As of January 2018, there were approximately 2.63 million managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. Over 500,000 make their home permanently in California, while another 1.5 million hives are moved into the state annually to augment the pollination demands of California’s almond crop alone. This means slightly fewer than 79 percent of the managed hives in the U.S. are used to pollinate a single California crop.
In 2019 there are about 1.16 million planted acres of almond orchards in California, with mature trees on bearing acreages capable of producing more than 2.27 billion pounds of almonds annually. Growers usually rent two colonies of honey bees per bearing acre.
“Honey bees are essential to almond production,” said Bob Curtis, pollination consultant and retired director of Agricultural Affairs for the Almond Board of California. “Every almond we eat exists because a honey bee pollinated an almond blossom so it’s in farmers’ best interest to keep them safe. Our livelihood depends on it.”
As important as managed honey bees are to almonds and the more than 100 other crops they pollinate, pesticides and insecticides used to protect crops against pests are also important. Farmers and crop protection specialists recognize that and work diligently to ensure that pollinators and pesticides can co-exist in balance.
This course will examine the stressors on the honey bee population such as Colony Collapse Disorder, nutrition, pesticides, parasites and pathogens as well as rules and legislation to protect honey bees.
- Lectures 9
- Questions 40
- Duration 1 h (approx)
This course is accredited by:
- Arizona Department of Agriculture (1 Credit)
- Arizona Pest Management Division (1 Credit)
- California Department of Pesticide Regulation (1 Hour Other)
- Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Accredited in U.S. and Canada (1 hour Sustainability)
- Florida Department of Agriculture (1 CEU General Standards/Core Sections 487 & 482)
- Oregon Department of Agriculture (1 hour)
- Tennessee Department of Agriculture (1 CEU in Categories 01, 04, 10, 12)
- Utah Department of Agriculture (1 CEU in Use)
- Washington Department of Agriculture (1 credit)
Farm Progress acknowledges and thanks the following for their contribution to this course. Without those who are dedicated to the preservation of bees as a vital part of U.S. agriculture, this course would not be possible. Their research and publications continue to allow bees to do their vital work.
Dr. Eric Mussen, Emeritus Extension Apiculturist, UC Davis.
Dr. Elina Nino, Extension Apiculturist at UC Davis.
We also want to acknowledge the bee photography provided for this course by Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.