The Almonds are Blooming! The Almonds are Blooming!

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey    2/19/14

Everyone has a favorite almond tree, right?

Mine--well, it's not exactly mine!--is on the grounds of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis.

It's spectacular in bloom. You can hear the buzz of honey bees, the tweeting of birds, and occasionally, an airplane droning over the field or a hog squealing from the nearby UC Davis hog farm.

But the sounds of the bees empower us and assure us that spring is coming. This particular almond tree, with its low hanging branches,  is an addiction and a good place to get "a fix."

Meanwhile, 1.6 million honey bee colonies, trucked in from all over the United States, are pollinating California's 810,000 acres of almonds. Each acre requires two bee hives. 

California growers produced 1.88 billion pounds of almonds for the 2012-13 crop year, according to Christine Souza's Dec. 11, 2013 article in Ag Alert.   The 2013-14 crop is estimated at 1.85 billion pounds.

A little less than last year but that's a lot of almonds! And a lot of buzz in the almonds...

Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey Bug Squad blog at: http://ucanr.org/blogs/bugsquad/