February 19, 2015

This report covers conditions and observations made on Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

The first image is of active bee hives receiving supplemental nutrition from feeders on top of hives in the Colusa area. Taken the Chico area, the next photos are a down-the-row view of a Butte and Padre planting with flowers approaching peak levels of presentation, followed by a down-the-row shot of a Nonpareil and Price orchard in the middle of petal fall.

Fog covered large parts of the Sacramento Valley on Wednesday, slightly reducing the pace of bud development in the northern region. Observers in the Chico area reported the heaviest fog, with skies not clearing until mid-day. Conditions were somewhat better in the Williams area, where fog was slightly less dense and lifted earlier in the morning. Foggy conditions buffered the rising temperatures throughout the region, with morning lows reported in the lower 40s and afternoon high readings rising only into the low- to mid-60s. Areas with the most foggy condition received few bee hours on Wednesday, with two to three hours of good activity reported in the northern areas of the region and six to seven hours reported under brighter skies along the west side of the valley.

Very few flowers remain in the early blooming Sonora as over half have shed their petals. In the Chico area, Nonpareil bloom is tapering off as petals continue to fall leaving only developing nutlets in their protective jackets. In the Williams area, Nonpareil plantings are approaching their peak number of flowers available for pollination. In both areas the Monterey and California type varieties are a day or two ahead of Nonpareil in their bloom cycle. Carmel in both areas remains one or two days behind the Nonpareil. Butte plantings are almost to their peak number of flowers available for pollination in the Chico area. Plantings of Butte in the Williams area are two to three days behind the Chico area. Padre in both regions are a day behind the Butte.

To date, observers have been pleased with hive strength of bees, noting that most orchards have had plenty of bees working in them on a daily basis. It appears that most growers had their bees before bloom began.

Conditions

High Temperature: 66°F
Low Temperature: 40°F
Wind: 2 to 5 mph
Rain: None
Sky Conditions: Patchy fog through mid-day, thick in the North.
Bee Activity: 2 to 3 hours after fog lifted in the North. 6 to 7 good hours in the South.
Current weather at the National Weather Service
Dennis Meinberg
Ryan Christy

Click an image to enlarge it.

Bloom Status

VarietyDormantGreen TipPink BudPopcornBloomPetal FallJacketOut of Jacket
sonora%%%%10%29%60%1%
nonpareil%%%5%65%17%13%%
california%%%1%37%42%20%%
carmel%%7%11%62%15%5%%
peerless%%%%15%50%35%%
monterey%%%%55%30%15%%
butte%%12%28%55%5%%%
padre%5%15%38%42%%%%

Data reflects a composite of the growing region.