Keeping things buzzing in California
Along with Brazil nuts, almonds are one of the nuts that we love most (and we know quite a few of you are pretty keen on them too). But almonds need a little help to get growing. According to the WWF, 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination. That includes the almond groves of California where honeybees are vital to allow almonds to grow.
Normally, almond trees are grown in large orchards, with thousands of almonds trees blooming at once. Whilst this sounds beautiful, just having one type of plant isn’t brilliant for nature, particularly not for the bees & other pollinators that are needed to pollinate the trees. The presence of only one type of tree means that bees have little else to eat if the almonds bloom late, and no-one wants starving bees! That’s why we work with Project Apis m. as part of their ‘Seeds for Bees’ www.projectapism.org/seeds-for-bees project.
‘Seeds for Bees’ helps to keep honey bees healthy and boost the biodiversity of almond groves by planting a mixture of pollinator supportive plants in amongst the almond trees. This gives bees a ‘bee buffet’ to enjoy when the almonds aren’t blooming.
What’s good for bees is of course good for other pollinators too, so biodiversity is boosted all-round. The project also benefits the soil health of almond orchards, as the roots of the plants improve the health of the soil, allowing precious rainwater to filter more effectively through the soil and make almond orchards more sustainable.
In 2021, we’re supporting the growth of over 700 acres of these plants– that’s a bee buffet the size of around 11,000 tennis courts!