A working partnership between growers and beekeepers is the basis for a successful pollination. Growers need to avoid any activities that put the health and safety of bees in their orchards at risk, and beekeepers are responsible for delivering and maintaining the requisite number and quality of hives.
Best Management Practices
As part of an ongoing commitment to honey bee health, Almond Board of California developed 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, “Honey Bee Best Management Practices for California Almonds” represents the Almond 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.
- Quick Guide for Almonds
- Applicator/Drive Honey Bee Best Management Practices Quick Guide for Almonds (in English and Spanish)]
- Forage Your Way to Better Honey Bee Health
Results from ongoing research are reported in the Almond Board’s e-newsletter, “California Almonds Outlook.” For the most recent information on almond pollination issues, search for “Pollination.”
Honey Bee Forage
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.
- Project Apis m. Seeds for Bees
- Pollinator Partnership Ecoregional Planting Guides
- Xerces Society Seed Mixes
Sourcing Honey Bees for Pollination
The Almond Board of California provides an Almond Pollination Directory — a searchable database of beekeepers that almond growers can use to source pollinators.
- Honey Bees and Agricultural Sprays
- How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides
- EPA Information on Residue Toxicity Times for Growers and Beekeepers
Supporting Honey Bee Health
Almonds rely on honey bees for pollination, and the California Almond community recognizes the essential role bees play in sustaining the global food supply. Almond Board of California has invested more money in research into issues that affect the health of honey bees than any other U.S. commodity. The results of this research are being used to improve best management practices for both growers and beekeepers.
The Almond Board has invested in honey bee health research since 1995; in more recent years, the primary focus of this research has been healthy hives, which includes:
- Improving honey bee nutrition;
- Effective management of bee pests and diseases;
- Improving honey bee breeding stock; and
- Assessing impacts of pesticides used in almonds
The Almond Board, in collaboration with Project Apis m., USDA, the University of California, beekeeper organizations and other groups, has supported and continues to support research to develop best management practices in these areas for growers and beekeepers alike. A key goal is to ensure almond orchards continue to be a good, safe place for honey bees to forage — a place that keeps them healthy and where hives increase in size.
Partners in Honey Bee Health:
- Bee Informed Partnership
- Honey Bee Health Coalition
- North American Pollinator Protection Campaign
- Project Apis m.