Beekeeper Robert Harvey crosses over a barricade as he works to transfer Italian honey bee colonies pollinating a blueberry field near Columbia Falls, Maine, June 23, 2014.
Bees have been dying at a rate the U.S. government says is economically unsustainable. Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of the food consumed by Americans, including apples, watermelons and beans. A lawsuit has now been filed by environmental groups seeking an injunction restricting the approval of a controversial class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or "neonics." These pesticides have become a subject of scrutiny in Europe and the U.S. as concern has mounted that they harm honeybees and other pollinators. Other groups have sued the Department of the Interior to have the honeybee listed as endangered.