Growing almonds in California takes more than half of the commercial honeybees in the US, meaning they have to be temporarily shipped in from almost every other state.

Growing California almonds takes more than half of US honeybees

Growing California almonds takes more than half of US honeybees00:0000:0015:48GO LIVEFacebookTwitterEmailEmbedSpeedNormalAutoplayCopy and paste to share this videoCopy and paste to embed this video

— — It can be hard to see how important honeybees are to daily life. Just by looking at fully grown oranges, apples and almonds, the honeybee wouldn’t necessarily get marquee credit for their growth.

But, bees pollinate around 70 percent of the world’s crops, according to Cornell University, and without them, there’s no easy way to pollinate the fresh foods that need to be grown and harvested.

The vast farming operations around the country keep bees in high demand almost year-round and it’s up to commercial bee keepers to make sure f… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

10 thoughts on “Growing almonds in California takes more than half of the commercial honeybees in the US, meaning they have to be temporarily shipped in from almost every other state.”

  1. Riptide360

    Our love of almonds has allowed many to replace dairy (almond milk), gluten (almond flour) and peanut allergy (almonds). It has been a decade of boon for Almonds.

    The dark side? Almond trees are cruel providers of nectar. There isn’t much nectar so bees can go hungry and what nectar there is makes for bitter honey unfit for anything other than baking (most beekeepers let the bees keep this honey). Bee colonies are weakened from the ordeal and are susceptible to diseases and pesticides that a healthy colony could shake off. Worse is that all the hive shipping to and from California allows for large disease spread (like when they get shipped to Washington’s Apple season).

  2. imersial

    Time to switch to oat milk

  3. swampcholla

    20 years ago I started making several trips per year from the east side of the Sierras to Buttonwillow, which is now the heart of Almond (and Pistachio) country. Back then there was one yard that took in almonds and shelled them. Still pretty impressive – about a 200 yard of pile of almonds 40 feet high. Most of the crop around there then was cotton.

    Then there was a pretty big drought. The state water project cut off water to farms with annual crops. So the farmers stopped planting cotton and started planting trees, because there’s no loss to shutting water off to an unplanted field, but the state has to keep the water flowing to tree farms. Now, as you drive up the central valley there are probably a dozen selling yards that are several times larger than that initial one. Nobody actually needs that many nuts – that’s whey there are big advertising campaigns for pistachios and almonds, and all the almond products you’ve never seen before. the farmers just wanted assured income.

    One of the biggest robber barons over there are the folks that own the Wonderful Company. they re the folks behind POM – as well as a bunch of water issues. They are backing an asshole who came to our desert town and planted 1500 acres of pistachios and then started draining the aquifer, threatening the livelihood of 36,000 people.

  4. MarvinLazer

    I bet there will be loads of “bio robots” in the future that fill ecological niches from animals and plants we’ve driven to extinction. Super sad but also kinda cool?

  5. buddhistbulgyo

    Switch to oatmilk and drop almond milk people

  6. rogerslane

    NPR’s Planet Money did a podcast about this topic. It was so interesting.

  7. stokeitup

    It is really something to see a drop deck or flatbed trailer loaded front to back with bee hives. Never got tired of seeing them parked at the California port of entry getting permits checked.

  8. SirGlenn

    Fruit in business since 1907, claims rice, alfalfa and almonds are the 3 crops in CA using the most water, with Almonds using 10% of all water use in CA. Years ago when I lived in CA, I remember some people wanted Alfalfa crops to be restricted to sale in the U.S. only, as much of the water intensive crop is sold across the Pacific, in Asia, and they felt as a drought seemed imminent, Alfalfa sales overseas are little more than sending water across the Pacific. And like 150 years ago, water is still for fighting over.

  9. evilleppy87

    Why aren’t they using leaf-cutter or mason bee boxes? Seems like a waste using honeybees.

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