PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (WPTV) — Eighteen million bees are embarking on a risky journey to California to support the state’s almond industry.
Al Salopek and Sierra Malnove loaded 600 beehives on a truck that will travel from Florida to California for the annual pollination of the state’s almond trees.
February is known as the “Super Bowl of Beekeeping” because it's the largest pollination event in the entire world.
“We've been working all week to prep the bees,” said Sierra Malnove, owner and founder of Creamed Honey Company in Palm Beach Gardens. “California is very strict and very tricky. To get our bees in, they require you to send bees on very clean pallets with no other foreign debris.”
Malnove said there’s no guarantee the bees will be accepted into California.
“Once they get to that AG (agriculture) station on the California border, they will inspect the semi-truck,” said Malnove. “If they find any ants at all, they will refuse the load and send it back.”
Major almond growers in California's 1.6 million acre Central Valley are urging beekeepers across the country to send their healthy hives to almond orchards.