The word is "bees" and "almonds" are their world.
Right this very minute there are about 1.7 million colonies of bees pollinating California almonds. Since it takes two colonies to pollinate one acre, and California doesn't have that many bees, beekeepers throughout the nation trucked in some 1.6 million colonies.
Feel the buzz!
"Spend a couple days driving on county roads around I5 and Hwy 99 in the Central Valley of California, and you can feel the excitement!" writes Christi Heintz, executive director of Project Apis m. in her February newsletter. "Semi-load trucks are delivering over 400 hives each near orchards."
She lists five February facts:
- Commercially-managed bees are just about ready for the biggest pollination event ON EARTH
- More than 3,500 truckloads of bees have crossed the border into California for the event,
- Almonds will require 1.7 million colonies this season
- If over-wintering losses for honey bees are hovering about the same as previous years (30 percent), almond pollination requires nearly ALL available commercially-managed colonies, and
- Some lucky bees have been able to forage on PAm's Mustard Mix and thus will not starve prior to bloom!