World Bee Day: Discover the Importance of Bee-Friendly Farming to Protect Our Pollinators

Posted on : May 10th, 2023

Close up of flying bees. Wooden beehive and bees.

World Bee Day is an International Day of Celebration established by the United Nations to raise awareness of the critical role bees play in our world and the threats they face. Observed annually on May 20th, it’s an opportunity to recognize the vital contributions of bees to our ecosystem and to take action to protect them.

Why Bees Are Important

Bees are perhaps the most important pollinators on the planet. They’re responsible for pollinating a third of the food we eat, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Without bees, our diets would be much less diverse, and our food system would be much less secure. Bees also pollinate many plants that provide habitat and food for other animals, making them a key part of the overall biodiversity of our planet.

Beyond their role in pollination, bees are also important indicators of the health of our environment. The decline of bee populations in recent years is a warning sign that our ecosystem is under stress. Bee conservation is essential for growing almonds.

Why Bees are Significant for Almond Farming in California

Bees are particularly important for almond farming in California, which produces 80% of the world’s almonds. Since almond trees are not self-pollinating, they rely almost entirely on bees for pollination. The growing demand for almonds has put significant pressure on bee populations.

At Maisie Jane’s, beehives from local beekeepers are brought to our almond orchards to assist with pollination. As the bees move from tree to tree, they pollinate the almond blossoms, allowing each fertilized bloom to grow into an almond.

In a nutshell, without bees, there would be no almonds; and without almonds, we couldn’t make our healthy, delicious almond products.

What We Must Do to Protect Our Bees

Bees are sensitive to changes in temperature, habitat loss, pesticide use, and other factors that are affecting the health of our planet. The decline of bee populations is a complex issue, and there’s no single solution that will address all the challenges facing bees. However, there are some key steps we can take to protect our bees and support their populations.

Protect Bee Habitats

First, we must protect and restore bee habitats. Bees need diverse habitats with a variety of flowers and other plants to provide food and shelter. This means protecting natural habitats like meadows and forests, as well as creating pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes in urban areas. Planting native flowers and avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides are also important steps to take to support bee habitat.

At Maisie Jane’s we’ve planted native bushes and plants that attract bees and create a safe forage area for them. We believe this also serves as a natural habitat for other beneficial insects and creates a healthier, more balanced ecosystem.

Use Local Hives

The growing demand for almonds has put significant pressure on bee populations. Some almond growers rely heavily on commercial beekeepers who transport hives across the country to pollinate almond trees during the bloom season.

At Maisie Jane’s, the beehives we bring in to assist with the almond pollination are local hives. They’re not freighted across the country to arrive at our farm. This means the carbon footprint is lessened but more importantly it’s a factor that contributes to the health and vitality of the hives. It’s believed that hives moved over long distance are more susceptible to disease and are weakened as colonies because of the stress of moving and the drastic change of their surroundings.

Avoid the Use of Chemicals

Second, we must reduce the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. Many of the chemicals used in agriculture and landscaping are toxic to bees and other pollinators. This can contribute to the decline of bee populations. By choosing organic or low-toxicity options and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals, we can reduce the impact of these substances on bee populations.

At Maisie Jane’s, we leave part of the orchards’ natural grasses in place rather than ‘chopping’ the entire vegetation. By doing this the green foliage will attract beneficial insects which decreases the invasive pests which harm the almond crop and the trees. This practice helps us to NOT have to spray harmful insecticides in the orchard. It also attracts bees by leaving the blooms in place in the native grasses and plants, which attracts the bee population.

Educate on Bee Health

Third, we must support research and education on bee health. Scientists are working to better understand the causes of bee declines and to develop strategies to address them. By supporting research and education on bee health, we can help to develop effective solutions to protect our bees.

Maisie Jane’s partners with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation who protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat, as well as The Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at University of California, Davis providing cutting‐edge research focusing on basic bee biology and genetics and international concerns about bee health.

Address Climate Change

Finally, we must take action to address climate change. Bees are sensitive to changes in temperature and weather patterns, and the impacts of climate change are already affecting bee populations. By reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and working to mitigate the effects of climate change, we can help to protect bees and the other species that depend on them.

How You Can Help Save the Bees

Whether you’re a farmer, a gardener, or just someone who cares about the environment, there are things you can do to be proactive and help save the honey bees.

Support Maisie Jane’s, we’ll donate towards bee research! You can go to any Whole Foods market nationwide, purchase any 12oz. jar of our delicious Almond butter, and we’ll donate $.05/jar towards bee research. The more we know, the better we can help the bees!

Plant native plants in your own yard and garden. By planting a pollinator-friendly garden, you’ll give the native honeybees the best bet for safe foraging areas and will give them good nutrition.

Buy organic! The farming practices that are required to be a certified organic farm are more likely to be ‘bee friendly’ than conventional farms by reducing or eliminating their use of pesticides.

Spread the Word! More ‘buzz’ about the bee crisis will raise awareness and make people more responsible in their personal choices in their home gardens or landscape, as well as their political choices that could affect the future of bees.

By taking small steps in our own lives, we can all make a difference in protecting bees and the world they help to sustain.

World Bee Day is a reminder of the critical role that bees play in our world and the urgent need to protect them. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the incredible work that bees do every day and to commit to protecting them for future generations. By working together to create a more sustainable and bee-friendly world, we can help to ensure that these vital pollinators continue to thrive and contribute to a healthy and diverse ecosystem.


Recipe: Honey Almond Energy Bites

Honey Almond Energy Bites Recipe Ingredients and Directions

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  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, almond butter, honey, chopped almonds, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  2. Once the mixture is combined, use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop out portions and roll them into balls.
  3. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Once the energy bites have chilled, they’re ready to enjoy. You can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  5. Enjoy!

These energy bites are a great snack to celebrate World Bee Day while also supporting the important role that bees play in pollinating the plants that provide the almonds and honey used in the recipe.