Fresno County orchards pollinated by bees from as far as NY, Florida

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Valley's sprawling nut and fruit orchards are preparing to pop and come into full bloom.

Bee boxes, some of them colorful, have already been set up to prepare for pollination.

"The bees are just absolutely starving for protein. Bees - they only live on three things. They live on water, nectar, and pollen. That's it. And pollen is their protein source," says Visalia beekeeper David Bradshaw.

Almonds make up Fresno County's lone billlion-dollar crop.

It's estimated it takes two colonies of bees per acre of almonds to pollinate them.

"That's approximately 2.5 million bee colonies that are trucked here throughout the country. It's been said about 90% of the nation's bees are here for the almond pollination that we have here every spring," says Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen.

Bradshaw will also be busy moving bees to pollinate plums, cherries, and avocados around the state. Right now it is difficult to find available beehives in other parts of the country. Many of them are already in the Valley.

"I get bees from Oregon, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas. They come from as far away as New York, Florida, Texas," he says.

Some folks fear bees but beekeepers and farmers want to remind everyone they help feed you.

"One out of three bites of food that we take on a daily basis depends on animal pollinators. And did you know that it's not just bees but it's moths butterflies, flies, beetles, and so many more?" he says.

Once the bloom begins, it typically lasts a least a month so you'll have plenty of time to take your photos along the Fresno County Blossom Trail.
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