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Pollinator Week: Almonds, Bees, Forage, Oh My!

This is blog 2 of a 2-part series in celebration of National Pollinator Week.


This year for Pollinator Week, the California almond community is reflecting on its partnerships supporting honey bee health. Project Apis m. supplies seed mixes for almond farmers to plant asblooming pastures for bees through their Seeds for Bees Program.

Project Apis m. (PAm) was founded by beekeepers and almond farmers nearly 13 years ago to address concerns about honey bee health. Project Apis m.'s mission is to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production. PAm’s name comes from Apis mellifera, the scientific name for the honey bee. 

After 7 years, PAm’s Seeds for Bees program has distributed over 34,000 acres of blooming plant seeds to almond farmers! Billy Synk, director Pollination Programs for Project Apis m., mentions in a recent press release,Many almond farmers continue to be good partners as we develop and deploy collaborative solutions for healthier pollinators and a more secure food supply.”

The Almond Board Loves Bees!

Almonds depend on bees and bees depend on almonds. Learn more here.

While a diverse mix of plant pollen is beneficial to bees, they also benefit from abundant single sources of high-quality pollen, like almonds, which help colonies build up reserves of workers and stored food. “Almond pollen is 25% protein and provides all 10 of the amino acids their diets require so honey bees love it,” Billy states. 

PAm’s Seeds for Bees program will be offered to even more almond farmers through the new Bee+ Scholarship, presented by the Almond Board of California. This scholarship will give farmers who participate more education tools, guaranteed flower seeds through PAm’s Seeds for Bees program and offsets the registration cost for the Pollinator Partnership’s Bee Friendly Farming program.

Want to join in the wildflower planting fun? Just like more and more almond farmers are planting bee forage on their farms, you can do the same in your own gardens! Check out this great tool from Pollinator Partnership that helps everyone find the right bee-friendly planting guide based on their ecoregion.

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.

Topics: Growing Good