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Bee colonies damaged after almond pollination

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California beekeepers are trying to understand why as many as 80,000 bee colonies have died or been damaged after pollinating almond trees in the San Joaquin Valley.

The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/1eVnRvv ) reports some commercial beekeepers believe pesticides used on almond orchards may be sickening or killing the bees.

California's almond orchards are pollinated by about 1.6 million bee colonies, which are mostly brought in from other states by some 1,300 commercial beekeepers.

In March, beekeepers met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials to discuss the problem. Beekeepers said three-quarters of their hives showed damage and some blamed the practice of mixing insecticides used on almond trees.

Beekeepers have also been struggling with colony collapse disorder, which has led to the disappearance of large numbers of honeybees in North America.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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