Maryann Frazier, a researcher at Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research, checks on one of her experimental honeybee hives. Frazier is testing the effects of pesticides on honeybee colonies.
Lou Blouin for NPR
A hollow log hive in the Cevennes region of France reveals the details of circular comb architecture of the Western honeybee. New research shows the partnership between humans and bees goes back to the beginnings of agriculture.
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.
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
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
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
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.