Almonds Begin Because of Bees
Almonds’ sustainability story doesn’t end with water.
For these nuts to grow, bees must pollinate each blossom. Almond orchards are the first natural food source of the year for many bees after winter hibernation.
Bees store this food to start their pollination season. According to the Almond Board of California, almond pollen is nutritious, providing all 10 of the essential amino acids bees need.
In total, California’s almond industry requires roughly 2 million hives — it’s the world’s largest managed pollination event.
Almost all the bees are brought to the state from across the country. More than 70% of all commercial honey bee colonies in the United States are used to pollinate almond orchards.
And in case you don’t know, bees are in trouble. Bee numbers are declining for a number of factors, one of which is pesticides. And many of the bees in California are dying from pesticides used on almond groves.
The USDA Pesticide Data Program has found nine different pesticide residues in almonds — and four are toxic to honey bees.