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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul MN
    Posts
    11

    Default How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    I can see bees bringing pollen into my hives, but how do I know if a honey flow is on?

    I don't think I can simply assume where there is pollen there is nectar. Or can I?

    If I frequently go into my hives I can note cells being filled, but is there a way of observing from outside the hive that there is a flow on.

    Keeping is a hobby, or at best avocation. Just noting variation in activity levels is going to be a marginal method.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,402

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    welcome dav!

    it's a little tough sometimes to tell just by watching them fly in.

    you might be able to appreciate that they look a little 'fatter', or they might be a little 'sloppy' with their flying as they approach the entrance.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,965

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Incoming bees that are "loaded" sometimes are so heavy that they are clumsy trying to land on the landing board. You can watch for this behavior. If there are flowers getting worked, and you don't see pollen, but the incoming bees are clumsy, they probably have nectar.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pickaway/Fairfield Cty, OH
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    You can smell the flow with goldenrod and aster.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,327

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    I can see bees bringing pollen into my hives, but how do I know if a honey flow is on?

    I don't think I can simply assume where there is pollen there is nectar. Or can I?

    If I frequently go into my hives I can note cells being filled, but is there a way of observing from outside the hive that there is a flow on.

    Keeping is a hobby, or at best avocation. Just noting variation in activity levels is going to be a marginal method.
    In general plants produce pollen at lower temps than nectar.

    Bees fly differently when on a flow. Less "wondering" More "in and out" Listen for the "roar"

    One time 15 years back or so I was in a yard where the sage was wrapping up and the toyon was just bursting. One morning ABOUT 10:30 in the morning someone turned the switch on and the whole yard started to "roar" instantaneously. I will never forget the moment. Amazing!!!!

    Otherwise follow the following guidelines:
    Step 1. Listen for the sound of wax glands getting "excited."
    Step2. When you hear the sound of active wax glands followed by the clamping sounds of Mandibles gripping wax open your box.
    Step 3. Look to see if you see white tinges of new wax lining either old cells, frames, or foundation.

    Step 4. If you are unable to accomplish numbers 1 or 2 go directly to step 3.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,775

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    I'd be surprised if you have any nectar collection going on now where you are. Or are you asking for the future?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,327

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I'd be surprised if you have any nectar collection going on now where you are. Or are you asking for the future?
    Had the same thoughts myself. ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,775

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Some people answer the question asked. I question the question.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,179

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Dav, this one is overpriced. I would look for one for about $50, but setting a hive on an old farm scale like this is the most accurate way to see if nectar is coming in, and then measuring the daily gains at the same time each day.
    http://stcloud.craigslist.org/atq/3442898019.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Boundary Creek NB Canada
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    The way to tell if there is any nector is to take a frame for your hive.one that is not sealed or with brood, one that the bees would be working.Turn the frame upside down and give it a shake.If there is a clear liquid that comes out this is nector.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Go to the hive at dusk. You will hear the bees fanning and you will smell the nectar.

    Matthew Davey

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul MN
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Go to the hive at dusk. You will hear the bees fanning and you will smell the nectar.

    Matthew Davey
    Ok, thanks to all who responded.

    I'm in St. Paul MN. No, I am not experiencing nor expecting a nectar flow anytime soon. I am doing what every Minnesotan does in winter, anticipating.

    I have kept bees off and on for 35 years in the Southwest and the Midwest. I just never figured out how to tell if a dearth is prompting me to feed. Thanks to y'all as they say in more sultry climes, I will be watching for the drunken bombers, sniffing the heady aromas of the evaporating liqueur, and asking someone less deaf than I to listen to the sounds of progress within.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,965

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    ... and asking someone less deaf than I to listen to the sounds of progress within.
    You might be surprised by what you can hear with the aid of a cheap or scrounged stethoscope. I see some on Ebay for as little as $10 delivered.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    you can just look at a frame to see if nectar is coming in.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,875

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Welcome Dav!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    749

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    I keep 1 hive on a scale to check for the major honey flow then mark down the dates. It has varied by almost a month in the 7 years i've been checking it. Thats why beekeeping isnt done just on a calander.. It Is kinda fun to guess when its coming by keeping track of temp , rain .
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: How do I tell if nectar is coming in?

    Welcome Dav.

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