Bees, slaves of almond farming
In California, the first worldwide almond producer, where 80% of almonds are produced, growing almond trees is at the heart of debates due to its negative effects on the environment, especially on bees, the main contributor of pollination. According to the news article of the British newspaper The Guardian, in the US, almond farming endangers bees because of the great use of pesticides and monoculture, allowing bees to gather pollen from only contaminated almond trees, which makes their food poorer as well as causing a strong decrease in their population. Plus, “colonies are awoken from winter dormancy at least 1 month earlier than is natural” then migrating from one region to another which weakens them, is also a custom that enslaves bees.
Our principles toward environment
However, at Ecomil, we contribute to the protection of the bees and the planet. We produce our almond milk where the almonds are grown, in Southeast Spain. No pesticides or other chemical products are used on our almond trees fulfilling our commitment for environment, as they are grown according to the rules of organic farming. Plus, the organic almonds trees we choose are issued from non-irrigated farming which means no impoverishment of water table and avoiding water waste. Regarding pollinating insects, the bees are local and gather pollen freely as there is no human interruption.
How do we act to protect the bees?
To strengthen this commitment, we have decided to support the Spanish association ANSE (Association of Naturalists of the Southeast) investing €9.000 (£8000) in an action plan (July 2019-June 2021) for the protection of the pollinating bees, improving their quality of life and habitat to fight against climate change.
Here are the objectives of this project:
- Establishing or restoring the ecological corridors, meaning that natural environments allow fauna and flora to travel, and vegetation spots such as refuges for the pollinators in agricultural areas.
- Setting up a garden network for pollinators against climate change in urban areas with bee refuges.
- Promoting land stewardship which involves setting up meetings with farmers, municipalities, associations, and beekeepers.
- Societal involvement thanks to volunteering, environmental education sessions, meetings about the pollinators’ adaptation measures to climate change.