As another 300,000 almond acres come into production in the next few years, beekeepers and farmers say an additional 600,000 beehives will be needed for pollination. Achieving that could be somewhat daunting, as beekeepers report annual bee losses due to challenges such as reduced forage, the Varroa mite and pesticide-related issues.
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At the annual conference of the American Honey Producers Association and Canadian Honey Council, held recently in Sacramento, state Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said California border stations cleared 1.82 million beehives to enter the state in 2019.
Going into this season, Ross reminded beekeepers to register movement of beehives in and out of orchards to protect the apiaries from theft and from applications of crop protection materials. The state's BeeCheck program requires beekeepers to register beehive locations with county agricultural commissioners. Last year, agricultural commissioners added BeeWhere, a software program to assist beekeepers in registering beehives.