Demand For Almond Milk Is Having A Devastating Effect On Bee Populations
Trends come and go but some of them stick around long enough to be a big thorn in our side. That may just be the case with almond milk and if you have a love for this alternative to dairy, you might think about what it is doing to the honeybee population.
The Guardian presented a report about honeybees struggling to support the extra demand for almonds out of California. Billions of honeybees have been wiped out in a matter of months because of this issue.
Denis Arp, a commercial beekeeper was interviewed by The Guardian. As a beekeeper, he sends hives to almond farms in California and a record number of his bees died this year. Other beekeepers are also experiencing the same issue. “My yard is currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives,” he said.
Within a few months, last winter about 50 billion bees were wiped out. Organic beekeepers and environmentalists are saying because pollinating almond trees is difficult for honeybees. The season starts too early, so they are waking up from their winter slumber to begin pollinating. They then start working hard along with many other bees, so diseases spread easily.
It isn’t all about the physically demanding work. Some experts are saying that a large number of pesticides used on almonds are also having a negative impact on bees.
“The high mortality rate creates a sad business model for beekeepers,” Nate Donley, a senior scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Guardian. “It’s like sending the bees to war. Many don’t come back.”