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2022 Almond Season with John Miller (S4, E36)

In today episode, we welcome back Friend of the Podcast, commercial beekeeper, and longtime industry advocate, John Miller, to share with you his perspective of the 2022 almond pollination season. We caught up with John while he sat in the cab of his pickup at a stop in Central California. On John’s last visit to the podcast, he talked with us about his plans for indoor wintering. Today, we asked just how that went.

His take? Indoor wintering works with more healthy bees the result and it’s going to change what happens every spring in California’s almond orchards.

Indoor wintering now allows for the inspection of colonies before leaving they leave the indoor facility in January. That is an equally big change in shipping bees to California. The result? More colonies are healthy in January and the California border inspection stations aren’t overwhelmed with thousands of trucks backed up loaded with bees heading to the almond orchards each January.

The almond bloom is about a week early this year up north and hive theft is still happening. Locked gates help a lot but don’t stop it completely.

There is a change underway in the industry as more commercial beekeepers are focusing on raising bees for pollination and later packages than in producing honey. Like a big game of ‘whack-a-mole’, tariffs and trade sanctions just push the problem of cheap honey imports to pop up from new countries. (Locally produced and sold honey is still valuable!)

Listen in as John shares his observations of the largest movement of honey bees in the world from the cab of a pickup truck with today’s guest.

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Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:

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We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

Thanks for Northern Bee Books for their sponsorship of Bee Books: Old & New with Kim Flottum. Northern Bee Books is the publisher of bee books available worldwide from their website or from Amazon and bookstores everywhere. They are also the publishers of The Beekeepers Quarterly and Natural Bee Husbandry. Check them out today!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a regular podcast featuring interviews with leading bee and insect researchers in the world of pollination, hosted by Dr. Kirsten Traynor.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Thank you for listening!

Podcast music: Be Strong by Young Presidents; Epilogue by Musicalman; Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus; Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC