The resurgence means Texas could dispatch more and better bees across the nation to help pollinate crops such as almonds next year. Some 80% of Texas beekeepers load their charges onto trucks and ship them to California and other states.
Bee specialists say that if Texas bees remain strong, they might help offset colony losses in some other states currently undergoing dry spells, such as Montana and the Dakotas, which contribute to the national pollination circuit.
The Texas bee revival also comes as the nation's honey bees have been sharply declining in recent years from colony-collapse disorder, a phenomenon scientists are still trying to understand. Bee health improved somewhat this winter nationwide, researchers say, perhaps because of the unusually warm temperatures in many areas.
The downside of Texas's turnaround is that honeycombs are showing up almost everywhere—in roof eaves and walls, within water meters and boats, and in one case on the eighth-floor pool deck of a hotel in downtown Austin."
Not All Texans Enjoy a Bee Revival
By ANA CAMPOY