Almond growers are starting to think about their pollination plan for next year. Senior Specialist, Agricultural and Environmental Affairs for the Almond Board of Califonria Danielle Veenstra tells us some of the things growers should discuss with their beekeeper.
Get more from the Almond Board on bee health on its website.
The blossoms of nearly all California almond varieties are self-incompatible, requiring cross-pollination with other varieties to produce a crop. Even self-compatible varieties still require transfer of pollen within the flower. The single most important factor determining a good yield is pollination during the bloom period. About 1.6 million colonies of honey bees are placed in California almond orchards at the beginning of the bloom period to pollinate the crop. California beekeepers alone cannot supply this critical need, which is why honey bees are transported across the country to the San Joaquin Valley each year.
As part of an ongoing commitment to honey bee health, the Almond board of California recently released a comprehensive set of Honey Bee Best Management Practices (BMPs) for California’s almond industry. Developed with a wide array of input from sources including the almond community, beekeepers, researchers, California and U.S. regulators, and chemical registrants, the BMPs represent the Board’s most extensive educational documents to date to ensure that almond orchards are and remain a safe and healthy place for honey bees. The documents lay out simple, practical steps that almond growers can take together with beekeepers and other pollination stakeholders to protect and promote bee health on their land and in the surrounding community.