There’s a startling article in today’s New York Times (reg. required) about a nationwide apiary crisis in which bees are mysteriously disappearing wholesale from hives in 24 states. Some beekeepers are reporting losses of up to 70%. Researchers are calling it “colony collapse disorder,” and drawing analogies to the AIDS crisis, and though some suspect pesticides, fungus, or viruses as culprits, nobody’s really sure what’s causing it or what to do about it. This map shows Illinois hasn’t yet been affected but the implications of this quote ought to scare the bejesus out of you:

 “Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food,” said Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation.