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Honeybee pollination obsolete?

1794 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  PoDuck
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If it happens, it's going to be a while. Farmers aren't going to be terribly excited to destroy their current trees so that they can start getting these new almonds 10 years later. It may be that new orchards will be started with these varieties, but you know that there will still be growers that insist on doing things the old way.
This has come up a couple of times on beesource. Even the self pollinating ones do better with bees. It has been around for awhile and doesn't seem to be catching on too fast.
The almond market was built up to what it is today by selling the nuts as being a health-food, and they still are being sold as such all over the world. For this reason alone, I don't think many growers will be hot to trot to switch to genetically modified varieties that will turn off a large segment of the market to almonds. Almonds sell for a lot more than they would otherwise sell for because of the perception that has been built through many years of marketing almonds as a health food, and I just don't think growers are going to risk losing the market momentum they've built.
Many crops are self pollinating like blueberries. Yet truck loads of bees still roll into Maine every year. Plants can do it with just wind, but bees and other insects will always be more effective.
These almonds are bred to be the way they are, it's not like they were having their genes spliced in a lab somewhere, they are hybrids of almonds that have been around for centuries with the ones in use in California today. I doubt that people are going to be that worried about a hybrid almond since we hybridize every food that is cultivated, and we have been doing it for centuries.
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