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» September 10, 2007 «
Faced with problems from drought and from a mysterious honeybee disease, California beekeepers heard some promising news last week, when researchers announced that they have tentatively linked "colony collapse disorder" to a recently discovered bee virus. Beekeepers say they're encouraged by the report but that a cure for the collapse disorder hasn't been found. Meanwhile, dry weather has reduced pollen sources, forcing beekeepers to feed their bees more elixir to sustain them.
The North Coast has emerged as the center of California's growing olive oil production … at least for now. The California Olive Oil Council says Sonoma County has more olive oil producers than any other. But that could change as more farmers in the Central Valley switch to olive varieties meant to produce oil. The council says most California-made olive oil comes from small-acreage farmers who care for 5 or 10 acres of trees.
With water supplies tied so closely to annual rain and snowfall, California water managers have sought new sources of information about long-term climate trends. The state Department of Water Resources said (Friday) it has signed an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to coordinate climate research. The agencies will cooperate on studies aimed at more-precise forecasting of precipitation and more effective management of the water that's available.
Their sales season won't start for nearly three more months, but Christmas tree farmers are already preparing. The California Christmas Tree Association says farmers have pruned trees during the summer, and are now trimming the Monterey pine variety in preparation for the holiday season. That variety requires the most preparation work. The association calls weather during the growing season ideal, and says consumers will find good quality Christmas trees once the holidays arrive.Top