Some regions of California hog the spotlight in movies, television and popular culture in general. Everyone wants to move to Malibu for the white sandy beaches, San Francisco for the beautiful bay, or Los Angeles to run into their favorite contestant on the latest reality dating show.
California’s San Joaquin Valley is a quiet gem nestled in the middle of the state. Often overlooked, it rivals the rest of the state when it comes to natural beauty, especially when its 800,000 acres of almond trees are in bloom. Below are some of the most incredible images from this year’s bloom that will also give you a newfound appreciation for the more than 1.8 million honey bee colonies which is more than half of all the hives in the U.S. that pollinate the nutritious nut we all enjoy.
Be right back, we’re packing our bags.
Imagine walking through this every day.
Late February and March is the prime time for almond blooms. Most of these beauts can’t self-pollinate – they rely on the pollination of insects each year, and honey bees are more than up to the task!
Now this is just showing off.
These beautiful blossoms will next go through a period called “petal fall.”
No this isn’t a painting.
This is a photo straight out of the almond orchard at Bayer’s Western Field Technology Station in Fresno, where scientists are studying the best mixes of wildflower seeds to provide pollinators with optimum nutrition.
Didn’t know honey bees were quite this pretty, did you?
Each year, these tiny ladies help pollinate the California orchards that provide 80 percent of the world’s almonds.
It all starts with almonds.
Almonds are one of the first crops that commercial bee hives pollinate each year before they continue on their grand tour of the U.S.
Returning home after a hard day's work.
After visiting the blossoms, honey bees return to the hive with “baskets” on their legs filled with pollen, which they use as food for the hive.
On to the next crop.
After almond pollination, some colonies will stay in California to pollinate cherry, plum and avocado orchards. Others will make the trek up to Washington State before pollinating squash in Texas, cranberries in Wisconsin and blueberries in Michigan.
When you think of California, you may not think of agriculture.
Very few people realize California is the nation’s top agricultural producing state and even fewer know about the beautiful almond bloom that happens every year.
If we haven’t convinced you to move there to see it for yourself, you can visit BeeHealth.Bayer.us to learn more about almond pollination and bee health.