Company Info

Northern California - February 26, 2014

This report covers conditions and observations made on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

Today’s photos for the northern region present down-the-row shots of the Aldrich and Price and Padre and Butte in the Durham area of Butte County, followed by the Nonpareil and Butte in the Dunnigan area of Yolo County.

The weather in the Sacramento Valley provided the fifth day of optimal conditions for bee flight in the region’s orchards.  Clear skies during the morning gradually grew increasingly cloudy as the day wore on and the leading edge of the first storm forecast to pass through the state on Wednesday came on shore. Morning low temperatures dropped into the lower 40’s in all areas of the region while afternoon highs reached into the low to mid 70’s. Observers reported that the approaching clouds failed to deter the bees in their daily efforts, allowing approximately 8 hours excellent activity.

With an average of 10% of its flowers open and available to the bees, the early blooming Sonora variety was in its last official day of bloom on Tuesday. Along with the Winters and Peerless, these early blooming types are now well into the jacket stage and are becoming increasingly green as their leaves emerge and expand in size. Led by the California type varieties, the bloom of the Nonpareil is declining rapidly as the snowfall of petals drift from the trees. Both types are moving rapidly through the petal fall and jacket stages and are showing a small number of nutlets breaking free from their protective jackets. The Monterey variety, which is closely aligned with the Nonpareil this year, leads the Carmel into petal fall and the approaching storm systems will no doubt quickly remove the balance of the petals from the trees in the coming days. Late blooming Butte and Padre retain the greatest proportion of flowers open available to the bees  at this point, with the Butte having just reached its peak condition and the Padre just a day or two short of peak, assuming that the storms do not significantly alter the course of their bloom.

Beekeepers have reported that their hives are becoming well stocked with pollen and nectar, picked up by the bees as they work the orchards. Being the first crop the bees are able to work after the winter, the almond bloom is an important source of nutrients needed to build the hives before they are transported to the next crop of the year.

Disease issues have not been very pressing this year, owing to the favorable weather and growers’ efforts against the single moisture event of the season. However, forecaster’s assurances that the approaching storms will bring significant rainfall to the northern region have focused their efforts over the past few days and growers have worked diligently to ensure adequate protection against foliar and floral fungal diseases.

Conditions

High Temperature: 73°F
Low Temperature: 41°F
Wind: 5 to 10 mph.
Rain: None.
Sky Conditions: Clear in morning, with high, scattered clouds approaching in the afternoon hours.
Bee Activity: 7 Hours of very good activity in northern areas, 8 to 9 hours of very good actvity in south.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Dennis Meinberg and Ryan Christy, 2/26/14
Click an image to enlarge it

Bloom Status


Dormant
Green Tip
Pink Bud
Popcorn
Bloom
Petal Fall
Jacket
Out of Jacket
Sonora
0%
0%
0%
0%
10%
44%
36%
10%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
55%
30%
12%
3%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
38%
31%
24%
3%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
4%
63%
28%
5%
0%
Peerless
0%
0%
0%
0%
2%
50%
48%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
2%
50%
33%
15%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
0%
13%
65%
20%
2%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
2%
23%
68%
7%
0%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region