Beekeeper Rob McFarland (photographed last year) inspects the beehive he keeps on the roof of his Los Angeles house. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to allow residents to keep beehives in their backyards. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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Dry conditions in California have limited the amount of pollen and nectar bees can collect. Ezra David Romero/Valley Public Radio hide caption

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Penn State grad student Carley Miller holds up a bumblebee she collected from the wildflower patch on Penn State University's research farm near State College, Pa. Researchers are testing how planting "pollinator strips" of wildflowers near farm fields could help support wild bee populations. Courtesy of Lou Blouin hide caption

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Ready, set, fly! The ball bearings glued to this bumblebee's legs simulate the weight and placement of pollen loads. The tag on the insect's back is a lightweight sensor, designed to track its movements in flight. Courtesy of Andrew Mountcastle hide caption

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A bumblebee collects pollen from a flower. New evidence suggests climate change has left bumblebees with a shrinking range of places to live. Yuri Kadobnovy/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The White House announced an action plan Tuesday aimed at reversing dramatic declines in pollinators like honeybees, which play a vital role in agriculture, pollinating everything from apples and almonds to squash. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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A honeybee forages for nectar and pollen from an oilseed rape flower. Albin Andersson/Nature hide caption

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The decline of honeybees has been attributed to a variety of causes, from nasty parasites to the stress of being transported from state to state to feed on various crops in need of pollination. iStockphoto hide caption

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A bumble bee gathers pollen in September 2007 on a sunflower at Quail Run Farm in Grants Pass, Ore., where farmer Tony Davis depends on them to pollinate crops. Bees are being wiped out by a mysterious condition known as colony collapse disorder. Jeff Barnard/AP hide caption

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Beehive designer Johannes Paul (right) and Natural England's ecologist Peter Massini, with a brood frame colonized with bees from the "beehaus" beehive on the roof of his house in London in 2009. Sang Tan/AP hide caption

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Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees. Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Workers clear honey from dead beehives at a bee farm east of Merced, Calif. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

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Wild bees, such as this Andrena bee visiting highbush blueberry flowers, play a key role in boosting crop yields. Left photo by Rufus Isaac/AAAS; Right photo courtesy of Daniel M.N. Turner hide caption

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We knew the Honey Nut Cheerios bee liked sweet stuff. But imagine what would happen if he met green M&M? Doug Kanter/Rusty Jarrett/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Almond trees rely on bees to pollinate during their brief bloom for a few weeks in February. Winfried Rothermel/APN hide caption

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A report says that pollen is often filtered out of honey sold in the U.S., which could make it hard to determine if the honey came from a safe place. Ellen Webber/NPR hide caption

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