This short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.
"I spent $110,000 trying to feed my bees a supplement to keep them alive," says beekeeper David Bradshaw. "Unfortunately, every beekeeper I know has to artificially sustain their bees. There is just not enough forage in California." In this documentary, filmmaker Brian Dawson suggests that California's historic drought may play a role in the region's massive shortage of honeybees. Without arable land, increasingly desperate beekeepers turn to artificial diets to keep their hives alive. According to a Penn State study, similar diets may effect a honeybee's resistance to pesticides—and pesticides are cited by the USDA as one of the possible causes of a mysterious bee die-off known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
"Next year, I'll probably end up sending my bees to Kansas or North Dakota or South Dakota because the bees just can't survive out here," Bradshaw says. "I can't afford to keep feeding my bees all year long."
This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.