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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from weed whacking a yard to keep weeds off the electric fence. The voltmeter tells me 8,000 volts by the energizer and 7,900 at the other end of the fence - and the land owner says he hasn't seen or heard about bear in the area for the last few weeks! The bees were so busy with the goldenrod and whatever else is blooming that they didn't pay any attention to me. Life is good. Now where's the beer?
 

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Yes we do. 3 to 4 weeks ahead of usual. No summer dearth this year or at least not until later. And our weather pattern seems to be rain at night and in the 80s during the day. Perhaps POTUS requested this weather for his vacation - the yard I was tending is about a mile from the airport he's coming and going from.
 

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I've been wondering about the goldenrod I've been seeing all week. Does this early bloom shorthen the season or will it bloom into fall like last year? I'm new to Maine and trying to get an idea of what to expect. My splits and the dismal packages of this past spring haven't built up enough population yet to make good use of a heavy flow.

Wayne
 

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Here in Vermont, I always see goldenrod blooming in July. Usually the third week. Nothing much comes in from the early blooms. Our goldenrod nectar flow usually starts about August 15. Lasts 2-3 weeks. Last year it started on the 13th and was done 7 days later with the return of cool sprinkly weather. Never re-started.

I agree with Andrew. It's early this year. I saw the first blooms on July 7, so like everything else this year the bloom is 2 weeks early. I wonder what will come in September with no flow. Colonies building winter population eating up all the winter stores? Colonies not raising winter bees for lack of flow?

Funny year this one. I was a reader of Root's material in the early days of Gleanings in Bee Culture....1880s-1910. He always advised his students to keep a bloom chart for at least 5 years. I did for many more than that. I noted that spring blooms from plants like Speckled Alder, Pussy Willow, and soft Maple could vary a month or more from year to year. As the spring progressed, bloom times would even out. By Apples, the variation was maybe a week. By Locust, everything had returned to normal with bloom starting the first week of June. The rest of the summer and fall was predictable within only a few days.

This year, everything has been at least 2 weks early. Who ever heard of Apples blooming in April in the Champlain Valley. Earliest I ever saw in 20 years of pollination was May 7, latest May 21, while the average was about the 11th or 12th. And Locust in May? And Basswood the 3rd week of June? And now Goldenrod on July 7. Very odd year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@Wayne - Watch the bloom come September and be prepared to feed. Mike is so right, the bees may very well feel the need to feast on their winter stores.
 

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Like Mike, I saw some goldenrod about July 7th.

I understand that there are a number of different goldenrods. Is that right? Do some produce nectar and some not?

Some bee chores involve paying attention to what is blooming. I should be more knowledgable about the plants where I live, but I'm not. I'm always impressed by Mike and Chuck Kutik when they say, such and such is in bloom. Sometimes, if not often, plants that I haven't heard of our haven't been introduced to or haven't seen yet. I still can't pick out japanese knotweed aka bamboo.
 

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I wonder what will come in September with no flow. Colonies building winter population eating up all the winter stores? Colonies not raising winter bees for lack of flow?
It will give you some insight into what it's like for us in Virginia (and many other areas who have no late summer or Fall flow at all), feeding like mad starting in August. The bees still raise winter bees though- they sure do down here. One difference that will remain I suspect is that your cold weather will still come at least a month earlier than us.
 
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