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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Time to get concerned?

    Many of you may or may not know but the rain (drought) situation in California is starting to look pretty bad. We currently have the lowest rainfall totals since the days of record keeping was established in the mid !800's. This following a bleak rain total last year.

    The forecast for the next week is dry, dry, dry. Beautiful Winter solstice morning today which might be way better in the long run if it was pouring outside right now. There are people irrigating tree crops in December to relieve the parched ground. Something I have never seen in 40+ years.

    If this keeps up I think it might be time to consider the fact that this is not only possibly going to impact almond pollination but Queen and package production out of CA as well come March and April.

    If we remain dry through the middle of January I think that the first affect that might be felt is cancellation of late April package orders. Once bees get out of the Almonds most of the out yards are not going to be in any condition for proper rebuilding after early shaking.

    Lets hope I'm wrong because the rain comes but it is something people who rely on bees out of California need to start thinking about!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    I have heard that some affected growers in that region may drop to one hive per acre and some will opt for no bees / no harvest if things don't change.
    What are you hearing?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    We need to focus our collective thoughts towards rain in California for sure. What would it cost to remove salt out of the ocean water to free up water for irrigation? I hear they do that in Israel. I know that wouldn't help the out yards but the growers and cities.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Kerman, ca, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    I live near fresno here In the central valley and am very worried about the drought also. But after talking to a few farmers on the west side. It seems that the almond crop won't be affected near as much as there other crops like cotton, melons, and tomatos. You will be seeing a lot of open dirt fields that have been stripped of there water to put it to almonds. Just like a lot of beekeepers almonds is there number one priority.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    We need to focus our collective thoughts towards rain in California for sure. What would it cost to remove salt out of the ocean water to free up water for irrigation? I hear they do that in Israel. I know that wouldn't help the out yards but the growers and cities.
    Additional irrigation water would be a plus for sure. My concern focuses at this point is the out yards in the hill and dales that are never going to be irrigated in the next 100 years. Rain is the only source of water for 91% of California. Thats a lot of outyards with little or no feed potential with little or no rain. The syrup and the sub business 's are going to break the bank in 2014.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,272

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Yes, I'm getting concerned. We only had 66% of normal rainfall last year, and water in the lakes is very low now, from releasing too much this past spring and the lack of rainfall. I've only had about 3 inches, maybe 4, since July 1 here at my place. I don't look forward to a year of feeding to keep the bees going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Were any of you around in the 1987-93 drought? I lived in the Santa Rosa area and did landscaping. In 91 and 92 I drove a truck! I'm sure that if you were to talk to older beekeepers they would tell you what that time period was like. Good Luck to you all this coming season.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Last year the only thing blooming in Calaveras co. was buckeye, and it hit my bees hard. 2014 looks to be worse. Merced co water dist has announced 0% water allotment for some areas. It don't look good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer Jim View Post
    Last year the only thing blooming in Calaveras co. was buckeye, and it hit my bees hard. 2014 looks to be worse. Merced co water dist has announced 0% water allotment for some areas. It don't look good.

    Not to change the subject which I'm notorious for ( even on my own threads) but I just wanted to let F.J. know that if he would be so gracious as to come on over I will gladly give him a shovel, chain saw, and maybe a a loader along with a map for Christmas if he's willing to shuffle over to Solano, Napa, and a few other neighboring counties where he can uproot, destroy or annihilate a few transplantable Suckeye trees and haul them over to his territory so his bees can eat all they want. Unfortunately the Callippe Silverspot butterfly are known to feed on it and destroying any might get you a few weeks in front of a judge and a jury. I have actually seen biologist standing around these nemesis counting the butterfly the visits while we work in the bee yards nearby.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    A couple sites that I regularly check in on.

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/index...day=21&units=e

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/product...ht_monitor.pdf

    The drought monitor is pretty self explanatory and really shows the groundwater shortage in California.
    . I am never quite sure how to interpret the snow analysis except to compare it to previous years. Snow pack I would think is pretty critical for most ag in the valleys as the season progresses.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Thanks for the offer on the buckeye trees, but I have more than I want. My point was (and you may have missed it as I had my hat on)was in a drought year buckeye is about the only thing that blooms.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Got it. The only thing is that I'm not sure anyone has figured out many correlations between bee loss off of the buckeye and weather or other conditions. Sometimes it happens and other years its not an issue. Do you know any reason its bad sometimes and other times not?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Only thing I can think of is in a wet year there is more to choose from. I have heard this from more than one old keeper some with 1000s of hives and I have found it to be true, why I don't know.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,269

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    I really appreciate the beauty of the buckeye in bloom. Knowing my bees are a thousand feet higher than the buckeye when it blooms. But this year for a time the only thing that bloomed heavily in one area was the grassy death camas. Because it was the only thing blooming the bees worked it heavily. Its supposed to be hard on bees but I haven't really been able to see that, unlike the devastation buckeye can cause.

    Still no rain in sight. Zero snow at this elevation. Very little on Mt Shasta. It could all come in January, but I think the pattern is setting up for another bad summer.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    We need the snowpack to fill reservoirs but of course rain also helps replenish groundwaters. It's too bad the only solutions the money wants to implement do nothing to address low water years and with all the money spent on drafting and evaluating the twin 'suck' tunnels they could've built some desalination plants to actually make more water available. Even raising Shasta **** is stupid as we can barely fill it to capacity on a good water year.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Northern California needs to tell SoCal to start finding their own water!! My duck club out of Willows had an initial flood up to decomp the rice stubble, and with the 90 degree temps in October, the ponds soon went dry. We have not had a splash of water since October and the duck blind is now a goose pit over dry fields. I talked to the farmer and he said Term 91 in Glenn County shut the water off and that he feared he might not even have any water to grow the rice come Spring. The whole West side of the Sac Valley is pretty much dry when their should be flooded rice fields everywhere!

    Its predicted that we are to have a very wet January..........but nothing after that. It is going to be very tough on the beeks that take their bees to natural grounds for forage...........heck, its been what, 3 years since the Star Thistle bloom amounted to anything?

    I have a couple thousand acres of family land that has a lot of Sage/manzanita on it..........but its also loaded with buckeye trees........so the bees will never see that property unfortunately.

    We need rain very badly............
    Coyote Creek Bees

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: Time to get concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    Northern California needs to tell SoCal to start finding their own water!! My duck club out of Willows had an initial flood up to decomp the rice stubble, and with the 90 degree temps in October, the ponds soon went dry. We have not had a splash of water since October and the duck blind is now a goose pit over dry fields. I talked to the farmer and he said Term 91 in Glenn County shut the water off and that he feared he might not even have any water to grow the rice come Spring. The whole West side of the Sac Valley is pretty much dry when their should be flooded rice fields everywhere!

    Its predicted that we are to have a very wet January..........but nothing after that. It is going to be very tough on the beeks that take their bees to natural grounds for forage...........heck, its been what, 3 years since the Star Thistle bloom amounted to anything?

    I have a couple thousand acres of family land that has a lot of Sage/manzanita on it..........but its also loaded with buckeye trees........so the bees will never see that property unfortunately.

    We need rain very badly............
    Its called in and out beekeeping. The country may be fine if you get out as needed.

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