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Flooding Claiming Bee Colonies In Stanislaus County

STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS13) – The continuous rain and rising water soaked almond fields and drowned honey bees causing major issues for beekeepers and it could affect the almond production.

"They need them to pollinate the almonds," said Ryan Howard owns Sunrise Feed & Supply in Oakdale.

Around here he said there has been constant talk of beekeepers feeling the sting.

"In some of the pictures I sent you they lost hundreds of hives and that was just one beekeeper," he said.

Thousands of bee boxes were under water during the storm. At $200 a box that's hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It causes the beekeepers to lose a lot of money and kills a lot of bees off," Howard said.

Almond trees are in the middle of the bloom season. It's a very short critical time where pollination takes place. Without honey bees, the nuts would cease to exist.

"Some of these growers are planting a lot of new trees and they are flooding out and they are probably going to lose a lot of trees," he said.

This time of year Howard said nearly every beekeeper in the country migrates their bees to California to pollinate almonds trees. He hopes the heavy rain hasn't washed away everyone's profits.

He said it's too early to tell just how many bees were lost and just how many almond farms will be affected.

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