Almond blossoms in Central Valley, California, USA
© Jeffrey Lewis/Tandem Stills + Motio
Blossoming into spring
Nestled in California’s verdant Central Valley, this almond orchard is in full bloom. If we zoomed in closer, we might see billions of honeybees hard at work, moving pollen from one blossom to another, pollinating the trees so they can produce their valuable crop. Almond orchards are a thriving multi-billion dollar business here in this US state. California produces about 80% 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, when the trees are in bloom. More than half of the US domesticated honeybee population is needed to work these orchards. Without bees, there would be no almonds.