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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    21

    Question

    I was just reading a post from someone in Atlanta, Ga that was saying that the nectar was pretty much already done for the year. Does anyone know about the flows in Columbia, SC? I would guess that it would be similar to Atlanta. My bees are in a heap of trouble if the flows are already over; they only have the brood chamber (a deep) even drawn out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    That was probably from me. If you live near a city you might get some nectar from local gardens, etc. There also is a fall flow from aster/goldenrod, but it's not always reliable. But the good news is that this far south it's easy to overwinter with one deep. In fact almost everyone here only uses one deep and I overwintered two hives last year on one deep. So just make sure to have the feed on this fall and winter and things will be just fine and they'll be ready to make a ton of honey for you next year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    Hi Sweat Pea - the flow is over. Now, or in the very near future is when folks around here take honey off. There will be a few micro-flows here and there, but the vast majority of the forage is gone for this year.

    Are you a member of the Midlands Beekeeping Association? Last nights meeting was on honey harvest and related issues. Great bunch of folks, and incredibly helpful

    Keith

    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited June 08, 2004).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    You should be able to make some honey from cotton when it blooms. It's not the greatest honey: it crystallizes quickly and is pale and hasn't much flavor. The euonymous and boxwoods are fixing to bloom here and the bees work them really hard, although I don't know about the honey from them. My bees here in NC are still pulling in pollen and nectar from sonewhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    There is not a lot of cotton in the immediate Columbia area - though the OP might be out of town some ways and still say he/she is in Cola. The boxwoods were done here about a month ago. Overall though most felt that this year was exceptional and most are reporting above average yields.

    Keith


    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited June 08, 2004).]

  6. #6
    A Devries Guest

    Post

    This spring I would read the postings about that bees in the south where doing while my hives where buried in the snow still. It seemed winter would never end. Now I read your honey producing season is almost over. It pains me. I am looking forward to another three months of honeys flows. We live in different parts of the world. What is average yield per hive? Ours is around 100 lbs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    Hello A Devries,

    No Pain - it is just different. Average in SC is around 50-60 lbs. I grew up in Boston, had hives in Natick, and they made honey off an on all summer long - much more like what you read in beginner books on beekeeping. It took a while to adjust to things down here and I am still often behind the bees - sometimes I just cannot imagine that in February they are doing what April bees were doing up north. I'll get it sooner or later though!

    Keith

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    21

    Post

    Thanks for all the help.

    Keith-
    I am a member of the local beekeeping association. I actually took the beginners class earlier this year at the extension office and I believe you were one of the teachers. As it stands right now, my bees are in Blythewood in a pine forest while I am in Savannah, GA (where I am going to be living permanently.) It pains me that the flows are over and it isn't even summer yet. This makes me think I should put them (2 hives) at my parents house in Spring Valley. I guess I will just keep feeding them syrup and have them draw out as much comb as possible. I just got 2 new mediums with foundation too!

    Thanks again

    ------------------
    I have 2 hives that are located on a 400 acre pine tree farm with sparse houses surronding. This is my first year keeping.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    And that's why migratory beekeeping works so well. When the flow is over in the South it's just getting started in the North.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    Hi Sweetpea,

    Wasn't me - I have never taught a beekeeping class. When you say local group is that in Savannah, or Columbia?

    I would continue to feed this first year until they draw and largely fill at the very least one box. Some guys down here stop there and would over winter, others use a shallow or a medium as a food chamber. Me - I would go for at least two deeps - no sense in taking chances. Keep feeding - slow and steady until you have some good drawn comb.

    Pine forest - not a lot in there for forage. You might want to move them to some place with more hardwoods and under story plants. There are a number of power line areas in Cola that have some wonderful herbaceous flowering plants underneath them. SCG&E keeps them trimmed. IF you can get close to some of those they can be good spots. There is also the Congaree swamp area - lots of good forage there. Of course all of these are also very early bloomers.

    Keith

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    21

    Post

    The forest actually has a powerline through with some misc. plants, but I am not sure I have seen too many flowers there. When I started in April or so, we had a million briar plants with a white bloom, which was followed by a pervasive yellow and a blue/purple blooming weeds. This is probaly the flow for this area; I don't have many of the typical plants for honey. I will look around this weekend to see if it makes since to move the hives to a neighborhood, but I think I will let them stay there the rest of this year and feed plenty of syrup. Thanks for the help.

    The class was in Columbia, by the way.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    SP,

    You must have met Jack and Cliff and such. All of the folks in that organization are very helpful with beginners and experts alike. This year there seems to be a great infusion of new folks - guys and gals, it is really nice to see.

    Jack has been an excellent source of advice to me - these early southern flows are hard for a yankee to get his mind wrapped around.

    I go to about a third of the meetings (work often conspires to preclude me from going). If you see a tall guy, with a beard in his middle 30's introduce yourself.

    Keith

    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited June 10, 2004).]

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