David Bradshaw has endured countless stings during his life as a beekeeper, but he got the shock of his career when he opened his boxes last month and found half of his 100 million bees missing.
In 24 states throughout the country, beekeepers have gone through similar shocks as their bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate, threatening not only their livelihoods but also the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the nationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s most profitable.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI have never seen anything like it,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Mr. Bradshaw, 50, said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œBox after box after box are just empty. ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nobody home.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â