In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, weather conditions look promising for helping bolster pollinator activity. Last year’s bloom period provided clear skies and warm temperatures, allowing pollinators to set a strong crop. It appears that this year also has the potential for ideal weather conditions to maximize the bloom window for pollination.
“We’re coming along. The degree days as far as temperatures have been pretty steady. We had a little rain event almost 10 days ago now. It looks like we might have another one coming up on Thursday, Friday, and then again on Saturday maybe. We’ll see how that goes,” said Todd Burkdoll, Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA. “But other than that, it’s been almost ideal conditions – temperature as well as environmental factors – for bees to fly and for bloom to take place.”
The University of California references optimum conditions for pollinator activity are temperatures above 59 degrees and mind speeds below 10 miles per hour. Good bloom weather can affect the number of hives necessary to set a good crop. Less than two hives per acre can achieve adequate pollination results when weather conditions are conducive to bee flight. “You need to have two out there just in case the weather goes bad. You need to have lots of troops on the ground if you’re going to be fighting fire, in that analogy,” said Burkdoll.
Bees are currently being moved into many orchards with the pending bloom period coming. Many bees are coming from stone fruit orchards and are waiting for almond trees to bloom. Burkdoll said that most growers in the Central Valley are seeing bud swell while some early varieties in Kern County are beginning to pop. Expectations are for bloom to hit within the next week or so. “It looks like it’s going to be a good year for pollination unless something changes with the weather here shortly,” Burkdoll noted.
Listen to the report below.