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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I talked to my grower today and he expects to release our bees in about 2 weeks which is about 10 days earlier than ever before.
Our bees are about 40 miles west of Chico.
This year we saw the very first blooms pop on January 31 which is also about 11 days earlier than we have ever seen.
what are you hearing?
 

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Just from driving around here in the upper valley, some orchards are at 80% bloom, some 40-60% so it's hard to say for sure with some even around 20% bloom.
 

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Blue diamond website has bloom percentages. Harry, your grower have earlier varieties? I got bees in some orchards with only 10%... if that.
 

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We are hearing the same schedule expectations as Harry. West of I-5 stayed warmer than the Eastside = bloom earlier and will finish much earlier. I was in the orchards in the West hills yesterday. Late next week/first of March seemed accurate to me. With the bloom coming on ten days early, I was ready for the orchards to finish up a little earlier as well. We are suppose to receive some rain mid-next week and through next weekend. That will knock a lot of the petals off and make the growers even more convinced their orchards are finished.
 

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Will you guys have time to make it to Oranges for honey. Or do you go to Cherries? Does the early release mess up your schedule or does it give you extra time to get ready for the next move?
 

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What I found especially California-ish was passing laws prohibiting apiaries near citrus groves. It did not matter that the apiary was established and in use for the last 20 years, the law says you can't keep them there any more.
 

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FYI: Today has to have been one of the top ten days for almond pollination in the last 20 years. 76 degrees. No wind to speak of and flowers as happy as the bees. Our last varieties are 90% open and the early ones at 40% petal fall with nutlets cracking out of the jacket. There will be bees on semi's by the 4-7th of March.... maybe earlier if the rain scrubs them all clean next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I read somewhere,,I think it was one of Randy Oliver's recent articles, that the tail end of almond bloom delivered the most nectar.
Does that ring a bell?
If true, Honey-4-all's report sounds REALLY GOOD TO ME!!
Thanx! :)
 

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Regarding nectar at the end of the flow.

Not a very scientific answer but my initial guess is that the correlation regarding nectar flow at the "end" has more to do with the propensity for the days at the end of the bloom to be in the 60+ degree range( the nectar degrees) than anything else. ie....( location, variety, humidity)

"Nectar day" average temperatures being present on the early side of the bloom is way less likely and therefore less likely to produce nectar.

For years I have thought that the random placement of about 10 hive scales in 10 locations from the north to the south and the east to the west sides coupled with temperature sensors would be the only true way to answer this question. 12-15 years of such data would answer the question with what i would suggest would reach nearly a 95+% confidence level.
 

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Micha, There are varieties of mandarins that are seedless if not pollinated. Growers planted these in huge groves about 20 years ago expecting them to be seedless, but found out that if bees pollinate the flowers, under some conditions, they develop very high seed counts. So to protect the value of the mandarin crop, the growers successfully lobbied for legislation to prevent beekeepers from locating apiaries near the groves. The side effect was that beekeepers who had been using the same yards for 20+ years were suddenly prohibited from placing bees in them.

Back to regular programming, talk about almonds.

P.S. get ready for rain, mostly in northern CA, but will be some spillover into Sacramento and a bit south.
 

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I heard from my local beekeeper that he can get me some bees after the almonds around mid-March. By then I
don't need them anymore when I split mine.
But it all depends on the variety that is growing in the orchard and the local temp. My backyard almond tree
still blooming now while the one 8 minutes from me already completely done and sending out little nutlets.
That one must be the early variety that many growers are planting. My bees
rather go for the canola than the almonds :( Maybe I can graft the early one to get the best of both world, eh.
 

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I'd have to say the trees are letting the nectar flow right now due to the amount of clear "splats" on my windshield while driving North and South on Hwy 5 up to Willows and back down the 505!
 

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Thanks for putting the squeeze test on our bees. No better nectar test than the intersection of a windshield at 70 MPH and a a bee buzzing through its vector at an in opportune moment.
 

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Phil I will need your address so i can send the bill for my car wash to you! I thought as a responsible beekeeper you would have taught your bees to go to the nearest overpass to cross busy highways! Or just plain fly higher! Or faster than 80 mph, 70 mph would get me run over by big rigs too!
 

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Phil I will need your address so i can send the bill for my car wash to you! I thought as a responsible beekeeper you would have taught your bees to go to the nearest overpass to cross busy highways! Or just plain fly higher! Or faster than 80 mph, 70 mph would get me run over by big rigs too!
:ws:
 
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