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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,639

    Default the early flow.... :)

    it got up to 70 today for the first time and the pollen counts are off the charts.

    i have 12 colonies that survived the winter, and they were all foraging in earnest.

    all are queenright, have good brood patterns, and a little honey still left from last fall.

    cluster size varies greatly from 3 frames of bees to 10+, but most are about 8 to 9. on average they have doubled in size in the past 4 weeks.

    all are in a single deep, with checkerboarded medium supers on top. i'll report on the success of the checkerboarding as we get through swarm season.

    when there are more drones flying, i want to combine two of the hives to make a double deep starter/finisher. i am going to try the cloake board method.

    i'll be taking mite counts to help decide which queens get grafted from, and which ones are sacrificed for the queen rearing program.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #2

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    I spent most of the afternoon in one beeyard. They were looking very good. Half had two to three day old swarm cells. Splits are clearly overdue….queens arrive on Tuesday. It is clear that I won’t get through all my hives in time….but I’m going to give it a go.
    I love Spring!!!!!
    Good luck with yours.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,924

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    Square, I would think taking mite counts now is kind of meaningless from a selection stand point unless you're meaning you're taking a baseline count now to compare and select in a couple months once they face increasing mite pressure. Sounds like the bees are happy though, I had the same results looking at 4 of my new hives. I checker boarded one with drawn comb, I should check it out tomorrow and see what happened.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,639

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    jrg13, i really wish i had taken them last summer so that i could have correlated that with my winter losses and the differences in spring build up.

    i have a pretty good idea which queens i want to graft from and which queens need to be pinched based on last year's performance and this year's build up.

    the mite counts are for baseline and to give me one more piece of information in the selection process.

    but you are correct, the more telling counts will take place after the late spring honey harvest.

    let us know how your checkerboarded hive does.

    dan, i was surprised by one of my hives yesterday. wouldn't you know it was the last one i got into, but it should have been the first. it was overwintered in a single deep with a medium of honey on top, and both boxes were full of bees and brood yesterday.

    no swarm intent found in this hive, but it's a little early here for that.

    i did open up the brood in the medium by alternating some empty comb in with it and moving a couple of frames into a second medium super of drawn comb.

    i was obviously late on this one, i hope i didn't spread that brood too thin.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    All 17 hives were bringing in pollen like this yesterday. It made it to 70 degrees yesterday and supposed to make it to high 60's today then back to low 40's tomorrow.31513 pollen loaded bees.jpg
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,639

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    very nice sharpbees!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    We hit 60 here yeserday and all hives were bringing in a ton of pollen. I wanted to open them all so bad but, won't see 50 again for at least 10 days so I just let them gather while they could.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    good decision oblib. have you weighed or hefted your hives to see if they still have adequate stores?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    good decision oblib. have you weighed or hefted your hives to see if they still have adequate stores?
    This method works pretty well during the broodless/low brooding winter but this time of year it can be deceptive, in my opinion. I've had many hives that were quite heavy....with bees and brood and VERY little stores.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
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    220

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    I have dry sugar on top of them all for insurance. Last checked the sugar a week ago and it was fine.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    This method works pretty well during the broodless/low brooding winter but this time of year it can be deceptive, in my opinion. I've had many hives that were quite heavy....with bees and brood and VERY little stores.
    i didn't realize that dan. thanks for pointing it out.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    sharpbees, after taking another look at your photo, i noticed that the pollen your bees are bringing in is a little brighter yellow compared to the pale yellow that is coming in here.

    also, if you look closely at the abdomens, they appear flat and empty, as if there is only pollen but no nectar from the source they are working.

    it was that way with mine when the pollen first coming in a few weeks ago, but yesterday they appeared to be full of nectar as well.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    Quote Originally Posted by oblib View Post
    I have dry sugar on top of them all for insurance. Last checked the sugar a week ago and it was fine.
    good move oblib.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,924

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    Square, I kind of noticed the same thing with the strongest hive I recently got. It was basically overwinted as a single deep, except it had a deep and medium on it. The second deep was undrawn plastic frames, the medium had a couple partially drawn frames. It was the hive I checker boarded and added drawn comb too, but every frame was brood with stores mixed in, and I didn't see any eggs because, well, there were no empty cells. Luckily just as you found, I saw no swarm cells but they had some drones going.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,639

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    those little buggers can catch you lookin' sometimes.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    The only thing we're getting right now is pollen, the temps here have been below average, so we are still a few weeks from any nectar flows. The pollen is likely maple. Henbit pollen is coming in also. There are a few dandelions here and there but no huge yellow patches in the fields yet. With the daytime temps jumping from 70 to 30's and 40's the nectar flow will be minimum at most, Our first major nectar flow is from locust (I may be wrong so don't quote me ) The buds haven't started to swell on them yet.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    yep, it looks like the country is divided by a mason-dixon type line separating the country into below normal temps to the north, and warmer that normal temps to the south. you and i are on either side of that dividing line and being infuenced by different air masses.

    you can expect to get some nectar coming in with it gets up into the 60's again.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: the early flow.... :)

    A month ago bees had enough stores I THOUGHT. It got in the 70’s for 3 or 4 days and they started to brood up then we had a cold snap for 3 or 4 days then more warm days and they continued to brood up then another cold snap and all that honey was used up. Checked last week and there were piles of dead bees on the bottom board of 2 of the hives no stores with dead bees with tails sticking out of honey cells. So I called the inspector and described the situation and he said it was starvation and would come out to check if I wanted. I declined. It was good to have confirmation on what I thought. Fed 100lbs of 1>1 to 25 hives and temps will be in the 70”s for a while and the 2 are queen wright so in a week or so I will know if those 2 rebound. Friends have been catching and losing swarms all over the place. Going to beeee an interesting year for sure.
    Im really not that serious

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