Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Berkeley, California, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Are there any partnerships between almond growers and beekeepers, in which beekeepers keep their bees full-time at a site where almonds are grown? Or, are there almond growers that are beekeepers? I think it would be a very interesting, non-traditional, beneficial operation to see almond growers partnering with beekeepers to keep bees at a site where lots of commercial growing occurs. I know this is economically inefficient to the traditional almond grower, seeing as almonds do not need honey bees for more than a few weeks at a time. But imagine a grower, or team of growers, that grow commercially pollinated crops (more than just almonds) at one site, and also keep lots of honey bee colonies at the site to provide sufficient pollination year round. Do you think a farm like this could be possible? What types of restrictions prevent a system like this from being effective and profitable?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    9,183

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Maybe someone could comment on the spraying issues..? I hear they spray while the bees are in... is the spraying outside flowering as bad?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    denver colorado
    Posts
    857

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    more to the point, out side of flowering what is there foe the bees to forage on, mono culture and all

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Berkeley, California, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Growers seem to be receptive to growing other sources of forage for honey bees to feed on. I was imagining a growing operation where there are other sources of food for the honey bees/ not a mono culture at all.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,373

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Most almond growing areas are little more than deserts where almond trees bloom a few weeks a year. Spraying and constant feeding and pollen supplementing would very much be issues if bees were left year round. Hives are easily transported in and out to other more bee friendly areas.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,293

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Controlling "weeds" seems to be a typical practice for almond growers. See this UC Extension publication:
    Organic weed control in almond orchards

    But weeds, more or less, are bee forage. Finding supplemental crop(s) that doesn't reduce almond yields, offers extended bee forage availability over multiple months, and dealing with the almond fungicide sprays (considered detrimental to bees) could be serious challenges.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,264

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Orchards are mono-culture, especially almonds. Almond trees as far as you can see. They'll have early mustard to keep the bees in the orchard just before almond bloom, but as the bloom starts the mustard gets cut out to keep the bees on the trees. For the rest of the year, no weeds or grass in the orchards.

    I suspect the reasoning is that anything growing besides the trees would be robbing soil nutrients away from the trees, so it's all kept clean for the trees. And if they are setup on drip irrigation, no water waste in the orchard space enough to grow anything, all water goes to the tree.

    I live near orchard areas, almonds, walnuts, peaches, plums... All ground in orchards is kept clean, no weeds or grass. So, no forage for bees other than at bloom time as it's all corporate mono-culture.
    I'm not always the brightest Beek in the box, so I carry a flash light for my occasional dim moments.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    most of the cali queen producers are involved in the almonds one way or another. Some own orchards some just put bees in them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    I have a friend that keeps a few yards in almonds yr round. Its not an easy task when spraying. They rebound with enough pollen sub and syrup.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,285

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    the problem with the big areas is nothing to forage on, it's miles and miles of trees, nothing else, no where else to plant enough forage for any amount of hives to make a difference. Outside of bloom the trees are hit with 2-3 fungicide sprays, and a few insecticide sprays including an IGR for some Lepidoptera and a systemic most likely for spider mites. Also, since nuts are shaken on the floor then have to be swept up into rows for gathering, they want the space between trees as clean and smooth as possible, it's not feasible to plant anything in between to have to do that much more work to pick up the nuts later.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    1,632

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    I took bees to an orchard right on the edge of town by Chico for a couple of years that might have worked.
    Otherwise, my calculations tell me that it would be a losing proposition.
    Almost anything CAN be done.
    But will it be profitable or have some other advantage?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,285

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    My main issue, I keep bees next to orchards year round, is depending on surroundings, there just isn't enough forage. I have yet to see any affects from spraying post bloom as the bees aren't in the trees anyways, but more and more trees are going in and what little forage the bees had is becoming smaller because of it....

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    2,106

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Marcel,
    You should ask Gordon. The story he related to me was bees in Lost Hills harvesting road tar from seal coating Hwy 46 for their propolis. That's how poor the pasture was.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, ILL. USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Are there almond growers that keep honey bees on their properties year round?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Marcel,
    You should ask Gordon. The story he related to me was bees in Lost Hills harvesting road tar from seal coating Hwy 46 for their propolis. That's how poor the pasture was.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •