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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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Latest on the nectar flow

This nectar flow has started off very spotty. It seems a lot of nectar came in early.  There then seemed like a dearth of nectar for about two weeks and now it seems there is nectar coming in again.
Overwintered hives were able to take advantage the early nectar. Many of those beekeepers have three supers full of honey or more. Package bees have about reached their full strength in colony population. Some beekeepers with packages have honey starting to get put up in the supers. So weather permitting, that will continue. Some hot weather would help. It has been dry, my grass is turning brown. Actually the dry weather can be good for the nectar flow. When it is on the dry side, it seems that plants secrete more nectar. We don't want it to get too dry and the plants start getting crispy. There is rain on the horizon so hopefully we won't get to crispy stage.
Basswood tree nectar flow is still going on in rural areas. In any cities around the area I think it has run its course.  The Basswood flow is a very fickle flow. Sometimes they secrete tremendous amounts of nectar, sometimes there is nothing to be had.
 Many plants and flowers are blooming now. Sumac, Thistle, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Clovers. Perennial Wildflowers are now starting to make their appearance. The first cutting of Alfalfa/Clover hay fields was in early June. We are now getting close to when the Alfalfa/Clover will be blooming again. The second cutting of hay produces better nectar yields than when it first bloomed in June.
 The bees will fill their top deep full of honey first. This will be their winter honey. Do not do a reversal and put the heavy top box on the bottom. The heaviest brood box stays on top of the colony.
If you are not getting any honey you could be in a poor nectar area, your bees could have swarmed, a poor laying queen has not produced enough brood, or the nectar flow at the moment is not great.
 I do have beekeepers who in their area, honey comes in early for some of them or late in other cases. That is when their nectar flows happen. It can be soil types or just the general make up of flowers in their area. If your beeyard produces poorly after several years of trying, sometimes moving the yard three to five miles away can lead to better results.
So right now flowers are blooming everywhere, summer is here, the bees are working. Keep ahead of your supers, check them weekly. Supers can fill up very quickly when everything is going right.