I would like to recommend the movie 'More Than Honey'. It is available on Netflix, Hulu Plus, and I'm sure many more places. It discusses the bee situation world wide. This is not just a problem in the U.S.
We are very small scale bee keepers, hobbyists really. We lost 40% of our hives over this past winter. One of our friends who raises bees as his total livelihood lost 80%. We don't send our bees away for the winter we did one year and lost all but two hives. It wasn't worth it to us. So we winter them here.
Ah but we are still learning. We put the bees in a small silo (old corn silo) thinking they would be out of the wind, rain, snow etc... but that wasn't a good idea. On warm days they went out but they couldn't find their way back in... We had no idea but a second bee keeper we know told us that's what happened. We've bought more bees. Ordered some new queens and are working to build our hives up again.
We love the bees. I enjoy hearing them buzz on the fruit trees and in the garden. I know that they are blessing us with pollination and later they will share some of their sweet honey with us. We too share with them. We buy them brood patties to build up the young. If the spring is slow we make sure they have plenty to eat. We watch them and care for them because they are such a vital part of our survival.
More Than Honey trailer