This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Where o Where has my nectar flow gone?

This clover appeared in my yard after I made this post in the morning.

The flower pod of a Basswood flower. Notice the yellow leaf hanging to the side. This is an easy way to spot Basswoods. The off color leaf is very visible. I will stop and look to see if the flowers have opened and are bees working it.

On this tree you can see the off colored leaves at the top. The thing to remember is just because flowers are present it doesn't mean there is nectar for the bees.

I am waiting for the nectar flow. I know nothing is happening here.
The farmers around here have not cut hay yet. The alfalfa fields are normally cut in the first week of June. Now we are getting to the end of the second week and still no alfalfa.
I looked at my Basswood trees and have noticed the flower pods have dropped and the immature flowers are there. It will still be at least another 10 days before they bloom.
I have noticed some yellow sweet clover starting to bloom in the ditches around town.
I don't know if bees get much off the yellow sweet clover in this part of the country. I think our humidity is to high. It is a major nectar plant in Nebraska and the Dakota's.
The only way we know for sure is through observation to see if the bees are working the flower.
I always look on the combs of my brood comb to see if a nectar flow is underway. I don't even pull any frames. A quick glance tells the story.
The combs that are normally dark start displaying new white beeswax. This indicates nectar coming in as the bees add to the length of the cells and new cappings to seal the nectar.
I know now I have to wait and see on the flow.
I will have my supers on this weekend. My comb honey goes on when the flow is going.
Words of wisdom from Dr. Basil Furgala " You can't make any honey if your supers are in the garage".