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Annual die-off still occurs, but the life of the bee has changed




Dr. Gordon Wardell, beekeeper for Paramount Farms' almond farms in Lost Hills, Calif., pulls out a palate of rented honeybees. Paramount is the largest almond grower in the nation with 46,000 acres of almond trees across the San Joaquin Valley.
Dr. Gordon Wardell, beekeeper for Paramount Farms' almond farms in Lost Hills, Calif., pulls out a palate of rented honeybees. Paramount is the largest almond grower in the nation with 46,000 acres of almond trees across the San Joaquin Valley.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Dr. Gordon Wardell, beekeeper for Paramount Farms' almond farms in Lost Hills, Calif., pulls out a palate of rented honeybees. Paramount is the largest almond grower in the nation with 46,000 acres of almond trees across the San Joaquin Valley.
Honeybees stop for a water break while pollinating almond trees at Paramount Farms. Burlap is placed in the water containers to prevent the bees from drowning.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Dr. Gordon Wardell, beekeeper for Paramount Farms' almond farms in Lost Hills, Calif., pulls out a palate of rented honeybees. Paramount is the largest almond grower in the nation with 46,000 acres of almond trees across the San Joaquin Valley.
HOMESTEAD, FL - APRIL 10: Honey bees are seen at the J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company on April 10, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. Honey bee owners along with scientists continue to try to figure out what is causing bees to succumb to the colony collapse disorder which has devastated apiaries around the country. Reports indicate that the disorder which kills off thousands of bees at a time has resulted in the loss of some 30 percent of honey bee populations among beekeepers since 2007. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dr. Gordon Wardell, beekeeper for Paramount Farms' almond farms in Lost Hills, Calif., pulls out a palate of rented honeybees. Paramount is the largest almond grower in the nation with 46,000 acres of almond trees across the San Joaquin Valley.
HOMESTEAD, FL - APRIL 10: Honey comb is seen at the J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company on April 10, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. Honey bee owners along with scientists continue to try to figure out what is causing bees to succumb to the colony collapse disorder which has devastated apiaries around the country. Reports indicate that the disorder which kills off thousands of bees at a time has resulted in the loss of some 30 percent of honey bee populations among beekeepers since 2007. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dr. Gordon Wardell, beekeeper for Paramount Farms' almond farms in Lost Hills, Calif., pulls out a palate of rented honeybees. Paramount is the largest almond grower in the nation with 46,000 acres of almond trees across the San Joaquin Valley.
HOMESTEAD, FL - APRIL 10: John Gentzel collects honey produced by the bees at the J & P Apiary and Gentzel's Bees, Honey and Pollination Company on April 10, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. Honey bee owners along with scientists continue to try to figure out what is causing bees to succumb to the colony collapse disorder which has devastated apiaries around the country. Reports indicate that the disorder which kills off thousands of bees at a time has resulted in the loss of some 30 percent of honey bee populations among beekeepers since 2007. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images


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About a decade ago, bees began to mysteriously die off. Scientists called it Colony Collapse Disorder, and its exact causes have not been indisputably identified.

People panicked, worried about the impact on food production, especially in California's Central Valley.

Well, believe it or not, there are more bees today than back then. And they're playing a special role in the cultivation of crops in the Golden State.

Josh Dzieza wrote about this in his piece, "Save the Honeybee, Sterilize the Earth," for Pacific Standard. He joined Take Two to talk about how beekeepers have adapted to the continued die off of bees by rapidly replacing them, feeding them pollen supplements, and trucking them from as far as Florida to the nation's fruit bowl -- California's Central Valley -- to work the fields in greater numbers than ever before.