I keep touch with my Cali supplier, to which I hinge my operation on...
here is a snip from our last conversation in regards to the challenges of current extended drought conditions;
"... It will be a challenge for sure this year but this is not the first time. We put a lot of inputs into our bees and never let them stress, our annual loss each year runs around 5 to 8 percent, those losses are figured between September 1st and Feb 1st and we run thousands of hives. We cannot afford to have any high losses because so many people are depending on us to produce queens and package bees on a consistent basis year after year, we operate at a very highly (intensive) labor level... "
Professional beekeepers taking this situation very seriously, and doing everything they can to MANAGE the situation.