Company Info

Central California - February 28, 2014

This report covers conditions and observations made on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

Taken in the Tracy area of San Joaquin County, today’s photos for the northern region present the developing nutlets of the Avalon and Nonpareil, followed by the declining bloom of the Padre. Note the tight clustered growth habit of the Avalon, making it more susceptible to fungal infections.

Heavy rain soaked the northern San Joaquin Valley’s orchards overnight, supported by strong winds that reached in excess of 30 mph. While almost an inch of rain was reported in the wettest locations, nearly all of it fell prior to mid-night, thus leaving official rainfall totals to report only a few hundredths to a few tenths of an inch for the day. Calmer conditions prevailed at sunrise. However, winds grew in intensity as the morning progressed, with speeds reaching into the teens. As can be seen in today’s photos, partly to mostly cloudy skies covered the region for the entire day. Morning low temperatures were widely reported in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s while daytime highs peaked in the low to mid 60’s.

Following a day in which the combined cloud-darkened skies and blustery winds kept them in their hives, Thursday’s partly cloudy skies provided enough inspiration to coax the bees into action. And while the windy conditions provided for turbulent flying conditions, they at least helped to shake the water accumulated overnight from the flowers. As a result, observers reported approximately 6 hours very good activity, focused mainly on the Butte and Padre plantings around the region.

Observers are reporting that the heavy rain and winds promoted a rapid decline in the bloom in many orchards around the central region. With the exception of the younger, more vigorous plantings, the apparent bloom of the Nonpareil, Carmel, Monterey and the California type varieties was significantly reduced by the blustery conditions as petals were shed from the trees. Having on average moved beyond their peak bloom, the Butte and Padre are now presenting the greatest proportion of open flowers for pollination, with advanced plantings well into the petal fall and jacket stages while younger more vigorous orchards are still working their way towards peak bloom. While these orchards were receiving most of the bees’ attention on Thursday, observers reported that a snowfall of petals was also being blown from the Butte and Padre plantings by the blustery winds

The soaked orchard soils prevented any orchard activities on Thursday and more rain forecast for the next few days will keep the orchards quiet.  Heavy rain was falling in the Modesto area as this report was being prepared.

Conditions

High Temperature: 67°F
Low Temperature: 49°F
Wind: 10 to 15 mph, with gusts to 25 mph.
Rain: Trace to 0.3 inch, falling prior to 8 am.
Sky Conditions: Partly to mostly cloudy.
Bee Activity: 6 Hours of very good activity, focused mainly on Butte and Padre.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
    


Photos: Mel Machado, 2/28/14
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%
0%
8%
84%
8%
Nonpareil
0%
0%
0%
0%
12%
18%
70%
0%
California
0%
0%
0%
0%
26%
26%
48%
0%
Carmel
0%
0%
0%
0%
34%
33%
33%
0%
Monterey
0%
0%
0%
0%
20%
30%
50%
0%
Butte
0%
0%
0%
6%
54%
33%
7%
0%
Padre
0%
0%
1%
12%
56%
25%
6%
0%
Data reflects a composite of the growing region