Almost nobody understands the presence of a Nectar Flow

Nectar is the “stuff’ that is made into honey.

The nectar flow in central Maryland and Northern Virginia occurs in mid April to maybe June 15th, and might re-occur in September. However, in spite of all the flowers you see in bloom late June, July, August, and early September, generally there is NO NECTAR during these months, and the bees can even starve during that time if the beekeeper has harvested too much of the spring honey: How do you feel on a hot July day with high humidity and you are hungry?

Now you know why it is usually not advisable to do much bee work in July or August, because those bees are uncomfortable, bored, and mad; and they prefer that you just stay away from them or they might sting. In contrast, during a strong nectar flow, the bees are so busy and happy, that nothing seems to make them defensive, and you can do all kinds of things with them. Who was it that said ‘Food calms the savage beast.”

Fiji nectar flows

JL – In Fiji nectar flows vary from year to year and from place to place. I have an apiary in the Tavua area that in a good year the honey flow starts strongly in April and then slows down to a stop by November.

This gives a strong harvest in May, a medium harvest in August and a light harvest in November.

Any honey left on the hive is usually eaten by the bees by the end of December. In a bad drought year this same apiary provided one small harvest in November. During the droughts I keep dry sugar in the feeder to keep the bees from starving.

In contrast, an apiary in Suva has a reliable honey flow from November to March, then it becomes off and on for the remainder of the year depending on rainfall. Every location in Fiji will have its own honey flow profile.

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