Bob Curtis, director of agricultural affairs for the Almond Board of California (ABC), was on Food Navigator USA’s Soup-To-Nuts podcast with Elizabeth Crawford to discuss honey bee health and the precautions the California Almond community takes to ensure that bees are happy, healthy, and safe while they are in our orchards.
A few of the almond community’s initiatives to help improve bee colony health that Curtis discussed on the Soup-To-Nuts podcast are:
- The Bee Best Management Practices which almond farmers across California use to balance honey bee and crop health. These are guidelines and recommendations for all involved in the pollination process, from the beekeeper to the almond farmer and everyone in between.
- The research that ABC and the Honey Bee Health Taskforce has been funding and engaged in since 1995 that aims to make advancements and improvements in the areas of stressors for the honey bee, including pests, diseases, and lack of forage.
- A partnership with Project Apis m. called “Seeds for Bees” which gives free-of-cost seeds to farmers to ensure that there are enough diverse cover crops (forage) planted in or around orchards to sustain the nearly 1.8 million colonies that come to pollinate the almond crop.
- Support for the “Bee Informed Partnership” that works with beekeepers to monitor hives year-round. This helps provide information and research on the pests, pesticides, and diseases affecting the bees, which in turn gives the almond community the knowledge to keep hives healthy and minimize losses.
Listen to the complete podcast interview here to learn more about the California almond community’s ongoing commitment to honey bee health.
Fun fact: The phrase “soup-to-nuts” means “from start to finish” or “from beginning to end” and is derived from the description of a full-course dinner, which progresses from the first course of soup to a dessert of nuts.