Major Flows in New York?
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  1. #1
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    Default Major Flows in New York?

    Hi - I'm based in Westchester County just north of NYC. What types of trees and shrubs typically produce a honey flow in this region? It's the start of June here so am wondering what is to come. Locust trees? Basswood?

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  3. #2
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooh Bear View Post
    Hi - I'm based in Westchester County just north of NYC. What types of trees and shrubs typically produce a honey flow in this region? It's the start of June here so am wondering what is to come. Locust trees? Basswood?
    I think that we won't have locust this year...as you drive around, you don't see the big white panicles. Dutch clover (lawn clover) and tulip poplar are good nectar sources for June.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    In Westchester I imagine whatever locust you might have had is already over as mine up here, north of Albany is this week. And it's a bust this year. The last two have been gangbuster years, so this year is pretty predictable to be much less. European lindens may be blooming now for you. My basswood also had one of its really big flows last year, so I expect nothing there; it normally blooms a couple of weeks after locusts. Apples were completely zapped locally by the hard freeze on the morning of April 5th.

    Sumac looks good in about two weeks and brambles did well for the last ten days or so, and are still going nicely. Wild black cherry produced an extraordinary flow this year, but it is all stored by now.

    I have some tulip trees that bloom irregularly and this year I think they will not have been affected by winter cold so I am expecting them to bloom in about three weeks, or so. Sourwood at the end of June. By then my bees have switched over to annuals and perennials from woody stuff. Those depend completely on whether we have normal rain, both this year and in previous years. Last year rain was a bit scarce, but probably OK.

    My bees seem to find nectar all summer long up here, so I don't really have a dearth. My hives feel light now, as I think the early flows all went into making bees. I recall last year I had the same concerns but then we had a good nectar flow through out the summer and never stopped adding supers.

    Enj.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    Thanks Enjambres. You always seem to comment on my posts and offer great advice and input - thank you!

    Yes I haven't seen any locust blooming here and that's a pity as there are a lot of trees about. The wild black cherry tree bloom was amazing; I had never experienced a true honey flow before and was astounded. One of my hives I am sure put on 20lbs in just a week. Quite remarkable.

    There are a few basswood trees here and there now that I know what they look like. Have not seen a sumac, tulip tree or linden before so need to research those. Last year I remember the golden rod being very strong towards the end of the season.

    Late frost was tough on plants to be sure. My hydrangeas took a beating

    Side question: when do you typically harvest the honey? I was thinking to remove all frames by early August right before i start treating for VM (oxalic acid sublimation)

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    are you near farm land or suburban Westchester? upper or lower, east or west.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    In Port Chester; lower Westchester on the border with CT on Long Island Sound. Suburbia really. No farmland around.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    some still to come : clover, sassafras, privet, birds foot trefoil, linden (basswood), sunflowers, milkweed, thistle, sumacs, chicory, loose strife, knapweed, groundsel, knotweed, aster, goldenrod
    there are additional sources of nectar in more rural areas that probably don't apply to your local.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    thanks a lot. Lots of googling going on right now

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    I didn't mention the ornamental plantings found in suburban settings. I'm not as familiar with them but there are many.
    I have noticed lots of honey bees (like covered) on a late summer/early fall tree called seven sons tree which has become very popular.
    All of the mints are honey bee favorites too and many gardeners plant them in their landscapes.
    here are some:

    Early-*season
    Trees: maples, apples, shadbush, willows, cherries, plums, native honeysuckles
    Perennials: blueberries, bugloss, lungwort, pigsqueak, crocus, viola

    Midseason
    Shrubs: spirea, rose, summersweet, rosebay rhododendron
    Perennials: milkweed, purple coneflower, blazingstar, mint, oregano
    Annuals: single-*flowered marigold, borage, tickseed, blanketflower

    Late season
    Perennials: aster, bottle gentian, phlox, yellow and purple coneflowers, goldenrod
    Annuals: cosmos, snapdragon

    also, take a look at this list: http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/files...Honey_Bees.pdf

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Major Flows in New York?

    @Poohbear:

    To help you spot sumac: look along roadsides and waste places and keep an eye out for an 8-15 foot high shrubby thing that has dark red triangular upright spikes (about 4 -6 " long) on it, almost year round. That is the female plant of sumac. Study the compound (multiple sub-leaflets sharing a stem) leaves and then look around for the same plant but without the red seed pannicles - these are the males. Both sexes pf the plant produce useful things for bees: the females produce nectar and the males make good pollen and the bees go a-visiting to get both tasty treats and wind up taking the pollen from the boys over to girls' flower parts, thus creating seeds which are the persistent red parts you see. The seeds are in the so-called "stag-horns" of the dominant species of sumac in the northeast. There is another smaller species, shiny sumac, which is shorter, more delicate looking and blooms later and doesn't have the eye catching red seed clusters. It's also good for bees and may be more common where you are than where I am up here. It was big on my farm in VA.

    Lindens/basswood: Basswood, or American linden is a very large tree with big roundish (4-6") leaves. It likes moist ground and wild places and is often chased out of urban areas because of its size and general messiness. It's imported European cousin, Little leafed linden is very frequently planted in urban/suburban areas because it is smaller in scale (both size and leaf texture). These are sort of huge big lollipop trees that look absolutely stuffed with small 2-3" round leaves that completely cover the entire silhouette of the tree, almost as if the are pasted on like green fur. There is little if any branchiness to be seen on a little leaf linden in the summer. Both of these are fave bee trees and bloom up here after the middle of June, with the little leaf linden blooming first.

    Tulip trees are very tall stately, straight-trunked trees with larger paw-shaped leaves that have single yellow-ish cup shaped blossoms about 2-3" in diameter at the ends of branches. Sometimes these are very hard to see, The tulip of the plant's name is the flower. If out in the open they have very graceful descending branches. It's my all-time favorite tree. And that's saying a lot because I am a tree-fiend.

    Enj.

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