COVER S TORY
DID YOU KNOW that, through pollination, bees play a vital role in roughly one out of three bites of food we take, including nuts, berries, other fruits and vegetables? Nevertheless, these industrious and beneficial
insects are being reduced in number and ravaged by pests and
Here’s a look at the issues facing bees and beekeepers,
and what’s being done to help them.
An ominous sign
According to the not-for-profit group Bee Informed
Partnership ( beeinformed.org), beekeepers lost more
than ;; percent of their honeybees between April
;;;; and April ;;;;. It’s a trend of loss that has
held a steady course since ;;;;.
Almond growers were among the first to see
a decline in the number of bees. It’s little
surprise considering that, according to the
Almond Board of California, almond pollination requires two-thirds of the
nation’s commercial honeybees. The
pollination average for almond
orchards is two hives per acre. In the
;;;;–;;;; growing season, California
had nearly ;;;,;;; acres of almond
trees, translating to a need for almost
; million hives.
Honeybees pollinate flowers
while they’re out collecting nectar.
Pollen from the flower’s stamen
sticks to the hairs on the bee’s body,
A beekeeper at work.
BY STEPHANIE E. PONDER
to find a solution
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