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California Drought Devastating Honeybees, Pushing Honey Prices Higher

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Honey bees in an apiary. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Honey bees in an apiary. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — California’s record drought hasn’t been sweet to honeybees, and it’s creating a sticky situation for beekeepers and honey buyers.

The state is one of the country’s largest honey producers, with abundant crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar that bees turn into honey.

But the lack of rain has ravaged native plants and forced farmers to tear out orchards and plant fewer crops, leaving fewer places for honeybees to forage.

The historic drought is reducing supplies of California honey, raising prices for consumers and making it harder for beekeepers to earn a living.

READ MORE: California Drought Coverage

The drought is the latest blow to honeybees that have been decimated by pesticides, parasites and disease.

The record low rainfall is worsening a worldwide shortage of honey that has pushed prices to all-time highs.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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