Beekeepers, Hives Leaving California Due To Drought

Lack of water means fewer crops for honeybees to pollinate and limited nectar for them to collect.

by Dani Yokhna

Beekeepers, Hives Leaving California Due to Drought (

Anyone living in California knows how the drought has affected the state—perhaps none more so than the farmers. As NPR points out, the “lack of rain and snow has reduced the amount of plants the bees feed on, which in turn limits the amount of pollen and nectar that bees collect. Normally, there are crops and wildflowers blooming here at any given time. This year in the state, there are just not enough plants and trees in bloom to keep many commercial beekeepers profitable.”

Because not enough food is being provided naturally to the bees, beekeepers in the state must supply the feed themselves using a mixture of pollen and oil, as well as a honey substitute and water, NPR reports. However, these substitutes aren’t as good as the natural food and the cost of providing the food and water for the bees is too much, resulting in beekeepers leaving California with their bees and heading to other states.

As the beekeepers leave the states, other farmers in the area are faced with another concern: the bees they relied on to pollinate their crops are no longer there to do so.

So what’s the solution? According to NRP, beekeepers and farmers say that there’s only one: more rain and snow in California. If only it were as simple as asking for it.


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