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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Blooming is already underway.

This usually happens around the end of March, early April at the earliest.

This year is absurd.

Looks to me like the spring is 3 weeks ahead, maybe 2 weeks at minimum.
 

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Seems that way here, also. Redbuds are showing a lot of pink. In the years their blooms don't get killed, the bees seem to get a good early boost.

Alex
 

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early springs can be bad, if the plants are blooming and a freeze snap happens, then the buds die and there is no fruit that year for affected plants and trees.
 

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Years ago we started keeping records of blooms etc. The surprising thing that taught us, most of the time when we see something blooming and say 'wow that is early', going to the records disputes that as often as not. Invariably it's within a few days of the average for the last few years.

Using this year as an example, we dont have anything blooming yet,but I did see the first robin back a couple days ago. Our records show, average date for return of Robins, March 15 plus or minus 6 days. This year, March 9. Imagine that, it's right on schedule even tho it seems really early....

I remember having this discussion with a friend last year, he was adamant his plum tree was blooming 'weeks early'. After we went to our records, turns out the plum tree was early last year, a whole day ahead of the 5 year average.....

What this exercise has taught us over the years, the seasons are pretty consistent, but, our memory of when things bloom is absolute crap.
 

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Years ago we started keeping records of blooms etc. The surprising thing that taught us, most of the time when we see something blooming and say 'wow that is early', going to the records disputes that as often as not. Invariably it's within a few days of the average for the last few years.

Using this year as an example, we dont have anything blooming yet,but I did see the first robin back a couple days ago. Our records show, average date for return of Robins, March 15 plus or minus 6 days. This year, March 9. Imagine that, it's right on schedule even tho it seems really early....

I remember having this discussion with a friend last year, he was adamant his plum tree was blooming 'weeks early'. After we went to our records, turns out the plum tree was early last year, a whole day ahead of the 5 year average.....

What this exercise has taught us over the years, the seasons are pretty consistent, but, our memory of when things bloom is absolute crap.
I can tell you it's right on time here in Vancouver (BC mainland), I wish it was early! Plus it seems a lot of time when we get what we think is an early spring it's a blip of good weather early then a late April-early May cold snap that ruins a lot of early planting. I go by my cherry tree and rhodos. Haven't bloomed yet, seems they go right around April 1, give or take a week. I have friends in the southern US that are saying things are early this year though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK let's try to clarify:

The climate on the West coast is much different than the Northeast.

You don't get 6 months of New England winter.

Maybe your spring in that location is not historically early, but here on the East Coast and Northeast. It certainly is.
 

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Actually, based on my notes (for my specific location only), we are generally in line with the springs of 2012-2014. 2012 as actually a two weeks earlier than this year. The winters of 2015-2017/8 were colder than normal and spring blooms were actually a month later than 2012-2014. Remember the advent of terms like polar vortex and bomb cyclones (actually technical language brought into the mainstream).

In retrospect to those few years things do seem earlier this year. Now, in the south, may truly be early as the arctic air never really made many pushes too far south this year.
 

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while winter in MD/NJ and most of PA is certainly over for this year, it depends on how you look at. last year winter was 'long' and cold, right?
lets look at growing degree days for my location in NWNJ:
using freezing temperature as a base, GDD is 259 this year and 108 last year. we early!
temps bees fly (~42*) as a base, GDD is 66 this year and 31 last year. we early!
phenology for plant/tree development (widely 50*), GDD is 11 and 12. right on track!
so while the bees have been able to get out and stretch their wings early and often this year, the plants shouldn't be any much ahead.
in the east half of the country we should be able to build up before the usual and capitalize on early flows. provided swarming is managed of course.
 

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Years ago we started keeping records of blooms etc. The surprising thing that taught us, most of the time when we see something blooming and say 'wow that is early', going to the records disputes that as often as not. Invariably it's within a few days of the average for the last few years.

Using this year as an example, we dont have anything blooming yet,but I did see the first robin back a couple days ago. Our records show, average date for return of Robins, March 15 plus or minus 6 days. This year, March 9. Imagine that, it's right on schedule even tho it seems really early....

I remember having this discussion with a friend last year, he was adamant his plum tree was blooming 'weeks early'. After we went to our records, turns out the plum tree was early last year, a whole day ahead of the 5 year average.....

What this exercise has taught us over the years, the seasons are pretty consistent, but, our memory of when things bloom is absolute crap.
I keep records and have for over 20 years, GDD's.
For my location lets go to the tape. GDD 32 degree base.
Compare spring this year with spring last year, same bee yard:
This year 2020 last year 2019
1/17- 148 (30 yr avg 50) 1/14- 77
1/24- 154 ---------------- 1/22- 87
1/31-197 ---------------- 1/31-99
2/8-256 (30 yr avg 122) 2/12-155
2/17-307 ---------------- 2/19-180
2/27-379 ------------------ 2/26-206

Warmer, yup. Earlier, yup.
Blooms earlier, yup. And more than a few days either side of a 'expected' average.
See those 30 yr averages for GDD?

What is consistent is bloom time according to GDD.

This time though, around these parts, those that just say it's earlier from memory are right. And have been more often than not recently.
 

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For my area it is early but I have seen earlier. My almond tree and my thundercloud plum tree are currently in full bloom. In 2019 and 2018 it was on 3/20, in 2017 it was on 4/1 and in 2015 (the earliest I have in my records) they were in full bloom on 2/17. I would prefer they bloomed a bit later but the weather never does what I want.
 

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I have drones. I have never had drones this early in the year. Last year it was the the third week of May before I saw drones. I think it is time to get the swarm traps out.
 

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I can tell you it's right on time here in Vancouver (BC mainland), I wish it was early! Plus it seems a lot of time when we get what we think is an early spring it's a blip of good weather early then a late April-early May cold snap that ruins a lot of early planting. I go by my cherry tree and rhodos. Haven't bloomed yet, seems they go right around April 1, give or take a week. I have friends in the southern US that are saying things are early this year though...
Also, the forecast is calling for lows of -3C (28-30F) overnight this weekend so it's definitely not quite spring. Temps supposed to start climbing above 10 later next week fairly consistently. That's about when it should start to kick in...
 

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Remember the advent of terms like polar vortex and bomb cyclones (actually technical language brought into the mainstream).
Those used to be just plain old blizzards, but somewhere along the line folks decided they need to invent a new dramatic name for them every year....
 

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Those used to be just plain old blizzards, but somewhere along the line folks decided they need to invent a new dramatic name for them every year....
Every full moon now seems to now have a name, also. Something about a worm or something.

Looking back at my bloom dates I see the Redbuds are right on time.

Alex
 

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early springs can be bad, if the plants are blooming and a freeze snap happens, then the buds die and there is no fruit that year for affected plants and trees.
Happened a couple of years ago here. We lost the peach crop completely due to an early spring and then a quick, sharp freeze. This year the maples are barely running due to high temps at night. I'm hoping for a few weeks of low evening temps instead of a prolonged warm spell with a freeze.
 

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We are very early. Let's hope we do not get a late freeze. I'm mulching all my cold plants like asparagus and garlic. I was able to inspect selected hives early this year, unfortunately I found a queen problem - no brood and no nucs to save the hive. From now on I run 4 nucs to support 8-10 hives every winter.
 
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