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.

Search This Blog

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The current nectar flow

Spotted Knapweed

The nectar flow is still on. If I was going to put a number on it, I would say the nectar flow is about 60 - 65% done at this time.
  But as we get into the later summer months the flow can start getting a little spotty. A few factors influence the late nectar flow.
 Some areas have good early summer flows and not great late summer flows. Other areas produce nectar the whole summer. While some beekeepers may only get one type of flow off one particular nectar source and that is it.
  Some of these factors have to do with moisture conditions. But I think across the upper Midwest our soil moisture conditions are not a negative factor. Usually nectar flows are better when it is a little on the dry side. But I think the good moisture conditions give all beekeepers a better chance of getting a good honey crop.
 The steady heat we have been experiencing has made the foraging by the bees a more productive endeavor. The bees can get out earlier and longer during the day. The heat makes the plants grow and mature to their full potential.
 Basswood trees are done flowering. There is still white sweet clover in bloom. It has started to wane in some areas but in other areas it is still going strong. Birdsfoot trefoil is still blooming everywhere. Now late summer flowers will be starting in abundance. Many thistles are in full bloom. Purple loosestrife will be coming out soon. I have started to look for Goldenrod, but I have not seen any yet. Goldenrod will more than likely start blooming in the southwest suburbs soon.
As we get closer to August harvesting the honey crop, treating for varroa, and entering the state fair are on the to do list.
 I can't say enough about the state fair. It is a wonderful way to display what a beekeeper has worked hard to produce. There are many possible entries. A novice class for beekeepers who have never won a ribbon. Also a child entry to make the show a true family affair. I will be commenting on the fair soon. But here is a link to their premium book with rules, schedules and entry classifications.
MN State Fair Ag-Hort-Bee Premium Book