Pomona is your new BFF (Bee-Friendly Farmer)
When most people think of bees, honey immediately comes to mind. But did you know bees play an incredibly important role in agriculture? They pollinate crops, increase yields and according to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania, “…over one third of the food we eat relies on pollination by bees, either directly or indirectly.”
That is why at Pomona Farming, we go above and beyond to protect and promote bee safety, health and habitats. We are in constant communication with our beekeepers to understand their needs and to receive their insights and approval before applying any agricultural products. We also have an on-staff, full-time agronomist who works closely with the University of California, Davis to identify and integrate native plants that provide bees with pollen to keep them active, busy and nourished throughout the growing seasons.
The Bee Dilemma
Today, bees and other pollinators face increasing stresses, including a loss of suitable habitat, various diseases, and improper pesticide use. We believe that supporting the health of honeybees and other pollinators like butterflies, benefits everyone. We take many steps and put strategies in place to ensure that we protect our crops while also protecting the pollinators in our fields.
Bees love the almond bloom. This when they are present and most actively foraging on pollen and nectar of almond flowers.
Below are some protocols we use when any spray is deemed necessary during the bloom:
- We notify beekeepers of products we intend to use. If any issues are identified, we adjust our plans accordingly to ensure bees and beekeepers are confident in our practices.
- We then notify our beekeepers 48 hours in advance of treatment and send them a copy of recommendations to review and to have on file.
- We also take the extra step to notify Bee-Aware members throughout the county to ensure there are no other bees present around our ranches.
- We never use insecticides during almond bloom and we never use pesticides labeled “toxic to bees.”
Bee Friendly Planting Practices
Pomona Farming works with the UC Davis extension unit on plant selection to make sure our wild honeybees and local apiaries have pollen and nectar year-round. We also strategically place them down the rows and perimeters of our farmlands to host the maximum populations of bees and butterflies. Additionally, we participate in the Bee-Aware program that is supported by local counties to report any usages of chemical within the zone of a registered apiary. Finally, we also make sure that all spray supervisors and pest control advisors (PCAs) report to our beekeepers directly and make certain any applications performed near these sensitive sites are undertaken strictly at night when bees are not actively foraging.
Our bees are vital to the health and vitality of our crops and every ecosystem on the planet. Reach out to us to learn more about our bee-friendly practices and how we, your new BFF, is going above and beyond.