Research published in Environmental Entomology says wildflower plantings near almond orchards does not cause fewer honey bees to visit the orchard. A team of researchers sought to explore whether alternative forage flower plantings near orchards would distract the bees from the crops. The team discovered the almond blooms and wildflowers may increase foraging activity overall, and not detract from one crop.
“The high honey bee visitation rates to the flower plantings suggest benefits of wildflower plantings for honey bees,” says Ola Lundin, Ph.D., one of the researchers and an author on the paper. “Such benefits may include the ability to support or increase bee population sizes before and after almond bloom and increased resistance to harmful effects of pesticides and pathogens through a more diverse diet.”