Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Merced, CA
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    6

    Default Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    With the first Independence varietals of almonds coming online, what impact has this had on commercial beekeeping? I'm in Merced and there is a lot of buzz about these trees liberating growers from the yearly need for bees. I'm skeptical, but I figured I'd ask the community. I'm sure this has been brought up in some other thread, but I'd not found it yet. Many thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
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    1,026

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    I would imagine this isn't an easy question even for the growers. Factors to be included would include- how much of the cost of production is bees, how long does an orchard remain productive before it is necessary to replant it, are the self pollinating varieties as saleable and so forth. I would expect the effect to come about slowly.
    Bill

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID, USA
    Posts
    1,138

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    It was discussed a little in this thread:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ver-with/page2

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,457

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    You still need bees to move pollen around

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    You still need bees to move pollen around
    Some are saying bees will help set a bigger crop, while others are saying just a stiff breeze is all that is needed to move the pollen the tiny distance from the anther to the pistil allowing each flower to self pollinate. Most Independence growers put a few hives out "just in case" and perhaps to appease their neighbors with almonds.

    Several of my neighbors have planted Independence and I must say they look great. The oldest orchard in my area is 7th leaf. They are strong trees and very productive. Another plus with this new variety is one early harvest and you are done. No need to come back and harvest a pollinator variety which saves money and more importantly no more worries of September or October rains messing up the harvest of the late varieties. A wet harvest is a real headache no grower wants to deal with.

    If I was planting a new orchard I would definitely go with Independence. So would every other grower I have talked to.
    Steve

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    clayton cal.
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    Dont bet the farm on just one variety- if a invasion of pest- fungus or other environmental problem
    develops that is specific to the independence variety it would cascade to total ruin for the grower--
    almonds have been a good pay check all around --RDY-B

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    I pollinate several big ranches, biggest grows 10k acres of almonds. What they tell me. Its a small nut. Sticky to harvest and requires 1 hive per acre. It can not replace the nonpareil and does not bring the same $ as nonpareil. The pollination saving is a VERY small amount in the almond industry. It cost a lot more to plant an independence than the nonpareil. IMO the people planting independence are the small growers that will choke over $1000 and Think they are saving $$$.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,591

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    Sticky to harvest .
    Yep, nothing to do all winter but knock mummies. Real PITA.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    oroville california usa
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    I pollinate several big ranches, biggest grows 10k acres of almonds. What they tell me. Its a small nut. Sticky to harvest and requires 1 hive per acre. It can not replace the nonpareil and does not bring the same $ as nonpareil. The pollination saving is a VERY small amount in the almond industry. It cost a lot more to plant an independence than the nonpareil. IMO the people planting independence are the small growers that will choke over $1000 and Think they are saving $$$.
    This is exactly what I have been hearing from several growers

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Madera, California
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    Roger Duncan, UCCE Stanislaus County conducted research on Independence variety. Basics of his research; he used screen cage on individual trees to keep bees out. Caged trees produced 63% less nut set than open air /un-caged trees. Also pointed out that these varieties are "self fertile, not self pollinating".

    Mel Machada with Blue Diamond recommends growers mentioned to me at 2014 Almond Conference: with self fertile varieties use 1 hive per acre. Mel also stated that these varieties are not self pollinating.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Indpendence Almonds..Impact on Pollination

    25% of the almond acreage planted in 2016 were Independence. If this trend continues it won't take long for Independence to overtake Nonpareil as #1.



    https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics...01704almac.pdf

    http://thealmonddoctor.com/2017/06/0...rietal-trends/
    Steve

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