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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thats what the beekeepers around here tell me you can expect a good honey flow once every etc!!etc!!This is my fourth year and this was my first major honeycrop.The second year I got about a full super of sourwood but thats it.They are two very distinct flows here pouplar&sourwood.I'm in a great spot all kinds of both pouplar and sourwood. What could I do to maxamize my yearly crop?I'm going to try and start expanding next year should I put some hives in other places.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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All beekeeping is local. So what works in one place may or may not in another. In my climate I find leaving more honey in the fall usually results in more bees in the spring. Up to a certain point. In some climates feeding in the spring seems to work, but in my climate it does not usually. If I feed too early I get too much brood and they either swarm before the main flow or they die when they get stuck on brood they are rearing too early. Making sure they have pollen stores is helpful. Sometimes feeding pollen (I usually open feed it) in the spring can help, but this requires trapping pollen the year before and freezing it. Most years, it's just luck in the timing of the rain, etc. that makes a big crop or no crop. But certainly building a strong population of bees before the flow while avoiding swarming is the main goal.
 

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Assuming that you are extracting, I would also focus on management of drawn comb. Keeping it clean and getting sufficient space on there early seems to make a big difference if you have shorter, intense flows.
 

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You could try moving your bees around to catch other flows. Here in FL we have to move ours 3 times a year to stay with the major flows, although they do bring in wildflowers and yard flower nectar year round. Put them on pallets and go with the flow! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Standman I use permacomb for the honey supers although I'm trying to get the girls to draw me two supers of comb right now so I can checkerboard them next spring.Fish-stix I've thought of that but I don't have a pickup or a tralor.
 

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Once every five years? Depends .. did you start beekeeping on year 1 of the"5" year cycle or year 3? as stated above alot of it depends on weather, did the seeds get to much water after they went to ground last fall and rot. was the winter to wet or dry?was there a freak late freeze in the spring. Did the farmer rotate crops, chaneing the type and date of bloom, was more local farm ground sold for homes. Did your bees build up to fast or to slow?Did they swarm or did you split at the wrong time? Dang framing/ranching/Beekeeping so simple and such a sure thing I think I'm going to Las Vegas. Good Luck, scratch your head and guess like the rest of us lucky people. Jim:lpf:
 

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Time to buy a pickup or trailer! :lpf:

Now on the serious side... If I got a good crop once every 5 years I'd give it up. In the past I kept bees on or near alfalfa, and averaged 100 pounds per hive each year. Since living here, I've been in an expansion mode, and have gotten below the state average. In fact, because the weather was lousy in May, our spring flow pretty much failed, and I averaged only 16 pounds per hive.

However, I followed the advice of a friend, and moved 11 hives to irrigated soybeans in fertile bottom land, and they're going gangbusters! My average this year could approach 100 pounds (instead of that lousy 16 so far), but time will tell.

My point is, it depends on where you keep the bees, what's going on around them in the farming industry, and the weather.
Good luck!
Steven
 

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This has been the worst year for bees in the Pacific North west. a week of summer thats it no heat wave Nothing the highest it got was 80 for a day. I want a refund on my summer.
 

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Has it been that bad.?

I added 45 hives to my apiary mostly with swarms. I have done 2 and I think I have 2-3 more suppers on hives from last year that I will get honey from. So I am looking to end with 10-15 gallons of honey this year. Would be nice for more then that but, the flow is over for me I think. Looking at maybe going into the mountains for fire-weed if I can figure out how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Folks around here it's ethier pasture or woods thats what we get our flow from.Maybe some white clover in yards or somewhere.I live in the mountains there is no commercial farming unless your growing cattle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Folks around here it's either pasture or woods thats what we get our flow from.Maybe some white clover in yards or somewhere.I live in the mountains there is no commercial farming unless your growing cattle.
 

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Eastside come on down to the coast get away from the foot hills of the cascades and live in Grays Harbor for a year like this one. My count of days with full sun this summer above 75 deg is less then 20 days. pretty poor summer by all acounts. you go inland were your at and its been rather nice.
 
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