When is the Flow Over

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hazmatinferno
Newbee
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2023 2:32 pm

When is the Flow Over

Post by hazmatinferno »

Second year beekeeper here and wanting to learn what everyone looks for to determine that the flow is over.
It seems that most talk about pulling supers off and extracting at the end of June and/or first week of July. I am assuming (like everything else in beekeeping) that this is dictated by the weather and what the plants are doing. So, what clues do you use to know when to pull the supers?
reedyfork
Guard bee
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Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:09 am

Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by reedyfork »

In most previous years, I have targeted the July 4 holiday as my time to pull supers. The idea being to wait as long as possible, but to get them off before a real dearth and the bees start consuming the honey they've stored. This was also done when I had fewer colonies and rented an extractor for one big extraction event...

However, I have since purchased my own extractor and have started under-supering. So I am no longer waiting until July 4, but pulling off supers as they fill up and get capped, and extracting periodically in smaller batches. I just completed my second round this weekend. I have a feeling my final pull will be earlier this year though - maybe mid-June.
hazmatinferno
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Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by hazmatinferno »

Thanks for the reply reedyfork!
Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by Jacobs »

I harvested at Brown Summit yesterday. The bees were very interested in any honey that dripped from damaged cells. Having hives open to take honey did not trigger probing or robbing. To me, that triggers the transition from flow to dearth.
Pharmacyman
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Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by Pharmacyman »

After the flow is over and all honey is harvested, do you always feed during the dearth? Do you feed 1:1 sugar water or something more diluted? And lastly, do you automatically feed during the dearth or do you base feeding on the amount of honey remaining in the hive or the lack thereof?
Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by Jacobs »

I don't feed automatically. If I want to make sure that a queen has what she needs to keep laying and not shut down, I'll feed 1:1 steadily, but not necessarily heavily. If a hive is very light after taking honey, I'll feed heavily. I'll add feed closer to dark these days to limit the smell of open hives and sugar water in the air. I don't want to trigger massive robbing.
Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by Jacobs »

Two days ago was the first day that the bees emptied the nectarometer in less than a day. They are either waiting for me or following me out in the morning as I bring the day's pint of honey water.
Pharmacyman
Nursebee
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:05 pm

Re: When is the Flow Over

Post by Pharmacyman »

I inspected today and saw quite a number of frames with uncapped nectar. I have no idea where they are getting it. I also (knock on wood) thus far have seen very few small hive beetles.
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