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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    2,359

    Default This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    2,344

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    It does mean I need to get more alternative pollination sources. Definitely can't get rich with bee's anymore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,078

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Wow, interesting story. It would take some years for them to proliferate.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    The Independence almond — a self-fertile variety needing few bees to produce numerous large nuts — is creating a buzz among almond growers.

    Created by Zaiger Genetics Inc., the Independence almond was released in 2008. Dave Wilson Nursery, which holds the patent on the trees, has a producing Independence almond orchard in Modesto.

    At Dave Wilson Nursery, orders for Independence almond trees now exceed orders for the popular and widely known Nonpareil variety.

    Closer to home, Barra Farms, owned by Ben Barra, is giving the Independence variety a try. The Barra family has young trees on 20 acres just southwest of Fresno.

    “We expect a couple of hundred pounds this year,” said Steven Barra, Ben’s son.

    “It takes almonds about five years to mature,” he added. And this is Barra Farm’s first Independence crop.

    Barra explained that production costs could be cut considerably if the variety works out. “Bees are a major expense,” he said.

    The variety also cuts down on trees, because one variety does not have to pollinate another variety. And with only one variety planted, multiple harvests are no longer necessary.

    “It is self-fertile,” said Art Ruble, almond and olive specialist for Dave Wilson Nursery in Reedley. “You only plant one variety.”

    It makes harvests easier to schedule and nuts can usually be picked before damaging rains arrive, Ruble said.

    Nonpareil has been the dominant variety in the area producing large almonds with attractive shells. But the variety needs plenty of pollination. Dennis Tarry, CEO of Dave Wilson Nursery, points out that growers could save as much as $250 to $300 an acre by eliminating the cost of bees. Pollination accounts for about 16 percent of the per-acre cultural cost of growing almonds.

    The Almond Board of California sets the per-acre cultural cost of growing almonds at $1,752. That includes pruning, weed abatement, disease control, irrigation and fertilization and pollination.

    “Bees are a significant component,” Tarry said. Considering that total cost of growing almonds stands at nearly $3,900 per acre, growers spend between 8% and 12% of the total cost of growing almond trees on bees,” he said.

    One eye-catching factor is that the money saved by cutting bees out of the equation could potentially pay the cost of planting news trees.

    The prospect of the Independence almond has some beekeepers a little concerned. Roger Everett, a Tulare County beekeeper and past president of the California State Beekeepers Association, said his industry is keeping an eye on the success of commercial plantings of the Independence almond.

    “Depending on how well Independence plays out in the real world, it could result in a decrease in the need for bees,” Everett said. “The question is how fast the industry chooses to adapt or change over.

    Everett said almond bloom should begin in the next couple of weeks — the beekeepers busy season. The Valley’s almond crop requires up to 1.2 million bee colonies for fertilization, and Everett estimates there are about 2.1 million bee colonies in the entire continental U.S.

    Rent for a single pollinating bee colony reached as high as $140 a few years ago when colony collapse disorder caused widespread bee disappearances.

    With that in mind, growers are planting young Independence variety trees in the fertile fields of east Fresno.

    Some new Independence almond groves in the Fresno area now span 100 acres, Tarry said. Although the popular Nonpareil variety tends to draw a slightly higher market price, that trend may be changing.

    In some cases, Independence growers received $2.35 a pound for their almonds, about equaling the wholesale price for Nonpareil almonds.

    Tarry said he expects Nonpareil almonds to always be around, but the Independence variety could cut into Nonpareil production. “It has its own place,” Tarry said.

    Tarry describes Independence as a large high-grade commercial quality almond with a soft shell. It has a sweet flavor and blanches well.

    “We are pleased with the quality of the nut,” Tarry said.

    It blooms with Nonpareil and is harvested two to three days before Nonpareil.

    Last year, California growers produced about 300,000 acres of Nonpareil almonds. Independence almonds cover between 15,000 and 20,000 acres in the state, Tarry said.

    Although much of the production started out in San Joaquin County, it is now catching on in Madera and Fresno counties. Fresno County crops are mostly in their third year and production stands at about 1,350 pounds per acre.

    Madera County produces about 560 pounds per acre. The difference results from different growing techniques and some problems the Madera crop had along the way.

    Developing a plan for best production of the crop is a learning process, Ruble said.

    Independence almond growers in the Modesto area have a jump on Independence growers in the Fresno-Modesto areas. Some of the groves are in their fourth year or older.

    But groves are also coming of age around Fresno. “We are seeing a lot of interest in the Central Valley,” Tarry said.

    “The outlook is fantastic,” he said.

    Although growers are still learning about the attributes of the Independence variety, it appears to produce well and provide good quality nuts. “We knew it had a lot of potential to set fruit,” Tarry said.

    In terms of bees, some growers have opted to have no hives at all. Others have brought in one hive. “It may or may not be necessary,” Tarry said.

