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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a sister inlaw in the Boone, NC area. She has offered their christmas tree farm to us as a yard to gather Sourwood honey. The yard is at about 3200' elevation I understand. We would have to move bees from Southeastern NC to the mountains - a very long ride. I suppose we would have to take enough hives to make it worthwhile. I know nothing about sourwood honey but understand it is fairly valuable. What kind of yield would one expect in the Boone area in a good year? We would have to drive up for the honey harvest and bring the supers back to the coast to spin it out - so this may not be worth it. I suppose I am just looking for some opinions or any info about the mountain sourwood - like approximately what time of the year does it occur?
 

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Hey HPM,

I'm in Wilkes right below Boone. Past 3 years have not yielded a high sourwood crop. We have a feeling though that this year would be a good year with all the rain. Just need dry weather during the flow. Of course the crop would vary, but last year I didn't get a full super.
 

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http://www.ncbeekeepers.org/mountains.php

That will help give you a good idea about when stuff is in bloom (or at least, supposed to be) in NC. You can also change it to your coastal area.

The rest of your questions are somewhat ambiguous. How much you can get in a season is a very dependent question. I've heard some say they can get 200 lbs per hive, while others average about 50 lbs per hive. It all depends on the year, the area, the size of the hives, the weather, ect. I know this doesn't help much, but it's all I got :)

You may be able to use someone's extractor in the area instead of taking it across the state. That could cut down on transportation costs a little.

How many hives were you planning on transporting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
http://www.ncbeekeepers.org/mountains.php


How many hives were you planning on transporting?
Well - I am trying to decide.... 10 pallets may well oversaturate the area - but if not, it could make it worth the time and distance. If they each made a super - then that would be a ton of Sourwood.... Probably could not handle 40 hives in one area though. I do not even know what Sourwood honey is selling for these days.... retail that is... I just know it is supposed to be pretty high. Sourwood honey would be a bit special down here on the coast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you decide not to do it. do you think they would let me bring my bees up for the season? Just let me know;)

Sure - I'll put you in touch with them if I decide not to go.... just remember to PM me in mid may - that should be before the flow ( if any) starts.
 

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I had a Honey Tasting party last April and by far the Sourwood was the most pleasant to look at and had the best taste.

I don't think that Sourwood grows up here, but you beeks are lucky when you get it.
 

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I do not even know what Sourwood honey is selling for these days.... retail that is... I just know it is supposed to be pretty high. Sourwood honey would be a bit special down here on the coast.
Last year if you had true sourwood you would have been able to name the price because it was scarce.
 

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for me in the UK sourwood honey is:

$31.99 for 2lb + $9.95 p&P (just over $20 per lb)

so even with a low flow say 50lb per hive that will be $1000 per hive :eek:

take 40 thats $40,000 for the one flow........ will that be worth the drive ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow!! Yep - that would be worth the drive...... You Brits must really like that Sourwood!!
 

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I'm just an hour and a half north west of there.

Most of our sourwood blooms in June, I believe.

But we are at a lower elevation than they are, so their bloom could be later.

The top of my families Virginia River Knob property is covered up in it.

As kids, we use to cut the young ones and use them for fishing poles in the South Fork of the Holston River.

Not any more.
 

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I just purchased some for $ 8.90 for a one pound jar.

What I am told it only produces every 7 or so years. just depends.

20 to 25 hives depends if they are over run by it.

I will talk to you in May.

Brooklyn
 

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sourwood honey can be a good flow or it can be a bust. the last few years the flow has been bad. with the ground moisture up if we can get a break from the rain it could be a great year. but that is to be seen. there is alot of honey out there being sold as sourwood but it is not sourwood. dont forget the bear fence if you go to sourwood country. good luck hope you do good...David
 

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That's correct ga.beeman. Sourwood is a shallow rooted tree. So it does not do well in light drought situations. We've had enough rain the past year though to produce some good suckers on the trees which is usually a good sign of a sourwood season. We can hope.
 

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That's correct ga.beeman. Sourwood is a shallow rooted tree. So it does not do well in light drought situations. We've had enough rain the past year though to produce some good suckers on the trees which is usually a good sign of a sourwood season. We can hope.
Here it is mainly understory or in the edge of main growth next to open fields.

I've never seen one come up from seed, they have all been a result of root suckers.
 
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