July 11, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — California is heading for a record almond harvest this fall. A combination of nearly ideal weather and millions of healthy, robust honeybees pollinating almond blossoms is expected to yield 2.1 billion pounds of nuts, the biggest crop in history. The harvest starts in late August in the San Joaquin Valley and continues through October in the Sacramento Valley. The U.S. Department of Agriculture pegs it as 5% above a May forecast and 3% above 2011's record of 2 billion pounds.
March 30, 2008 |
Third-generation beekeeper Roscoe Hall spent the last year fretting over a disease that has inexplicably caused thousands of his industrious insects to abandon their colonies. Now entire hives are disappearing too. In the long, flat valley where the nation's almonds grow, bee thieves are striking hard, nabbing increasingly valuable hives from farmers' fields where bees are used to pollinate blossoming nut trees. A few weeks ago, 180 of Hall's hives were lifted over a period of days, a bit of banditry he estimates cost him nearly $70,000 in lost bees, pollination fees and honey production.
April 10, 2013 |
This being Utah, the self-proclaimed Beehive State, Darren Cox is an expert in -- what else -- bees. Civic fathers use the term for the population's strong work ethic, but Cox deals with the stinging, honey-producing real McCoy. Now the fourth-generation bee farmer is trying to use his recognition as this year's national beekeeper of the year to focus attention on a major threat to the industry: colony collapse disorder. Cox, 48, who lives in Logan but has 5,000 hives in Utah, California's Central Valley and Wyoming, received the award from the American Honey Producers Assn.
September 1, 2007 |
Harvard University researchers have discovered the remains of an extinct bee, perfectly preserved in amber, with a load of orchid pollen on its back -- some of the only direct evidence of pollination in the fossil record. The find, reported Thursday in the journal Nature, indicates that orchids arose 76 million to 84 million years ago, much earlier than most scientists had believed.
October 6, 2007 |
Male cycads, a plant group including firs and pines, actively participate in pollination by insects, researchers reported Friday in the journal Science. The cycads produce cones that open and emit a fragrance that attracts insects called thrips, which enter the cones and become covered with pollen. Then the male cycads heat up -- raising their temperature as much as 25 degrees -- and drive the thrips out.
July 1, 1996 |
The apple blossoms used to shake and shiver every spring. A loud, insistent buzz thrummed in Bob Barthel's ears when he was a boy, climbing in his father's orchard. He worried in those days about getting stung by the throngs of wild honeybees jostling for nectar in the flowers. Now that he is 39 and managing the farm, Barthel has sharply different concerns. The apple trees were still and silent this year, but he is far from pleased. Growing season has begun.