Oct. 09, 2017

2017 Bloom Season in the Superfresh Orchards

A strong spring bloom has ensured a healthy feast for bees, as they pollinate the Superfresh Growers® apple, pear, cherry, and apricot orchards. In the spring of 2017, Dave Gleason, Chief Horticulturist, commented that the aromas of all the blossoms were “intoxicating.” It is days like these that the Superfresh team went out into the orchards to capture some of the magic that happens at spring time.

Bees are busy at work in the months of April and May, pollinating each blossom that will become a cherry, apple, pear, or apricot. Many fruit varieties need to be cross-pollinated, and rely on bees to set the crop for harvest. As bees travel from flower to flower in search of nectar, they brush up against the pollen located on the flower’s stamen. Pollen clings to the bee and is later transferred to other blooms as the bee continues to search for more nectar. Bees visit 10-15 flowers per minute, and up to 5,000 flowers a day! They are responsible for approximately 90% of the pollination of fruit trees.

During bloom season, the Superfresh Growers orchard team hand thins blossoms, pulling off unneeded flowers. “A tree will bloom way more flowers than it can handle, if they all become apples,” describes Gleason. “In fact, we only need one percent of the flowers to give us a full crop. If all the flowers stayed on the trees and produced apples, the apples would stay very small as they compete for tree nutrients.” The Superfresh team picks off outside blooms, leaving the king bloom, which will produce a larger size apple.