Cabarrus County Beekeepers

Bob's Flower and Hive Report

April 2012 Meeting

Hive Report

Swarming is going on now. There seems to be a lot more swarming than usual.  Adding honey supers to make room for the colony can discourage swarming.

If you have honey supers with drawn comb, add these first.  The drawn comb will encourage the bees to move through the queen excluder.  You can add all your drawn comb supers to the hive at one time. If you're using new foundation, put these supers above drawn comb supers.

The honey flow is continually increasing.  Soon the bees will concentrate on making honey, instead of swarming.  Make sure the bees have plenty of room in the honey supers to work.  If they run out of room and stop making honey, it can be hard to get them back to working the honey flow.

The honey season is looking to be very promising this year.  When the middle frames in the top honey super are drawn, add more supers. Once the flow is in full swing, the bees minds will be geared toward making honey.  So keep them busy, by having enough supers installed.

To entice bees to pull new foundation in your honey supers, remove the queen excluder for a couple weeks.  This will allow the bees to move up easier.  When the foundation has been pulled, replace the excluder, making sure the queen is below the excluder.  Be sure to give the bees plenty of working room.


Flower Report

Lots of blooming going on.  Crimson clover is on the way out, which will be replaced by ladino clover.  Bees will work small leaf or Chinese privet.  Large Leaf or Japanese Privet, blooms later than small leaf.  Small leaf makes better honey than large leaf, but bees work both.  Bees also will work pansies, and Knock Out Roses.  Bees will work geranium and blackberries, but they're not high on the list for bees.  Hollies are holding their own with an almost continuous bloom coming from different varieties.

Flowers that bees will not work include azaleas, dogwoods, wisteria (which is debatable), Carolina jasmine(will kill brood), and star magnolia.

  • Tulip Poplar
    Liriodendron tulipifera
    One sign that bees are working tulip poplar is to look for is a faint white chalky dot on the back of the thorax.

  • Ladino Clover
    Trifolium repens ssp. latum

  • Crimson Clover
    Trifolium incarnatum

  • Chinese Privet
    Ligustrum sinense
    Small Leaf Privet

  • Japanese Privet
    Ligustrum ovalifolium
    Large Leaf Privet