents $millions in the loss of the bees themselves and $millions more in loss of cash income from almond pollination contracts ( each hive is worth $150 - $200 in pollination contracts).
Veteran CBS Anchorman Dan Rather reports on this agricultural disaster, which has not only crippled the almond crop, but destroyed many of the bees which are needed to pollinate apples, blueberries, watermelons, pumpkins etc, right across the country.