A Sure Sign of Spring

Feb 4, 2010

A sure sign of spring: trucks loaded with bee hives heading out to the almond orchards.

Yes, almond pollination season is almost here.

California has approximately 700,000 acres of almonds, and each acre requires two hives for pollination.

Since California doesn't have that many bee colonies, beekeepers from all over the country, some from as far away as Florida, are trucking in their bees.

A scene today in the Meadowview neighborhood, Sacramento: a truckĀ  loaded with hives and towing a forklift. The forklift? Quite necessary for easy movement and placement of the hives in the soggy orchards.

Ah, spring.

The almond pollination season begins around Feb. 10 and continues until approximately March 10. This encompasses the early, mid- and late varieties of almonds.

When asked today about the status of colony collapse disorder (CCD), Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, told us: "The colonies being delivered to the orchards currently should be in pretty good shape but CCD still is depleting those numbers in many commercial beekeeping operations in California and across the country."

Let's keep our fingers crossed.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

A SURE SIGN OF SPRING--A truck loaded with bee hives tows a forklift as it travels through Sacramento. The forklift will alleviate the movement and placement of the hives in a soggy orchard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Trucking Along

HONEY BEE nectaring an almond blossom in a photo taken Feb. 27, 2008. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ah, almonds!