An almond flower. Without the bee pollinating the flowers, there would not be an almond harvest in summer. However, bees are dying in large numbers because of CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder and beekeepers are struggling to produce enough bee colonies. During the past 10 years beekeepers have been losing on average a third of their colonies year after year. Before CCD they had to produce an extra 10 percent of colonies in order to overcome the winter losses. Today they have to produce 30 to 50 percent extra colonies. The more colonies they make, the less honey they will collect. If they had to live only from the honey harvest, beekeepers would not be able to make a living. Luckily pollination fees are growing and this now produces two thirds of their income. Commercial pollination is growing year by year and almost every crop in America depends on almonds: if the bees emerge strong after the almond pollination, then they will provide good pollination services elsewhere. Each year in February, beekeepers from all over the USA move their honey bees to feed on the nectar from California's blooming almond orchards. A total of 1.5 million bee colonies or nearly 70 billion bees are needed for the pollination of the almond trees. That is about one third of the continent's bees. The bee hives are loaded hundreds at a time onto trucks and transported to their assigned orchards. For the pollination services of their bees the beekeepers receive a fee of about 180 USD per hive. That means more money than the mere selling of honey. But since 2006 bees have been dying in large numbers due to pests like the varroa mite, the use of insecticides such as neonicotinoids and the lack of pastures to feed on. In the winter of 2015, according to the American agricultural ministry, 42 percent of US honey bees perished and beekeepers are having a hard time to provide enough bee colonies for the annual pollination of the almond orchards.