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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Fall flow in Maine

    I would appreciate some feedback from any Maine beekeepers on what you expect for a fall flow this year.

    I have two hives that are both two deeps and one medium. They have not yet started drawing out comb in the honey super. Will the fall flow be enough to fill a super, in addition to drawing comb?
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    Ralph

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,678

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Hi Ralph,

    I was in a yard yesterday that had what to me is the delightful smell of Goldenrod honey. With the rain today and the forecast scattered showers for the rest of the week there should be enough moisture in the ground for there to be a good flow from Goldenrod and Aster. That said, I've had poor experience with the bees drawing comb after the initial spring buildup. I'm not saying don't put the super on, as a super in the barn will never get filled with honey, but don't be terribly surprised if the bees ignore it. If they do ignore it and instead store the honey in the brood chamber, you more than likely will not need to feed them to get them up to weight before winter. Keep us posted on how it goes. Traditionally in Maine we've over wintered in two deeps but there is a growing movement to add a medium or even a third deep. So you are ahead of the curve with the medium!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    I am running two hives myself and one is very strong hive, while the other is rebounding from swarming earlier. They both have 1 full super and the other super is half full...I expect they will finish filling the second supers this fall but I will put on a 3rd on each just in case. The crappy goldenrod is just startin so the GOOD goldenrod should arrive in a few weeks. Weather is perfect so I am optomistic that we will have a good flow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    The bees here aren't working the goldenrod yet, but I do have some yards that are still working alfalfa

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Thanks to all for the replies. I guess that if they do not fill the super, I will plan to install a shim in the early winter and pour in some dry sugar over some newspaper. Both hives were purchased as four frame nucs, and in reality only had 3 1/2 frames drawn out, so I think that they have done quite well. I hate the idea of losing them this winter for lack of due diligence on my part.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,678

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Hi Ralph,

    That method of feeding should be regarded as an emergency method and is indicative of improper assessment in the fall by the beekeeper. By the first of October you should know which colonies will need stores in order to adequately make it through winter. The idea of having the extra medium is that they'll have enough stores to thrive and raise brood in the spring time without further intervention on your part. It certainly makes sense to check the bees in February and feed them if they look like they are starving, but the idea is that they'll be cruising on their stores and you'll have no reason to feed them then. Mike Palmer at EAS said that he likes to have all his hives up to weight before hunting season begins. Sounds like good advice to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    ralittlefield, sounds like your next nuc's should come from me. Several people I sold nuc's to this spring, had their bees draw out and fill 2 deeps and a med super, then go to the trees. How heavy are your hives right now?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Do you maine folks even have summer???? Here in Alabama we have three seasons. Winter, Summer and Fall. And a little goldenrod is blooming at the higher elevations of the mountains down here. TED

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Ted, you guys are really missing out. In Maine we have 5 seasons, Winter, Mud, Spring, Summer, Fall. People know how bad Winter is, but Mud Season is Maine's dirty secret.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by brac View Post
    How heavy are your hives right now?
    I don't know, but that is something I should check. From what I have heard, two deeps should weigh around 150 LBS. What weight do you like to see in your hives? I just read that they can be weighed by hooking a (large) fish scale to the back of the bottom board and weighing one side. That weight multiplied by 2 will give a close approximation of the hive weight.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    I just lift if by hand from each side. Light is light, heavy is heavy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Flesherton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Fall flow in Maine

    Quote Originally Posted by brac View Post
    Ted, you guys are really missing out. In Maine we have 5 seasons, Winter, Mud, Spring, Summer, Fall. People know how bad Winter is, but Mud Season is Maine's dirty secret.
    You are lucky. In Canada, we have two: Winter and "Construction Season".

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