January/February 2024 - 15

POLLINATORS
Honeybee research colonies used for evaluation
of supplemental forage in almond orchards.
implementation of robotic housing for multiple hives,
in-hive sensor technology, hive cameras, as well as
various feedants to increase pollination efficiency. Use
of robotics is intended to eventually reduce labor cost
inputs and allow beekeepers to monitor hive activity,
strength and preemptively intervene with appropriate
management actions to maintain colony health.
Use of cameras and in-hive sensors measuring
temperature, humidity, gas levels and auditory signals,
might be of interest to growers as tools to track colony
activity during pollination. Products fed to bees in order
to enhance their ability to forage at lower temperatures
and those that improve attraction to the specific crop4
are also being researched. While these technologies are
still under development, in the not so distant future they
might be synergized into bee-safe, efficient and costeffective
pollination management plans.
Apiculture Research
Apiculture research still heavily focuses on characterizing
and ameliorating various environmental stressors with an
ultimate goal of reducing colony losses. Unfortunately,
beekeepers are still experiencing high losses and the
latest national beekeeper survey (2022-2023) reported
48.2% average annual colony mortality. Pests, pathogens,
pesticides, poor nutrition are most commonly quoted
causes of colony death.
Beekeepers report the parasitic varroa mite as one of the
leading stressors as it suppresses bee's immune response
and transmits viruses. The research community is diligently
working on developing novel ways to manage varroa as they
can rapidly develop resistance to available pesticides.
Pathogens to which honeybees are exposed are many and
range from viruses to bacterial diseases and fungi. There
are very few options for treatment of such diseases other
than the use of antibiotics for bacterial disease, making it an
additional challenge for beekeepers. Inappropriately used
pesticides can also lead to colony mortality or can cause
sublethal effects such as memory disruption.
When foragers are not able to properly remember where
the plant food source is or how to return to the hive and
recruit other foragers, it can severely negatively impact
pollination efficiency. Pesticides will remain a crucial
component of agricultural production and we should do
our best to protect pollinators while utilizing pesticides as
a part of an integrated pest management approach.
The Almond Board of California has an excellent set of
guidelines as to how to reduce potential negative impacts
from pesticides in orchards which you can review at
www.almonds.com/tools-and-resources/grower-tools/
pollination-tools.
Another useful resource to help select less beeharmful
pesticides is the University of California IPM Bee
Precaution Pesticide Ratings database tool ipm.ucanr.edu/
bee-precaution-pesticide-ratings. If you are in California
please remember to check for hive locations in your vicinity
and notify the beekeeper prior to pesticide applications.
" In an attempt to reduce
dependence on bees for successful
pollination and associated cost of
hive rentals, plant breeders have
developed self-fertile almond
varieties such as Independence,
Shasta and Pyrenees. "
NATIONALNUTGROWER.COM 15
http://www.almonds.com/tools-and-resources/grower-tools/ http://ipm.ucanr.edu/ http://www.NATIONALNUTGROWER.COM

January/February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January/February 2024

Editor's Letter
Precision pollination
Sustainable innovations
Pest Management
Data and novel technologies
A trusted name
Business
Company Spotlights
Industry Events
Ad Index
January/February 2024 - 1
January/February 2024 - 2
January/February 2024 - 3
January/February 2024 - Editor's Letter
January/February 2024 - 5
January/February 2024 - Precision pollination
January/February 2024 - 7
January/February 2024 - 8
January/February 2024 - 9
January/February 2024 - Sustainable innovations
January/February 2024 - 11
January/February 2024 - Pest Management
January/February 2024 - 13
January/February 2024 - Data and novel technologies
January/February 2024 - 15
January/February 2024 - 16
January/February 2024 - 17
January/February 2024 - A trusted name
January/February 2024 - 19
January/February 2024 - 20
January/February 2024 - 21
January/February 2024 - Business
January/February 2024 - 23
January/February 2024 - Company Spotlights
January/February 2024 - Industry Events
January/February 2024 - Ad Index
January/February 2024 - 27
January/February 2024 - 28
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