How our appetite for industrial-farmed almonds creates an orgy of sickly, exhausted bees. And why that's a really bad thing
In February and early March, millions of bees make a forced nighttime migration to California’s Central Valley, where they gorge themselves on nectar and spread the sexual dust of almond blossoms between trees. It’s necessary for the lucrative almond crop. And bees from all over—from Maine and Florida—converge in one place for the first big orgiastic feast of the season. Michael Pollan dubbed it a “bee bordello.” When sick or exhausted bees travel they accelerate the risk of spreading mites and viruses like apiary STDs in the stressful, epidemiological risky squalor of large-scale farming.