This report covers conditions and observations made on Thursday, February 11, 2016.
Taken in the Chowchilla area, the first two photos for the southern region show bees working to pollinate open flowers in the Avalon variety and the pink tip stage Nonpareil variety. In the third photo, a bee forages for pollen in an early blooming Fritz flower in Delano.
Temperatures continued to trend above the seasonal average for the South San Joaquin Valley. Overnight lows in the mid 40s gave way to daytime highs in the mid 70s after some early fog cleared. Low winds and relatively clear skies made for nearly 8 hours of very good bee activity. Warm weather is also continuing to spur bud development at a quick pace.
There is a wide degree of variability within the southern region in terms of development. In Madera County, where water stress and salt damage have been the most prevalent, the early blooming Sonora variety has around 2% of flowers presenting for pollination. Conversely, in Fresno County where water and salt stress are less prevalent, only about 1% of the buds have pink tissue emerging from the sepals. This kind of variation is being observed in all varieties. On average the Nonpareil cultivar in the area is over 80% green tip with a few buds left in dormant and pink tissue starting to emerge on some buds. The California pollinizers are slightly ahead of Nonpareil while Carmel and Monterey are slightly behind. Later blooming Butte is about two-thirds out of dormant into green tip while the Padre variety is almost halfway through dormant.
Bee keepers continue to move bees into orchards to try and stay ahead of bloom. Fungicide applications should begin this weekend with the threat of rain on the horizon. Growers with access to water are irrigating to strengthen their moisture profiles.
|Variety||Dormant||Green Tip||Pink Bud||Popcorn||Bloom||Petal Fall||Jacket||Out of Jacket|
Data reflects a composite of the growing region.