Girl Planting seeds

To bee, or not to bee, a question for almond growers

Pollination by bees is vital even when crops are assumed to be pollinator independent. That's according to a study co-authored by Ethel Villalobos, a researcher in the University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences and lead of the UH Honeybee Project.  In a paper published in the February issue of Nature Scientific Reports, Villalobos collaborated with a team comprised mainly of Argentinian researchers and were led by Agustin Saez and Pedro Negri, co-founders of a start-up company called BeeFlow. Their series of field experiments examined the true "independence" of a new self-fertilizing almond variety called 'Independence.'  Eighty percent of the world's almonds are produced in California. The crop requires the pollination services of two million colonies of honey bees during the flowering season, which growers rent from beekeepers. Pollinating almonds requires the equivalent of moving half of all managed bees in the U.S. to California for a few weeks.  Read more....

 

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