Why? Why do bee keepers place their bee hives so damn close to the road, optimizing the chance for the hard working bees to die on my windshield?
Take a drive outside of the city right now, like on a Blossom Trail, and expect the bee death rate to skyrocket.
It seems like the issue is that most of the boxes are placed along side of the road and not in the middle of the orchard; a more logical placement, you’d think. Maybe the answer is never leaving the Fresno city limits in the Spring.
My small amount of Internet research on the reason why a large percentage of hives are placed along side of the road has produced… no reason. I assume it’s laziness combined with hardness of getting to the middle of an almond orchard to place boxes.
There is this though from Scientific American:
In all, more than 31 billion honeybees converge on California’s Central Valley each February to polllinate the almond trees. By the end of the bloom, having gathered plenty of nectar and pollen to feed their colonies, the honeybee population in the orchards may exceed 80 billion.
Wow. 80 billion, eh? So with that many bees doing their thing across the state, maybe keepers are not worried about losing a little bit to windshields. But there are a lot of windshields. I probably killed 100, easy, driving down Avenue 12 the other day (sometimes it’s a good alternative to using Herndon to get out to 99…more on that in another post).
With all those windshields and the bee population being a worrisome thing, you would think more care would bee [first pun] put into bee box placement. But whatevs. I am just a dumb blogger trying to figure out things. Let me know if I can bee [pun 2] of anymore help.
*BEEcause [pun 3] charts are fun, here is a chart from Scientific American showing how bees start things off here in the Central Valley and move on to the rest of the country: