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Almonds and pesticides causing 1/3 to 1/2 of the bees to die each year

The relationship between almond farming and bee health is a complex and concerning issue. The high demand for almonds, especially for products like almond milk, has led to an increase in almond orchards, particularly in California, which supplies about 80% of the world’s almonds1. This has created a situation where billions of honeybees are transported across the country to pollinate these orchards during the bloom season.

However, this mass pollination effort has been linked to significant bee mortality rates. Factors contributing to bee deaths include exposure to pesticides, diseases from parasites, habitat loss, and the stress of transportation1. The use of pesticides and fungicides on almond crops, sometimes in combination with other chemicals, has been particularly highlighted as a concern for bee health with 1/3 to 1/2 of the bees dying each year. 

Environmentalists and organic beekeepers argue that the industrial agriculture methods used by the almond industry, which require large-scale mechanization of pollination, are undermining the ecosystem for all bees. The intensive farming practices and chemical treatments are believed to be systemic issues contributing to the decline of bee populations12.

It’s a critical issue because bees play a vital role in pollinating many of the crops we rely on for food. The loss of bee populations could have significant impacts on agriculture and ecosystems worldwide.

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