March 8, 2017

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Petals are continuing to shed statewide as bloom approaches its inevitable conclusion. Butte and Padre are now the only varieties statewide with any viable bloom remaining averaging around 20%. Higher winds in the northern region on Monday accelerated petal fall in that region and leaving only around 10% of viable flowers in the Butte and Padre. Bloom is effectively done in all other varieties. Bees remaining in the field are beginning to seek other sources of pollen as little remains in almond orchards. Leaves are beginning to emerge and grow in most varieties.

Butte – Modesto, CA

Throughout the state, temperatures ranged from the mid-30s overnight to daytime highs in the mid-60s Monday and Tuesday. Monday brought breezy conditions to central and southern regions and saw high winds in the north. Winds were much calmer on Tuesday with speeds around 5 miles per hour and peak gusts around 13 miles per hour throughout the state. Bees were able to fly between 4 and 6 hours Monday and Tuesday in the central and south on what few flowers remained. In the northern region bees barley made it out of their hives Monday due to high winds, and only flew for three hours on Tuesday thanks in part to overcast skies.

Nitrogen applications have begun as leaves are beginning to emerge. Bee keepers are moving hives out of early blooming orchards and taking them to a new source of pollen. Herbicide applications continue as needed and growers are preparing for another fungicide application in case the weather turns wet and warm.

By Brian Noeller
Photos by Jereme Fromm, Dennis Meinberg, Ernie Reichmuth and Matt Willson

Northern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 61°F
Low Temperature: 39°F
Wind: 6 mph. Gusts up to 12 mph.
Rain: Light mist in the morning in isolated areas.
Sky Conditions: Overcast
Bee Activity: 3 hours of good activity on Tuesday, March 7. 1 hour of poor activity on Monday, March 6 due to high winds.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%%13%83%4%
Nonpareil%%%%%10%88%2%
California%%%%%5%95%%
Carmel%%%%%15%85%%
Peerless%%%%%%100%%
Monterey%%%%%18%82%%
Butte%%%%8%35%57%%
Padre%%%%13%37%50%%

Central Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 65°F
Low Temperature: 35°F
Wind: 5 mph. Gusts up to 16 mph.
Sky Conditions: High, thin clouds.
Bee Activity: 6 hours of good activity on Tuesday, March 7. 4 hours of fair activity on Monday, March 6.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%%6%92%2%
Nonpareil%%%%%15%84%1%
California%%%%%17%83%%
Carmel%%%%6%24%70%%
Monterey%%%%%26%74%%
Butte%%%%22%26%52%%
Padre%%%%27%40%33%%

Southern Conditions and Bloom Status

High Temperature: 65°F
Low Temperature: 33°F
Wind: 2 mph. Gusts up to 12 mph.
Sky Conditions: High, thin clouds.
Bee Activity: 6 hours of very good activity on Tuesday, March 7. 5 hours of good activity on Monday, March 6.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
Sonora%%%%%%96%4%
Nonpareil%%%%%3%96%1%
California%%%%%1%98%1%
Carmel%%%%%%100%%
Monterey%%%%%4%95%1%
Butte%%%%15%32%53%%
Padre%%%%22%27%51%%