ARIZONA

I have been in the desert. Tearing through the Arizona canyons, from bee yard to bee yard. 100 mph in the back of Dee Lusby's '86 GMC. Dee, the small cell guru who has inspired thousands to stop doping their beehives, had not been out to check her hives since October. We figured her losses at 3%. Better still, the spring buildup is on, with drones already emerging and the main flow not commencing for another eight weeks.

Meanwhile, I hear that in southeastern states formic acid is not keeping mites under the suggested "threshold" and beekeepers are continuing to resort to even nastier means. The result is nastier mites and dead microbes. Not much help for the bees, who are the keystone of the diversity of our planet.

If the hives are not safe, neither are we.

The honey on the store shelves is tainted. The commercial beekeeping industry, our industrialized food production, our entire worldview are all in for serious change. I'm ready. More importantly, the bees are ready.