If bee’s had a super bowl, a time for them to show their fans what they were made of, and leave it all on the field, what would that look like? The annual almond pollination! That’s what.
The New Year Times notes that California is responsible for nearly 80% of the world’s supply of almonds. And you guessed it, the success of that bounty is dependent on bee pollination. Every February, local beekeepers are joined by out-of-staters, to take part in helping rows and rows of almond trees flourish. But almond growers aren’t the only party benefiting, beekeepers have been able to diversify their practices by taking part in seasonal pollination. The additional service allows them an income aside from honey production. The arrangement is a win-win.
However, as the almond market continues to grow (it’s estimated that by 2020 300,000 additional acres of almond trees will be blooming) we have to wonder, will the bee population be able to keep up? It’s no secret that the domestic bee population has been struggling over the last decade. While efforts, such as a task force formed by The White House, have brought the issue to light, beekeepers still feel that the decline isn’t being taken as seriously as it should be. “If cattlemen lost 50 percent of their cows, you know people would do something and react,” -Chris Hiatt, Vice President of the American Honey Producers Association.
Your preparation for Super Bowl Sunday probably looks like a lot like NFL apparel and appetizers galore, and beekeepers come together to pregame their big game as well. Every year, beekeepers taking part in the California almond pollination come together to discuss everything from honeybee disease prevention, to hive neighboring flora, to maintaining the perfect balance between the wild and domesticated honeybees. But all of these topics circle back to the ultimate goal, of nurturing the bee population. While the road to bee population recovery is a long and winded one, we think the first step to change is awareness. We hope you join in on the conversation!
To learn more about almond pollination, or dive into the details of the honeybee population, refer to this article by The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/magazine/the-super-bowl-of-beekeeping.html