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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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Dandelion Flow

I am starting to see dandelions sprouting up. This is the first major nectar flow of the season for the bees.
This year the dandelions are about two weeks earlier than normal.
Most commercial beekeepers time their return from the south to coincide with this nectar flow. Why feed the bees when the dandelion will do this for us.
Strong colonies this time of year can really put away a large amount of honey from this flow. I have honey supers on my strong colonies to possibly do two things. One, give the bees a place to put excess nectar if they need the room, so they won't plug up the brood nest with nectar. Two, the bees can put up a decent amount of honey and I may get a super or two of early honey.
The dandelions give us large amounts of nectar and pollen. The door of the hive is usually a bright yellow from the traffic.
Feeding bees during the flow usually proves that the bees like real nectar over the feeder pail. But if you are drawing out foundation keep the feed on until mid June or until the comb is drawn out, whichever comes first.