Beekeeper Pablo Alvarez sits near his hives and points up into a cloudless, blue Chilean sky. Bees come and go along an imaginary line he makes with his finger. They travel as if following an unseen road in the air.
This season, Alvarez says, there is much less bee traffic than usual.
A quick look around his yard tells the story. Southern hemisphere spring rains once led to fields of dandelion flowers in Casablanca, a town on the Chilean Pacific coast. Now, there is just dry earth.
Alvarez is secretary of Casablanca's beekeeper organization. He says he lost half of his hives by early spring.
养蜂人帕勃罗·阿尔瓦雷斯坐在他的蜂巢附近，直视万里无云的蓝色智利天空。 蜜蜂沿着他用手指做的假想线来去， 它们的旅行就像在空中看不见的路一样。
"At the end of winter, bees need flowers to grow and make honey," he told Reuters reporters. No flowers means no food, he added.
His story is common among beekeepers across much of central Chile. A severe, years-long lack of rain is making life difficult for honey bees.
Concern over how the changing environment has affected bees has reached the highest levels of government in Chile. The country has already provided large amounts of money for farmers suffering from the drought. In August, it said it would include the "costs" of climate change in future agency budgets.
对不断变化的环境如何影响蜜蜂的担忧已达到智利政府的最高级别。 该国已经为遭受干旱的农民提供了大量资金。 它在八月份表示，它将在未来的机构预算中包括气候变化的“成本”。
"We all know the importance that bees have in agricultural production," Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker recently told reporters.
Honey bees pollinate many of Chile's major export crops, including avocados, blueberries, raspberries, apples, cherries and almonds.
Last year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) found that Chile was already well short of the hives it needed to meet the demands of farmers. And, honey exports dropped by half last season compared to the year before, trade data show.
Daniel Barrera is a bee industry expert with the agriculture ministry. He said an exact count of hives lost this year will not be available until 2020. But reports from the field have not been hopeful.
"We're not going to wait until we have the final data to take emergency action," he said.
Already, agriculture officials have ordered a state of emergency in more than 100 farm communities throughout central Chile. Though dry periods are normal from time to time, officials say climate change has made the current dry period longer and more severe. Rainfall in September in Santiago was down nearly 80 percent compared to the historical average.
Daniel Barrera是农业部的蜜蜂行业专家。 他说，要知道今年失去的荨麻疹的确切计数要到2020年才能得到。但是实地的报道并不乐观。
农业官员已经命令整个智利中部的100多个农场社区进入紧急状态。 尽管不时会出现干旱时期，但官员们说，气候变化使当前的干旱时期更长，更严峻。 与历史平均水平相比，圣地亚哥9月的降雨量下降了近80％。
Yet even as he describes those efforts, the horn of a water truck sounds. His well has run dry. Now he must pay for water, too.
Even once simple solutions are getting harder, said Enrique Mejias, a Santiago-based scientist.
"There's no water anywhere," Mejias said. "The bees are suffering just the same as cattle, crops and people."
Words in This Story：
hive – n. a nest for bees
yard – n. an outdoor area that is next to a house and is usually covered by grass
pollinate – v.to give (a plant) pollen from another plant of the same kind so that seeds will be produced
rent – v. to let someone to use (something) in return for payment
impact – n. a powerful or major influence or effect
cattle – n. cows, bulls, or steers that are kept on a farm or ranch for meat or milk