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Watering Bees Keeps Hives Buzzing

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 8, 2012

California imports more than half the 1.5 million bee hives it uses to pollinate almonds, avocados and other crops.  The bees come from all over the country, and may spend three or four days in a truck.

That's why beekeepers and the state are coordinating to set up five watering stations at agricultural inspection stops along California's border. Jackie Park Burris is with the California State Beekeepers Association.  She says water helps cool and calm the bees.

PARK BURRIS: "(It's) like being stuffed in a elevator with a whole bunch of people, because those beehives are put on that truck, and then they're all tight together.  And a beehive will regulate it's own temperature to 93 degrees, and if it has water it can do that."

The watering stations are essentially hose hook-ups which beekeepers can connect to their soaking systems. They're being installed in Truckee, Blythe, Needles,  Yermo, and Benton.

Funding for the project comes from the California State Beekeepers Association, Project Apis m, the Almond Board of California and the California State Apiary Board. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is assisting with the permitting and installation.


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