I guess it's like anything 15 minutes in the grove would give you the general feel. It does smell amazing and I'm sure the sights and sounds would be different. I have a feeling that it will take me many years to get any sort of handle on it that can be had.
What is the approx timing that hives are placed in the groves in your part of FL. How about timing in other parts of FL... N of you and S of you?
Not much experience speaking here but....
I placed mine the second week of February and I think I caught it about right.
I believe the growers wait until the last minute before the bloom to spray (they can't spray during the bloom) and try to spray the minute bloom drops. The key seems to be communication with the grove manager. You also have to know what's going on with other groves nearby as well. I've been told the bloom is normally around 6 weeks.
If I were coming from another state I would plan on having hives here in a holding yard by Christmas. They need a good month or more to build up. It may even be a better idea to bring them in the fall and put them on pepper. Just north of me there aren't a lot of groves I would imagine they are just behind me and the ones further south are ahead.
I think the pros feel the central ridge is the best producing area in Florida.
i started this thread with a small hope that people with more experience would jump in with the details and clarify the process. Hopefully someone will jump in and correct me if I'm wrong.
This may be helpful for those interested in Florida Beekeeping
Well, I'm totally jealous. We're still waiting on dandelions.
Don't be jealous it's just sunshine and I'm sure there is a price we pay for it. Im not sure what it is but its not state tax we don't have that!
SHB are starting to get stronger and mites are already something to keep an eye on. Many of the hives are starting to think about robbing and I'll have to feed if the next flow doesn't kick back in.
You are right except let's just say you ate NOT SUPPOSE to spray during the bloom. we had almost 300 with heavy spray damage two weeks ago. Story and half colony with a fresh made med box of honey..6 frames in the bottom box 5 in the top...no bees in super of honey. EPA has been here along with Bayer. 1200 hives of one beek almost a total loss with what I was told damage to 10k hives in many areas. Long bloom and grove owners sprayed killing field bees. If this continues orange blossom honey will be a thing of the past!
That fits with the rumors I heard. I'm sorry I meant "they can't" as in its illegal to apply inconsistent with label.
Can you share some details?
What brand name/chemical was sprayed?
Was the damage to your hives from your grower or a neighboring grove?
EPA and Bayer?
What is Bayers role? I would guess they try to prove products where applied incorrectly?
How do you place a $$ value on your damage?
Is that the EPA's responsibility?
How does this play out if a grower is found negligent? Is he then responsible for the damage as well as the fines?
If that happens I can see what you mean about never being allowed into oranges.
It seems as if there is a renewed effort to double down on the greening problem maybe some better solutions can be found?
The grove manager I worked with mentioned the abandoned grove nearby as a big problem.
Hey Mbeck, I wanted to give you an update from our trip to the groves. I was quite shocked to see the bloom still going pretty strong! Looks like I might make some honey yet. I think there's about two weeks of the bloom left. Here's a pic of the bloom.
I was over Groveland way the other day and bloom was still on. I heard one grove around here is still blooming. I'm sure I missed some of the flow but with all the rumors of spray kill and it being my first trip I'm happy I got out with strong hives, drawn comb and the honey they produced.
Thanks for sharing.
Sounds like the trip was worth it for the early build-up alone! I was over in Dade City over Easter weekend and picked up a couple colonies and the bloom in the groves on the way down looked like it was still going. Around here, the backyard oranges are still going with many blooms yet to open up. This year has been a bit on the wacky side for sure (late whipsaw frosts followed by 80's) and now I'm seeing saw palmetto already open with tons more just beginning to spike. Should be a nice long flow, just perfect for building out more hives...IF we get a little more rain.
Now, more importantly, when can I get my hands on some of dat bottled nectar of the gods?
There is a flow on now of sorts.
We do need some rain, like it rained back in the day for 1 hr everyday at 4:30.
Come down and get a bottle. I'm closer than you know who, my bottle is prettier I'm just triple the price!
I'm a little south of mbeck--last Sunday evening we went to get my 2 new hives from an orange grove that was thousands of acres big, many varieties of oranges and still a good bloom going on.
I purchased the 2 mid February, they were double deeps with an excluder between. We arranged that I brought along 2 medium super (already drawn comb) to add and I would get them when bloom done. We opted for now with the extended bloom going on.
One box had a completely full top super and he had added a deep, moved it to his own on Sunday. So that one I will have 1 deep, 1 medium honey.
The other, the excluder was now above the 2 deeps for some reason and the top medium was about 1/3 full. Next Sunday I'm going to go pull all orange blossom from those hives so hive 2, I will know better what I have. Each had plenty of bees, and for what I paid, well I feel sort of like I got too good of a deal. Like when we worked this out, I wonder if he was a bit sorry he sold at the price he did, even if we had it planned this way to begin with.
Extracting begins on Sunday. I'm ready!
7 doubles? is that 2 deeps? You use nothing but deeps right? so you had a deep of brood and then a deep of honey on each hive?
what is used 8 queens mean? you requeened or you did splits and added a new queen?
your avg trip on the trailer was how many hives?
How do you move your hives, sounded like it was all by hand. you strap the hives together or use migratory clips? on a double hive you break it down or move it as a whole? (hard to move double deep hive intact without 2 people)
When you pulled honey, you took the honey super off complete, I read you didnt have time to properly de-bee them but what is the normal process? take the whole super? or just strip out the capped or nearly capped honey supers and set them aside in extra deeps?
really enjoyed the thread! http://www.beesource.com/forums/images/icons/icon16.gif
Yes the doubles where two deeps without excluders left for last load to catch all the bees left behind. I added a second deep to one or two hives per pallet. I have 20 ish mediums but I'm not sure if I'll buy more or go with deeps.
The 8 queens where used to requeen hives that lost a queen during moving or to add to splits.
I've since split and requeened additional hives.
Hives weren't individually strapped with the exception of the double deeps. Bottoms where screwed on and a couple tops that warped needed to be screwed down for the trip home. I moved all the hives to the grove in one trip. It took three to bring them home. One for honey and two for bees. The doubles where strapped together and "dragged" onto the trailer.
I pulled the whole super using a fume board. I had a small crisis that I needed to get home for so I made the decision to load before dark and before blowing them out. It wasn't that bad. Lots of the honey wasn't capped and if I had more time and a few more boards it would have went smoother.
I'm glad you like the thread.
I'll have it figured out in a few more years!
I've tried to keep the strong ones strong for the next flow and had a swarm in the tree above these supers. It's gone now and not in any of my swarm traps. Where do you think it went?
Into the wall of the closest house, :D.
I was hoping they flew into the supers. I took a quick peek and it doesn't look like it.
My neighbor has bees so maybe they found some empty equipment over there. It was probably his swarm anyways;)
This is a frame from the hive I put together with the bees I shook out of my honey supers after I brought them home.
I wonder which hive swarmed?