Re: FLOW? What exactly is it and how do I know it's time?
here in northeast alabama it's easy to know when we have are in the main nectar flow of the year. it happens april-may, and there are blooms everywhere you look. the bees are coming and going in huge numbers. most come back to the hive with their pollen baskets full and their abdomens extended. wax is being drawn quickly and nectar is being stored in quantity, so much so that you can see an obvious difference from one week to the next.
it's more difficult to judge the degree of the flow after the main flow is over. i notice that during periods of prolonged hot and dry weather, most of the activity involves the bees flying to the pond and back for water. after a good rain though, there is increased foraging for a few days.
i think we get some on and off nectar flow through the summer months here. enough anyway to where the bees don't have to eat through too much of what they had stored by late spring.
things pick up again in the fall, especially when the goldenrod and other fall weeds bloom. it is possible again during the fall flow to see stores increasing from week to week.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf