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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    784

    Default Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Two weeks ago I went into my spring package hive to get some honey frames for a split, and lo and behold, they barely had any honey. Neither did the other hives. I suspected robbing. Not to say they weren't being robbed of honey, but tonight's bee meeting started with the state inspector saying many hives are experiencing a lack of honey. The flowers don't seem to be producing. Yikes.

    I fed my hives syrup after what I found two weeks ago, and then I think it might have encouraged robbing, I don't know if there was a lot of robbing going on, but I made robber screens for the 2 smallest hives, and I have screens on order for all of them, just in case.

    Fall flow is supposed to start here the last week of August and go through the first two weeks of September. Any honey they're going to get for winter will come at that time. What doesn't come at that time will have to be made up through 2:1 syrup. Also, it doesn't appear they will be building up much if any comb at this point, so what they have is what they have.

    While it appears there are many hives throughout the state experiencing this lack of honey issue, there also seem to be hives that aren't. It may be certain areas for some reason, cold pockets maybe, who knows. It's been a fairly cool summer.

    Also, if we get a huge rainstorm, it will wash the pollen away from the flowers during fall flow, so hoping it's fairly dry during flow time.

    One last note, late afternoon I actually saw a honeybee emptying the pollen pockets of 2 bumble bees that were on bull thistle flowers. I don't know why the bumble bees were putting up with that, but I watched as this honeybee yanked on the pollen pocket part of the bumbles' legs. Do they steal from bumblebees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,029

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    One last note, late afternoon I actually saw a honeybee emptying the pollen pockets of 2 bumble bees that were on bull thistle flowers. I don't know why the bumble bees were putting up with that, but I watched as this honeybee yanked on the pollen pocket part of the bumbles' legs. Do they steal from bumblebees?
    You must have Russians, my Italians would never do such a thing.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,706

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Opposite happening here. I pulled 142# of honey off of three hives last week and they still have 3/4 of a medium full of honey on each hive. I still have to check the other 7 hives. The best part? The fall flow is just starting.
    Wierd.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    This is a good reminder to get in the hives and see what is going on. In the next few days I will be checking my hives. I got done a week ago pulling summer surplus - this is supposed to be the good flow and the weather conditions have been ok - a bit cool for making lots of honey.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,772

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    It's been a little on the dry side at the end of August but we've had rain here on and off the last couple of weeks. I can see the difference in the garden and I suspect it'll help the later summer / early fall flow. I do have some honey in the hives. Nothing spectacular but it's there.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    How much did you feed your bees in the spring? I have found that if you feed the hives abundantly in the spring so that the population is increased proportionately that the honey crop that will follow can be quite good. I'm looking forward to removing three medium supers from nucs started in the spring with purchased Carniolan queens. Have to build up the population to get the honey. OMTCW

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Cedar Hill - I didn't feed in the spring. I had one overwintered hive which swarmed and I made splits, using honey frames, seemed to be plenty at that time, and one was a new package that was also given honey frames from a deadout. The beginning of the summer there didn't seem to be any issues with honey supply. The lack of honey issue seemed to hit around mid-July. They seemed to have eaten through all their stores.

    One other factor is these are all Russian hives. I know the Italians are known for being super productive honey makers. I wonder if Russians just naturally run a leaner hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    701

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Location, location, location
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Kennebunk, Maine
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    I think the right goldenrod is finally starting to bloom here. The bees are flying with some enthusiasm today. I have been smelling it for a while but the hives are all still light and the bees were sluggish.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    I saw one super yellow goldenrod stand in our yard yesterday, covered, but mostly with wasps and bumblebees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    877

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    You must have Russians, my Italians would never do such a thing.
    great thought, I like this mike.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    877

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    last year and the year before the goldenrod was yellow but the result was a fall dearth. this year things are much better so far. I find it hard to believe that we have a different kind of goldenrod in the same fields year to year. it is all the local weather and local season.
    Last edited by mathesonequip; 08-25-2014 at 11:33 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    The are over 100 varieties of Goldenrod and many do not give off nectar useful to honey bees. My observations here (Maine) are that most varieties that bloom early in August do not provide nectar to honey bees.

    Our flow won't start in earnest until just about Labor Day weekend and will continue pretty much until our first frost date which is usually mid September. It is easy to get excited when we see the first goldenrod blossoms but genuine patience is needed.

    I've been watching honey bees gather pollen from Goldenrod. My scale hive is not changing in weight all that much. When your bees start working the Goldenrod you will know it.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Andrew, have you fed your bees at all this summer?

    I have 5 robbing screens arriving any minute from Brushy Mountain. I'll go back into my hives after they come, but if there is no honey in there, I'm going to put the screens on and feed them all. I can't take the risk of waiting any longer.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Aha, it's not just me, NH seems to be having a problem with honey supply

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Andrew, have you fed your bees at all this summer?
    No.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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