Dearth?

Bee related information that doesnt fit any where else

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Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Thu May 28, 2009 6:44 am

I have a swarm lure hive with some drawn comb, a little capped honey, and a piece of cloth with lemon grass oil stapled to the back of a frame. This is about 40 feet from my hives. Yesterday afternoon I noticed about 50-70 bees hovering around the front and going in the hive. It is the first interest any bees had shown. When they did take off they went in a different direction from my hives and from other hives I am aware of. They were gone by dark. My bees have not shown much interest in the box. I'm wondering if these are just opportunistic bees, an indication of a local dearth (tho I think my bees would be at the box more if it was) or an indicator of something else.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:22 am

I put out cappings wax and a couple of extracted frames early this week. It looked like I had 1 bee per cell on the frames and a carpet of bees on the wax. When I did this about a month ago after extracting the honey, the bees took some notice, but took their time cleaning the wax and frames. It looks like summer is cooking the nectar out of the plants that are blooming. I'm going to start keeping a closer eye on some of my lighter hives and be prepared to feed if necessary.

Wally
Guard bee
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 2:35 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Dearth?

Post by Wally » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:55 am

You have had some rain. I haven't. I have been feeding some hives for 2 weeks.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Sat May 19, 2012 12:22 pm

I wouldn't call it a full blown dearth around here, but the flow is definitely not what it was. My bees are working the white clover in the yard now, and had not been showing interest before. They are also showing interest in scraps of comb with honey on it that I left out after cleaning some frames in a hive. Two weeks ago they were ignoring it.

I guess robbing may not be too far down the road.

Also, a heads up to new beekeepers. Your sweet, docile bees may be less so once the flow is over. Use your veils and your smokers.

Doug Shaw
Nursebee
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:20 am
Location: Millington Tennessee

Re: Dearth?

Post by Doug Shaw » Fri May 25, 2012 6:04 pm

Hate to brag but I have already harvested four supers from one hive that I moved from Greensboro last winter, all frames were capped corner to corner. Guess it helps that I live in Shelby Forest in western Tennessee that has thousands of tulip populars and soybeans and cotton still coming. Do worry about the chemicals the farmers might be using.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Sun May 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Forget the crops and give me the tulip poplars. We have a number of them in my neighborhood. Even though our tulip poplars have pretty well played out, I don't think we are in a complete dearth now. David and I extracted honey yesterday, and today I placed an extracted frame in my yard to see how the bees would react. There were no more than 50-60 bees on the frame at any given time, and I think they managed to clean the one frame over the course of a long, warm day.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Mon May 28, 2012 11:34 am

Today is a different day. The bees are all over the extracted frames. They are doing a good job of cleaning them up.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:59 am

The "Jacobs Nectarometer" indicates a dearth at the house. Bees are investigating potential food sources they have not been showing interest in before. If this keeps up, I will move hive manipulations to much closer to dark so that if I trigger strong probing/robbing, there will be much less time for chaos and a better chance of getting it controlled.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1405
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Dearth?

Post by Jacobs » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:33 pm

I reduced the honey content in my "nectarometer" from 3 oz./pint to 2 0z./pint about 10 days ago. The bees are emptying the jar in a couple of hours. I am now putting a veil on to check my bees since they are likely to be more defensive when little nectar is available. I am also paying attention when I open hives to make sure that any strong probing does not develop into full blown robbing.

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