February 12, 2015

This report covers conditions and observations made on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

In the first picture we see a bee foraging for pollen on a Nonpareil flower, followed by a down the row view of a Nonpareil and Fritz planting, and an orchard being flood irrigated, all in Chowchilla.

Fog and cooler temperatures covered most of the south valley, with the fog not rising until 10 am in certain areas of the region. Overnight lows dipped into the low 40’s. Highs remained in the upper 60’s, after the fog lifted, with winds remaining calm under partly cloudy skies prompting the bees to get moving. In Madera bees were able to put in around 5 or 6 hours of good activity on the limited number of flowers open. South of Selma where the fog was heavier, bees only got 4 or 5 good hours of flying.

The bloom cycle continues to inch along at a snail’s pace thanks to the fog and cooler temperatures. On the whole, the Nonpareil variety is barely presenting at 10% open flowers for pollination. California type varieties appear to be in lock step with the Nonpareil with overlap looking ideal. The Carmel variety is still lagging a few days behind. The late blooming Butte variety is just beginning to show some pink bud and has almost no dormant buds remaining. Padre is the last variety that still has significant amounts of dormant buds. Observers noted that variability between orchards is still an issue with different plantings presenting different amounts of open flowers depending on area and soil types.

Planned fungicide treatments have been backed off due to the lack of open flowers needed to make an effective application. As represented in the third picture, growers in drier areas with available water are continuing to irrigate to support the coming crop.

 

Conditions

High Temperature: 66°F
Low Temperature: 41°F
Wind: 3-7 mph
Rain: None
Sky Conditions: Partly cloudy to overcast skies
Bee Activity: 4 to 6 hours good activity
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Ernie Reichmuth
Click an image to enlarge it.

Bloom Status

VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
sonora%6%43%23%28%%%%
nonpareil%40%42%8%10%%%%
california%20%57%15%8%%%%
carmel2%61%32%3%2%%%%
monterey%46%38%11%5%%%%
butte16%65%18%1%%%%%
padre66%33%1%%%%%%

Data reflects a composite of the growing region.