Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    I realize that the timing of nectar flow in a given year depends on location, weather patterns, etc. However, I have been trying to find resources that could help me understand the "general" pattern for my location.

    Specifically, I would guess that in a given region there is a smaller set of "dominant" flowering plants that make up the majority of the nectar brought in. (Lets assume that there are no major mono-cultures nearby that would skew the native plant mix one way or another.) Every year, this set of dominant plants would bloom in more or less the same order even though the specific dates might change based on rains, temperatures and/or sunshine.

    I have not been able to find any good sources where I could get this information. I'm not even sure that it is necessarily a beekeeping resource but might rather be something found in plant science circles or the like. From the conversations I've had it seems that most beekeepers build this knowledge over years as they grow in experience, and by observing their hives and plants in a given year to identify when the flow starts. (The "Post Your Bloom Dates" section of this forum is of course also very helpful.)

    Do you guys know of any resource like that?
    Last edited by nodapic; 01-19-2020 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Added question at the end

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,642

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Hereís a start. Over the years Iíve tried to pick up books that have native trees here in Michigan and talking to locals about when things bloom helps a lot too.
    https://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov/Honeybees/Forage.htm
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,363

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    It won't help you now, but if you start keeping a journal yourself, it will be invaluable in coming years. J

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,585

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    You might want to visit your local botanical gardens and talk to the horticulturalist there about which native plants bloom when and if they serve as a nectar source for pollinators. It can be the start of your journal as you compare actual bloom dates, hive weight gain, and any other parameters you deem pertinant over the next few years.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    I would think joining the local beekeeping club and talking to the members would be a really good place to start. As mentioned above, starting a journal and creating your own database of information would be a great idea. I started my bloom date journal about 7 years ago and it has given me very interesting and useful information. In this area a difference of a few miles creates very different conditions and different flows. My flow dates are quite a bit different than a friend and fellow beekeeper just one town away.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    2,272

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    First step, download and read the G.H. Vansell text, "Nectar and Pollen Plants of California" published in 1931. Cite: https://archive.org/details/nectarpollenplan517vans

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    The timing of plant flowering roughly correlates with growing degree days.
    (search phenology)
    GDD are monitored for different areas by some state Ag depts,airports and weather web sites.
    An informative webinar.

    https://u.osu.edu/beelab/phenology-for-beekeepers/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Omaha Nebraska USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    I looked for this kind of resource as well but never found a site that cataloged the major nectar flows. Here is a link to a site that provides some useful information concerning the onset of spring in different areas. This is as close as I came to finding what I was looking for.
    https://www.usanpn.org/news/spring

  10. #9

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Ohio State University has a bloom chart based on the season. That work with our zip code. https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/gdd/CalendarView.asp

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Wimer, Oregon
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?




    this is the local oregon floral resources guide. I adjusted my copy to my locale, such as dandelions starting in feb, and blackberries ending july 15th, maples bloom and end earlier.

    you might be able to use it as a guide for your area, just adjust it, and add to it as necessary, idk, just an idea. talking to local beekeepers, and especially watching the local flowers and trees blossoming time frames every time you are out driving helps, take pics to identify if you don't know what they are. the hard ones to find are the tiny hidden flowers bees work, that takes time, you are not late in learning, keep notes, that all.

    there are some good bee resource books you could buy, these are a few, there's more

    100 plants to feed the bees
    farming for bees
    bee friendly planting guide

    have fun
    DavidZ

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    I started with this chart and then worked out what we had and when.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...for_honey_bees
    It’s incomplete, but a starting point. Sometimes you have to out and look.
    Brian

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,363

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    That's an awesome chart Astro. Who produced that? J

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    It won't help you now, but if you start keeping a journal yourself, it will be invaluable in coming years. J
    I came to say this too. Keeping a spreadsheet of yearly bloom dates in your local area is great...it really opens your eyes to the flora around you, plus it helps you plan for YOUR nectar flow each year.

    I like the chart posted by DavidZ too, and may try to do something similar with my own data.

