The report from California is that the almond bloom is late, at least 2 and maybe 3 or more weeks late. The main almond variety is only just starting to bloom and later varieties have yet to start. In most years the bloom would have ending by now and beekeepers would be starting to move bees out of the orchards the first week of March. This could cause a delay of queen and package bee production for operations that also do pollination. This is not limited to just California beekeepers, but also may affect many other beekeepers across the southern states because many of the 1.2 million bee hives needed for almond pollination are moved into California.
Does this mean that our package bees will be delayed? I can’t answer that yet. It may very well delay the earliest queens and packages, but there is still is more than a month to go before the earliest packages could be available here in Ohio.