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Discussion Starter #1
So it has been rainy for a LOOONNNGGGG time here in the mid-Atlantic. Does this mean not a very good honey season? What are you seeing in terms of honey flow in the Mid-Atlantic states?
 

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Flow? What flow?

Our big flow in southern PA, at least right here in farm central, is black locust. That flow determines whether it's a great year or just a sort of ok year. Clover is the backup. Locust only bloom for 2 weeks, 3 if we're lucky, or only until a big thunderstorm comes and knocks all the blooms down. That said, the locust are late because of the rain and cold. I'd be looking for them this week or next normally. Now I'm thinking it'll be more like the first or second week of June. So I'm personally still hoping for a flow, it'll just be late, which depending on the weather afterward might mean a later harvest, which means being more strategic in post-harvest mite management to stay ahead of them before winter. It's May and I'm thinking about winter bees...that's sad. :)
 

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I think of the mid atlantic as being PA. down to NC. So I would think that would include me.
March was great, April barely satisfactory but late april until 3 days ago the Tulip Poplar was great. As of saturday the bees are starting to use the clover. I atribute that to the dry warm weather of the past 2 weeks. The Tulip Poplar still has blooms. so the cooler weather and rain may (but I doubt) revive this source. I plan on doing my final harvest over labor day weekend.
 

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Flow? What flow?
Seriously. I still have the woodstove going. Smoke is coming out of my ears, I'm so frustrated at the lousy weather this May. If it ever clears up and the wind ever dies down I'll snoop around for stores and see what's up.

P.S. Is Indonesia in the mid Atlantic? I never realized that.

I think I'm going to put New Zealand as my location. I've always wanted to visit there. Or maybe Iceland. :)
 

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What Libhart said, +1. The big hives are still burning winter stores (fortunately we got carried away with feeding last fall). The little ones with no stores left are being fed. We're monitoring with a hive scale and have not seen even a hint of a flow yet.

We had a freeze warning at the apiary last night. I hope it was not too severe ... lots of stuff was budding and ready to bloom.

We had about 15 days in a row with at least some rain. Since then we've had a couple of dry days here and there, and then back to rain. If it was not raining it was too chilly and windy to inspect.
 

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Too much rains will affect the honey harvest.
Not sure if this is true but some flowers will not
hold the nectar when washed out by the rains. Not good!
When it is raining the bees don't fly. So production will also be affected.
As the saying goes too much of a good thing is not good.
 

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No flow here either, bees are devouring what stores they have left. Unless we get a strong fall flow, there will be no harvest for me this year.
 

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It also occurred to me that the big winds we've had the past couple days have probably blown a lot of pollen off the trees. I only say that because I was happy that the wind was blowing the green haze of pollen off my car paint. That's when it hit me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in PA now, I wouldn't recommend changing your location on bee source, it's impossible to change it back! As I am finding...


Seriously. I still have the woodstove going. Smoke is coming out of my ears, I'm so frustrated at the lousy weather this May. If it ever clears up and the wind ever dies down I'll snoop around for stores and see what's up.

P.S. Is Indonesia in the mid Atlantic? I never realized that.

I think I'm going to put New Zealand as my location. I've always wanted to visit there. Or maybe Iceland. :)
 

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If you listen carefully to the humming of hive O, you can make out the bees humming "The sun will come out tomorrow ..."

The weather forecast says otherwise, but Thursday, maybe. Then back to rain. Might get some sun Monday and Tuesday.
 

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Finally! Three of the four hives gained a little weight on their own! Not a real flow of the biblical proportions we'd hoped for, but they're bringing something in.

This corresponds with a week of warmer temperature and more normal rainfall (although still with more rainy days than would be ideal). We did spot a few young Tulip Trees with visible blossoms, and some of the mature trees in a ravine next to us are dropping petals. Blackberries seem to have come and gone. The locusts are just sitting there all green and healthy ... there are thousands of them and we only ever saw blossoms on two scrappy little ones.

