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Southern California - February 18, 2013

This report covers conditions and observations made between Friday, February 15 and Sunday, February 17, 2013.

This report’s photos for the southern region present a down-the-row shot of the Nonpareil and Sonora varieties, followed by a closer view  of the first open flowers of the Sonora, both in the Chowchilla area of Madera County. Our final image shows the pink tip and popcorn stages of the Fritz in Kern County.

High, thin clouds on Saturday provided contrast to the bright, clear skies that covered the southern San Joaquin Valley during the day on Friday, the 15th and Sunday, the 17th of February. Morning minimum temperatures were reported in the mid 30’s to lower 40’s during the period, with daytime highs ranging from the mid and upper 60’s to lower 70’s. Light breezes on Sunday countered the calm conditions that dominated during the first two days of the period.

Observers reported that the bees aggressively roamed through the orchards in search of forage, concentrating on the few open flowers available and on the flower weeds in and around the orchards.

Advanced plantings of the early blooming Sonora are now presenting a scattering of open flowers across the tops of the trees in all areas of the region. The most flowers currently available for pollination are found in the Sonora and advanced examples of several California type varieties, which are leading their associated Nonpareil. Carmel is characteristically following the Nonpareil in all areas and leads the late blooming Butte and Padre.

Observers are reporting that nearly all orchards have now received their hives. Weather forecasters are calling for the possibility of rain during the coming week. Growers are preparing their sprayers in the event that inclement weather persists and disease preventive treatments are required.


High Temperature: 70°F
Low Temperature: 36°F
Wind: 5 to 10 mph
Rain: None
Sky Conditions: Clear
Bee Activity: 8 Hours of very good activity on the few available flowers
Current weather at the National Weather Service

Photos: Ernie Riechmuth and Gerald Guthrie, 2/18/13
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