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What can I do next year to Maximize my Sourwood flow it seems like the ladies are not even close to being as strong as they were before the Spring flow and up here in the mountains the end of Spring flow is the first week of June and the start of Sourwood starts right at the end of June. I have over twenty+ Mature trees within a Kilometer of my hives and am averaging less then a seven frame super per hive with drawn comb.
 

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kenr.

You've more experience than I have and I have similar problems. Getting them bulked up for the flow has eluded me so far. After watching Michael Palmers videos this year it seems to me that using nucs to build up your production hives is the way I'm going to go.

I don't have the challenge of being in the mountains like you do (I'm in Missouri). My challenge is experience. I hope you get more replies to help you.
 

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What can I do next year to Maximize my Sourwood flow it seems like the ladies are not even close to being as strong as they were before the Spring flow and up here in the mountains the end of Spring flow is the first week of June and the start of Sourwood starts right at the end of June.
I have no idea about your location but I would strive for more hives. I am thinking it may be a bee problem and not a flow problem. More hives would point you in the right direction.
 

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I have no idea about your location but I would strive for more hives. I am thinking it may be a bee problem and not a flow problem. More hives would point you in the right direction.

:scratch: The OP is interested in increasing his honey production per hive.

I have over twenty+ Mature trees within a Kilometer of my hives and [HIGHLIGHT]am averaging less then a seven frame super per hive [/HIGHLIGHT]with drawn comb.
Adding more hives doesn't sound like the right solution to me. :rolleyes:

If the hives are all in the same location, I would see if I could secure a second location and move some of the hives to that new location. See if less hives per location results in an increase in honey production per hive.

.
 

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:scratch: The OP is interested in increasing his honey production per hive.



Adding more hives doesn't sound like the right solution to me. :rolleyes:

If the 20+ haves are all in the same location, I would see if I could secure a second location and move some of the hives to that new location. See if less hives per location results in an increase in honey production per hive.
"Stop making sence "
 

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I did mix up 'trees' and 'hives' as Acebird pointed out. I have edited post #4 to correct that.

But the point of my comment remains the same. Move some of the existing hives to a new [additional] location to see if the honey production per hive increases.

I really don't understand how Acebird thinks adding more hives is going to improve honey production per hive.
 

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Graham, Ace mad it clear. It is not about increasing honey production per hive. but revealing a problem in the bees that he suspects exists. Be careful about how you respond to those that think differently. every person that ever discovered a new way of doing anything thought differently.

Basically I see it as the same advice anyone gets about keeping more than one hive. The comparison of one hive to another reveals problems.

I say weak hives is also a problem that needs to be discovered. But it also sounds like my hives that I attribute to extreme drought and other harder than normal conditions this year. If it happens year after year there is more of a problem. I agree a different location may reveal some things. I have my first outyard this year. and there are some differences to be found in different locations.

But for us not even ferrel colonies are doing well this year. They had a hayday swarming in the spring but a mild winter and drought did not provide nectar for them to survive on.
 

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Rader Sidetrack;1150270I really don't understand how Acebird thinks adding [I said:
more [/I]hives is going to improve honey production per hive.
Thank you Daniel.

The problem with any advice is we don't know how many hives are in question. I have to assume that anywhere in NC could support a couple of hives. I also assumed like Daniel said that the problem is not forage related.
 

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Graham, Ace mad it clear. It is not about increasing honey production per hive.
Huh.

Here is what I read in the OP ....
What can I [HIGHLIGHT]do next year[/HIGHLIGHT] to Maximize my [HIGHLIGHT]Sourwood[/HIGHLIGHT] flow it seems like the ladies are not even close to being as strong as they were before the Spring flow and up here in the mountains the end of Spring flow is the first week of June and the start of Sourwood starts right at the end of June. I have over twenty+ Mature trees within a Kilometer of my hives and [HIGHLIGHT]am averaging less then a seven frame super per hive [/HIGHLIGHT] with drawn comb.
I agree that there could [possibly] be an issue with those hives, but there is not enough information available to diagnose those hives as sick/weak/underperformers. The OP is asking what he can do differently next year to improve sourwood honey production per hive.


And, Ace, North Carolina is a big state and has quite a varied climate/topography and different forage. You certainly can't get sourwood honey everywhere in NC.

Sourwood honey [nectar] is only possible when sourwood trees have that nectar available, which is obviously for a limited period per year. Those hives may very well be quite healthy and producing lots of non-sourwood honey in other parts of the honey season. But KenR is interested in maximizing his sourwood honey, which can typically be sold at a premium compared to non-sourwood honey.

