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Nigel Raine keeps a collection of wild bees in his laboratory at the University of Guelph, in Canada. Farmed honeybees can compete with wild bees for food, making it harder for wild species to survive. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Honeybees Help Farmers, But They Don't Help The Environment

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With an American honeybee queen for a mother and a European honeybee drone for a father, this worker bee has a level of genetic diversity unseen in the U.S. for decades. Researchers at Washington State University hope a deeper gene pool will give a new generation of honeybees much-needed genetic traits, like resistance to varroa mites. The parasite kills a third of American honeybees each year. Megan Asche/Courtesy of Washington State University hide caption

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Megan Asche/Courtesy of Washington State University

Honeybees are seen inside a colony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., in 2007. Maryland lawmakers approved a bill this week permitting beekeepers to shoot black bears that threaten their hives. Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP hide caption

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Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP

Beekeepers Glen Andresen and Tim Wessels are trying to breed a honey bee that is more resilient to colder climates. Kathryn Boyd-Batstone/Oregon Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Kathryn Boyd-Batstone/Oregon Public Broadcasting

Many large-scale farms rely heavily on immigrant labor. And many farmers are opposed to Donald Trump's strong stance against illegal immigrant. Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cybil Preston, chief apiary inspector for the Maryland Department of Agriculture, does a training run with Mack: She sets up fake beehives and commands him to "find." He sniffs each of them to check for American foulbrood. He has been trained to sit to notify Preston if he detects the disease. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

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Morgan McCloy/NPR

A beehive at Frangiosa Farms, in Parker, Colo. The farm introduced an adopt-a-hive program in 2012. The one-time adoption fees per hive range from $45 to $130 (the latter gets you three jars of honey). Courtesy of Nick French/Frangiosa Farms hide caption

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Courtesy of Nick French/Frangiosa Farms

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 hide caption

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Lou Blouin for NPR

Peponapis pruinosa is a species of bee in the tribe Eucerini, the long-horned bees. This bee relies on wild and cultivated squashes, pumpkins, gourds and related plants. Wikimedia/USDA hide caption

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