Almond Living Magazine Pollinator Week: Almonds and Honey Bees are BFFs This is blog 1 of a 2-part series in celebration of National Pollinator Week. Read Blog 2 6/22/2020 This year for Pollinator Week, the California almond community is reflecting on its partnerships supporting honey bee health. One of those partners, Pollinator Partnership, was the driving force behind the creation of Pollinator Week thirteen years ago. Cheers to that! Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides. This January, the California almond community announced the new partnership with the Pollinator Partnership as a part of the Five Point Pollinator Protection Plan. Tapping into their Bee Friendly Farming (BFF) Program, we are working together to better engage almond farmers in the promotion of pollinator health on their lands. Under this new partnership, ABC has spent the last few months working with Pollinator Partnership to integrate the Bee Friendly Farming program with the California Almond Sustainability Program’s (CASP) bee health module, streamlining the process for farmers. While the annual almond bloom provides a strong start to the year for visiting honey bees, the goal of this new partnership is to expand the number of almond farmers who provide a habitat for all pollinators on their farms. Bee pastures can improve soil health. "Pollinator Partnership's Bee Friendly Farming Certification is a perfect conduit to increase pollinator benefits and to ensure protection and sustainability within the almond industry. Almond growers are terrific partners in best management practices, and we look forward to a close and growing relationship in support of pollinators and producers," said Laurie Adams, president and CEO of Pollinator Partnership. New this week, the Almond Board of California is offering a Bee+ Scholarship to almond farmer who fill out the refreshed CASP bee health module and pursue BFF certification. This scholarship offsets the cost of enrolling in the BFF program and guarantees wildflower seeds through Project Apis m.’s Seeds for Bees program, a core component of farmers’ qualifying as a BFF-certified farm. With allies like Pollinator Partnership, the California almond community is committed to supporting all pollinators – to honey bees and bee-yond. This blog series is dedicated to Christi Heintz, a co-founder of Project Apis m. and former director of the Production Research and Environmental Affairs for the Almond Board, who tragically passed away on May 11, 2020. She dedicated her life to honey bee health, and the almond community will continue to research and improve on her life’s work. Project Apis m. has organized a research scholarship on her behalf, to be awarded to a student who embodies Christi’s spirit of curiosity, collaboration and fearlessness. To learn more or contribute, click here.