This is typical Margaret Wente: uninformed pro-business status-quoism attacking anyone who might question "progress."
Honey bees aren't the big problem; the problem is wild bees. There are only three species of domesticated bees, compared to many hundreds of wild bees, most of which are important pollinators (ecologically and economically) and some of which fill unique ecological niches. Honey bee health is an important indicator for wild bee health, but honey bees aren't themselves under threat as a species because, thanks to human caretaking, they can breed quickly and any lost colonies can be replaced. Bee hive numbers are really nothing more than an indicator of demand for bees. If anything, more bee hives might be indicative of a problem, because more domestic bees are needed to pollinate crops when there aren't enough wild pollinators. Wild bee numbers are way down over the last few years, and there is pretty good evidence suggesting that neonicotinoid pesticides are a big factor in that, and a relatively easy problem to "fix." Keep in mind, they only came into widespread use around 10 years ago, and we did just fine before that.
(Full disclosure: I am a volunteer with Sierra Club Canada, though I haven't directly worked on the bee issue myself and this is completely my own thoughts on it.)