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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I was wondering what the best way to determine nectar flow is. Is it just to observe? Ask a local beekeeper? I live in central IL and I'm not really sure when exactly our peak flow is.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Clayton Indiana
    Posts
    348

    Post

    Based on my observations, the bees will be flying like crazy in and out of the hive in a "beeline" to wherever the nectar is. They will pay no attention to you as you approach the hive. Here in central Indiana it is mid June to mid July. That seems to vary to some degree based on rain/or sunshine amounts. If you have strong hives, the flow will be fairly obvious.
    Todd Zeiner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Hive weight is the sure-fire way. When the bees
    start bringing in nectar (which is mostly water)
    the weight of the hive goes up by at least
    several pounds per day.

    Another way would be one of those "bee counters"
    that count bee entrances and exits with a beam of
    light. These are expensive, and as they tend to
    allow one bee at a time to enter or exit the
    hive, they can be a real impediment to optimal
    production. A strong hive can easily launch
    about 200 sorties per minute even on a "boring"
    day.

    As far as "what they are bringing in", one must
    be aware of what is blooming that you can see,
    and infer from that what else is likely to be
    blooming at the same time. One can try to
    analyze the pollen being brought in, but bees
    will often collect pollen from one floral source
    while they are bringing in nectar from another.

    Time of day also matters. Some plants only
    produce nectar in the AM, some in the PM. Some
    only do so after a rainstorm.

    Its a complicated subject - bees will always
    be foraging upon multiple sources at the same
    time, as they always want to "hedge their bets".
    Tom Seeley's book "The Wisdom Of The Hive" goes
    into this in great detail, and is an excellent
    education on this subject.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    That's a lot of good information, but it all deals with direct observation of the flow. Everything I'm reading about comb honey says you need to start getting ready and feeding for brood 2 or so weeks BEFORE the flow. For this reason, I was hoping someone would help me determine the USUAL flow for my area so I could head it off.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    central, IL.
    Posts
    42

    Post

    east_stingray where in central IL. do you live

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Post

    >Everything I'm reading about comb honey says you need to start getting ready and feeding for brood 2 or so weeks BEFORE the flow.

    That is true. The only way to find that out is ask someone who lives there and knows.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    beesandy,
    I live in a small town relatively close to Peoria. It's called Eureka.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    central, IL.
    Posts
    42

    Post

    east_stingray, I live about 50 miles N.E. in Streator. This is my 3rd year keeping bees, dont know that much about what tree or plant puts out pollen or nector when it does, guess I should learn more about that side of beekeeping. What I have done is watch for pollen being brought in, when I see this I usually start feeding sugar water 1/1. Also looked at pollen.com this looks like it might be useful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Thanks for the advice beesandy. I know where streator is. Being a pilot, I fly up that way a lot. Let me know if there's ever anything I can help with.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    >I was wondering what the best way to determine nectar flow is.

    Where I live there is a nectar flow from now 'til about August. The AMOUNT of nectar flow, however, varies quite a bit. Our major nectar flow occurs in May-June, but I think the best way to determine ANY amount of nectar flow is to smell downwind of a hive. As the bees dry the nectar into honey, they fan their wings and the moisture goes into the air- and it is a noticeable smell. I noticed a faint smell of nectar drying today... so I know something out there is producing a small amount of nectar (probably red maple).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I can't imagine that they're bringing anything in now. The temp has been varying between 30's and 40's lately. We're still in the grasp of winter here.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >Everything I'm reading about comb honey says you need to start getting ready and feeding for brood 2 or so weeks BEFORE the flow.

    It takes 40 days to raise a forraging aged bee. You need to start your brooding about six weeks before your flow begins. That would be about mid March here in Kansas.

    You being in... hey, fill in your profile! I would start by end of March if I were you.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    A bee is basically a "house" bee or "nurse" bee for almost the first 3 weeks of its life and
    only functions as a forager during the final three weeks of its life. From the day that the queen lays a worker bee egg until that worker becomes a foraging bee is 40 days, 21 days gestation and about19 days as a "house" bee.

    Terry

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > You need to start your brooding about six weeks
    > before your flow begins.

    One can never be too rich, too thin, or too
    early in getting those pollen patties and
    feeders on colonies in the early spring.

    Here's a photo of me, taking pollen patties
    out to one of my poorer yard choices after
    finding that the road was impassible due to
    excessive snow.

    http://bee-quick.com/cevasse.jpg

    Yes, we will do anything for Sourwood honey. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Good one Jim!
    You started my day with a laugh.

    Dickm

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,786

    Post

    That is pretty early. When the snow is like that here, I wait. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I have a rope tied between the back door and the beehive so that I can find it to feed them when the blizzards hit.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

    Post

    Jim, And I bet you use that same ladder to remove your supers.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > Jim, And I bet you use that same ladder
    > to remove your supers.

    Naw, I'm lazy - we use a Chinook! [img]smile.gif[/img]
    http://tri.army.mil/LC/CS/csa/ch47002.jpg

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    HEY,Hey,Man you ain't right,HAHA.>>>Mark

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