Bees are blooming, bee stings are a thing of the past, and now the willow is showing signs of decline in the U.S. as the country shifts to a more intensive agricultural model.
Willow, which has been one of the world’s most abundant crop species for centuries, has been under attack from pests and disease for decades.
The plant, which is native to China and has been growing in the eastern U.K. since the 1950s, has already lost an estimated 40 percent of its total area since 1990.
Willows have declined in popularity due to drought, insects and diseases.
Willow trees were the second-most abundant crop in the United States in 2015, with about 30 percent of the U to D.C. population growing it.
In recent years, the United Kingdom has become a leader in bee-free farming.
Williston, North Dakota, and several other parts of the country have been the epicenter of a bee-friendly boom in the past few years, including the U-M-Ed, the first U.k.-based agricultural research institution to offer bee-pollination services.
Beekeepers from across the country are also expanding their operations, especially in areas with declining bees.
Willistons are the third-largest honey producer in the country.
“We’ve had bees in Williston for 30 years, but they’re going to have to come to the other side,” said Scott Breen, a beekeeper in the Williston-Tasmania, North Carolina-based beekeeping cooperative The Beekeepers of Williston.
“We’re going out of business because of the lack of bees.”
Breen said that when the U.-M-E-D.
Institute for Bee Research and Education launched in 2016, it was only the second bee farm in the world.
“This is a really unique opportunity for us,” he said.
Beren’s farm is just one of several bee farms that have popped up across the U