The next question is, is that it for the flow? Sugar prices are up and we were really hoping the Fee Bees would feed themselves this year, with maybe a little honey left over for Christmas presents. The end of June last year had a short flow of something, so maybe we're not done, but Tulip Poplar and Locust were the big hopes.
 

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I have been watching for the past two months, and I haven't seen a single black locust in bloom. I'm in Maryland. Did the bloom happen and I missed it? Or is it still to come? I'm afraid I don't recognize black locust trees without the flower clusters on them.
 

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I have been watching for the past two months, and I haven't seen a single black locust in bloom. I'm in Maryland. Did the bloom happen and I missed it? Or is it still to come? I'm afraid I don't recognize black locust trees without the flower clusters on them.
Last week we saw small patches blooming at lower elevations along Rt 50 in WV, but not everywhere. We don't recall ever seeing a significant bloom at our place near Keyser in WV, but it must bloom, or there would not be fields and fields of the stuff.

A couple of years back, a thread here suggested that Black Locust produces a bloom about one year in four. We had two good years in a row in Northern Virginia, so maybe we used up our good luck for the next seven years.
 

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I'm near Louisville Kentucky and we have had the same type of rain and weather as the mid-Atlantic area. The year started off really good with warmer than normal temperatures and a good early flow. I'm not sure what the early flow was off of (maybe maples/redbud/wild cherry but it was there and the bees were filling up the honey supers (a few actually were starting on their second super). Then we had 5 to 6 weeks of cold and at least 4 weeks of almost daily rain and the bees went a head and ate most of the early honey they had put away. Unfortunately the tulip poplar started blooming right when the rain first stated and that flow (our best) was a total wash out. My wife parks her car in the driveway under a huge tulip poplar. See always complain about how sticky her car gets in the spring when the tree is blooming. This year there was nothing. No complaints and unfortunately no tulip poplar flow. I'm from the mid-atlantic area and most of the flow there is from tulip poplars. If the tulip poplar flow is a bust its a bad year
 

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Attended the local association meeting on May 21st and the state inspector had stated this was the worst year in the past 60 years!! Recommendation was to feed.
 

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This is my second summer. Last year I had purchased 2 hives. I got 7 gallons for the spring extraction which took place on June 13. Well.. that ain't happening this year. May was cool and it rained a ton. Poplars were in bloom in my area first couple weeks of May. Now last weekend I went for a drive on the Blue Ridge parkway, and one county north there were Poplar flowers still hanging on.. But its just been terribly rainy. Maybe sourwood will come in and not get rained out like last year. I'm going to try to move my hives to Patrick County for that flow and cross my fingers. 2015 Sourwood was a bust also.
 

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Well, fooee! We finally got a week of hot, dry weather, and hoped that meant some nectar.

First thing this weekend, we got the hives on the scale. They were all down. Not enough is coming in to make up for consumption.

Two of the hives look like their brood production is down. The largest hive (with a new queen from a few weeks back) is laying down brood like its a contest or something.

The tulip poplars still have some blossoms (way later than normal). We spotted some dark nectar, so we assume that's the source of the dark stuff. Unfortunately, a neighbor clearcut a large stand of old trees adjacent to our property, and we apparently don't have enough tulip trees to provide a good flow. Locusts were a dud, and nothing seems to be making up the difference.

The feeders are back on, and I need to buy two more top feeders plus a nuc top feeder to handle our expansion this year. Even the two hives that had some leftover winter stores are running low. With the hive weights in mind, we ducked out to Walmart and picked up 3 25-pound bags of sugar. Which for this year we will call "for starters."

Maybe, just maybe, we can get a repeat of last summer's week and a half flow at the end of June. We still don't know what that was.
 

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After our meeting last week, it seems the consensus is a crappy year for honey. Our president is the lucky guy with quite a harvest, but he's got many hives. In addition to my above post, I feel like doing a split, having a slow building hive, which I purged a lot of black comb and the girls had to build new for laying, and not having drawn comb on supers, .. they used their resources for themselves. I'm super disappointed..

Who else is feeding?
 
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