The Department of Agriculture says almond growers were the top users of pollination services in 2016. Farmers growing crops that depend on pollination can rely on wild pollinators in the area or pay beekeepers to provide honey bees or other managed bees, such as the blue orchard bee. In 2016, U.S. farmers paid $354 million for pollination services. USDA says producers of almonds alone accounted for 80 percent of that amount, more than $280 million. By comparison, producers of apples and blueberries paid about $10 million each. Pollination services helped support the production of these crops— which, in 2016, had a total production value of about $5.2 billion for almonds, $3.5 billion for apples, and $720 million for blueberries. Over the same period, the number of honey-producing colonies grew by 14 percent.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.