Basically, it's all our fault. The dramatic decline in bee populations over the last few years has nothing to do with Barry the Bee's suicide pact in Bee Movie and everything to do with how terrible humans are.
A new study from the Institute of Bee Health, published by Proceedings of the Royal Society B, has found that a common pesticide called Neonicotinoids is suppressing male bee's ability to produce sperm.
Neonicotinoids have been temporarily banned in the EU since 2013, but the US is all about that life and have been chucking it all over the place willy-nilly. The study showed that the male bees who ate pollen treated with the stuff produced 39 per cent less sperm than those who didn't.
“There’s a reduction in sperm viability and the amount of living sperm, but that doesn’t mean there’s no living sperm at hand,” said the study's lead author Lars Straub. Collect that sperm, Lars. Collect it for the good of everyone.
There are of course, plenty of other reasons bees are dying, including a reduced number of wildflowers due to agriculture, but it can basically be summarised as: all our fault. And that, more than any cute critter with a penchant for pollinating our world, has got to sting.