A hearing at the Capital focused on the massive die-off of bee colonies and the effects they have on the state's agriculture business. 

The pre-eminent expert on why bees are dying off addressed the hearing Wednesday afternoon.  Dennis VanEnglesdorp had some chilling news about this years losses,

"We look at the summer loss, loss that occurs between April and October 1st, they lost about 25% of their colonies over the summer, and that's traditionally when the colonies survive."

That means beekeepers in the state saw half of their bees die in just one season.  VanEnglesdorp says a major cause of hive collapse is the Asian Varroa Mite, a widespread mite which sucks blood and passes viruses to bees.