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  1. #1
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    Default Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Reading recent threads on growth and management thereof it seems a knowledge of local nectar and pollen dates...flows and dearth...timing is very important.

    If those with beekeeping experience in this region could post flow and dearth dates with critical dates and associated activities it would be very helpful to those without experience to draw from.
    Thanks.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  2. #2
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    I'm just east of you in the Chilliwack area. Blooms in your area are usually a week earlier then ours.

    The bloom dates fluctuate from year to year by a week or 2 on either side so I'll just give an average start end date.

    The first pollen comes from hazel nuts if you have them near an orchard (first 2 weeks of february) Yellow. Cedar (anytime through february) pale red. Cotton woods (last 2 weeks of february) orangey. Pussy willows (sometime in march) yellow. The pussy willow is thought be the first source of nectar but bees are moving honey around in the hives at this point too and that might explain the open honey around the brood area. plums (last 2 weeks of march) nectar and pollen.

    April is when the dandilions, wild cherries, and maples blooms. It is the first major source of pollen and nectar in a large amount. If the hives have been build up suffeciantly enough, this flow can give you a surplus of honey. Things happen very quickly at this time too and this will be the time when bees will build up very quickly.

    May is when the buttercups, Hawthorn, apples, and blueberries are in bloom. butter cups are more for pollen with not much nectar. If your not near any of the other sources, the bees will go through a bit of a dearth and it's at this time that you'd see the hives wanting to swarm.

    June is when the raspberries and blackberries bloom. in some years the clover can start blooming in the farmers feilds at this time too depending on their cuttings and the weather. This is the start of the main flow in which maricles can happen.

    July can continue into the main flow with the clover (if your near farmers feilds of pasture). White sweet clover is starting to bloom at this time too and lasts for a solid 5 weeks. Stands of white sweet clover are getting rare though. The clover flow, if it turns on just right, can give a standard of honey in as much as a weeks time. The weather has a lot to do with how long and how much it'll produce and usually dries up by the time we get to the end of july.

    August has not much to offer although the clover may still produce a bit through this time but it's usually being stored in the brood nest as the queen is pushed down below. we usually leave a partially full honey super with them to provide space for the population to finish off the season. Quite often they'll move a lot of the open honey down stairs. Good for them, they can use it.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Oh my...thank you so much! We have all but the hazel nut around us...one hazel nut bush hardly counts
    We plan on top dressing the fields, and lawns, with white clover. Is one type of clover better than another and when is the best to top dress with it?

    Do you run double or single deep brood boxes and do you use queen excluders?
    In this region when do you think it best is to:
    Take off winter insulation
    Put on feed for spring build up
    Watch for swarming
    Make splits
    Try raising queens...I plan on trying this this year
    Any tips, advice, direction etc greatly appreciated.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  4. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    I will second most of what Will said, but, with a few changes. Here where we are, things happen about a week to 10 days later than in Vancouver for the most part.

    In May you will see the buttercups, but, they are toxic to bees. Read this article http://beeinformed.org/2012/05/ranunculus-poisoning/

    Just as an example, in June last year, Raspberries and Thimbleberries were stellar producers, scale hive notched up 30 pounds in just over a week, but the blackberries were a bust. Saw the first blackberry around June 15. August was pretty good for us, turns out there is a LOT of goldenrod in our area.

    This chart shows how the hives progressed here, and it lines up for the most part with the dates Will has posted. The runup in the 3rd week of May was co-incident with the arbutus.



    The big takeaway lesson from this exercise, be prepared, because when that flow comes, it comes fast and furious. I actually went and double checked the scale electronics on the day it went up by over 9lb in one day. And this big rush came at a time we didn't expect it, we had our expectations set for main flow being off of the blackberries, because that's what everybody told us. Well, that turned out wrong, raspberries and thimbleberries gave us the big jump, then in August the goldenrod run was totally unexpected.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    August has not much to offer although the clover may still produce a bit through this time
    Do you move any colonies up into logging patches for fireweed in August ? We did for the first time this year, just a few up into a yard the local club puts together for members to use. I was quite impressed with our result this year, 4 of the 6 we took up there, gave 2 full supers over the 4 weeks they were there. The other two went up as a split, with a box of empty frames on top hoping they would draw most of it out. They came back heavy and didn't need syrup to top them up for the winter. I probably should have supered those too, but I didn't expect that kind of run in such a short stay.

  6. #6
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Yeah, the blackberries are hit or miss for sure, most times a miss though. It seems to be they bloom just at the point where you can get heavy rains here and there which knock the petals off, but if it pans out, blackberries can be pretty good.

    yes, The fireweed I didn't mention because most hobbiest don't do this. It seems the fireweed patches are getting rare and having good fireweed in those patches are rare too. The last good fireweed year I've had was in 07'. through the 90's we were rockin' the fireweed though with 10000#s of 40 hives in 98', that was a fabulous year for us.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    We don't have any golden rod...just ragweed which is useless. Not much here after the BlackBerry. They were bringing in small amounts of a pale cream coloured pollen today.

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    I will second most of what Will said, but, with a few changes. Here where we are, things happen about a week to 10 days later than in Vancouver for the most part.

    In May you will see the buttercups, but, they are toxic to bees. Read this article http://beeinformed.org/2012/05/ranunculus-poisoning/

    Just as an example, in June last year, Raspberries and Thimbleberries were stellar producers, scale hive notched up 30 pounds in just over a week, but the blackberries were a bust. Saw the first blackberry around June 15. August was pretty good for us, turns out there is a LOT of goldenrod in our area.
    I have a truck and trailer but have never moved my hives. I would not where to take them and would about vandalismchurch and bears.

    This chart shows how the hives progressed here, and it lines up for the most part with the dates Will has posted. The runup in the 3rd week of May was co-incident with the arbutus.



