Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About two weeks ago I went up to my small mountain beeyard. I removed the supers with spring honey and added supers with empty comb. At that point the sourwood tree blooms hadn't opened. Yesterday I went back up to check. All of the added supers were full and in the process of capping. The sourwood trees look to be at their peak. I added more supers with empty comb.
Looking like a great improvement over last year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
20190606_095746.jpg that was a pic on june 6th. Ive seen nectar coming in since then. Its either from the dutch clover or that ive seen them working both. Im hoping to get all my honey off soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
How many trees around is worth taking a hive to the mountains? like whole mountains of nothing but sourwood trees? or one or two here and there, at my Aunts mountain house in West Jefferson, NC there's only one here and there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Ifixoldhouses- take 2 or 3 if you can, but it may be too late for this year. I can only find 4 trees in my neighborhood but there is more than that on one hillside at my mom and dad's so I took them over there a couple of times. There must be some off the road that I can't see because I still collect more at home. Just don't put the hives directly underneath the trees you want them to visit , they seem to be all over trees about 70 ft away but ignore the ones they are under most of the time. (Had a swarm go straight up into the tree above it once).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
I don't know how much one tree will put out. Just saying if you have some trees nearby there are probably more than you think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I took one huge hive to Murphy NC a month ago and it is booming. Took off 2 mediums last Sunday and have 2 more on it now that is almost full. Taking 2 empty shallows up tomorrow and put them on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How many trees around is worth taking a hive to the mountains?
If there is a good area of natural forest within the foraging area there should be plenty of sourwood. They are ‘here and there’ and not in concentrated stands. The area needs elevation. I’ve been told that below about 1500 feet sourwood won’t produce significant nectar. At home…elevation about 700 feet…. we have some grand sourwood trees and yet my bees don’t make any noticeable surplus. In my mountain yard at 3400 feet…different story.
Last year was a TOTAL bust. Nary a drop of sourwood honey. The trees bloomed. The bees were healthy….but no sourwood honey. That was the second time in the 8 years I’ve had hives up there. All the local beekeepers have theories…too much rain, not enough rain, late freeze, mild winter, cold winter….and the list goes on. I have no idea why some years they don’t seem to produce…but they aren’t totally dependable.
I would say that it is probably too late to move hives for sourwood. The trees where I keep my bees tend to be some of the latest blooming and I’d estimate that they will be completely finished in another two weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
My hive is in a valley with several hundred acres of mountain forest surrounding it. I was wondering when the flow stops up there. A older beekeep across town from mine said the end of July it will slow down a lot. Do bees get anything from mountain laurel?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
My hive is in a valley with several hundred acres of mountain forest surrounding it. I was wondering when the flow stops up there. A older beekeep across town from mine said the end of July it will slow down a lot. Do bees get anything from mountain laurel?
I am in North Georgia and i am pulling supers next week. I hope the bees are not foraging on mountain laurel. It creates poisonous honey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,827 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was wondering when the flow stops up there.
As I drive up US441 on the way to my beeyard in NC, I see sourwood trees in bloom alongside the road.
Last Sunday, July 7, those at Cornelia had finished blooming. From Clarkesville to Clayton they went from finished to winding down. By the time I got to Franklin, NC they were still in bloom but noticeably at their peak.
Historically….at least for the last eight years I’ve kept bees at this location….the sourwood blooms started around the first of July. In my limited experience, I think that they were about a week to two weeks early this year.
The long and short is that the beginning and end of bloom depends on your location, elevation and seasonal variation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
The other thing I noticed is that this year, we have not had storms that blow the blooms from the trees. I always can tell when the sourwood is over because I see the flowers on the ground under the trees. I am not seeing that this year. Last year, the flow was over on 7/8. This year, the blooms are still on the trees but I expect I have about another week before it ends.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top