Are Bees in a Death Spiral With Almonds?
Each February, just after the actual game, beekeepers gather in California’s Central Valley for their “Super Bowl.” That’s when they come from across the country with boxes of bees to pollinate blossoming, high-value almond trees. But the pollination business, which has supplanted honey-making as beekeepers’ mainstay, is struggling. Almonds need water, which the state lacks, and now tariffs threaten to throttle international markets. Meanwhile, the bee population continues to plummet from parasites and other issues, prompting bee-dependent growers to go so far as to consider deploying robot bees for pollination.