This report covers the conditions and activities observed from February 6, 2022 to February 10, 2022. Written updates will be posted regularly on Fridays throughout bloom and will have a more regionalized focus. Additional updates will be posted as needed.
The first flowers are beginning to open across California as trees wake from their winter dormancy. Sonora and a few other select early bloomers are the only varieties with any measurable bloom at the moment. Warmer weather the past week has accelerated bud break throughout the state with most orchards showing sepal tissue regardless of variety.
Bloom overlap between varieties appears excellent at this stage with Nonpareil and California type pollinizers within a day of each other in most orchards, with Carmel and Monterey following suit. The Butte variety is few days more advanced in bloom progression than the late blooming Padre. The self-fertile Independence variety is on track to have measurable amounts of open flowers next week.
The bee supply appears to be adequate for 2022. Dry weather the past five weeks has allowed hives to be placed at a rapid pace. Most growers should have their hives in orchards within the next few days. With the warm temperatures over the last few days, beehives have been very active as bees have been rapidly foraging on flowering cover crops and early open almond blossoms.
Weed control measures are being taken and growers are starting to monitor overnight low temperatures to stay ahead of any potential freezing events. Orchard removal continues throughout the state as older less productive orchards continue to be removed. Planting of new orchards continues as normal.
By Brian Noeller
Photos by: Mel Machado