Posts Tagged: almond blossom
Talk about an early bloomer!
At least one almond tree was blooming in California on the first day of the year. In the Benicia State Recreation Area, to be exact.
We spotted the almond tree flowering on Jan. 1 near the entrance to the state park. The delicate white blossoms poked through a rusty fence as they were dignitaries at a meet-and-greet reception.
From the looks of the blossoms, the buds had probably opened in late December, maybe shortly after Christmas.
We're accustomed to seeing wild almond trees flowering in mid- to late January as we drive along Interstate 80, Solano County. But not this early! Jan. 1?
California's commercial almond trees usually begin blooming around Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. Our state has about 800,000 acres of almonds, each acre requires two hives for pollination. The buzzing bees are trucked here from all over the country. Indeed, California's $3 billion-almond industry--the state's largest export--is pure gold.
Meanwhile, it's too bad that there's no contest for finding the first almond tree blooming. Butterfly expert Art Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolution at UC Davis, sponsors a contest for anyone collecting the first cabbage white butterfly in the three-county area of Yolo, Solano and Sacramento. The prize he offers is a pitcher of beer.
Maybe there should be beer for a bud?
There's only one thing wrong with the bucolic scenes below: no foraging bees. But there will be.
Almond tree blooming on Jan. 1, 2013 in Benicia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Almond blossom poking through the Benicia State Recreation Area fence. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This bud's for you. Almond bud about to unfold. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Remember when Chicken Little ran around yelling "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
For almond growers, beekeepers, entomologists, researchers and artists, it's "The almonds are blooming! The almonds are blooming!"
Finally, the almond trees at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis burst into bloom today. They still have a long way to go for a full bloom--but this is a start.
These are Sue's bees.
That would be bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey with her line of New World Carniolians.
Her nectar-sipping, pollen-packin' bees are back in action after the winter doldrums, which are turning into spring frenzies.
Soon: the big spring buildup in the colonies.
But for now, "The almonds are blooming! The almonds are blooming!"
Oh, hap-bee day!
Sip of Nectar