Nectar Flow 2022
It would appear the nectar flow for the west side of Montgomery County is “on”. How do I know? My hives are instrumented to provide insights as to what is happening in the hive on a 15-minute basis! We capture weight, temperature and humidity in the hive using Broodminder sensors, and this data is graphed and viewable on the Internet. To get the data there, you can capture the information via mobile app on your phone when you go out to watch the girls or want to get the latest data that is stored on the sensors since the last time you collected the data.
This information can be very informative, but it does take some basic understanding of what is happening in nature but also what should be happening in the hive at different times of the year. It just so happens that at this time of year, we are fully expecting our girls to go out and collect nectar and bring it back to the hive and store it. It’s from this process we will get honey! While the bees have been collecting nectar and pollen for some time over the past few months, we appear to be full on with the Tallow Tree nectar flow. This seems to be evidenced by the growth in weight over the past 3 days.
This particular hive started as a split on March 27th and has been consistently fed 1:1 sugar water with Hive Alive supplement added, at a rate of 3-4 lbs every few days until the first of May. During this time, frames of honey/nectar were selectively removed from the hive to make room for empty frames that the Queen would hopefully be able to lay eggs in. In doing so, we created a situation where there would be more brood available in the box that would in turn lead to more foragers available. On May 11th a decision was made based on the state of the frames in this single 10 frame box to put on a 10 Frame super. Starting on May 13th there were moderate increases in weight by a couple of lbs per day. On May 15th, I had a peek in the super to get a feel for what was happening. There was substantial evidence of nectar being stored in the super frame (not capped yet). On May 16th through May 18th, the hive weight has been increasing approx. 6-7 lbs a day! This would suggest to me that the Tallow Nectar is flowing. There's a link below to follow along and see how things progress.. I'll probably take a peak this weekend (22nd) to get visual of the super, but it's my estimation that I'll be adding another super box within the next week, but we'll also see what the data is going to suggest to us as well!
Select Broodminder sensors are available for pickup in the store and the others we can order as needed.
To learn more about how you can use data to better understand what's happening in your hive, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come by our store at 1010 Magnolia Blvd, Magnolia Tx. We also carry a full line of the Broodminder products as well as Hive Alive.
Update 5/27 -
Since the last posting, the girls have been steadily working to fill the super with nectar! The rain we had did slow their collection to some degree off and on. On May 23rd a second super was put on this hive, I put this super between the hive body and the existing super (that was getting full). Looking at the data at the time of this writing, they are on pace to bring in a record amount for this day. This link provides a slightly different view of the data than was previously posted https://mybroodminder.com/share/hive/85838f8f1938406b892f067a5eb8a0ce.
In addition to the Broodminder data view on the web, this data is also being fed into Mellisphera.
Where the Broodminder sensor measurements are translated into useful and actional information.
Since we’ve been focused on nectar collection, here is a snapshot of the visualization we get
from Mellisphera on the Bees Productivity. Green represents increases and Red represents decreases.
The size of the dot provides and indication of change.
There are a number of other visualizations that provided in Mellisphera along with email notifications that I can setup
to inform me of different configurable alerts.
Does this mean I can keep bees without understanding beekeeping, no of course not. It can help you become more aware of what is happening in your hives when you are not doing inspections and the bees are going about their beesness! A future article, I’ll spend a little time documenting the setup I have and we’ll go further into some of the Mellisphera service as well.
If you’ve read this far, and are interested in the Broodminder products, jump over here . As we keep few of these in stock, and it’s possible these will go quickly, if you will email your interest, I’ll batch up an order to have shipped to us.
Update 6/4 -
This is an update on the insulated hive. The intake looks to be slowing ever so slightly. I've also noticed that most of the Tallow tree's tassels have now pointed downward, while I can't find evidence that this indicates the nectar is flowing in the tassel this would seem to make sense. The overall data on this hive is still showing a strong brood population and an overall healthy state..