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  • Mike Manning

Pollinating Almond Farms in Central California

Cartoon bee carrying harvested fruits with a forklift

Our Forklifts Are Not Just for Beekeepers


Central California produces almost 100% of the commercially consumed almonds in the United States and about 80% worldwide. By 2021, approximately 1.25 million acres of land were dedicated to almond farming from Sacramento down to Los Angeles, CA, producing about 2.8 billion pounds of almonds annually. With this kind of production across several farms it’s easy to see how a fleet of Hummerbee Forklifts would be useful when farming almonds in Central California.


At 37 pounds per bushel, moving large batches of almonds by hand, even just to lift them to a truck, is back-breaking work. Imagine stacking your bushels on a pallet right next to your pile of almonds and using a mini all-terrain forklift to do the rest. Admit it - your lower back is already a little bit better.


Bees and Almond Trees: A Match Made in Nature


Bee pollinating almond tree blooms

In Central California, it is a time for budding trees and blooming flowers. It is an actual paradise for pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and several species of beetles. However, some crops have a limited flowering period which means a short pollination timeline. That’s why several apiaries and beekeepers are needed to help pollinate the almond trees.


Beekeepers transport their bees to orchards for a specific reason; pollination. Here's a breakdown of why this happens:


Limited Blooming Periods: Many crops, like almonds, have very short blooming periods, often lasting only a few weeks. During this time, they need a large number of pollinators to ensure optimal fruit set. However, due to a population decline, naturally occurring wild bee populations may not be sufficient or reliable to meet this demand.


Increased Productivity: By bringing in managed hives containing thousands of bees, beekeepers can dramatically increase the pollination rate, leading to higher yields and better quality fruit for the orchard owner.


Strategic Timing: Beekeepers can carefully time the arrival of their hives with the peak bloom period of the crop, ensuring maximum pollination efficiency. This wouldn't be possible with solely relying on wild pollinators, whose numbers and activity can be unpredictable.


Varied Locations: Many crops aren't grown in areas with naturally abundant bee populations. By transporting their hives, beekeepers can connect these crops with the necessary pollinators, regardless of location.


Economic Benefits: Both beekeepers and orchard owners benefit from this relationship. Beekeepers earn income for providing the pollination service, while orchard owners experience increased production and profits.


Environmental Benefits: By utilizing managed hives, beekeepers can contribute to the overall health and diversity of pollinator populations, supporting a healthy ecosystem and sustainable agriculture.


It's important to note that not all beekeepers transport their hives, and not all crops require it. However, in many situations, transporting bees to orchards plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful harvest and supporting a strong agricultural economy.


Pollinating Almond Farms in Central California


Almond orchard in full bloom

It is necessary to keep up with worldwide almond production but transporting bees for this task isn’t easy. Loading trucks with hundreds and thousands of beehives to haul them across states and in some cases across the country requires finesse and careful planning.


Beekeepers love their bees and care about their well-being. They do, of course, make a profit from these tasks but there are easier ways to make money. That being said moving these hives can be very stressful on the bees and stressed bees are not as productive as they usually are.


This is where having the right equipment to move these bees from the apiary to the truck and from the truck to the orchard is very important. You need to gently lift the beehives to move them with minimal jarring and lifting several at a time without jarring seems impossible… Unless you have the right forklift designed for lifting and moving bees from point A to point B with precision and maneuverability.


Hummerbee Forklifts for Almond Farms


Four-wheel drive forklifts are the ideal equipment for moving bees and beehives over rough terrain like dirt and gravel roads, farm fields, and muddy pastures. The versatility and superior maneuverability of mini all-terrain forklifts allow for moving in and out of tight spaces, transitioning from concrete floors to off-road conditions with very little jarring or stress to your bees.



Hummerbee XRT All-Terrain Forklift


Hummerbee Turbo II Forklift


Hummerbee Classic All-Terrain Forklift

Standard Features:

  • 74 hp Kohler Turbo Diesel

  • 4 Wheel Drive

  • 3,000 lb Lift Capacity

  • Heavy Duty 126" Lift Mast

  • 42" Heat Treated Forks

  • 6" Side Shift

  • 2 Speed Hydrostatic Transmission

  • 29x12.50x15 Liquid Filled Tires

  • Integrated Axles & Transfer Case

  • 5 White LED Light Package

  • Hydraulic Accumulator Load Cushion

  • Joystick Mast Operator Control

  • Digital Operator & Gauge Display

Standard Features:

  • 56 hp Kohler Turbo Diesel

  • 4 Wheel Drive

  • 2,000 lb Lift Capacity

  • Heavy Duty 126" Lift Mast

  • 42" Heat Treated Forks

  • 2 Speed Hydrostatic Transmission

  • Side by Side Radiator and Oil Cooler

  • High Flow Hydraulic Pump

  • 29x12.50x15 Liquid Filled Tires

  • Limited Slip Differential

  • 5 White LED Light Package

  • Hydraulic Accumulator Load Cushion

  • Joystick Mast Operator Control

Standard Features:

  • 26 hp Kubota Diesel

  • 4 Wheel Drive

1,600 lb Lift Capacity

  • Heavy Duty 126" Lift Mast

  • 42" Heat Treated Forks

  • Single-Speed Hydrostatic Transmission

  • Side by Side Radiator and Oil Cooler

  • High Flow Hydraulic Pump

  • 29x12.50x15 Liquid Filled Tires

  • Positive Lock Parking Brake

  • Limited Slip Differential

  • 5 White LED Light Package

  • Rollover Protection System

From Apiaries to Almond Orchards

It's pretty clear that a mini all-terrain forklift has many uses on an almond farm. From carrying bushels to moving harvesting equipment to positioning beehives for maximum pollination results, it's difficult to even imagine everything you can use these versatile pieces of farm equipment for.


You can contact Hummerbee for more information on all-terrain forklifts and which one is best for your almond farming needs.


A Map of Almond Farms in California




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