Perhaps more important to the sustained growth of almond production in California isn’t the water, though that is a vital component, but the tiny creatures imported to California for several weeks each year to make sure those trees produce a crop. As each year the bearing acreage of almonds increases – now over 1 million – the industry could be faced with a dilemma as the number of bee colonies in the United States may be insufficient to pollinate those trees. At the recommended two honeybee colonies per acre, growers are already pushing the limit of the nation’s supply of almost 2.6 million colonies, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures. Not all the nation’s honeybees are brought into California for almond pollination. Some beekeepers choose to keep colonies out of the pollination period for a variety of reasons. National honeybee numbers continue to be stressed by a variety of factors that researchers continue to study and the Almond Board of California (ABC) would like to rectify as the marketing order charges ahead with plans to market 25 percent more nuts by 2020.
Almond industry puts bee health front and center
Almond Board |
California almonds make life better by what we grow and how we grow. The Almond Board of California promotes natural, wholesome and quality almonds through leadership in strategic market development, innovative research, and accelerated adoption of industry best practices on behalf of the more than 6,800 almond farmers and processors in California, most of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.