Bloom-time, mid-May

Beautiful is beautiful. During bloom, on a fair day, the orchards smell like bubble bath available exclusively in Heaven. They sound busy because that’s how bees sound. Hope fills the air, and nobody cares that we’ve seen and heard and sniffed it all before. Of course there’s suspense – will we get good pollination? Standard procedure is to rent some honeybee hives, and mow the orchard aisles to knock down those dandelions that compete for the pollinators we want flying into apple blossoms. Beyond that we just wish for warm, still days – rain and wind keep the honeybees at home. Even the tough, workaholic native bumblebees, loved by growers everywhere, slow down in bad weather. But beautiful is beautiful – here are some 2014 photos.

Each variety blooms in its time and in its way.

Golden Russet in ‘Two on the Hill’ at the home farm, peak bloom.

Amazing how skimpy the overwintered canes look after pruning. Just wait!

Mike is not the only person who tied raspberry canes in May, but he gets all the credit in this photo. The Paula Red trees behind him are blooming lightly this year.


Another row in Two on the Hill – Spitzenberg? It smells unbelievably nice right here, right now.


Here are a few of the beehives we rent locally, to push pollination during bloom-time. The wire is electrified in hopes of stopping bears – it usually works. Not every bear cares.


The big star of this photo is that little bee, tail-up for the camera, pollinating all day we hope.


Can’t stop with the beauty shots – it goes by so fast!





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