It seems to me that we are crying about how the big bad world is treating us poor little beekeepers but we are doing nothing to help ourselves. An almond farmer in California is the wrong person to look to for the salvation of bees. After everything is said and done, honeybees represent at least a $400 per acre yearly drag on the profits of an almond grower.
This self pollinating almond was developed without using transgenetic technology, meaning this almond isn’t a Genetically Modified Organism or GMO. Any number of so called "heirloom" plant varieties started out as hybrids or cross bred plants just like this almond began. The Rutgers Tomato variety comes to mind. After Rutgers University's patten expired, the Rutgers Tomato variety was line bred and selected over and over until all the DIVERSITY was bred out, creating a new “heirloom“ variety. The Haas avocado is another example of a patented plant variety that is now in the public realm.
I have also read that there is a big problem with this self fertile almond tree and that problem is that the nuts don't shake off the tree easily.
No almond farmer in his right mind is going to plant an almond tree that the farmer has to run through a wood chipper to get the nuts to “fall” off the limbs.
But a self pollinating almond tree is definitely in the future of beekeeping. I have been posting about the possibility for 3 or 4 years.
It seems to me that the best thing commercial beekeepers could do is to find an exotic new crop and sell that crop to us Americans as the sexiest thing since Eve first found an apple. It is even better if this sexy new crop needs mega amounts of bee moved pollen. How do you think the almond industry got so big so fast? Advertising (actually propaganda) pays.
5,000 years ago an Austrian copper worker nick named Otzi got himself waxed by a stone tipped arrow. This happened during some ancient and forgotten inter-tribal skirmish in the Austrian or Italian Alps. This unfortunate MIA ended up dying on a glacier where he was quickly entombed in ice, and where his body remained undisturbed for over 200 generations. Otiz's last supper was a cracker or crackers made from a cereal grain called einkorn wheat. I have never ate einkorn wheat but I have read about einkorn wheat and I imagine that organically grown, whole grain, einkorn wheat wafers was a major reason our ancient ancestors teeth wore out before our ancient ancestors did. Since loosing ones teeth was as much of a problem for our ancient ancestors as it is for humans today, ancient humans gradually developed a wheat variety that contained a lot of gluten, and that rose under the influence of yeast and heat, producing a soft, tender, and easy to chew loaf of bread.
Remember, anytime a species is standing still, that species is going backwards. Don’t take my word for it, ask the next dinosaur you meet.