GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999


Almond growers need honeybees, and lots of them. The interesting workings of almond agriculture are revealed as almond farmers discuss the bee shortage. 80% of the world’s almond supply is grown in the Central Valley of California, and it takes 1 million hives of bees to pollinate the 530,000 acres of almond groves. The state has 440,000 bee hives and beekeepers from other states drive their hives in each year to supplement them. One farmer reported paying $54 to rent a hive, up from $44 last year. The growth of almond acreage is not the only factor for the bee shortage. Parasitic mites are taking a toll on hive populations and an estimated 10,000-15,000 hives were burned in Southern California fires last year. The Gilroy Beekeepers website blames the yearly mass migration of bees to the almond groves for spreading the mites and other diseases among hives. Approximately one-third of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from insect-pollinated plants.

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