Beekeepers are still losing their insects to disease, but for the most part bees are healthier this year. Some almond growers are contracting for fewer bees this season because they’re not sure there’s going to be enough water for the nuts to mature. That means beekeepers aren’t going to get the hefty prices they’ve received last year, when the average compensation for a colony was one hundred fifty dollars. Orin Johnson is a Stanislaus County beekeeper.
"I think the average is going to be under one fifty this year. Maybe closer to one forty-five."
Growers and processors are also facing a leaner year. A decline in international demand, coupled with an abundant supply is expected to result in lower prices for the nuts.