Growing California almonds takes more than half of US honeybees

Ginger Zee follows bees on a cross-country road trip to pollinate crops in this episode of "Food Forecast."
15:48 | 01/09/18

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Transcript for Growing California almonds takes more than half of US honeybees
If we're gonna food that's grown in this country we need to pollinate the vegetable. And without the beings there's not an easy way to do it. There are partners of people there and animal that we manage intensively. In order to please. And. Beekeepers will move their colonies to do pollination services all over the US there's hundreds of colonies at rock semi tractor. Traveling great differences. Few things like droughts where things like climate change they're going to be needing to change where they actually bring their bees. And I dragged me and then pollinating tale. Only think about these the offer thing about honey or state but we should be thinking about. Food and flowers more than a 109 years ago flowers and these came and its parent and develop as great relationship that's responsible for almost everything that we. These and Cyrus co evolved and they have this really important relationship. For farmers depend on the island and in turn these depend on farmers have been. And come that simple harmonious relationship one of the world's oldest and most certainly sweeteners is me. Despite that making a ton of tiny and as cooking has that been really great resource and the most important. Reason why we depend on visas for the colonists are cents. So many b.'s and other means it's like news. Well actually pollinate around 70%. Of the world's crops 70%. 70% of the world's crops depend on bees that means without bees all of this food one B he. Beans are crucial. My first wave gum in. Couple lives her presence and it started their. And then it grew and grew and grew in value at the point. A 1008. As a get and he added that can't count globally populations fluctuate but it. Like the stock market. That is chuck cute he's been keep and these and Macon honey since the 1970s. He is saying is it called renting it means is it that easy and it in rental pollination born. Believe it or not the bees that pollinate most of your food are farmed by Hume. CNC here. That's all pollen in the face on when uneasiness with let's. One hive of bees can travel thousands of miles pollinating everything from oranges and Florida to elf -- in South Dakota. Eric rod around this country M flatbed trucks and why not follow the bees journey. In the fall chuck moves his fees from his farm in New York to South Carolina. At the end of January 10 and mouth disease to California for almost own. There is no prop. Hen the commercial fees more than all at least two thirds of the nation migratory bees make their way to California the pollen in the warehouse. It's the largest migratory pollination in the world. But this unjust kissing her rise in the work begins. Each Pallet cold feet high and there are 112 pallets I'm each plant that trap. The California on the farm will pay up to 200 dollars for won a tough tax and he's sending seven flatbed trucks to California this year. Once we get it all loaded we meet big guy that'll be behind the wheel of the beam will be. Some Max you've driven truck fire. 31 years and this it first time doing the is first time ever Holland B and so far I found that it's not that are really a big deal like everybody. Claims act would you have a mileage than six undermine when he 600. Into the taken for dates to get out California. Four days and 2600. Miles. To ensure that the bees are safe snacks and his other traffic Jack need to keep the trucks moving. They can not stop in the heat of the day. And they can only step at night for the heat stay in their eyes. Italian. Voted me. They'll inspect the load. That will be free to go. The track can't go into California until it's inspected for harmful insects. In in that time. The oh like hiring. Beyond whether live now back here soon. The inspector found an unknown insect larva. We must be identified before they can he go. Until they get the okay from them. Aired here waiting for basically rejected from the state of California where I don't want to deliver a bunch of deadbeats like aired. Here at their hands at the state of California until they tell you what you can go. At this point the chalk have been stopped in the California sun for nearly an Colin. Every second that they stay it's bad to the V and it's not and it's warm and they fled the hots. And C fan and I expect. Probably do we take a picture with digital actors. Everything that we now since accurately count. And then anthropologists I didn't is it is. The exact not adrenaline Californians that and I and receiving counseling. Live and another half hour. That they haven't really sisters some might need to make that phone call they need to hold that the east now. Because it's not good form this act. 15 got me. We've bartered get beat down we've done everything we can't. It's been two hours now and math. And the bees are getting rest. I don't. After the delay at checkpoint that these are on the final leg of the king. Fourth generation almond farmer Ryan 'cause it. These are unloaded it at that the night or colder temperatures merely because they stay in the box. We were to unload that load during daytime temperatures exceed 504550. Degrees. A lot of those people coming out of the hide. And they would not necessarily all make it back into their same side. As the sun rises over those Allman bros the next morning that bees get to work. Just from being down a ban on a truck for several days. These like through pick up at a flight they're gonna move survey the area try to find some porridge and fortunately the bees appeared to have traveled well. That these are very. They're very active sometimes in these have. High bacterial load. To be fooled even appear it's a stingy you can use these are nice and shiny and clean. Could even drive the trees are bare but within a week. The trees will erupt into lift C a light lasts and opaque almost two million colonies to pollinate the only Pratt. That almost fifty billion beat. California has over one million acres producing almond trees this year. Those almond orchards will produce California's two billion pounds plus on the. The price of terminating Allman has skyrocketed since the mid 2000. That rising prices coincided with very large increase is an increase in acres of on the trees in California. 