I’m not sure the percentage of years apricots over bear here (partially because I’m lazy about keeping notes and partially because 25 years of growing them here is an inadequate sample), but many years at many sites they do require thinning and they size up so quickly that it needs to be done before you are really thinking about peaches and everything else that often require this tedious but thankful duty.
I too started thinning mine yesterday, trying to remember if I can be sure the swelling fruit is truly set at this point (yes, not all minds benefit equally from experience!).
I’m less confident this year because my cots against the wall flower 5 days sooner than those out in the open and only the very last of blooms saw any pollinator attention according to my watch. At this point, quite mysteriously to me, it doesn’t seem to have mattered. Fruit is well set from the base of shoot outward- their sequence of flowering first to last.
Cool weather is usually blamed for poor fruit set because of lack of pollinator turnout, but if it is wet and cool, the trees themselves often lack the energy to set fruit. Being against a white wall probably compensates for such weather, as long as it isn’t all grey.
Another interesting thing about apricot pollination is that 25 years ago the literature said they were reliably self-fertile, but I noticed much more consistent cropping from trees located near another friend (variety of apricot). Now the literature, originally based on how the species behaves in CA, has changed and it is believed that in the northeast they benefit from cross pollination. I expect it is because our springs are cooler and more grey, but I don’t know if the reason is even known. Generally we are talking about different varieties as well.
Pears that are not reliably self fruitful during cools springs are known to be where springs are reliably warm, but I’ve read that this is because the trees hold onto seedless fruit when they have the energy to do so (an energy surplus is created by ample warm, sunny days). But I’ve never noticed seedless pears, so what do I know? Anyone out there ever seen a seedless pear?