Each year in the United States, commercial beekeepers migrate millions of bee colonies on semi trucks to pollinate food crops. I traveled throughout the U.S. to explore this obscure, yet totally indispensable link in the global food chain. I found unexpected "industrial" landscapes, in which the bee is a laborer as well as a commodity.
My interest in 21st century beekeeping was piqued by the calamity which has been dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder. This "collapse" happens silently, as bees simply disappear, abandoning their hives. But what should compel us to care about this issue, other than a love of honey on toast? Like the ubiquitous canary in the coal mine, bees sample our food before we do. And unlike most workers bees are not beholden to their source of income. The bees are reacting to the poor conditions in their work place, in this case- agriculture, not only by disappearing, but by calling it quits.