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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Butler / Moshannon Pa
Almost goldenrod time
Weíre about a week away from the start of the goldenrod bloom here in Western Pa. For many beekeepers, itís gametime. There were years I made more honey in September than the rest of the season combined. With the surplus rain weíve had this summer, the goldenrod fields are lush and high. If we get good foraging days in September ( dry, warm, sunny, little wind ), there should be a fantastic nectar flow this Fall. I recently extracted the spring/summer honey, treated for mites with formic acid and got my honey supers on today.
For those unfamiliar with beekeeping, the fall nectar flow is unique in that you can smell the goldenrod honey being made. Under the right conditions, Iíve smelled hives nearly 100 yards away. When foraging bees return with goldenrod nectar, itís about 50% water. Honeybees need to dry it to 17-18% moisture in the comb before theyíll cap off a cell. They do this by fanning there wings over the raw nectar....24 hours a day. A strong aromatic odor is emitted...smell it once, youíll not forget it. In addition to increased flight activity, the smell of goldenrod drying was a sure sign that the flow had started. Before varroa mites hit in the 1980s, wiping out feral honeybees, it was common for me to find a bee tree in September with my nose.
Hoping for great weather in September!