Before reading this depressing Huffington Post article consider these three data points:
1. 'The Handy Book of Bees' by A Pettigrew 1875 pages 54/55:
"The best swarms last year (1874, which was not a very good one) rose to 100 lbs each ... One belonging to Mr Gordon rose to 164lb. Swarms belonging to other bee-keepers rose to 128lb,126lb,120lb.109,
2. In the 1970's the yearly average honey yield for my Grand Father never dropped below 80lbs and many hives achieved over 100lbs. In the same country location now I would be surprised if it would get over 40lbs in a good year.
3. The BBKA 2013 Honey Survey in which 2581 UK beekeepers participated:
Year lbs per hive2010 31.22011 29.42012 8.12013 24.7
While regional differences and beekeeping skills make a big difference in this unscientific list, the trend is very clear and known to all beekeepers who have been keeping bees for a while. Unfortunately I do not think the Huffington Post article is extreme. In some 'agricultural' zones you can no longer keep bees in the UK.
As the article says:
"In a civilized society there should be no chemical warfare anywhere, particularly in raising food."
It's time for those who can, to fight for the Bee.