2005. Pollination price is nearly doubled to about eighty to ninety dollars. 2017 were making for a 190 dollars. When the on the pollination season is over in March pap tests and returned to South Carolina and the other half of the north Caroline to pony there. In the streets some good New York for apple and some that to mean that there. Finally in summit that he's returned to test from in New York for Honeycutt. That's. We. Extracted. In warm temperatures can make you need good moisture Ingraham and it bought flowers. We only produce 440 million pounds of honey in the US the presumptive and way more that we can. Removes. Despite being busy holiday craft across the country throughout the year it is only toward the end of summer on -- fire and that his bees and Akon. You don't make much money and upon. Good as first authors. To any bees in that area. You've got tent colonies and an acre an academic and harming as a businessman nectar available there gonna lose. Usually you're happy if the B is c'mon upon nation look. Look good meaning healthy and hopefully alive. In 2015. To sixteen the nation's beekeepers lost 44%. Of their beats. Last year we we were hit pretty hard we are up in the mid thirties. And it may be 3637%. Some beekeepers early saying. At least 30% of their colonies have recently here and others even in New Yorkers are losing up to 70% are colonies. Let's say they were dairy cattle could you imagine losing 70% of your cows every year. The numbers are astonishing so what is killing the beats turns out there isn't just wanna answer. So the consensus in the scientific community now is that it's not any single factor that's driving losses and com it's multiple factors we know the guy had been insecticides and pesticides are important. But we don't know the relative importance to other factors as well. These are in trouble there's no question. These face an array of threats. From pesticide exposure to new diseases. To loss of habitat. And now climate change. Bees and class a both shifting their timing and their geography. And what we're concerned about is that there are these mismatches and timing hands location which means that these won't have the Sudanese. That plants won't get pollinated. Climate change pesticides loss of habitat but what about the migration itself and the bees are only eating one thing for a month. They may be exposed to agricultural pesticides while they're at particular farms. And we think in this part of the problem for for peace keeping. There are other things out that we'd like to see if there actually affecting the health and we think that they may be stressful things like transporting your bees on a track. We really need to understand how that stress is actually affecting me as an offense having issues of the colony level. Some people say why doesn't California have visas are gonna do their pollination nation v.s for that their way we don't have the truck b.s because that's not natural. Well that's. Fine and dandy bow on the on emblem is done it's a desert there's nothing there for the obesity and realize. So they wouldn't there was certain. I certainly think that the migration is stressful to the days. But if you are moving the bees to another area that is more advantageous. As far as porridge available for them. I think that these overall do much better and I'm in a migrating situation. Sounds so many bees are dying why in the price of our food skyrocket. Well check this out as fast as the B they're dying. Keepers are making the there's something that a lot of people don't necessarily understand because if you do you track the number of colonies that are in New York of the US they do you tend to increase so local do is we'll split their colonies. And in that way they can continue to replace the colonies are relaxed and grow their operations that are still able to produce honey. These there. Nucleus sides. These are we call nukes. While windows we're we're gonna split seats in the spring. High and that is the writing it's split and then TU army from want. Talk expects to make 6000 new highs this season. And look in the bottom of those cells as a little weight. Like really thin castle view that and that's the name. You can read there that's would soon. Right here will build its sealed. That he is going to be well from Tel notes spend so beekeepers are working overtime right now to trying to keep up with all of the losses. Economically it's much harder for a beekeeper nowadays it is you know. And perform all the labor that's involved with keeping up with the bosses and also purchasing new. New beings from other. Place since the demand for equality and hides its ever increasing. My biggest concerns is that the B industry cannot keep up. So if you wanna help and I feel uneasy at any. Send them. Staying that somebody at homes that watching us and LA I want out. I wanna do what what is the first thing that they ended. By. I must make sure it's America. When a teen. Flowers in your garden. Maybe not knowing the law and quite as much as as you usually do. Those will create habitat for the use. Just through education and even the media doesn't really great job at highlighting how important pollen eaters are people are starting to be more aware of what they can do health plan. And I think that that's gonna go a long way. If we can get one thing crossed everybody. About these about honey what they need to. Going. Something dream case. Or fruits and vegetables and you need to have these. I'm just holding it really daily Havana because it keeps pushing so much away. She Dennis. And I hanging act. Get a more delivered here in and that's meant to indefinitely but it's better. Here. You that I don't care what you do there just. Yet. It's screaming in the green I think I have a serious. Theater district have a lot of regular. Cleans.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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