Almond Application

Handling Tips

  • When you receive your pollen, immediately remove it from the box and place it in the FREEZER.
  • On the day of application, remove the pollen from the freezer and place in the shipping box or cool box with NO ice packs. This will allow the pollen to come up to ambient temperature. Bees will stop to clean themselves of ice cold pollen before visiting any blossoms.


Placing the inserts on the Beehive


  • Use one insert on every active hive.
  • When bee flight is occurring, place an insert on the top of the active hives. These marked hives will be used to apply the pollen.
  • Early in the morning or in the evening, when no bee flight is occurring, take the insert off of the top of the hive and place it at the hive entrance.
  • Be sure the opening is sloped into the hive, and the insert is tight against the opening.


Placing Pollen in the Beehive Inserts


  • Bee flight MUST BE OCCURRING during pollen applications, the stronger the better.
  • Temperature must be above 50 degrees and above 55 with higher temperatures expected is better.
  • During strong bee flight, apply one level or slightly rounded tablespoon per insert. During weak bee flight, apply 1/2 of the amount. If you have broken the insert in half, apply 1/2 tablespoon in each half. Spread the pollen across the length of the insert. Do not put more than one tablespoon into the insert at a time.


General Application


Firman Pollen application rate is 60 grams of pollen per acre. All the pollen must be applied over the "Receptive Bloom Period" of the targeted field.


Application Timing


First application should occur when your first variety is at 15 to 20% bloom. At this time the trees of the first variety will be quite white, 2 out of 10 flowers will be OPEN. Do NOT judge bloom stage by the outside rows. Walk the orchard and check for consistency.


Additional Applications


Additional applications are determined by how quickly or slowly your bloom progresses and must be spread out over the entire Receptive Bloom Period. The weather will play the largest role in determining the speed at which the bloom moves.


Receptive Bloom Period


Almond Fields


Fields can be receptive to pollen from the time the first flower opens on the earliest variety to 2 days after the last flower opens on the latest variety. During normal pollination weather this will be the case.


Almond Flowers


During warm, dry weather, flowers lose their receptivity within one day of opening; because of this the pollination window is very short. During cool wet weather flowers stay receptive for up to three days: this lengthens the pollination window.


The "Art" of Application


Firman Pollen is packaged in six equal applications. However, rarely are there six equal application days during springtime pollination. In general, on good days put on more pollen, on poor days less pollen, and on bad days pray for bee flight the next day! Results depend on getting all the applications on your field!


Weather Considerations


Weather conditions control application strategies, plan accordingly.


Hot Weather - 65˚F or higher


In hot weather the Receptive Bloom Period will be short, from three to six days. These conditions will likely require more than one application per day to be applied. Watch the bloom closely; don't let it get away from you.


Cool Weather - 50˚F to 60˚F


In cool weather conditions the Receptive Bloom Period will be longer. Bee flight will be poor; each window of bee flight must be taken advantage of. In general, if the bees are flying, put on pollen. If the bees begin flying but are not flying very strong use a 1/2 tablespoon and try to get half of an application applied. If they start flying stronger put on the second half. If the weather breaks for a day and you have strong bee flight pun on as many applications as the bees will take out. Work with every available opportunity to get pollen on the bees to set your crop. Take advantage of each opportunity until all the applications have been applied.


Wet Weather


Pollen can't be applied in the rain or fog. Applications must be made during the dry periods. In order to apply pollen, 2 to 3 hours of dry weather are needed and bee flight must be occurring. It may be necessary to apply multiple applications each day during the dry periods.


Varietal Considerations


The varieties you are targeting also play an important role in your application.


  • Early and mid varieties tend to have a longer Receptive Bloom Period. Applications may spread out over a 6 to 7 day window. However warmer temperatures may shorten that window to 2 to 3 days. In these cases it will be necessary to disperse multiple applications in one day.
  • In our experience hard shells almost always have a short Receptive Bloom Period. In order to achieve best results, it will be necessary to disperse multiple applications on each day.


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