The high demand for pollination of almond crops along with pesticides used might be the cause of honey bee deaths.
Of all the almonds consumed in the world, more than 80 percent come from California.
There’s an almond boom happening, with the crop growing 25 percent between 2006 and 2013.
This incredible growth is being blamed for the recent die-off of honey bees.
It takes roughly 1.6 million honey bee hives to pollinate the almond crop each Spring. The majority of which are transported in from other states to meet the demand.
Of all the managed honey bees in the country, 60 percent are utilized for pollinating the almond crops.
According to the Pollinator Stewardship Council, 25 percent of those bees, up to 425,000 colonies full of around 40,000 bees each were damaged or killed.
While honey bee die-offs have occurred periodically in the past, this year’s is much larger and more devastating.
Scientists have been looking into the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder for years.
Causes for this may include pesticides, specifically ones used on almond crops, parasites within bee colonies, and outside stresses including being transported to a new location.
While all these factors might contribute to the honey bee demise, it appears pesticides used in almond crops might be the most at fault.
Specifically adjuvants used to help spread pesticides more evenly. It’s possible these adjuvants have helped the chemicals penetrate the bee’s skin when it was previously impenetrable.
Many beekeepers are refusing to supply the almond crops with their bees next year. This poses an issue for almond farmers who are reliant on bees to pollinate their crops.
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