Honey is in the air...

Posted by Andy Reseska on 4/18/2014 to Notes from the Beeyard

Well, things have really come along in Georgia. With a crew of four, we have been making numerous hive "splits", which is beekeepers lingo for dividing one colony into two colonies. All our nucs are stocked with bees, and with young, well mated, vigorous queens. Thankfully, the Titi flow is over, and we have some time to pull the honey out of the broodnest to give the young queens needed space to lay eggs in. Every year the Titi seems to come in a little different. Last year the first bloom got hit with frost, and the secondary bloom secreted nectar that gave the bees the needed carbohydrate to build new comb and strengthen the colony. This year, the Titi started out slow and steady. Then, when the warmer temps hit in early April, it was like a water tap opened up, and the hives filled every cell with nectar. When working these colonies and moving frames around, nectar was dripping out of the comb and onto our pants and shoes. By the end of a day, we were sticky with Titi nectar.

Currently, we are in a dearth in Southeast GA, meaning no nectar is coming in. The next flow will be from the Black/Sweet gum trees, swamp Tupelo, followed by Gallberry and Palmetto. These flows look extremely promising due to the water levels on the nearby rivers. The Ogechee Tupelo trees are getting their feet wet, which is necessary to yield Tupelo nectar, and the Gallberry bushes are primed with good ground moisture to get the main honey flow started.

Blueberry pollination in Georgia is over, and soon our bees will be headed back to northeast to begin pollinating apples in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. As our bees in Massachusetts start to bring in their first loads of Maple pollen, the fragrance of brood rearing fills the beeyard air: “it is finally spring”.

Bee well,