California’s almond bloom is the largest single pollination event in the world. And we all know that the bloom and the subsequent crop we all depend on for our livelihood is entirely dependent on the honey bee.
Almond growers have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years as the health of the U.S. honey bee population has been called into question. While the bees are in the orchards for only a few weeks out of the year, the practices that growers employ when the bees are present can have a long-lasting impact on the colonies, both good and bad.
The Almond Board of California created a comprehensive set of Honey Bee Best Management Practices (BMPs) for California’s almond industry. Developed with a wide array of input from sources including the almond community, beekeepers, researchers, California and U.S. regulators, and chemical registrants, the BMPs represent the Board’s most extensive educational documents to date to ensure that almond orchards are, and remain, a safe and healthy place for honey bees.
The BMPs not only provide guidance for the protection of the bees during the bloom, they also outline beneficial practices that can be adopted prior to the arrival of the hives that can go a long way toward providing a more successful pollination.
Growers may download the documents at the Almond Board’s website, www.almonds.com/growers/pollination#BeeBMPs.