By SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new survey says America’s honeybee hives just staggered through the second highest death rate on record, with beekeepers losing nearly half of their managed colonies. But using costly measures to create new colonies, beekeepers are somehow keeping afloat. Thursday’s University of Maryland and Auburn University survey says that even though 48% of colonies were lost in the year that ended April 1, the number of United States honeybee colonies remained relatively stable. Honeybees are crucial to the food supply, pollinating more than 100 of the crops we eat, including nuts, vegetables and fruits. Scientists blame parasites, pesticides, starvation and climate change for large die-offs.