Almonds are big business in California, which grows 80 percent of the world's crop with a value of $5.62 billion. To get those almonds to grow, farmers need bees to pollinate their crop. And bee populations have been suffering sharp declines in recent years, part of a pattern of widespread loss of pollinator diversity and abundance.
Now a University of Oregon (UO) biologist and a former UO postdoctoral fellow have looked for ways to incentivize almond growers to adopt bee-friendly practices, such as planting cover crops, adopting permanent pollinator habitat and adopting best management practices for bees.
The paper by Jennie Durant and Lauren Ponisio was published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems this summer. Durant was a postdoctoral fellow at the UO with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture when they conducted the study. For more information, read this University of Oregon article.