Project Apis m. was founded by beekeepers and almond growers. Hosting the largest pollination event in the world, California almond orchards are also an important part of the US beekeeping industry. Project Apis m. works closely with the Almond Board of CA, who has released Honey Bee Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the almond industry. These are practical steps that almond growers and pesticide applicators can take together with beekeepers to protect and promote bee health.
Watch: Honey Bee BMPs, by the California Almond Board
A Quick View of the California Almond Board's BMPs:
The distribution of colonies should be accessible and convenient at all hours. Beekeepers need to place, service and remove hives routinely. Orchard roads should be maintained and graded for easy access. Allow for hive placement in areas not prone to flooding or shade. Eastern and southern exposures are better for sun and warmer temperatures and encourage bee flight for pollination. Let bees do their job, place hives as to limit human and honey bee interaction.
Let your beekeeper know the agricultural sprays used for crop protection, including tank mixes. Honey Bees come in contact with agricultural sprays in different ways. -Bees may fly through the spray -Sprays may drift to hives via wind -Bees may collect and bring into the hive pollen that contains chemical residue Management practices to minimize contact are -Spray when honey bees are not flying -Spray when pollen is not being produced by the trees -Time applications late in the afternoon or at night
Honey Bee Nutrition
If possible, help your beekeeper locate flowering forage prior to and after almond bloom to offset dearth. – On adjacent acerage -At perimeter of orchard -Within younger orchards -On fallow land Good examples of alternative food resources are mustard, clover or vetch.
Water is important to prevent dehydration
Provide abundant and potable water, free from contamination. Landings and screens make water accessible and prevent bee drownings.