From the Merced Sun-Star:
There are about 2.4 million beehives in the United States.
Half of those hives will find themselves in California in the next couple of weeks, with their buzzing little residents working like the bees they are to pollinate the state's almond crop.
Almonds are completely dependent on bees for pollination. Merced County has more than 94,000 acres of almonds, and those almonds were worth more than $245 million in 2009, making the crop the third-most valuable commodity in the county. California had more than 700,000 acres of almonds in 2009, producing about 80 percent of the world's supply. Almonds were worth about $2.3 billion in the state in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.