Nectar flow

Local question related to beekeeping in the Piedmont Triad area asked and answered here!

Moderators: Wally, Jacobs

Post Reply
DuaneB
Nursebee
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Nectar flow

Post by DuaneB » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:11 am

I read this term a lot. What does it refer to? How do you know when its happening? Is it happening now? Does it last long? Does it happen more than once in the Spring?


Thanks

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Nectar flow

Post by Jacobs » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:02 pm

Nectar is the sugar, water & other components that some flowering plants produce that honey bees use to feed adults, mix with pollen to make bee bread to feed brood, produce wax, and when enough moisture is removed, to store as honey. The early source of nectar and pollen in our area is the red maple. There is not enough surplus nectar from this source to produce honey, but the blooming of this tree around the first of February starts serious brood rearing after a winter of reduced to no egg laying by the queen.

The timing of the nectar flow, the amounts of nectar, and whether there is enough surplus nectar for the bees to produce honey varies from year to year. That is why I beg people to post what they are seeing. Over a period of years, we are building information on a very local level about time ranges for things like swarming, blooming of important nectar producing plants, and whether there is a dearth of nectar. One of our main nectar producers in this region is the Tulip Poplar. Knowing whether it is in bloom lets us hope for the weather that will allow it to produce nectar without it being washed away by heavy rains. Knowing about when nectar dearths begin (early to mid June in general around here) lets us know if the bees are going to get more defensive and if we have to keep bees in a way that reduces the chances of starting massive robbing episodes. Knowing if we are in a dearth also lets us know if our bees may be in danger of starving and if we need to be feeding sugar water.

DuaneB
Nursebee
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Re: Nectar flow

Post by DuaneB » Tue May 01, 2018 10:55 am

Thank you for that information.

Sounds like it would be a good idea to plant some tulip poplar in the yard.

Post Reply