It was just a few weeks ago that we were still shivering through one of the longest and coldest winters in memory, and farmers in Niagara worried aloud about the impact on their trees and vines. Well, now that things are warming up, growers are much more optmistic.
Looking at the plum trees in Tregunno’s Orchard in Niagara-on-the-Lake, some are bursting with blossoms.
Phil Tregunno says: “The fruit trees behind me have no flowers on them right now. But the growers are confident Niagara-on-the-Lake will be blanketed in blossoms by Mother’s Day weekend. But generally you see the blossoms out here. We’re going to have a very good crop.”
Growers are so optimistic about the season, they invited the grocery retail giants out to the orchard to talk up tender fruit. But some of the buzz in the industry lately has been about the bees.
Phil says: “We can see the buds now. This is ideal pollinating weather. Some days they can’t fly or it’s too windy to fly.”
The problem the honeybee industry’s concerned about is the die off. They’re thinking the bees are stressed because of pesticide use and the harsh winter didn’t help.
Niagara’s tender fruit industry is worth tens of millions of dollars. It always makes sure it has enough bees to do their work — bees they bring in from Australia. Growers say at this point everything looks good.
Phil says: “Right now, it’s a perfect set up for a full crop.”