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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellow Maryland beekeepers, I have both tulip poplars and locust in bloom right now. Thus far, I haven't seen any explosive comb production or nectar harvesting. Have seen some reports on here of a full super of comb production in a week during peak nectar flows. Anyone else having different results?

Thanks,

David in Baltimore
 

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My bees are building comb like crazy, but then again, I just started them from packages in mediums and I'm feeding them 1:1 syrup constantly. They are taking about a quart and a half a week of syrup, and that's with the nectar flow going on. Locust trees are blooming big time, as well as some dutch clover (at least on my lawn). I'm not sure what the bees are working, but they are definately out.
 

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This year has been a terrible honey year for me. Absolutely nothing in the supers until last week. The tulip poplar started blooming about May 1st and since then I have seen a big increase in hive weights, but still little in the supers. The weather this past week has been too warm for a great nectar flow (highs of 90F + and windy). We probably have another week or so of poplar blooms - still hope for the best. Not much going on after the poplars.
 

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Hi astro.... When do you normally harvest honey in VA? This is my first year, and my bees (came from nucs) are still growing their brood box... I guess they must be slow if others are disappointed by not being able to harvest honey, yet
 

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DRJCKB

I try to get spring/summer honey off by end of June or early July. It could be earlier this year - assuming there's anything to take. I put the supers back for late summer cotton flow and fall flow.
 

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I'm just south of you, dcrom. I have noticed a over the last 3 days a big increase in production. It should be the same for you. I would like to get a lot of that locust nectar in my supers, but I think the bees would rather work the poplar and clover if possible. Oh well. As long as the rain holds off for a couple of weeks, we should do pretty well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought that tulip poplar nectar harvest was compromised by low humidity (from evaporation of nectar) and that high humidity would help.

We're now in full force blossom with both the poplars and locusts (what a beautiful aroma in the air from the locust), and I'm eager to inspect this weekend and see how productive the hives have been.

Remember last year and all of that rain?!

This weather seems to me to be close to ideal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bill Holmes, how are you measuring production? By inspection or something simpler?

Thanks,

David in Baltimore
 

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dcromwel

I don't think that humidity defines everything. I think that peak day/night time temperatues also plays a very important factor. Over the past few days, we'd had daytime peaks over 90F and as a result I've noticed alot of my bees just hanging out, despite the fact that the populars are in full bloom. Personally, I think ideal nectar flow conditions would be 50F at night and 65F during the day. Oh yeah, throw in a very light brief misting rain at night.
 

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I'm not sure how humidity and temperature effects the nectar production from plants, but I'm pretty sure that a heavy rain storm will wash it away. So I think that little rain at the peak nectar flow is good, as long as there has been a lot of early spring rain, which we have had.

I have a six frame observation hive that I watch constantly. It gives me a real good idea of what is going on in my other hives. Over the last four days they have put nectar in every available cell that does not have brood in it. They will probably start building swarms cells soon.

I peeked under the cover of one of my hives two days ago, and confirmed it. Nectar is coming in strong. Lots of locust in full bloom all around me, yet I can't find one bee on a single bloosom. I can only assume the poplar and clover is easier for them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, how are you Maryland or other mid-Atlantic beekeepers doing now? Is the nectar still flowing where you are, or have the series of thundershowers washed most of it away?

Curious,

David in Baltimore
 

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Locust, honeysuckle, and now clover is really popping. They will hit the clover in a week or two when other sources dry up. You should be in the middle of a nice flow in the mid-atlantic area.
 

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My strongest colony has 5 mediums drawn and full, yet only partially capped. Unfortunately, I found some of that hive hanging in a tree this afternoon. I'll check them again tomorrow.. My other colonies have 2 or 3 mediums drawn and full. I'm pretty sure it's mostly poplar.
 
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