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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pfafftown, NC
    Posts
    99

    Default Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    I live in the Piedmont of NC and am curious as to what qualifies as a dearth. I realize that during spring, summer, and fall we have various honey flows when a lot of pollen and nectar are available, but does that mean when the flows are over or in between that we are in a dearth?

    Right now in my area clover is blooming until the end of July and soon in the mountains (as soon as today) we will have our Sourwood flow. Can anyone help with clarification? If something is blooming does that mean that it's not a dearth?

    Very confused...Does anyone feed a healthy hive this time of year due to low flow?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    371

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    Quote Originally Posted by beekeeper79 View Post
    I live in the Piedmont of NC and am curious as to what qualifies as a dearth. I realize that during spring, summer, and fall we have various honey flows when a lot of pollen and nectar are available, but does that mean when the flows are over or in between that we are in a dearth?

    Right now in my area clover is blooming until the end of July and soon in the mountains (as soon as today) we will have our Sourwood flow. Can anyone help with clarification? If something is blooming does that mean that it's not a dearth?

    Very confused...Does anyone feed a healthy hive this time of year due to low flow?
    To me a dearth means there is not enough nectar and pollen coming in to sustain the colony, whereas they starve unless they are fed are have enough stores built up to carry them until the next flow. It is very different from location to location. I have had it sneak up on me and have lost colonies that seemed active. Now when in doubt I just place a jar of sugar water in a common area of the yard, if they are in a dearth they will start taking it strong by the next mid morning. By strong I mean they will cover it and compete to get to it. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pfafftown, NC
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    So dearths are in between honey flows then? When only a few plants produce blooms?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    Wait until August, i live in your area and it will be a dearth. Between the dearth, dry weather and mites you can lose a hive quick.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pfafftown, NC
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    Quote Originally Posted by ashb82 View Post
    Wait until August, i live in your area and it will be a dearth. Between the dearth, dry weather and mites you can lose a hive quick.
    So as of now the clover (and whatever else) is enough for the hive so no need to feed?

    Do you feed sugar water in August?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    Don't make your decision to feed or not feed entirely by the flow status. Instead look inside the hive and see what the bees have for stores. Make your decision on what you see, and take in to account potential future flows and winter needs. It may be that a hive needs to use some of what it has already collected so there will be a place to put nectar (that isn't in the brood nest) once the flow hits.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sandy Ridge,NC
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    U need capped honey on your brood frames. If there is no capped honey on the brood you will need to feed them. They will need the capped honey for winter also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pfafftown, NC
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    They have a couple of frames with capped honey and some pollen. Bees are coming in with pollen on their legs....I guess that means no dearth so I should stop feeding?

    They have a two frames they are building comb which was why I was feeding but it sounds like they don't need the sugar water anymore?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,858

    Default Re: Nectar Dearth? Some clarification please

    It might help to ask local beeks when the dearth that requires feeding is. I see a problem with feeding between flows because the hive doesn't cut back on brood rearing when it should. If a substantial dearth is coming you wouldn't want the hive to keep expanding because that will make the problem worse.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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