    Time will tell if having fewer bees or no bees is the best option.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    2,344

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    When you copy the whole article do you have to footnote where you took it from?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,359

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Robbo,

    Why did you copy and paste the entire article I provided the link for?
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,762

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    My question is, why didn't you copy and paste at least a part of it and include the link. W/out some indication of what it is I don't open links. Could be something I don't care to see. How is one to know? There are beesource Rules for Posting Links. Please tell us what Links are about. "This is not good for commercial beekeepers." is kinda cryptic.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Seems to be an overly optimistic report. One of the "problems" they are experiencing are trees not 'shaking' well (nuts sticking). Another consideration is, how happy will your neighbor be with you not renting bees and pulling half of his bees to your trees? Many years ago I knew a grower who billed his neighbor for half his crop for this very reason.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yamhill Co- Ore-gun
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    I first heard about this last July in an article in the Capitol Press (an Ag focused newspaper that is mostly concentrates on Oregon/Washington). At that time, they were still recommending pollination for those almonds. They just didn’t need as many hives/acre.

    There is one factor that could limit the success/marketability of those nuts and that is the fact that they are genetically modified (GMO). With all of the negative press associated with GMO produce (i.e. Roundup-Ready corn, soy, beets, etc.), that could be a problem. When word gets out that these almonds are GMO and not “naturally” pollinated, I think it is going to be more difficult to market them (at least to end consumers).

    Since I’m not involved in almonds in any way, I don’t know a lot about them. I would suspect that there have been GMO trees in orchards for years that are designed to be resistant to various funguses, blight, etc. To your average lay-person, this isn’t going to have that big of an “impact” because it isn’t something that they can relate to. Now, when word gets out that they have “modified this tree so that honeybees are not needed”, that will have an impact; it’s something consumers can conceive and understand. With the right PR, the will see it as a bad thing.

    Either way, I’m sure there will be some impact as there are a lot of consumers (myself included) who don’t really care if something is GMO. But, as consumers purchases shift to more “natural” products, GMO will be harder to sell in the future. A good friend of mine has family that raises sugar beets. Last year (or the year before, I don’t recall) the co-op they belong to told them not to plant any Round-up Ready beets because they wouldn’t buy them. It is simply consumer pressure.

    Either way, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
    Visit us at www.farmzee.com for everything related to small farms!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    These statistics are more realistic!

    http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_...01105almpd.pdf

    2300 to 2400 pounds /acre!
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,299

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Where in the article does it say this is a GMO? The only thing I could find on a google search says this:http://groworganic.com/organic-garde...nks-for-pluots

    "The Zaiger family (the business is still family owned and operated) made it their mission to improve fruit worldwide. And improve it they do; without resort to any genetic manipulation. They painstakingly hand pollinate. They cross and recross the selections carefully recording each cross made and tracking pedigrees meticulously. This is no instant gratification trade as it takes each generation three years to mature. According to Lieth Gardner (Floyd Zaiger’s daughter) it can take on average 12 to 15 years to develop a new variety, and as many as 20 years to develop a new species. In fact the brand new Peacotum® took 30 years! So far the Zaiger holds something in the neighborhood of 200 patents for their fruit varieties. Floyd Zaiger is the most prolific fruit breeder of the modern era. You find his trees from New Zealand to Europe, in fact he was made an Officier in the Order du Merit Agricole by the French government in 1997."


    And Blue Diamonds answer when asked if their almonds are GMO:

    "No. Blue Diamond uses California almonds grown by our grower co-operative members without the use of genetic engineering or gene manipulation. The varieties of almonds available were developed using traditional agricultural breeding techniques. "

    Since Europe is a big market for California almonds,and there is a lot of resistance there to GMO, it would be a marketing disaster for almond growers to grow anything other than traditionally developed varieties. So show me where any almonds are GMO!
    I think the real issue is if this variety can be grown and harvested economically.
    Anyway, my bees are in for this year.I will worry about the future in the future.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Well stated!
    And Blue Diamonds answer when asked if their almonds are GMO:

    "No. Blue Diamond uses California almonds grown by our grower co-operative members without the use of genetic engineering or gene manipulation. The varieties of almonds available were developed using traditional agricultural breeding techniques. "

    Since Europe is a big market for California almonds,and there is a lot of resistance there to GMO, it would be a marketing disaster for almond growers to grow anything other than traditionally developed varieties. So show me where any almonds are GMO!
    I think the real issue is if this variety can be grown and harvested economically.
    Anyway, my bees are in for this year.I will worry about the future in the future.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Boone County, IN, USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    One tree, one variety, one new pest = no almonds.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Quote Originally Posted by BooneCtyBeek View Post
    One tree, one variety, one new pest = no almonds.
    Irish potato famine

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,927

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    I will wait to here the other side of the story. Are they going to be something the market is happy with for example? Looks like some growers are already finding out that they are not a bee free alternative. But this artical alone smacks of one of those Ra Ra here is the miracle sort of things that are flat on their face and forgotten in a few years.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Will almonds not require bees before California falls into the ocean? That is the big question and it doesn't really matter the world ends 20/20/2012.
    Don't worry it gives one stress and that is a bad thing.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,166

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I will wait to here the other side of the story. Are they going to be something the market is happy with for example?
    OK, then, No about $.30-40 cents less than the top grade.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,299

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    So less money and more problems getting them to shake. Sounds like a loser .....

    Hey Nick,if Ca is fixing to drop into the sea, I better get my bees to Idaho quick...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    Do they still have the almondator running the state.?

  20. #20

    Default Re: This is not good for commercial beekeepers.

    lol nick, optimistic huh?

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