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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i had asked the question in another thread but got no reply, quess i should have asked the right question!

does any one know when the dearth starts for bee's, is it in the middle of summer, or in the fall? down here in the south, temps are in the upper 90's, i don't know if this has anything to do with a drought of nectar or pollen. they, the bee's, are moving very well in and out of the hive, and in the late evening i can still see some bee's coming in with pollen. i have a strong hive and have added the supers a week ago, just wanted to see if there was a pattern to watch for or an action of the bee's to look for, or a certain temp, whatever can be described as a dearth! the rains have stopped, and i know from gardening that when the summer rains stop, that the flowers, the fruit, the buds are smaller and the plant no matter what, will cut back on producing due to water drought. the rains have stoped down here, and we have had no summer showers like we did in may, usually this happens in the middle of july to the first of aug. seems to have come early. the one thing the bees have been working real hard are my cantaloupe buds, but thats not going to sustain them to the end of summer.
thanks
:waiting:
 

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A dearth starts when flowers stop blooming. Most folks experience a dearth in the summer. There is in most places a fall flow of aster, golden rod, sun flowers and such. Location also plays a big roll in when and how long a dearth is. I live in a large city so I have watered and cultivated flowers available most all summer. Using a scale hive is the best way to time flows and dearths in your area. Hope this helps.
 

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It's pretty much started here in the Birmingham, AL area. There is a little clover that's not shriveled up yet but otherwise, there's not flow on. I can always tell when the flow is over because the hives get really testy when I open them. During a flow, they are as gentle as can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks ya'll
thanks for the link, it helps allot, thanks river hawk, is it as hot up there as it is here? IT'S AROUND 98 here during the middle of the day, and they are pretty testy during that time, but at 7:30-9pm they are bearding and not as testy! i still have squash and the cantaloupe is still blooming good and they are working it pretty good, i see some of them come in late in the evening with pollen and they have these little attachments to there legs from whatever flower they have been working. the rains have stopped, so they are probably in a dearth right now, does this end when we get a good rain for a couple of days?
 

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Yea, they're bringing pollen in from melons/squashes right now. But the nectar flow is over until the golden rod comes in. I usually just let them keep the golden rod for their winter stores. It's got a bite to it. You'll know when the golden rod starts. It usually makes the hive smell funny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks hawk
they have their upper brood full, and should be working on the supers, hope we can get some descent honey this july. do you think i should rob the upper brood, and let them resupply with golden rod for the winter, this is their first and my first hive.
 

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That's what I'd do...but I only run single deeps anyway. Is the upper brood full of honey or does it have alot of brood in it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
when i checked 9 days ago, they had the upper brood 70% full, some of the honey had not been capped yet, was very clear, and smelled so good, some of the upper brood had pollen stores, i didn't want to rob them and not leave them enough through this dearth. i have the deep brood frames, the 9 1/8 , and 10 deep. i have a manual extractor, they have been building in-between the frames on the upper brood, cleaned it up and they did it again, i even moved the frames closer. i'll let them do as they please, whatcha think on, moving the supers down to where the upper brood box is and extracting the upper brood box of its honey? if the upper brood box is not full of eggs and brood!

i did not see any eggs or larva in the upper brood, when i checked it. will do another check this week.
 

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Bradley, not sure if this is your first hive but last year when i started it was SO SO SO tempting to take even 1 frame of honey from them but I didn't. I held off until i KNEW they had plenty to make it through the dearth. This was the hardest thing i have ever done..LOL....but it was well worth it. They made it through winter and by March 1st, they were busting at the seams, so much so I was waiting on a swarm. Instead, i decided to split them, and the split had so many queen cells capped, I made another 3 splits on top of that. Each of those are doing GREAT and most of the time you do not get honey from a split. They had produced enough for us to have our very forst taste of honey this past April, and then when i checked again 5 days ago, i had 2.5 more supers ready to go. Interestingly they had more than that so I left at LEAST 3-5 frames of capped honey to them in each hive. My Russian Nucs i bought and recieved in April both had enough honey to pull so we pulled a total of 25 frames Saturday. We got 60 lbs of dark amber honey this round. I was not looking for honey again this year due to the splits and was sure to leave a lot to them. It was worth the weight. It's selling as fast as they can make it, and they have plenty for Brood production and rearing and the dearth. This is just my experience, but to me, not taking any last year was worth every penny of the 80lbs we pulled this year......so far...LOL.
 

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Here's what I think I'd do based on what you've told me....
I think I'd take out the frames that are capped 80% or so and extract them. Probably the middle frames are capped and the outer frames aren't yet. I'd move the uncapped frames to the middle and replace temporarily the frames you are extracting. Once extracted, just put those frames back in. Then, I'd consider feeding a little until the goldenrod comes in. This way, you get some honey, they keep some, get fed a little and then refill for winter when the goldenrod comes in. This is just what I'd do. Some folks may not. But there's no "official" way of beekeeping. We're all in one big unending experiment!!

Have you considered doing any splits to grow and extra hive or two for next year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yes i have considered this, the splitting, but was going to wait until next year to do it, i looked in on the inner cover this morning and they are moving good into the supers i put on 10 days ago. we have a large growing popcorn tree across the road that just finished blooming and has seed coming in now, so they probably worked it pretty good, also they are working my cantaloupe really hard as well, but this morning they must have found another plant that was more suitable for harvesting, there wasn't as many around the cantaloupe as usual and they are coming in with plenty of pollen. i think what i will do is wait untill the end of july and see what happens, if its good then ill pull the supers frames and add more frames to the supers and let it be for the winter, then do a split next april.
what do ya'll think?

yep devdog
this is my first hive, ive been reading and studying everything i can get my hands on, but there is nothing like good old experienced beek's like ya'll, i appreciate the help!.
 
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