This article about the almond farming industry really helps to shine a light on why organic farming of ALMONDS in particular is critical. Nuts like hazelnuts do not rely on bees for pollination, Almonds do, and the almond industry is wreaking havoc on the bees. If you are making nut or seeds based mylks, hazelnut, sunflower seeds, pecan mylk are all great alternatives in our opinion.
From a National Post article "Packed into boxes, loaded onto trucks and transported en masse to a vast artificial forest, California’s $14-billion almond industry depends on bees-for-hire, which are dying at unprecedented rates."
“The bees in the almond groves are being exploited and disrespected,” Patrick Pynes, an organic beekeeper who teaches environmental studies at Northern Arizona University, reportedly said. “They are in severe decline because our human relationship to them has become so destructive.”
"Lenore Newman refers to a beehive as “a delicate and complicated organism.” Disrupting the bees’ winter dormancy to transport them to the seat of the global almond industry puts them under stress, and concentrating them in a restricted area facilitates the spread of disease. A lack of diversity puts them under even more strain: as true for bees as it is for us, variety is key to healthy eating."
This article breaks down the harm being done to the bees. A short excerpt is here:
"Like most commercial beekeepers in the US, at least half of Arp’s revenue now comes from pollinating almonds. Selling honey is far less lucrative than renting out his colonies to mega-farms in California’s fertile Central Valley, home to 80% of the world’s almond supply.
But as winter approached, with Arp just months away from taking his hives to California, his bees started getting sick. By October, 150 of Arp’s hives had been wiped out by mites, 12% of his inventory in just a few months. “My yard is currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives,” he says.
This shouldn’t be happening to someone like Arp, a beekeeper with decades of experience. But his story is not unique. Commercial beekeepers who send their hives to the almond farms are seeing their bees die in record numbers, and nothing they do seems to stop the decline.
Meanwhile, due to agriculture, in the North Great Plains of the Dakotas we see this.
"Bees are having a much harder time finding food in the U.S. region known as the country's last honeybee refuge, a new federal study found.
The country's hot spot for commercial beekeeping is the Northern Great Plains of the Dakotas and neighbouring areas, where more than one million colonies spend their summers feasting on pollen and nectar from nearby wildflowers and other plants.
But from 2006 to 2016, more than half the conservation land within a kilometre and a half of bee colonies was converted into agriculture — usually row crops such as soybeans and corn, according to Clint Otto of the U.S. Geological Survey, who is the study's lead author. Those crops hold no food for bees."