Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Black raspberries finished bloom, blue orchard bees still active

Black raspberry June 19

Yesturday, Monday June 18, it rained in Corbett, and the temperature didn't get above about 55oF in the bee shelter at the Sturm Berry Farm.  Rosie e-mailed me to confirm that the Black Raspberries are almost finished blooming; there are only a few blossoms left.  She says "the pollination was good and the fruit looks good."  Let's hope for some warm sunny days to ripen the fruit.  Here's a photo of the the same branches of the black raspberry that I photographed on June 7, when it looked like bloom was past peak.  Today the inflorescences appear more brown than white or green, so I think that the webcam picks up enough of a color difference to get a sense of where we are in bloom.  The bright pink flowers at the bottom of the photo are Phacelia.

 I'm still seeing a few active blue orchard bees, O. lignaria.  There is one in the top right hand corner of the top orchard bee Binderboard.  Faces of a few other bees are visible in nest entrances. The bottom two Binderboard that were in the shelter at the beginning of the season are almost full at this time, and several new nests are plugged in the top Binderboard as well.  Plus there are quite a few new O. lignaria nests in the smaller Binderboard intended for O. aglaia

Mostly full orchard bee nests
The O. aglaia have been active on warm days, but not cool ones.  They may be helping the pollination of other raspberry varieties, but my guess is that they didn't contribute much to the black raspberries. 

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