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The Fight To Save The Mighty Honeybee

Perhaps you don’t like honey (and certainly you don’t enjoy being stung), but you should thank bees for the work they do and be worried about their fate. The 2.5 million colonies of honeybees in the United States help feed the country; female bees pollinate about $18 billion worth of crops every year. That’s about one in every three bites of food we eat.

But there’s a threat to that system that director Steven Cantor chronicles in the latest short film in our “Collectors” series, “Beekeeper.” The film was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival.

Varroa mites are killing colonies — just 2,000 of the parasites can wipe out 30,000 bees in one year. University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp explains to Cantor, and us, how he and others in the field are trying to keep colonies — and ultimately our kitchens — stocked.

Carla Correa was previously a general editor and the social media coordinator for FiveThirtyEight.