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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This question is for all commercial as well as the "1-2 hive" part-timers or hobbyists, (hope no one's offended by that term).

My gut feel is (although last year seemed to be rough regarding honey production) this year seems to be going very poorly. There may be no surplus for my table this year. Most everything has bloomed 2-3 weeks early here in northern Virginia, and our (at least my) bees had not built up to adequate numbers to forage for surplus nectar. Brood nest is getting honey and that's about it.

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html

I'm in USHZ 6-7 which seems to also mean we have no such thing as a fall flow (although hardniess zone is not directly related to this aspect).

Anyone else having some luck from what they can see in their supers?
 

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ME ME I AM OFFENDED....and I am just kidding. It seems to be pretty good here in Middle Ga. I split my big hive during March and they have a super and are working on capping super number 2. All 5 of the splits are 2 mediums except the 2 new ones I made the other day. My Russian Nucs are working on their 2nd medium Nucs as well and I have not fed anything to them. Just been letting them work. We just got some rain, which will help keep it going for a little while longer anyways....
 

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pretty good for me in Dallas area as well. It's been a drier spring which has helped. I've pulled two mediums off one of my hives, and they have drawn out a third from foundation.
 

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Here in the central Shenandoah Valley, I am a little closer to you than the others who have posted so far. I have two hives from last year and one nuc I bought this Spring. One of my hives has filled two shallows already (plus what is in the 3 mediums that are the brood boxes) and I have not given that hive any syrup this Winter or Spring. I added a third shallow yesterday. The other hive is a little behind that but still capping honey in two shallows. Fruit trees here did well this year but some things got caught in a late freeze. Don't know where my bees forage because I see mostly bumble bees and solitary bees in the gardens -- well except for the borage patch which is covered with honeybees from dawn to dusk.

I am puzzled by your comment about no fall flow where you are. I am in zone 6b and we have a bodacious fall flow from goldenrod and asters. I harvest the Spring/summer honey in July and August but am generous in what I leave the bees, and with that my bees put up enough fall flow stores to get them through the winter and spring with no feeding from me. Maybe its all the development in NOVA that has eliminated weeds like goldenrod. This is an agricultural area so we get to worry about pesticides but not lack of fall flow. Cheers. Susan
 

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Here in northern maine -
Still in heavy dandelion and the apple blossoms are giving nectar.
I can't really judge how well it is going though. I went ahead and put a super on (kind of early) and the bees enjoy sitting in there, but they are'd doing anything. I think they are packing into the brood chambers though. Was going to put the reducer on last night but left it off since they were fanning the hive (I figured they are probably trying to evaporate the nectar in the chambers).

I was hopping to get some apple since they had come through the winter will almost all the top chamber in stores, but they ate through it in late april and early may and the queen moved up. I just reversed.

Mike
 

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My gut feel is (although last year seemed to be rough regarding honey production) this year seems to be going very poorly. There may be no surplus for my table this year. Most everything has bloomed 2-3 weeks early here in northern Virginia, and our (at least my) bees had not built up to adequate numbers to forage for surplus nectar. Brood nest is getting honey and that's about it.
Seems like this is really two different questions.... One about honey production from hives that came out of winter strong, and the other for hives that were weak out of winter. For the latter... Spring coming early did not give them enough time to build up to take advantage of early flow. For the hives that came out of winter strong, honey flow has been early and intense.
 

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I've had really good honey production so far and we're not even into the clover flow yet. They're gathering like mad and filling up deeps with honey but I haven't put any supers on. As soon as a colony recovers from the last split I do another.

My goal this year has been to produce more hives than honey, but I think when the clover flow hits I'll pick a high population hive and let them fill up a few supers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
...we can also see the slowing progress with the deficit of rainfall.
Yeah I'm starting to see that here. Two years in a row 2008, 2009 we had rains that persisted and washed out most of the black locust. I got lucky in 2009 and despite the rain was still able to harvest a healthy crop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am puzzled by your comment about no fall flow where you are. I am in zone 6b and we have a bodacious fall flow from goldenrod and asters. ...Maybe its all the development in NOVA that has eliminated weeds like goldenrod.
I see goldenrod mostly in the roadside ditches here in NOVA, and we have Aster, as well. I'm just not getting any surplus and it may have something to do with the dryness of our piedmont area, compared to your valley. I have to bee seriously on guard about robbing in August and Sept--my bees can be ruthless! As for development, I think Toni Burnham sees a great honey flow in Washington DC (right in the middle of town).

Are you familiar with Golden Angels Apiary (Dennis and Neva) near Harrisonburg? I've worked bees with Dennis last fall for a couple days.
 

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Not sure about other areas, but here in West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle) things have been slowed by the constant rains and high fluctuation in the weather. I don't know what the harvest will be this season but the hopes for bumper crops after the ton loads of snow are not looking feasible. Tulip poplar should start and with it we are under rain until Thursday, go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tulip poplar should start and with it we are under rain until Thursday, go figure.
Charles, are you getting tulip poplar honey? Some of the old time beeks here in NOVA say they haven't gotten TP honey since 1993. Personally I think my bees in one of my yards collected it last year, but no one is for sure. I guess I could do the hydroscope test.

As far as the rain, ouch--I'm inside on beesource because of it! Yes, that does put a damper on things, especially if it's a really hard rain.
 

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Charles, are you getting tulip poplar honey?.
Keith, I was hoping to make this year one that I harvested a bumper crop of Tulip poplar along the river but with the blooms recently out and the sudden rain that according to the weather man we will not see the sun until Thursday, due to this I believe that I will have to wait until next year and try again (still keeping my fingers crossed though). In the mean time looking forward for the goldenrod.
 

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... I will have to wait until next year and try again (still keeping my fingers crossed though). In the mean time looking forward for the goldenrod.
Now I am new (only 1 year really with bees). I don't unederstand why a lot of people on here are talking as if the season is about over. Waiting for goldenrod? I must really not understand nectar flows - I know MD's climate I lived down there (PA/MD) for about 14 years. Goldenrod is a fall flow. PA has a pretty moderate climate (esp. compared with ME.). There is nothing between the spring flow and the fall?
 

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Nectar flow is being good to my girls and me! Getting some rain, not a lot of intense rains. Many are early AM or in the PM.

Splits and cutout are bringing nectar. They are packing it away. I have 5 supers of some of my hives (mediums/shallows). They are putting honey in them and starting to cap some of them.
 

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Tulip Poplar and Black Locust are blooming strong right now in SE PA. My strong hives are 4 and 5 deeps high and bringing in the nectar like mad. However the slow hives are still building up and will only be used for nuc production and queen rearing. I have found that only about 50% of colonies if your lucky will turn into strong honey producing colonies, the rest simply aren't strong enough when the flow starts to ever bring in a "surplus" during the Spring flow.
 

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Here in Chesterfield, VA the flow is booming! The best year in a while. Some of my hives are filling a med. super a week. It started off norml but once the flow started, it really took off. It is a very exciting year for me. I just hope the flow continues for a while.
 

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Ordinarily our Mesquite flow comes on like a Niagara Falls of nectar, and nearly always starts 15 April no matter what. I'd thought that the extra rain we got through this past Winter, would help the Mesquite come on even stronger. However, even now, about one month later, still very little Mesquite nectar and since we regularly have almost no other major nectar source, I'm wondering if I'm going to be feeding sugar syrup and pollen substitute from now until next year. :cry:
 
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