Agriculture: Busy with the Bees

Weather-browned William F. Huston, 55, of Corona, Calif., can sense a gag even before a wag gets it off. "Hear you've been busy as a bee," says the jokester, at which Huston smiles, shrugs and replies: "Well, it's a business you can sure get stung in." Huston's business is that of providing colonies of bees to carry on the necessary cross-pollination of California's $2 billion fruit and vegetable crops. The company now has $500,000 in annual sales and is growing fast.

Huston and other California beekeepers are prospering because they have improved on a necessary natural process. Once colonies of...