Company Info

Central California - February 27, 2014

This report covers conditions and observations made on Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

Taken in the Ripon and Escalon area of San Joaquin County, this report’s photos for the central region present a group of hives near the Butte and Carmel, rendered quiet by Wednesday’s blustery winds, followed by the waning bloom of the Monterey and a nectar feeding bee on the bloom of the Nonpareil. Look closely at the bee and you can see its mouthparts probing deep into the base of the flower to find the nectar. Also notice that the bee has landed on the flower’s petals and is diving beneath the anthers. As a result, the bee’s body is virtually free of pollen, offering little opportunity for pollination.

Light, scattered showers falling from overcast skies at sunrise in the Stanislaus County area heralded the arrival of heavier rainfall yet to come at the end of the day. The cloudy skies receded for a short time during the morning to reveal some degree of sun before gathering later in the day as the first significant waves of rainfall approached the Central Valley. As they gathered, the clouds were accompanied by increasingly brisk winds that reached in excess of 20 mph, driving the bees back to their hives for the balance of the day. Morning low temperatures dropped only into the mid 40’s, while daytime highs worked their way back into the middle 60’s, attesting to the southern origin of the approaching storm.

Observers reported that the cloud-darkened skies and blustery winds significantly impacted bee flight operations during the day, holding the bees to only 2 to 3 hours of very poor activity during the calmer morning hours.

The brisk winds that blew through the region Wednesday afternoon significantly increased the degree of petal fall in the region’s orchards, and continued to do so as the sun set and heavy rainfall swept across the region. Most certainly, the winds in excess of 30 mph and heavy rainfall that came after sunset have continued to impact the bloom in a manner that will not be reflected in the values displayed in today’s report. While only scattered showers were reported during the early morning hours, reporting stations recorded up 0.8 inch rain prior to midnight as thunderstorms swept across the northern San Joaquin Valley.

The storm’s arrival caught the late blooming Butte and Padre varieties at or near their peak bloom in many orchards around the region. The Butte leads the late blooming group, having on average moved just beyond its peak bloom, with many vigorous plantings still approaching their peak condition.  Meanwhile, the Padre is now at or near its peak bloom and no doubt will be forced into petal fall by the gusty winds and heavy overnight rain.

Having previously reached their peak bloom, the balance of the region’s varieties were shedding petals aggressively on Wednesday, under pressure from the winds.

Conditions

High Temperature: 65°F
Low Temperature: 47°F
Wind: 10 to 15 mph, gusts to 25 mph... Up to 35 mph after sunset.
Rain: Trace amounts during the day... Up to 0.8 inch after susnet.
Sky Conditions: Broken overcast during morning, increasing to fully overcast by early afternoon.
Bee Activity: 2 to 3 Hours of very poor activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Mel Machado, 2/27/14
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%
2%
14%
79%
5%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
28%
27%
45%
0%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
40%
23%
37%
0%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
0%
61%
27%
12%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
0%
45%
29%
26%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
1%
13%
72%
12%
2%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
4%
18%
66%
10%
2%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region