And just like that, the bloom is done! In a normal year, the bloom lasts 10 days to 2 weeks. This year, it was over in less than a week. Thinking back, we had temps in the high 70's in early April followed by the low 20's a week or so later. Thats really hard on apple trees. Once the buds begin to wake up, low temps like that kills them. It doesn't hurt the tree, kit just means there wont be any fruit this year on those trees or very little. The early varieties seemed to have done well. The later ones...McIntosh, Sweet Sixteen, Haralson and Honey Crisp got hit pretty hard. They call that farming! At any rate, Im happy to get what we will get and large or small, we will have a good crop in the end. The bees are also doing well and between the apples and dandelions, they are as happy as can be. It wont be too long and the clover will start to show up a nd that makes some awfully good honey! Right now we need some sunshine and a little rain and everything will work out. In a couple weeks the apples will be about the size of a nickel and I'll be able to get a better look at the crop as a whole. I'll keep you posted!
Its been a while since I updated this so I thought today would be a good time. Right now the orchard is about 2 weeks or so from full bloom. We need warmer weather and a little rain would also help. The last 2 years have been a challenge to say the least. Last year we had a hard frost on Memorial Day weekend and the year before that had a hard frost on June 6th. Both of those took out quite a bit of our apples. I would like to see a more normal spring. But then wouldn't we all!
Right now the trees are at what's called a tight cluster. The flowers are beginning to show themselves. When that happens we need the temps to stay above 28. Bloom usually happens around the fishing opener, but as I said it hasn't been that way the last couple years. Maybe this year it will be or soon after. I'll keep my fingers crossed!
The bees also had a hard winter and my new bees showed up yesterday. The ones that made it through the winter are already leaps ahead of the rest. You can see all the pollen they are bringing in. The next major source of pollen will be the dandelions and then the apple trees. When the orchard is in full bloom and the bees are working the trees, its quite the sight. I can almost taste the honey now! Heres hoping it turns out to be a bit more normal this spring! I'll keep you posted.