As a follow up to my post on California almond pollination and a possible shortage of bees this year, here is a link to a video on YouTube. I say possible shortage, because this video was put up very recently and indicates that there MAY be sufficient bees. I think they really won’t know until the bloom gets under way, which is likely occurring about now.
Watch this short video, and you’ll see and hear from an almond grower who spends $100,000 a year to rent bees, and from an inspector with a business called Scientific Ag Company. Scientific Ag brokers contracts between growers needing hives for pollination and beekeepers with available hives. The video shows the inspector checking brood frames and describing the characteristics he looks for to ensure that the grower gets good hives for the fees he pays. Among other things, the inspecter points out that the presence of drones is an indication of a healthy hive – something I often tell beekeepers.
New beekeepers may benefit from seeing some of the traits which a strong colony of honey bees should exhibit. All of us might be interested in a glimpse into a world of professional beekeeping on a scale few of us will ever see.