A bee mogul confronts the crisis in his field.

Jim Frazier, professor emeritus of entomology, says finding the causes of honey bee decline is complicated.

According to Frazier, honey bee shortage has to do with the overall health of bees, and not just one or two specific things. Bees are exposed to a variety of pesticides, all of which can affect their immune systems, he said. That in turn makes them less resistant to diseases and parasites carried by the varroa mite and enables the spread of viruses.

"It's more complicated than trying to cure cancer," Dr. Frazier said, "because bees are outside, where you have all these uncontrollable things working on them."

--New York Times, Feb. 16, 2017