Almond bloom comes nearly all at once in California — a flush of delicate pale blooms that unfold around Valentine’s Day.
And beekeeper Bret Adee is hustling to get his hives ready, working through them on a Central Valley ranch before placing them in orchards.
He deftly tap-taps open a hive. “We’re gonna open this up, and you’re going to see a whole lot of bees here,” Adee says.
Under the lid, the exposed sleepy occupants hum away. He uses a handheld smoker to keep them calm and huddled around their queen.
This third-generation beekeeper works night and day with a crew of more than 35. Adee has been busy staging more than 100 semi truckloads of his honey bee hives in almond orchards over a 200 mile swath of the Central Valley.
When temperatures rise and the blooms open, his bees wake up and go to work. It’s his hives’ first yearly stop on a 6,500-mile tour across the nation.
But this almond bloom, Adee’s scrambling more than usual.
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