Posted on : March 31st, 2017
When you think of almonds, the first thing to come to mind probably isn’t bees, but bees are an essential part of the almond-growing process. Almond trees need bees for cross-pollination. Actually, approximately 70% of our food and plants depend on bees, as well as help avoid the need to spray harmful pesticides in the orchards. But what happens when the bees are in crisis?
Without bees, there can be no almonds. In fact, each of California’s nearly 1 million acres of almond orchards requires two hives. But California beekeepers have only a quarter of the needed hives.
As almond acreage has exploded and bees have been in some kind of crazy death spiral, growers have been in a mild state of panic over where to find enough little pollinators.
As a result, they are willing to pay dearly — up to $180 to rent one hive for a couple of weeks.
“None of us wants to get into the bee business,” said Los Banos almond grower Joe Del Bosque, whose bee budget is $250,000 this year. “Bees are livestock. It’s like owning a dairy. A lot of work.”
Hence, the annual bee migration.
“We’re the whores of agriculture,” said Dave Hackenberg, a Pennsylvania beekeeper, who rents his hives on a national circuit, starting with almonds in February, ending with Brazilian peppers in Florida in the winter…
…Bottom line: There’s no single cause for the weakening or untimely demise of the tiny creatures that make the almond harvest possible. The idea of a mysterious “colony collapse disorder” has seized the public imagination — who among us does not love bees, or at least the idea of bees? — but it’s mostly a misnomer.
Bee failure has multiple, probably interlocking causes, many of which are still poorly understood. Bees are vulnerable to pesticides and pests such as the varroa mite, fungicides and fungus, and a host of viruses that cause them to fly slowly, or act demented or die prematurely.
Maisie Jane’s is committed to being part of the solution to save the bees. How can you help? When you purchase any 12oz. jar of our almond butter at any Whole Foods market in the nation, we’ll donate $.05/jar towards bee research.
You can also plant native plants in your own yard and garden where the bees can be safe and get good nutrition.
Help us create buzz by spreading the word and raising awareness!
Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. We strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. We believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.