Cut comb honey:
Do not try this with your Flow frames: It’ll be too hard to chew! :)
My timing is awful, my hives peaked too soon and now 2 are requeening. That said, the bloom has begun. I am think of moving my smallest hive right next to the sunflowers. The other hives just have a halfmile flight to get there. Almost every flower has a bee or 2 on them. The constant rain over the last month really ate down the honey in the hives. Plus 2 swarmed while I was away, argh!
Hoping the nexr 2 weeks saves my season.
That’s not bad, they’ll have nice young queens going through winter:
This is my neighbors yard that graciously allowed me to sit the bee hive. Only the stone lane is between the hive and the sunflowers. The hive is basically emtpy and it is a single brood box but fully populated. This will be a great test to see how fast they can bring in the nectar. Haven’t decided about moving my big hives. 2 are requeening so hestitant to mess with them. That is more work moving multiple boxes also.
The board in front is to reset the bees so they don’t go to the old spot. A few were flying around the old spot this morning (moved them at 10pm last night) but not many. A saw lots of bees flying in circles around the new location getting oriented. So the move seems to have works.
I will reshoot this once both fields are in full bloom. I am new at this.
First house on the lane to the right is where one of my beehives is sitting.
My strongest hive is putting on close 4 pounds per day since the sunflowers started blooming. Other 2 big hives that swarmed not doing nearly as well.
Possible rain in the forecast though blahhhhhh.
I do not have scales under the small one right beside the field.
That is a lot of sunflowers! Just curious, are they grown with pesticides or are they organic?
I doubt it is organic. I saw them spray soon after sprouting so probably some herbicide but not pesticide.
Hopefully not neonics, though unfortunately sunflowers are one of the main crops in the US that are treated with them
Neonics=bad for everyone
I wish they did sunflowers in this field every year.
It is actually quite the event. The farmer cuts parking areas so people can come take pictures.
One of my partners in crime.
Sunflowers are fading
Was definitely a good bump. The best day put on 6 lbs but the average was more like 2-3 pounds during the peak week. Breaking even at best now.
Nice data. love the photos too.
Did you get a harvest from it or just fatten up the hives for winter?
I went through all my hives today: Good brood patterns and there is still lots of honey.
Yes, I harvested what I could.
I did not wait for them to capped it because I wanted to start feeding for winter. It was 23% moisture so I put it in my convection oven on the dehydrator mode at 120 degrees in a flat pan got it down to 19%. I need to dry it one more time to get below 18%. I think I will end up with a gallon. Because it wasn’t capped, half ran down into the hive when I harvested.
It was really funky tasting at first. As I dried it, it started tasting more normal. I suspect the bee enzymes had not completed their work yet.
I’m thinking I will have to harvest what’s in my Flow frames this weekend. It’s getting colder at night & I think winter prep needs to get underway. @Plutoman15 that’s cool what you did with your unripe honey! I may end up trying that.
Guys, what do you make of two hives with huge beards at this point in the season? If it’s crowding I don’t see adding a box…will it all even out as weather changes? These two are double brood colonies from two nucs in April. They both swarmed/split 2x each in end of May. One has the Flow super still on which I think is about 60% capped, the other I just took a shallow of honey off of last week.
Hi Eva. Your 3rd year! Listen to the local beeks and in the end go by what you feel and see. See if you can work out what the bees are telling you.
I wouldn’t have a clue at all in your climate and with varroa. If you treat, I guess it’s all about timing.
Then, timing may shift quite drastically in some places due to climate change.
Amazing to hear your hives swarmed and you did splits on top. Guess it took your bees a while to recover and you missed out on some good honey income this season.
Sorry I can’t advise on your situation. Just wanted to tell you to go by your gut feeling, after listening to advice.
Sending good wishes for your colonies to overwinter well.
OK, I am going to be my usual (helpful???) self, and say, I need more info. You go to the doctor with a sore throat, do they just write a prescription for you? If they are any good, they ask a load of questions, like how long have you had it, is is getting worse or better, anyone you know sick with same etc…
My approach to beekeeping problems is unfortunately like that. So you have huge beards on your hives in fall. First question is how hot is the weather - daytime and night? Second, what is going on inside the the hive and brood box? Space? No space? Brood? No brood? Queen cells or not? When did you see the beards? Every day, or just after an inspection? So many questions, so little advice… I want to help, but I want the reply to be meaningful, not just off-the-cuff without thought.
It is possible that they have packed in enough honey from the late season flow that there was a bit of a brood burst. In that case, the boxes may well be crowded with bees. An inspection would tell you that. If so, I might put a shallow box on top for a couple of weeks until the numbers drop back again, then take it off by mid-October. Our climate is so extreme these days, it is hard to do beekeeping “by the numbers”.
I do indeed - OAV, on my second round now
Actually, I caught two of those swarms, prevented an imminent one with a split and lost one! But abundant honey all the same!! A lovely Flow harvest in July, plus one more semi-ripe one coming up, and a box of comb honey
Thanks, I’ll need those good vibes
Temps have dropped here - 75F day/60F night and lots of rain, but daytime spikes to low 80s and sun are on the way…
Good range of brood. No QCs to be found. Great stores left after harvests and minimal SHB and a few wax moth larvae/flyers I killed. Populations have been just booming all season and perhaps these are the latest nurse bees out - I do see some washboarding at the edges of the beards…or would that be washbearding?! I looked up more bearding posts and saw the Dave Cushman charts you posted a link to in '17 for our Aussie friends who were seeing this at the tail end of their summer.
I could try putting a shallow back on the one hive I just took the full one off of. How about for Flow supered hive? The cells have been ALMOST full and uncapped for ages. I didn’t lift any frames out to see all the way in yet - will do so this weekend.
Hi Eva, I would harvest the Flow honey if I were you; in fact, that was my strategy both last and this year for getting ready for winter. You can keep any unripe honey in the fridge if you think it’s necessary. Or make mead
I think it’s a bit different for those of us with a cold/wet/snowy season that requires taking the Flow frames off for several months.