Almond Board: Seeds for Bees

Sabrina Almond Update, General

Seeds for Bees ProgramThe Almond Board of California is reminding growers about the Seeds for Bees program from Project Apis m. Project Apis m. Director of Pollination Programs, Billy Synk tells us about the program.

Listen to the report:

More from The Almond Board of California:

Studies show that planting forage provides honey bees with better nutrition, and healthy honey bees mean better pollination. Although planting forage may not be the best fit for all growers, it can provide a number of benefits where orchard conditions are favorable. See “Forage Your Way to Better Honey Bee Health” for the benefits of planting forage.

 

More from Project Apis m. on the Seeds for Bees project:

Project Apis m. is working to build a sustainable, healthy honey bee supply for pollination services in California while improving crop production.  This can be accomplished with cover crops planted in or around orchards.  Would you like to help us provide nutrition for bees?  Are you interested in cultivating cover crops that benefit bees and soil health?  PAm will provide the seed for you to plant for FREE.  We provide seed mixes that have a low-moisture requirement appropriate for almond orchards across California’s varying climates.  Contact billy@projectapism.org if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are interested in helping develop bee forage
  • You will plant the seed as early as possible in the Fall
  • Your planted forage will be available to colonies pollinating CA’s specialty crops, including almonds
  • You plan to emphasize planting locations which will be accessible to over-wintering colonies
  • You are interested in improving the efficiency and soil health in your orchard

PAm has developed seed mixes to provide floral diversity prior to and following almond bloom in California for the nearly 1.8 million colonies that come to pollinate the 2017 almond crop.  Just like humans, honey bees are better able to deal with stressors if properly nourished, better able to fend off pests and parasites and cope with pesticides and transportation stress. Healthier bees mean stronger hives and better pollination.  Working with industry experts, PAm has established acreage, seed mixes, suppliers, and planting regimes for use in California’s almond growing areas.