    The big takeaway lesson from this exercise, be prepared, because when that flow comes, it comes fast and furious. I actually went and double checked the scale electronics on the day it went up by over 9lb in one day. And this big rush came at a time we didn't expect it, we had our expectations set for main flow being off of the blackberries, because that's what everybody told us. Well, that turned out wrong, raspberries and thimbleberries gave us the big jump, then in August the goldenrod run was totally unexpected.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  8. #8
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Humm, I don't know much about the fireweeds.
    Is this the type Fireweed(Epilobium Angustifolium?)
    How is the fireweed honey? They are expensive on the net.
    And when do they usually bloom?



    Is this the fireweeds?:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I luv bee source!

  9. #9
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    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    4,318

    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    I heard either hickory, or hazel nut is producing pollen in Oregon right now. Is this true?
    Dan

  10. #10
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Is this the fireweeds?:
    Sure looks like it. And this is what a good patch for bees looks like, this particular photo taken on July 26 last summer. Around here, the fireweed blooms at different times, based on elevation, so a lot of beekeepers will put the bees in a patch at a lower elevation early in the fireweed bloom, then move them to a patch much higher up the mountain later in the season to catch the later bloom.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    We used to see a lot of fireweed when we summered on northern Vanc Island. The photo brings back pleasant memories.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  12. #12
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    yes, thats a nice patch of it right there. We had yards that were at the 700-900 meters elevation, the fireweed would start around the middle of july (fraser canyon area). That was through the 90's. In the later years we had yards at the 1200-1400 meters and the fireweed doesn't start until the first week of August. It seems the blocks in our area are getting smaller. The fireweed is also getting sprayed in some areas with herbicide leaving nothing but baren land where fireweed was once thick and then in other areas the fireweed is getting quite blighty.

    One thing about the hazel nuts in our area is the they are all infected with EFB (Eastern Filbert Blight), a nasty virus. I've just seen the first orchard destroyed, all the trees piled in the feilds for what looks like it's going to make some very nice bond fires. Other orchards have only about 10% of the tassels that they should have. I don't think these trees will be in the ground for much longer. Apperently there is a hazel nut resistant to EFB that was made in Oregon But the time it takes to get to production is much longer then other things that could be planted like blueberries (7-8 years to good production) or raspberries (2-3 years to top production). It a shame. Many of these orchards are over 50 years old and there were many orchards in the chilliwack area. I think there be no more hazel nut orchards left by 2018.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  13. #13
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Thanks for the confirmation.
    Yes, these plants are rough and tough perennials that will fit perfectly into my
    local area. Just bought 10,000 seeds to try.
    Should bee pretty when they bloom during our summer drought with the yellow daisy like Nygers.
    Too bad the only color I see is pink.
    I luv bee source!

  14. #14
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    Jun 2011
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
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    1,183

    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Olympia, WA

    Witch Hazel
    first bloom 1/19/2015

    Hazelnut
    Noticed bloom same date, already in progress.
    Estimated first bloom based on number of fallen catkins and recent weather approx 1/12/2015

  15. #15
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    chillardbee, is it possible to import the disease free hazel nut small trees to your area? Maybe
    in a disease free area miles away but still bee accessible to the trees.

    My Willow herb is in today. How many seeds into each gallon pot for planting?
    Does stratification needs water added too? Can I simply put the whole seed packet into the fridge to stratify them?

    Willow herb seed pack:
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  16. #16
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    Jan 2011
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    875

    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    I would also agree with all said. The Filbert blight has been terrible down here in Oregon, it is now common to see half an orchard in a burn pile with small trees planted right in between. I understand the wind born pollens are poor in protein.
    I would add the spring flowers (crocus and daffodil) to the list as well as the soft maples (Red sunset, big leaf) which go mid-March. One of the biggest early flows if the weather lets them fly.
    There is a type of ground cover heather here that is in full bloom from now until fruit bloom. We had a flying weekend and many bees were coming in with white pollen.
    We had multiple big forest fires here last year and I am going to see if I can get a small utility trailer of bees close and see if the fireweed turns up.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  17. #17
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    minz, you are in bee heaven I think.
    I thought the heather is a late autumn or early Fall blooming plant. Is it not?
    You go the fireweeds there too?

    Over here there are many grass fields. What do you recommend to scatter there for
    some bee plants esp. during the summer dearth here?
    I luv bee source!

  18. #18
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    Jan 2011
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    875

    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    There is spring blooming heather ‘Erica-x’ typically a red or white that are very prolific in my area for landscapes. It blooms with the Pieris Japanica before the spring bulbs.
    I need something after Blackberry! I am going to try a milkweed that the butterfly and native pollinators have been giving away seeds and plants and a Catmint. We have a commercial guy here in the valley that always starts his presentation on honey crop ‘If you want to make a big honey crop-Move’.
    We get a little fireweed around the ditches and in burns areas, I have never got a patch but the inlaws still talk about getting greedy on the fireweed honey harvest to a point he got all of his hives snowed in.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #19
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    The Borage is invasive with its seeds that dropped on the ground.
    They will grow even in the cold and are frost resistant. If you grow them now it is just
    in time after the berry.
    Their growth cycle is every 2 months to blooming. Almost one month of blooming time. So time
    it out in your succession growing of them. I think planting some seeds every month will work until the
    Fall. Then they can be overwinter too. Provide lots of pollen and some nectar for the bees.
    I luv bee source!

  20. #20
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    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Pertaining to the Pacific North West..nectar and pollen dates

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    The first pollen comes from hazel nuts if you have them near an orchard (first 2 weeks of february) Yellow.
    Jan 29, and we have the first yellow pollen at the entrances today. Kinda early, but, it's been pretty warm lately.

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