Paramount Farming, a leading San Joaquin Valley almond and pistachio grower, has purchased Headwaters Farm, one of the largest beekeepers in the U.S., as a way to ensure it will have enough bees for almond pollination.
The Bakersfield-based Paramount Farming will rename the beekeeping company Wonderful Bees. Paramount officials did not disclose the purchase price for the Florida company that has 20,000 hives.
Bees are critical for the pollination of many crops, especially almonds. Each spring, beekeepers from across the U.S. travel to the San Joaquin Valley’s almond orchards to provide pollination services. But diseases and other factors have contributed to a decline in bee colonies. To protect its vast investment in almonds, Paramount entered into the beekeeping business.
“The survival and availability of bees doesn’t just impact our almond crop; it impacts the domestic food supply as a whole,” said Joe MacIlvaine, president of Paramount Farming. “We look forward to working with the leaders of our new beekeeping operation, Wonderful Bees, to make sure beekeeping continues to be done right and that the industry itself is supported and healthy for generations to come.”