MODESTO—It's been a stinging year for almond growers in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. The bees growers depend on for crop pollination tend to stay inside their cozy hives every time it rains.
"If you can imagine a bee being hit by a raindrop, it's like being hit by a cannonball if you're a person," says Tim Sanders, an almond grower in Ceres.
But without enough days, even hours above 60 degrees, the bees haven't done nearly the work they have in the past and growers don't know how many almonds will materialize.
"They haven't really been able to fly. when you get out in this orchard and it's nice and warm, it'll sound like a helicopter taking off out there," says Sanders.
Grower Phil Brumley of Escalon agrees, "At this point, we just don't know how much pollination we're gonna have, or what the crop is going to look like."