MIT's Mediated Matter Group Builds a Synthetic Apiary to Help Save Bees

Bees are essential to our economy. A 2012 Cornell University study estimated the contribution of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to U.S. crop production at $17.1 billion. Though the number of commercial honey-producing bee colonies in the United States is relatively stable, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a survey conducted by research organization Bee Informed found that beekeepers lost 44 percent of honey bee colonies in 2015–2016. Some loss is expected year after year, but this was the second time (along with the 2014–2015 season) that bee deaths in the summer—when the insects should be at their healthiest—were comparable to winter losses. In short, honey bees could use our help...

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