February 12, 2018

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Very few dormant buds remain outside of the late blooming Padre as trees come alive throughout the state. Cooler temperatures, breezy conditions, and overcast skies did little to slow the progression of bloom. Around one-third of the early blooming Sonora have viable flowers open for pollination. Meanwhile the Nonpareil and its California type pollinizers are at approximately 10% open flowers and have no more dormant buds. Most of the remaining buds have some petal tissue showing. Carmel and Monterey are a day or two behind Nonpareil. The Colusa County area remains 4 to 5 days ahead of other areas as some Nonpareil orchards have well over half of their orchards with open flowers. Butte and Padre orchards continue to breakout of dormancy and trace amounts of flowers can be seen in those varieties.

Watering new orchard with adjacent heavy bloom – Colusa County

Observers have reported inconsistencies between orchards in the same region. Some growers have over 20% of flowers open in Nonpareil while the orchard across the street may be under 5%. It is unclear at this point what the cause is or if this is a significant trend. Despite this phenomenon, overlap between varieties within the individual orchards has been adequate so far and growers are not concerned.

The temperature dropped 5 to 10 degrees on average for the weekend from last week’s high temperatures. Temperatures were still warm enough for bees to work in most areas. Higher winds and thicker clouds made it harder for bees in the Chico and Colusa areas to work Saturday and Sunday as they were only able to average four hours of decent pollination per day. The rest of the state saw bees working well over 6 hours per day in solid pollinating conditions.

By Brian Noeller

Photos by Mel Machado, Christine Ivory and Jereme Fromm

Northern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 63°F
Low Temperature: 34°F
Wind: 12 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph.
Sky Conditions: Patchy clouds
Bee Activity: 4.5 hours of good activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%2%14%32%50%2%%%
Nonpareil%12%18%28%42%%%%
California%16%20%26%38%%%%
Carmel1%12%34%28%25%%%%
Peerless%5%28%35%30%2%%%
Monterey%11%30%31%28%%%%
Butte2%34%40%19%5%%%%
Padre8%35%35%21%1%%%%

Central Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 64°F
Low Temperature: 37°F
Wind: 6 mph. Gusts up to 31 mph.
Sky Conditions: Overcast
Bee Activity: 6.5 hours of good activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%16%18%21%45%%%%
Nonpareil%25%46%17%12%%%%
California%32%41%17%10%%%%
Carmel2%57%33%6%2%%%%
Monterey%30%52%10%8%%%%
Butte6%53%37%4%%%%%
Padre8%72%18%2%%%%%

Southern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 73°F
Low Temperature: 33°F
Wind: 4 mph. Gusts up to 14 mph.
Sky Conditions: High, thin clouds.
Bee Activity: 5.5 hours of very good activity.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%12%48%16%24%%%%
Nonpareil%23%64%5%8%%%%
California%23%62%6%9%%%%
Carmel6%54%38%2%%%%%
Monterey%36%54%5%5%%%%
Butte2%88%10%%%%%%
Padre19%76%5%%%%%%