.
 

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Graham, You seem to have overlooked. "it seems like the ladies are not even close to being as strong as they were before the Spring flow". So is that a flow issue or a bee issue?

Are there other keepers in the area? Are they getting better production?

IF it is a flow I am not sure how you would know. Weak colonies would not maximize even a strong flow.

So the first issue I see to address here is to solve the weak colony problem. Then see what a well manged colony can do with the flow. Regardless, there is little that can be done about a poor flow. but there is plenty that can be done with a starving colony.

I woudl suggest the OP take time to read some of the recent posts relating to strength of a colony and the balance that needs to exist. It is a situation that I think has effected my bees all year. and has been very difficult to diagnose. In short it is an overall effect that a colony that is weak just never seems to be able to get the ball rolling. So maybe I am simply transposing my experiences into the OP's comments. Feel free to do the same. I am not sure why you find it necessary to argue with every person that posts some idea other than yours. Try just sharing your thoughts in the great melting pot of ideas. and let it go.
 

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Well, I am sharing my thoughts. :)


Graham, You seem to have overlooked. "it seems like the ladies are not even close to being as strong as they were before the Spring flow". So is that a flow issue or a bee issue?
Certainly I overlook things. Sometimes I even forget why I picked up whatever is in my hand. :p


As the risk of seeming to argue with previous posters,:D lets look at KenR's post again.

What can I do next year to Maximize my Sourwood flow it seems like the ladies are not even close to being as strong as they were before the Spring flow and up here in the mountains [HIGHLIGHT] the end of Spring flow is the first week of June [/HIGHLIGHT]and the start of [HIGHLIGHT]Sourwood starts right at the end of June.[/HIGHLIGHT]
As sourwood nectar flow is 3 weeks later than the main spring nectar flow according to Ken, it is POSSIBLE that the bees are optimizing their forager population for the main spring flow. There may be less bees when sourwood rolls around because the slowing of the primary spring nectar flow encouraged the colony to shutdown/slow brood production.

I certainly don't know that is the situation - but it seems like a reasonable possibility. :) There may be things that Ken can do to encourage his colonies to continue brood production for a longer period, but I am not offering advice on that. However, moving part of his hives to a second sourwood location may improve his sourwood production per hive. But he won't be able to test that without giving it a try next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Folks I have 8 hives and a nuc I've never been able to get much sourwood honey until last year was the first year that I actually got enough to sell some 2 gallons out of 4 producing hives. these ladies are awesome in the spring last year almost 20 gallons of spring honey. Radar that's my thinking also I'm thinking of maybe next year after spring flow of stealing the brood of some hives and putting them in certain hives that I pick I don't know if that will help much with three weeks before start of flow but I think will start helping toward the middle and end of flow.
 

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Graham, your assessment brings up something I noticed this past spring. And relates to this conversation directly. I agree it may only be one avenue to look at.

Spring build up. Typically it seems to me that there are attempts to prevent spring build up through the swarm period. This past spring I listened to other local beekeepers explain how to start building up colonies to three boxes tall using two queens as late as mid May. In comparison I have been building up my colonies since early March and they where at that same time as large as 40 to 50 frames of bees per hive. One of my overwintered nucs was built up to 40 frames.

This is a guaranteed recipe for swarming I know. swarming is prevented by other measures and was extremely successful.

I basically follow some variation of checkerboarding and unlimited brood nest. I am exploring the claims set forth by Walt in nectar management.

I woudl definitely see this as one solution to low mid season populations.

I notice the same thing you mention. by the time the flow has started, June 1st or so for us, The bees have shut down this brood production. It seems to me that other beekeepers are starting to rear brood about the time the bees are shutting it down. B then I find it difficult to get a colony to increase in population as they seem to go into a maintaining population mode or something close to it.
 

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Folks I have 8 hives and a nuc I've never been able to get much sourwood honey until last year was the first year that I actually got enough to sell some 2 gallons out of 4 producing hives. these ladies are awesome in the spring last year almost 20 gallons of spring honey.
I see a potential problem here. It is called beekeeper robing. You could be forcing your bees into a conservative mode. They can't build from nothing they will just steal from each other and produce nothing.
 

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I must have missed something in KenR's posts above. :scratch:

How do you know how much honey KenR left for the bees' use? :s
 

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Remove the queens the last week in june... That will give you near a month of no brood to feed. This way you are able to steal all the sourwood flow insted of just whats left after they feed brood
 
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