    190615_Bloom_Dates.jpg

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    Hereís a start. Over the years Iíve tried to pick up books that have native trees here in Michigan and talking to locals about when things bloom helps a lot too.
    https://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov/Honeybees/Forage.htm
    GREATEST Link I've yet to find and aligns with our local cycles for the plants that grow on our side of the mountains. Thank you.
    Gary K Olympia WA

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Linton, IN, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I dont know if this will help but I have always used the farmers almanac for a good guide on timing the resources in my area but you still have to have an idea of when and what blooms first in your area they have it on line now hope this helps.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Bellflower,Montgomery County, Mo
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    I use Pollen.com as my general guide to my area. But then I use dates that I've recorded for specific plants and flows.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    In any given area there will be plants that are not native, bloom early, bloom late , etc.
    I would also consider a Hive scale, record the same time of the day as evaporation occurs over night. actual data, Can be collected. Large add on of weight can be recorded then looked into for source. Some blooms in the books may not be worked as hard as others, by the bees.
    GG

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    woodland, wa usa
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Here, SW WA, I know filberts and other nut trees are hanging pollen tassels Jan. Weather provisional, if bees can gather that pollen, ie. it is not simply rain washed out, that kicks off the brood buildup here. 2019 rain Jan -Mar so buildup was way late. 2018 Jan, springlike, Feb snow/wet/cold, bees gobble up lots of eggs/larva that had been laid.
    Feb, pussy willows pollen.
    Alders hang tassels as well, Mar/Apr-ish. Don't know whether they provide nectar.
    Apr/May maple nectar. Last couple years maple has kinda become the flow.
    Overtaking the blackberry in Jun. BB never happened in 2018 due to dearth beginning mid May.
    Blackberry here generally has a bountiful flow.

    "Phenology" is the term for plant tracking and it has a following all it's own, but beeks should pay attention to it for their locale.
    Sources of local phenology besides what google may spit back at'cha, local feed stores, gardening clubs/groups,
    Universities, etc in the area may be able to help.

    So far, in beekeeping circles, this truly very important subject seems to continue to be virtually ignored.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,798

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    In any given area there will be plants that are not native, bloom early, bloom late , etc.
    I would also consider a Hive scale, record the same time of the day as evaporation occurs over night. actual data, Can be collected. Large add on of weight can be recorded then looked into for source. Some blooms in the books may not be worked as hard as others, by the bees.
    GG
    When we moved to our current location 7 years ago this is exactly what we did. We started the equivalent of a 'birthday calendar', but for bloom dates. We also put a colony on a scale and had it taking weight measurements for 5 years. What we learned over time was interesting.

    - Every year when a given bloom comes out there is commentary about 'sure is early' or 'sure is late' etc. Keep notes for a few years and you will find that for the vast majority of blooms, plus or minus 3 days is consistent year over year. Blooms are not early or late, memory is bad.

    - Local beekeeping lore will have lots of stories about what plants produce flows. Correlating hive weights against bloom records tells a somewhat different story. As an example, old timers always told us that blackberries are the main honey producer, but you have to have the bees ready two weeks before blackberries or they wont make a crop. Our experience was, hive weight peaked around the day we saw the first blackberry bloom, but in the two weeks before blackberries, while the thimbleberries were blooming, hive weight was going up at a rate of up to 9lb a day.

    Once we had all this information, it completely changed our management for the bees. It used to be a crunch time toward tail end of the blackberry bloom, supers had to come off and get extracted so we could move out to the fireweed that was already blooming. Now when we see the first blackberry flower the supers come off and we have three weeks to get supers empty and ready for the trip out to fireweed. We take advantage of the time hives are sitting here at home with no supers on and do a round of mite cleanup.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: Resources on Nectar Flow Timing?

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    When we moved to our current location 7 years ago this is exactly what we did. We started the equivalent of a 'birthday calendar', but for bloom dates. We also put a colony on a scale and had it taking weight measurements for 5 years. What we learned over time was interesting.

    - Every year when a given bloom comes out there is commentary about 'sure is early' or 'sure is late' etc. Keep notes for a few years and you will find that for the vast majority of blooms, plus or minus 3 days is consistent year over year. Blooms are not early or late, memory is bad.

    - Local beekeeping lore will have lots of stories about what plants produce flows. Correlating hive weights against bloom records tells a somewhat different story. As an example, old timers always told us that blackberries are the main honey producer, but you have to have the bees ready two weeks before blackberries or they wont make a crop. Our experience was, hive weight peaked around the day we saw the first blackberry bloom, but in the two weeks before blackberries, while the thimbleberries were blooming, hive weight was going up at a rate of up to 9lb a day.

    Once we had all this information, it completely changed our management for the bees. It used to be a crunch time toward tail end of the blackberry bloom, supers had to come off and get extracted so we could move out to the fireweed that was already blooming. Now when we see the first blackberry flower the supers come off and we have three weeks to get supers empty and ready for the trip out to fireweed. We take advantage of the time hives are sitting here at home with no supers on and do a round of mite cleanup.
    +1 exactly. as well move 5 miles one way or another and other blooms come into play Real data will be more valuable that the books and papers one reads.
    GG

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •