What is ideal bloom weather for high yield and quality?
Ideal bloom comes when there is consistent weather and a slow ramp up in temperature going into February. If we experience any extreme highs or lows, bloom overlap will be poor. During bloom, we like mild, sunny days with low wind and no precipitation. This will ensure adequate bee flight hours for pollination during the effective pollination period when bloom overlap is at it’s best.
Is there anything we will be doing in case weather is not conducive to bloom?
Not a whole lot, Mother Nature must do the work. All we can really do is ensure that we have high quality bees with a minimum of 8 frames per hive. From a pre-plant perspective, we want to make sure we are planting varieties that have good overlap. We are running some trials on our poorer overlapping early blooming varieties where we graft different early blooming varieties on main scaffolds near our bee drop sites. We are hoping we can help with overlap on the early bloomers by providing a compatible pollen source that will help with cross-pollination.
Where are the Olam orchards? Has bloom weather been different across our orchards in the past?
Olam has farms from North to South in California, spanning ~240 miles from the furthest north to the furthest south. Bloom usually begins in the south and makes its way north, but there have been years where that pattern is flip-flopped because of weather variability within different regions.
What indicators are there post-bloom that the bloom has been successful?
We track bee flight hours, which are a combination of temperature, windspeed and precipitation. We also track bloom overlap and overlay with bee flight hours to see if the bees were active during the effective pollination overlap period. The best indicator is after May when all the fruit is shed that did not get pollinated and fertilized.