Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: bloom timing

  1. #1
    Brewcat Guest

    Post

    Does anyone know a good reference for finding out when your regional blooms occur? No beekeeping meeting for a few months yet...

    ------------------
    Ben Brewcat brewing in Lyons, CO

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    You can use growing degree days:
    http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...egreeDays.html

    They are used to track insect development as well as plant growth, but I haven't been able to find a chart of how many it takes for common plants to bloom.
    Also, jfischer is a proponent of this and will chime in, I'm sure. I meant to try it this year, but didn't and it's back on the to-do list for 2005.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    you can try your local ag dept, county extension, or forestry dept.


  4. #4
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    If you type "bloom date" into google,
    you get 4400 hits. If you search
    for "phenology", you get 285000 hits,
    proving that a classical education
    including Latin and Greek pays off.

    But what you really want to track is
    "growing degree-days".

    Master gardeners might track degree-days,
    certainly anyone who grows a crop would,
    but few people care about "nectar plants",
    so you may have to invest a few minutes
    a week this year to be able to reap the
    benefit for the rest of your life.

    I wrote a pair of articles for Beeculture
    that contain step-by-step instructions
    on how to do this. The articles were
    called "Whither Weather?", and "Be a Budding
    Genius, Not A Blooming Idiot". Jan 02 and
    Feb 02, respectively.

    I have bugged Bee Culture repeatedly about
    putting all my articles online, and they
    haven't said "no", but they are in the
    middle of re-working their whole website,
    including the "archives". I know that
    you can get an inter-library loan copy
    from any public library for free.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    Would those Bee Culture articles happen to have a list of the GDD's needed for common nectar plants to bloom? I subscribe, but only for the past year. Any way we could cajole you into posting some of what I suspect is an extensive and meticulous list? Some maple syrup perhaps?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    Dcross, If you sap, then you have the start of your list. One of the earliest nectar and pollen sources for the season are the soft maples. They have budded and bloomed, before the hard maples have finished their flow. About the same time as the soft maples, the popular, and then the willows.

    [This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited December 10, 2004).]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    As was suggested, your local Ag dept should have that info for you. Ours has it online. Too, NC State Beekeepers Association Members receive a calendar with bloom times for all the different areas of the state. Comes in real handy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    I haven't gotten around to sapping yet either, but I like that word, makes me feel like I'm planning to attack a medieval fortification! Anyhoo, I'm no stranger to watching plants develop, growing up farming, it's just second nature. And to make it simpler, I can actually see soft maple branches as I sit here typing, but the last three years, the weather has prevented the bees from working them to any degree, including an ice storm that did a very nice job of turning my lawn red by removing every single bloom from the trees. In short, I want to use growing degree days so I can anticipate when things are going to happen, and I'm looking for something along the lines of "dandelions begin to bloom at x number of GDD's". I can ballpark most plants bloom times here, but I want to predict it more closely, and jim has written some things in the past that lead me to believe he might have what I'm looking for.

    http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-...=bee-l&P=R1376

    <<You can know exactly. This way, you can avoid "drastic hive manipulations".
    and avoid the associated labor. I've been advocating tracking growing
    degree-days as a way to nail down blooms to within a few days for years now,
    and I've yet to find any other beekeeper even trying it. Discouraging.>>


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

  10. #10
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    > jim has written some things in the past
    > that lead me to believe he might have
    > what I'm looking for.

    I'm not going to claim to have the perfect
    list, as my area of Virginia has a unique
    set of nectar plants simply not found
    elsewhere (Tulip Poplar, Sourwood, etc),
    and I am working in the mountains, where
    the degree-days required tend to be higher
    than they would in the valley, due to
    colder nights and slower warm-ups during
    day.

    Each state has several "climatic regions",
    so while GDDs from one state or region
    certainly can give one a good idea of when
    the same plant will bloom in your area,
    there is no assurance that the exact same
    number will be accurate in a different
    climatic region.

    So, you have to do it for yourself, or
    start a project with other local beekeepers.
    I can't do it for you.



  11. #11

    Post

    Hey brewcat, what do you brew? Mead, wine, and beer here.

    Dadant's Hive and the Honey Bee has a section that expleins the major and minor honey plants for states, along with the months of flow. Not more specific than that. What I do is cross reference this with Honey Plants of North America, a book in reprint from many years ago. This discusses some things in a little more detail.

  12. #12
    Brewcat Guest

    Post

    Beer, mead, wine, cider, sake, soda, kombucha, and whatever else I can come up with. It's a fine line between hobby and mental illness [Dave Barry]. Thanks everyone! I am an anal recordkeeper (you might guess from the brewing) but wanted to have a heads-up on some flows the first year.
    Anyone considered a meadmaking forum? I've taught I dunno how many folks (easily a hundred) how to make mead when I managed the local homebrew shop in Boulder...


    ------------------
    Ben Brewcat brewing in Lyons, CO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Exclamation

    >I am an anal recordkeeper (you might guess from the brewing)

    I'd have guessed from the drinking, but then I couldn't drink enough to make me keep those kind of records!

    I have my first three batches of mead brewing right now. Once I figured out how simple it is to do I started a batch every two weeks. I may never sell my honey again.

    I like racking it from carboy to carboy the best, after all you NEED to drink enough to keep track of it's progress, right?

    Being a little green, it brings a new meaning to Aster Blaster Mead

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,648

    Post

    > Anyone considered a meadmaking forum?

    If there are members who would like one, I'll start another forum for mead making.

    - Barry

  15. #15
    Brewcat Guest

    Post

    Racking is fun for sure... you'll naturally want to take a gravity sample which must be consumed afterwards. Oh, the sacrifices we make for a good mead. Make sure to ferment it out completely before bottling! The most common problem is bottle grenades or geysers; mead fermentations, especially absent added nutrients, can limp along for months with a stealthy fermentation (to untrained eyes). Since meads generally age well, don't be in a hurry to get it into the bottle!

    ------------------
    Ben Brewcat brewing in Lyons, CO

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Post

    Barry
    Love to see a meadmaking forum.

    My 2nd batch is bubbling as I type.
    I plan on using the raspberries in the freezer to make a raspberry melomel.Maybe even a gallon of it "sparkling".How much honey to carbonate one gal.at bottling?

    I've brewed beer for a number of years so I understand the basics.

    Has anyone tried polen as a yeast nutrient?
    I refuse to use sulfites and would like to keep all chems out of my mead.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads