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Thread: Maple flow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Griffin, GA, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Maple flow

    It looks like my maple flow is on. I saw bees all over the nearest maple tree (about 15 feet from hives.) It's pretty exciting since I didn't have bees this time last year so didn't experience the early maple flow. I wasn't sure what to expect. How long does this last? Does it take them all the way to the poplar flow? This one tree is more developed than the rest. Maybe this means it will spread out longer?

    I know what hubby and I will be doing this weekend. Building HIVE BODIES!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,945

    Default Re: Maple flow

    At least around me, there are many different types of maples, all with somewhat different bloom periods. The over all length of the maple flow can be quite long (6 weeks). Almost all of it is used to build up the colony. Again, in my area it never lasts until the poplar flow. After the maples dry up, there is a bit of a mini-dearth (again in my area).
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Mt holly, NC, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Maple flow

    That's good news Millenia. Hopefully ours will start soon. This would be the red maple (Acer Rubrum). In our area it starts about the 1st of febuary and lasts till the first week in march. The red maple is an interesting tree in that the fall leaf color is diferent on different trees and the fall leaf color is not true from parent to offspring. Additionally different trees can have only male flowers or only female flowers or perfect flowers. Some times there can be different flower forms on one tree. At any rate the red maple is our early build up tree. In mid febuary I see fresh honey in the hives, but they use it about as fast as collected. Last year it was so cold that I did not see a bloom untill about the 20th of febuary.
    Last edited by Stonewall; 01-28-2015 at 01:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Griffin, GA, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Maple flow

    I didn't even realize maples bloomed before I got bees. I always noticed the buds but not the flowers. I never thought about the fall colors. Now I'm going to have to pay attention. I'm thinking this particular tree turns red. Do the bees care whether they are male or female flowers?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Mt holly, NC, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Maple flow

    The bees woulf use the pollen from the male flowers and necter from the female. You will notice that some trees will have a bold but delicate red floral display (male or perfect flowers) and some will have flowers difficult to see well up in the tree (female flowers).

    One can buy red maples off the internet that will have the certain fall color that one wants. These will have been cutings from an index tree. That is the only way to get a uniform appearence.

    Astro is correct in that there are several other types of maples. In my area there is a Southern form of the sugar maple that blooms in early to mid march. That takes us up to dandelion bloom about 15 march.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: Maple flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Millenia View Post
    How long does this last? Does it take them all the way to the poplar flow? This one tree is more developed than the rest. Maybe this means it will spread out longer?
    The maple flow can be impressive. We have a giant maple in our yard. Not sure if it is a "red" or other soft maple. Before I had bees it would be covered from top to bottom with honey bees. You could hear them in mid to late Feb from 100' or so away.

    We live on the other end of the state from AstroBee, in a much cooler mountain environment. The maple flow lasts a pretty long time, like AstroBee said. First the red/soft maples, sugars and then swamp maples (and others I am not real familiar with).

    Shane

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    945

    Default Re: Maple flow

    Getting red maple pollen (greenish brown) the last few days here. As long as we get 4-5 days above 50F the bees fly well and bring in lots of pollen (and I assume nectar since their abdomens seem to be extended on some). Close to 60F and they are flying like crazy. Some hives aren't bringing in much pollen, and smaller loads, while other hives are bringing in huge loads on almost every bee. Can't wait for spring!(First snowdrops are blooming here already!)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,942

    Default Re: Maple flow

    I never realized the importance of Maples until after getting bees. The Maple bloom here in North Fl. really gets spread out. I've seen it last 6-8 weeks. Our normal weather pattern is warm periods followed by some cool periods so some Maples will start early and some may not start for several weeks. So if we can get some decent flying weather the bees really build up nicely for spring. The only problem is they won't carry us all the way into our main flow. So on dry years you really have to watch the bees food supplies in late Feb. and March. If we get rain there's normally enough clover and other minor flows that will get them through to the main flow. But, in dry weather they can run out of food pretty quick from raising so much brood on the Maple flow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Maple flow

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonewall View Post
    That's good news Millenia. Hopefully ours will start soon. This would be the red maple (Acer Rubrum). In our area it starts about the 1st of febuary and lasts till the first week in march. The red maple is an interesting tree in that the fall leaf color is diferent on different trees and the fall leaf color is not true from parent to offspring. Additionally different trees can have only male flowers or only female flowers or perfect flowers. Some times there can be different flower forms on one tree. At any rate the red maple is our early build up tree. In mid febuary I see fresh honey in the hives, but they use it about as fast as collected. Last year it was so cold that I did not see a bloom untill about the 20th of febuary.
    I am in the same area so I have observed pretty much the same thing. My bees are bringing in some very pale yellow pollen right now. My camillas are still blooming so I am thinking it is camilla but I don't see bees on the flowers.

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