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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
High all, the locust trees are starting to bloom here in Pa and I'm looking for ideas on how I can take advantage of the locust flow? This is the first time in seven years that things are about right. The only down side that I can see is that I only have few hives that are strong enough to take advantage of the flow. I have three shallow supers and plenty of medium supers to work with, thanks.
 

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My idea is that there should be one, a flow that is. We never seem to get anything from locusts in The North Country.

What Larry says is right. Bees love wet supers.
 

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Locust flow was very good down here in Kentucky. Long and strong bloom. Lots of clear lemon yellow honey just harvested, beautiful color and delicious stuff. I did the same that snl suggested last week to prepare for clover. Sometimes locust doesn't amount to much honey, the conditions need to be just right and I have no clue what those conditions should be.

You could have made your hive queenless atleast a week before the flow started so there was no open brood to feed and care for, turns more bees into foragers..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have one hive that is not very strong, the bees are just starting to move up into the second story deep. My thought was to shake all the bees down to one deep and add a queen excluder and then a super or just combine with another hive. I want to keep the locust honey separate from the wild flower if possible maybe pull the medium supers from stronger colonies and add shallows.
 

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Black locust is very sensitive to variations in the spring seasons. Locally, it has only bloomed sporadically in the last few radical seasons. 25 years ago, when seasons were consistent and predictable, we had good bloom every year, but we didn't get BL in the supers. It bloomed in the lull, just before the "main flow."

I think I know how to get locust honey in the supers in that circumstance. Not my idea, but was told to me by an east TN beekeeper. Looked for him for two days at the conference to get his name to give him credit for the scheme, should I report it later.

Goes like this:
Prior to BL bloom, put all the frames of brood of a double deep in the upper box - wall to wall brood.
Place all frames of stores in the lower deep, making sure that the brood above was not separated from the stores below.
Transport to the BL area.
Add two supers of drawn comb at the top of the double deep, without excluder.

Seems to me that this technique would be effective for any varietal honey. The bees "want" to add liquid feed immediately above the brood - standard procedure.

Walt
 

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Keep them from swarming. I thank Walt for that trick.

Black Locust honey is water white. Any color imparted to the honey is due to secondary sources of nectar. If you want to obtain the most pure BL honey, I would remove any supers from the hive that were placed on it prior to the BL flow. When the BL flow hits, make sure you have empty supers on the hive. Remove the supers as soon as you can when the flow ends.

Here's some of my BL honey (it's obvious which one is BL).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwi-OrrCS4unV3Y3T3hWSnRBVVU/edit?usp=sharing

here's my BL flow from year's past. As you can see, my hive put on 90 lbs during the BL flow.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwi-OrrCS4uneHQ2M1d0VTlEa2s/edit?usp=sharing
 

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Locust flow was very good down here in Kentucky. Long and strong bloom. Lots of clear lemon yellow honey just harvested, beautiful color and delicious stuff. I did the same that snl suggested last week to prepare for clover.
So jealous! :D We missed the entire bloom in BSG. Last year's locust flow was great. Another member posted that the lack of blooms was due to a late cold snap.

Shane
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So jealous! :D We missed the entire bloom in BSG. Last year's locust flow was great. Another member posted that the lack of blooms was due to a late cold snap.

Shane
Last year we had a late frost third week of May I believe but this year is looking pretty good so far. As long as it doesn't get too hot I may get lucky.:) Thanks for all the info from everyone.
 

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I have a huge BL tree that blooms every year right in front of the hive. Most years the bees are all over it. This year they hardly touched it. I can't imagine what they were liking better.
 

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Empty supers of drawn comb seem to do the trick here. We had a pretty good year, with lots of other stuff coming in now (my persimmon trees are humming with bees in the afternoons). Foundation doesn't do the trick nearly so well I've discovered, and I plan to work much harder to keep plenty of drawn comb safe from wax moths in the future. I think I'd have had four supers full if I'd had the drawn comb -- it seems to take a couple weeks for them to pull wax and draw out foundation. If I'd been thinking I'd have put on a couple more supers of foundation just to see, might still do that if I can't extract soon.

We typically get good BL bloom here, I see the trees on the way to work. Some rain for a few days of the major bloom this year, but I still got two and a half supers filled up in a week on one hive.

Bees seem to work the strongest and closest nectar source, but often ignore things quite close to the hive. Whatever attracts the foragers first will hold them until it runs out, I think. At any rate, my bees are still flying pretty hard in spite of my overwintered hive swarming on Monday, just before I was going to do an inspection and make a split! Bad timing.

Peter
 

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I think I'd have had four supers full if I'd had the drawn comb -- it seems to take a couple weeks for them to pull wax and draw out foundation. If I'd been thinking I'd have put on a couple more supers of foundation just to see, might still do that if I can't extract soon.
nah on a strong flow, a strong hive will draw out a medium in just a few days. Its all about energy, do you want the honey to be converted into wax or directly stored, outside temp and internal temp is also a player. How many foragers are stuck on brood, once its warm enough they can leave to do other things, mainly forage and cure nectar. This is why drawn comb is so advantageous.
 
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