A Beeline for the Pomegranates

Jun 10, 2009

“You’re not going to be able to jump on the pomegranate bandwagon with your pockets bulging with gold without a lot of hard work,”  Kevin Day, farm advisor with UC Cooperative Extension Tulare County, told a reporter for a news story published May 14 in the Western Farm Press.

Yes, hard work.

Day  told Western Farm Press that from 2006 to 2009, the number of acres in California planted with pomegranate trees "has increased from 12,000 or 15,000 acres in 2006, to 29,000 acres in 2009."

“We’ve doubled in three years, and that’s a lot of young pomegranate trees,” he said.

And that's a lot of work for the honey bees, too.

Our "orchard" of one pomegranate tree is buzzing with bees.

Just when we thought they'd forgotten their old buddy--"old" because the pomegranate tree was planted in 1927--here they come in the late afternoon. One by one, two by two, they head for the blossoms to gather the nectar and roll in the pollen of the papery blossoms.

Gold may bulge from the pockets of pomegranate orchardists, but a different kind of gold bulges from the honey bees--pollen.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

A honey bee works a pomegranate blossom, while another bee moves in right behind her. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Get in Line

TWO HONEY BEES work a pomegranate blossom on an 82-year-old tree. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Double Duty