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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    Are there distinct nectar flow periods in the San Francisco Bay Area? This is my first full year of beekeeping, and I remember checking my lone hive (I now have three) that I got in August of last year, for the honey situation in September, and did not have more than 70% of the frames capped at that time. I did not check again, until I noticed swarming activity early this March, at which time the super was completely filled. This led me to believe that there is a secondary late summer/early fall nectar flow in this region. I'd like to know what the primary spring/summer nectar flow period is.

    Thanks,
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Vista, CA, USA
    Posts
    7

    Post

    Although I keep bees in San Diego County, I am familiar enough with San Francisco to almost guarantee that you have a eucalyptus flow starting in late November going right through to the spring. There are a number of varieties of Euc that are still on "Australia Time" and bloom in the winter - especially the ones with the big circular white flowers. Anywhere near a town or city, and with decent weather you will likely get some buildup from those.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,960

    Post

    Like he said, the eucalyptus globulous flow starts before Halloween and tapers off in May. Some hives can fill a medium super and more in winter, if they are not mited that is. Almost anywhere in Bay Area suburbia the main flow is March, April and May with secondary flows in fall and early spring. Some native areas carry on well into July.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,960

    Post

    Addendum: swarming this year started March 24 and went into beginning of June. Because the bees start becoming honey bound during the winter, it is difficult to keep them from swarming as the flow goes on well into summer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Must be heck, gettin honeybound in the winter. You have all our sympathy.

    Right.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    92

    Post

    odfrank and Murray,

    Thanks for your input. Never thought about the eucs. That could very well be the reason for the super being filled between September and March.

    Thanks,
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Marin County, California USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Nectar Flows in Northern California?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Like he said, the eucalyptus globulous flow starts before Halloween and tapers off in May. Some hives can fill a medium super and more in winter, if they are not mited that is. Almost anywhere in Bay Area suburbia the main flow is March, April and May with secondary flows in fall and early spring. Some native areas carry on well into July.
    Hey y'all, it is Feb 22-2013 and the bees have a FULL med super on top. They will not use the patties I add and will not use the 1x1 at all. The honey is VERY dark and tastes like medicine. Is this from euks? No one will eat it! I'm not sure the bugs do either. STUPID BEES!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: Nectar Flows in Northern California?

    If the honey tasted like medicine then chances are it is from the eucalyptus flowers blooming now. What I did to prevent them is take all their foods supply away so they only have enough to eat. Then when they are raising new bees they will use the syrup and patty. If too much honey and local pollens then they will not eat the foods you provide. They are smart enough to go for the natural stuffs. This is their natural instinct so nothing is stupid about them. Just that our preferences are not the same. I am thinking to plant borage or clovers to dilute some of the medicine taste. If not then pull the honey out and put them aside. In the winter time put the honey back so you don't have to winter feed them. The more diverse forage they have then they don't have to depend on just the eucalyptus alone. But for now this is what you have to deal with. Diversity is the key here in your areas. I plant also canola and various fruit trees for them too. Almond trees are blooming right now in our backyard.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Bay Area, Ca
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Nectar Flows in Northern California?

    I live in the Bay Area and have been wondering the same thing. Lots of activity. I think i will put my supers on tommorow and let the girls fill em em up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: Nectar Flows in Northern California?

    Hi, Will. I see the new white combs on a hive check today. Lots of bee activity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNzaRz2mX_Y The queen bee is fat and plump too. I found her on the new egg frame. One and a half frames of eggs at various stages already developing. Another half frame of sealed broods about to hatch out too. They are trying to expand the brood nest a bit and put nectar in there. The upper corners of these frames are all sealed up with honey now. I tried to uncap them last time for them to use but they sealed them back again now. So a little flow is coming in thanks to the canola blooming right now. The syrup and patty really help with brood rearing as they needed lots of resources. Wait for another 2 weeks that the plum and peach trees are blooming. Then the flow is on for Spring time. Super them up now is fine too I think. If we don't like the honey now then feed them back to the bees later on.

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