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rookie ? on nectar flow

2536 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  NewBee
Sorry. I'm sure this will sound idiotic to the experienced beekeepers. Does the presence of blossoms on nearby weeping cherries indicate the start of the nectar flow here in Baltimore?
And, if yes, are some flowering trees considered to be lesser nectar sources just because of volume of nectar, etc?


David in Baltimore
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Nectar "flow" is a relative term. Usually the "main" flows are early summer and late fall around here. But some places have a fairly constant flow or different amounts of flow.

Around here I consider the early fruit trees to be a small early flow, but not the main flow by any means. The bees seem to like the plums better than they like my pears, but I still get a lot more pears with the bees around. So I'm sure the bees get some nectar from them. Different trees have different amounts of nectar for the bees but I don't consider myself an expert on which is which. However the bees are experts.
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I suspect that the flow conditions in Baltimore are not too unlike what we have here in Suffolk, VA. I think it also depends upon the year. I know from last year that when the bradford pears were blooming (late March thru early April) my bees were actually storing excess honey. This year, the bradford blooms have come and gone and not a drop of honey in my supers. Our weather this year has been pretty unfriendly to the bees - some warm temps early followed by relatively cold. The cold has killed a lot of the developing brood (as noticed on the SBB) and I suspect has set back hive populations. Of course this is probably an optimal result for the bees given the situation, but it makes the beekeeper a bit anxious.

In our area, the main flow occurs after most of the blooming fruit trees. Some of the biggest producers are: tulip popular (mid to late May thru early June), Holly trees mid-to late April thru early May).

Best of luck.
According to George Imirie, the main nectar flow for central MD (Montgomery county) begins around April 15th, and ends sometime in early to mid June.

He recommends putting 4-5 empty supers of drawn comb on each of your hives no later than April 15th and preferably earlier. I'd say that if you haven't put them on already, you should do it this weekend.
Man I wish I had supers of drawn comb. The bees are gonna have to draw them out this year i'm afraid. I hear they can really crank them out when the flow is heavy.
>Man I wish I had supers of drawn comb. The bees are gonna have to draw them out this year i'm afraid. I hear they can really crank them out when the flow is heavy.

John Seets will sell you all the fully drawn plastic comb you want. PermaComb.
Being in the Baltimore area you are about three to four weeks ahead of the South Jersey area... Look for the Dandelions and Skunk Cabbage...theses are sure signs of pollen and start of nectar gathering...I am expecting the flow to start in about two to three weeks from now up here....Yes the bees are very discerning about nectar sources... for instance apples are not all that great a nectar source so..they will look for the best nectar and nectar source and best pollen and pollen source within the area..Steve

[This message has been edited by NewBee (edited April 08, 2004).]
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