Research is an important part of the Pollen-Tech culture. We began this business with focused research on the problem, then began working with the industry to develop a solution. We continue our own research and development activities to bring this solution to more and more crops that need assisted pollination.
In 2012-2013 winter, the loss of managed honey bee colonies was 30.5 percent. Losses greater than 19 percent is considered not sustainable for the beekeepers. During the last seven years (2006 to 2012), the average loss of honey bees accounted to 29 percent which is considerably higher than what beekeepers say is economically sustainable. http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2014/140515.htm)
Sixty percent of the nation's bee's (approximately 1.6 million hives) are trucked into central California for the short almond pollination season. Because of the sudden nature of CCD, some beekeepers found out that some of their bees had died and therefore wouldn't be able to keep their bee contracts. One economic effect of CCD is the rapidly increasing cost of renting bee hives for many crops.
The cost of renting a beehive has skyrocketed from $100 per acre to approximately $350 per acre in the past five years. There are also other risks associated with bee pollination apart from CCD. Even if enough bees arrive at the farm at the appropriate time, there is still the risk that the bees may not adequately pollinate the crop. Therefore, growers are looking for ways to mitigate pollination risks and costs.