Almond blossoms surround a red barn in California's Central Valley, USA
© Jeffrey Lewis/Tandem Stills + Motio
These trees are famous for bearing what?
Nestled in the verdant Central Valley, found within the US state of California, this almond orchard is in full bloom. If we zoomed in closer, we might see billions of honey bees hard at work moving pollen from one blossom to another, doing their vital work to pollinate the trees so they can produce their valuable crop. Almond orchards are a thriving AU$9.86 billion business here in the valley. California produces around 80 per cent of the world’s almonds and growing demand means production has more than doubled in the past few years, despite threats from drought and wildfires.
To keep up with demand, orchards pay American beekeepers from as far away as Florida to truck in their hives each February when the trees are in bloom. More than half of America’s domesticated honey bee population is needed to work the orchards, so next time you gobble down a handful of almonds, just think of the tiny workers.