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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Default Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Could anyone indicate a few clues for the main nectar flow? I live in Sacramento, CA. There is currently a significant nectar flow in my area with almonds, apricots, plums blooms already gone. I understand that all early in the year nectar is used by bees for colony expansion. I tend to think that main nectar flow should start with citrus flowering, perhaps in two-three weeks from know. I intend to make a cut-down split right before the main honey flow to maximize on honey production. Any suggestions, please? Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    I consider what you're experiencing now to be the main flow. My hives that came out of winter strong are filling supers, the weaker are rebuilding #'s
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Sacramento, CA
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    30

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    I consider what you're experiencing now to be the main flow. My hives that came out of winter strong are filling supers, the weaker are rebuilding #'s
    Thanks, Dan. The one I have is not very strong and it's re-building. I will probably give it 2 more weeks before I split.

    Regards,
    Ion

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    3,044

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    you just gotta take drive around ur bees and see what's blooming, no one can really tell you when your flow is without seeing what's around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    5,041

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    >I intend to make a cut-down split right before the main honey flow to maximize on honey production.

    That sounds like an oxymoron.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    1,506

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    I consider what you're experiencing now to be the main flow. My hives that came out of winter strong are filling supers, the weaker are rebuilding #'s
    On a year like this with scant rain the answer is "yesterday." Dan is right on!!!!!!!!!!! The answer is NOW!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    4,194

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    I'm not counting on harvesting any summer honey either. Hope I'm wrong.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,064

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    In anticipating of the coming drought this summer you are very lucky if there is any honey harvest.
    Right now is the main flow when ALL things are blooming. My last check had combs filled with light yellow
    nectar already. If you want to do a split now is the time. I did!
    I luv bee source!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Biggs, California, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    When would you all expect to get a star thistle flow (if there is one this year) in the north valley? (My elevation is only a couple hundred feet.)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Sacramento, CA
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    30

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Parker View Post
    When would you all expect to get a star thistle flow (if there is one this year) in the north valley? (My elevation is only a couple hundred feet.)
    In my area, star thistle blooms in June, July and August. My hives are located in the city though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    3,044

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    If you're in the city you don't have to worry much about flows.... it will be moderate to good most of the year if it's a well developed area and planted well. I could pull a couple hundred pounds from two hives in Elk Grove if I was motivated enough but lucky for the girls I'm pretty unmotivated these days.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    30

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    When you normally harvest in our area (what month)? Do you feed them intensively sugar syrup before the honey flow to get the needed bee population? My best hives bring in nectar, and there is some capped honey. However, it's still too early to harvest any. Perhaps in May or June. Thanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,064

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    The flow is on depending on whatever nectar producing source is blooming outside. I have noticed that in August-October is when they capped all their honey frames for winter storage. At this late I would not harvest any until the next year if there is any left over.
    There are beekeepers who feed syrup and patty in early spring to bring the population up for the honey flow. At the same time you have to watch out for swarm cells too. In a drought year you might not harvest any honey even when the colony is very strong. So it depends on the outside environment rather than what month it is to harvest any honey. If you put your hive next to an alfalfa or sunflower field then every 2 weeks you can harvest some fresh honey. But if the hive is located in an area with fewer flora source then you might not get any and might have to supplement feed thru out the year too. This year I have planted some borage and mustard greens early in the season. The goldenrods and nygers are for late Fall supplement. Borage and mustard in bloom now.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I luv bee source!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Put a little pan of honey out on the patio table, if within an hour you have 1000 bees trying to lick it clean, you have waited too long.

    During flow, bees will ignore spilled honey, you can extract under the sun in the open. During dearth, you have bees trying to break the window glass trying to reach the supers.

    In my region of coastal Ca, the Eucs dried up last week (about one month early). The bees are working Poison Oak now. Doesn't look like the Sage, Toyon, Ceanothus or much else is going to flow.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Concord, California
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Quote Originally Posted by Calbee View Post
    Could anyone indicate a few clues for the main nectar flow? I live in Sacramento, CA. There is currently a significant nectar flow in my area with almonds, apricots, plums blooms already gone. I understand that all early in the year nectar is used by bees for colony expansion. I tend to think that main nectar flow should start with citrus flowering, perhaps in two-three weeks from know. I intend to make a cut-down split right before the main honey flow to maximize on honey production. Any suggestions, please? Thanks a lot.
    The drought is so severe this year! I started feeding July 1 and continue. My hives are spread throughout Contra Costa County. I have been able to keep numbers up but stores are not happening. Pollen in all hives is extreme! The flowers are producing it in abundance but nectar is scarce. 40+ hives with only 2 as of today's finished inspections have enough stores for winter and have been removed from feeding program. Fall nectar flow started about two weeks ago here, and is not what it was years ago. 80% of my hives are in city limits remaining our "country". With water rationing and now penalties for some water districts seeing homeowners reducing the amount of water they are using, which is also negatively impacting on nectar availability.

    This spring honey harvest averaged about 120 lbs. per 1 year+ old hives. Will not be getting a fall honey harvest this year .

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    I have a survivor colony since 2011. Plenty of bees and healthy. Located in the city. At this time, they bring in pollen, but I don't see any significant/surplus stores. If this continues until November, I might feed as well, although I would prefer them to be self-sufficient. Other colonies of this year have built pretty well, but have very little stores. I hope for a miracle though in September-October. It happened last year. I know, this year is worse, but still towns are different than open fields at this time of the year in our locale. Thanks for your report.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
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    903

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Calbee, did you feel the earthquake that occurred in your area this morning?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    5,041

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    Calbee, did you feel the earthquake that occurred in your area this morning?
    We are 2 hours south and it woke us both up. A slow rumbling quake. 2:31am.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    1,506

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    Quote Originally Posted by bevy's honeybees View Post
    Calbee, did you feel the earthquake that occurred in your area this morning?
    Not sure about Calbee but I sure did. The house was a rolling and the lamps were swinging. Worst one here since the "World Series" shaker in 89 in my area. As one who keeps the second largest number of colonies in the state closest to the epicenter I hope they are ok. All the supers are pulled so I think we are ok. One of our currently unused yards ( spring) is about a half mile from the epicenter.

    Sadly for the folks who lost homes this will not be so easy of a recovery as will resetting a few rolled hives if we have any.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Main Nectar Flow Clues in Northern California/Sacramento Area

    I just called one of the largest purveyors of honey in Northern California to see how he fared. His house if within a half a mile of the epiceneter. He said " A lot of broken glass and lot busted wine bottles staining everything" At his shop a few miles south even the stacked full honey barrels did not budge. Since this was a "roller" as opposed to a "jolter" I guess a lot of damage was spared.

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