Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, Inc.

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Honey Flow

For some beekeepers, the biggest reason they chose to get into beekeeping is one delicious reason; honey. In most locations across the US, we are starting to transition into peak beekeeping season which means we will begin to see (if not some already) a good Honey Flow.

Honey Flow is that perfect combination of significant nectar production and aggregable foraging weather. It is a term used to describe that optimum time where honey bees can forage at a highly efficient rate. The length of time the Honey Flow can last varies region to region and year to year. It is also not a singular occurrence. It can fluctuate through the entire season depending on the flora and weather pattern.

It can be a little tough to predict the honey Flow, but not impossible. Whether it be Orange Blossom, Clover, Tupelo, Sourwood, or any of the other several dozen varieties, most experienced regional beekeepers have a general understanding of what types of flowers are prominent in their area and what time of year they generally bloom. Taking your local flora timeline and observing upcoming weather forecasts, you can get a pretty decent prediction, but the most important thing to watch is the colonies activities. During times of Honey Flow a colony will be extremely active with foraging bees coming and going at constant rates.

Some additional things to remember when working with a Honey Flow:

  • With rising honey production will come rising space needed. On a perfect day (which can happen several times a year) a hive can quickly produce massive amounts of honey. If you see signs of highly active foraging, you will want to act accordingly and provide an additional honey super when needed. The bees can easily fill up all available space in the hive with honey and, if there is no more room, they may swarm.

  • You do not want to provide sugar syrup during a Honey Flow if you have a strong colony. Honey bees are always going after the easiest resources to get so instead of foraging for nectar, they will just take the sugar syrup and store it like honey instead. In the end you will end up with several frames full of sugar syrup that will never turn into honey.