Pettis says beekeepers can afford to lose only about 15 percent of their colonies each year. More than that, and the business won't be viable for long. Some commercial beekeepers are still in business, he says, just because they love it.
The article states that over the past 6 years the bee death rate for colonies in this study was near 30%. I never would have thought we would see a point where major crops might not make it because there weren't enough bees to pollinate the plants in them, but looks like we are pretty close to that point. You don't really think about bees as a vital need for crops to thrive but they are almost as vital as sunlight and water.