I'm in Hoodsport, 85 inches of rain a year. Elevation appx 1000ft. My bees are foraging on natives. It appears the nectar flow is just beginning. Rhodi's are blooming, Salal is just starting to flower. Hucklberries are in the middle of flowering. I have a tiny white groundcover that the bees are mad about. I haven't tdentified the name of the flower. Currants are done flowering. Trillium is just fading. Does anyone with experience especially in Western Washington know what a peak flow looks like?
Im in Seattle, apparently our main flow in this area are the Blackberries which are just coming into bloom near me.
I am a bit worried that almost 30 days of no rain may put a damper on that flow.
I have found that my bees (all one hive of them) have been doing very well so far, but I think the gardens in a more urban area can provide a bit of a bridge between more natural local flows.
p.s. the ground cover plant you mentioned might it be bunchberry (cornus canadensis) common name ground dogwood?
I'm in Seattle too and looking forward to the blackberry flow. Speaking of which, are you folks still feeding your bees? I'd like to slowly wean them off the syrup but wanted to make sure they had enough out there to prevent starvation.
I stopped feeding about 2 1/2 weeks ago for a couple of reasons,
1. the bees seemed to use very little of it at that point.
2. the ants had discovered the feeder and were drowning in great numbers.
3. the hive had quite a bit of capped stores, I think this is the best indicator but I will keep checking to make sure they don't run low.
im in Concrete Wash. and having poor flow - the clover is think and the blackberries are full of flowers and im not seeing my bees anywhere?? i see lots of bumbles but no honeybees - i have 8 hives and not seeing any cell building in the supers - im using cell rite and they built the 2 deeps great - all full of drawn comb but as soon as i put on the supers they stopped cell work???? any help is greatly welcomed
I quit feeding in Hoodsport (along the hood canal) about a month ago. I checked them about two weeks ago and they were drawing some comb and storing honey. Not at a rip roaring speed, but doing ok. I believe the flow was just getting started. Here in Graham elevation at 500 feet. The wild blackberries are blooming and the bees are all over it. We also have fireweed blooming and numerous other wildflowers, not to mention domestic flowers. This appears to be peak flow here. Since this is my first year I'm not sure on that one. Next week we'll be checking up on Hoodsport, which I expect to bloom a little later than here. Our location is a lot more woodsy, so of course that will effect the forage. I'll be sure to post on it.
Thanks to everyone who joined our Washington State community.
To Bees in Ballard,
Thanks I looked up the plant after you gave me the name and it is indeed the bunchberry. Two minds are better than one.
To Concrete Bees,
Are your bees foraging on something else beesides the blackberries? We had a lot of scotchbroom here, I was wondering if they were working that for you. Are they working the blackberries now?
I wish I could give advise but since I'm a neebie I don't have much experience. I still rely on thinking these bees having been doing this for millions of years, compared to my less than 1 year. I just let the experts (bees) figure it out.
I'm also fortunate that this is a hobby for me and not my livelihood, so I can allow myself to be more relaxed about it. Good luck, and please keep us posted on how they are doing.
Well I checked my bees and they are doing well. The only thing I see them working is the salal that pretty much covers our area. It's in full bloom right now. I've been looking for blackberries in all the areas were I've hiked, it's just salal and no blackberries. I'm sure there's some around here somewhere, I just didn't see it. Fireweed is just starting to bloom at our elevation.
In Graham they're still loving thoses blackberries.
Yikes, this is turning into a hot summer! We just put a third super onto a few of our hives today. I am worried about the heat drying up some of our pollen/nectar sources, however. Also, I've noticed hordes of bees spending time gathering water from the pond; I suppose during the heat the priority becomes keeping the hive cool rather than adding to the honey supply.