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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Georgia Flow is Slowing Down

In my neighborhood the tulip poplar has finished its bloom and the blackberry is all done. The air smells of privet but even the privet is at the end of its bloom with the flowers changing from bright white to old yellow on the branches.





















It's amazing to me that the bees have so little time with an abundance of nectar before they are in short supply.  And here at the end of the flow, we have had a sudden spate of cold weather - temperatures in the low 60s for several days and in the 40s at night.

Now the bees who have been very productive over the last month will have less to gather and will have no major source of nectar blooming in this part of Georgia.  They will still forage and will find garden blooms, milkweeds on the sides of roads and ditches, with sumac yet to start blooming as well.  But the big push for nectar gathering is done.

We only have one big nectar flow in this part of the state.  Goldenrod and asters provide a minor early fall flow, but those are not delicious honey flavors.  In Rabun County the sourwood flow doesn't start until June, but it too only lasts for a month.

















Now the work of the bees is to ripen the nectar they have gathered and to cap it for storage for the winter (and for harvest for the beekeeper).  After only a short, intense month, they will have to make do for the rest of their winter stores.

7 comments:

  1. Now I know the name of that wild hedge! Yes, we are at about the same pace. But we have tons of honeysuckle blooming now; wish I had bees. I never see a honey bee here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Honey bees can't work the honey suckle - their tongues (proboscis) are not long enough.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous9:06 AM

    I am sure, they will swarm some time by the end of the autumn.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If the bees leave the hive at the end of autumn, they are absconding, not swarming. A swarm is a reproductive move on the part of the hive and happens in the spring while there is great possibility for the two split halves to survive and thrive. A hive that leaves behind its winter stores in the fall has usually used up its supplies and has no hope for the future, thus they abscond rather than swarm.

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  5. Anonymous3:21 AM

    Late swarms are quite possible.
    I experience every year a light swarm tendency after linden (Tilia) blossom here.
    Roger A. Morse, at Cornell University, studied the swarm probability at goldenrod blossom time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous3:14 PM

    So should I start supplementing my one month old hive with syrup again? They stopped eating it about 2 weeks ago.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your hive stopped eating syrup because there IS a nectar flow. They prefer flowers to syrup any day. I didn't say the flow had stopped - just that it has slowed down.

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