Honey bees are most certainly headed towards extinction. (The "businesses" that raise queen bees and workers are part of the problem.) The issue has nothing to do with supply and demand. People who raise bees, including at least one of our own here at the DP, are giving up because their bees keep dying off *through* circumstances beyond their control - MYRIAD debilitating factors, including but not limited to toxic pesticides and herbicides which, for one, weaken their immune systems and make them vulnerable to diseases. It's also believed they mess up the bees' homing instincts. Bees are literally just disappearing. We have NOT been able to keep up with demand, why 1) the bees we do have are trucked all over, "rented out," and 2) why the U.S. had to change laws regarding the importation of wildlife - so we could import bees for other countries, although it's a problem in other countries (using such pesticides) as well. In one area of China, honeybees are gone... for good, even though they STOPPED the pesticide use. The land is contaminated; bees won't come back.
Bear in mind that honey is the LEAST of it. Bees are needed to POLLINATE CROPS: most of the FRUIT, VEGETABLES, and NUTS we eat (basically all but grains, wind pollinated). It's not a matter of driving up food prices - which it WILL and already IS. It's a matter of HAVING food that supplies the vitamins and minerals we need.
P.S. Not just honeybees, but other pollinators are dying out as well, other insects such as butterflies. And bats. Here in N.Y. 90% of one specie is gone, 70% of another. http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/79994.html
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir
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