Itís goldenrod time again - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Itís goldenrod time again

Early September in Pa is a great time for honeybees to forage Canadian goldenrod. Hives that have been in the loafing mode come alive again when the goldenrod blooms. Itís a great source for both pollen and nectar.

I was stacking firewood 100 yards from the beeyard this morning when I got my first whip of the ď smell ď. When bees gather GR nectar, the moisture content is about 50%. Bees will fan the cells filled with raw nectar with their wings, 24/7, to dry the honey to below 17-18%, at which time theyíll cap the cell with beeswax. The smell of drying goldenrod is unforgettable....some say it smells bad,like sweaty socks, while others ( like me), say it has a cheesy or spicy smell. The finished honey is quite dark, but doesnít taste anything like it smelled when it was drying.

I stopped and watched the forringing bees returning to the hives. They were packing heavy, carrying 50% their body weight in nectar. They had rough landings at the hive entrance, some even bouncing a little when they touched down. The bees toting pollen will have bright yellow balls of pollen on their legs when they return.

Other than Octoberís aster bloom, this goldenrod bloom is the last call for honey bees before winter. They know it, and will work every daylight hour to pack their hives before the cold weather sets in.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 11:07 PM
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I have massive goldenrod blooms and have dreamed of bees of my own, so many irons in the fire keep me from doing it all, sure am glad there are keepers like you still out there doing it though.
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Sadly most of my life has been wasted, but the rest I spent hunting, fishing, and trapping...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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I was out fishing yesterday and walked through some areas that were thick with goldenrod in full bloom.

The bees were all over it. That's good to see.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 05:56 PM
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I also see a lot of honeybees on the knotweed as well. Always loved the smell of the hives when the goldenrod was being brought in.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
I also see a lot of honeybees on the knotweed as well. Always loved the smell of the hives when the goldenrod was being brought in.
It works out pretty good here in Pa....knotweed comes on in late August, before goldenrod. It yields a lot of nectar also, pretty dark honey. Knotweed isnít as common as goldenrod, and many times itís found near a water course. Purple loosestrife , another invasive found in wet areas , also makes good honey.

Zeke, the hives are really on the goldenrod now. I always figured Canadian goldenrod was good from September 3rd-September 21st in my area. Thereís over 100 varieties of goldenrod, some of it blooms in late July, but bees barely work it. Supers usually come off Sept. 22-25. I like to get them off before they start hauling too much aster....that stuff turns to sugar and is a dickens to extract. Also, if you pull the supers off and the honey flow is shutting down completely, the robbing instinct is magnified X 10.

Plus, I like to get the worst of the bee work done before archery season.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 07:56 PM
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thanks for posting ,never knew you could get honey from goldenrod,
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 10:10 PM
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Mine have been on the G-rod pretty heavy for the last week or so but for whatever reason the last 2-3 days have just been insane with activity. Theyíve been so busy the entrances of the hives are turning yellow.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Mine have been on the G-rod pretty heavy for the last week or so but for whatever reason the last 2-3 days have just been insane with activity. Theyíve been so busy the entrances of the hives are turning yellow.
The amount of nectar available varies each day. Bright sunny days really stimulate the nectar to flow....and more bees flying too. Goldenrod isnít even close to itís half way point of itís season in my area, but itís prime for sure now. My bees are pulling off the pollen in favor of nectar. They donít usually haul both in the same flight.

Iím in the house, itís past 10 pm, and with the thermal downdraft in the back yard, I can smell the goldenrod honey through an open window being from the beeyard 70 yards from the house.

Im sure the local bear herd will be testing the electric fence a couple times a week.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:36 PM
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Bigbrownie , kind of sounds like maple syrup in maple trees
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigbrownie View Post
It works out pretty good here in Pa....knotweed comes on in late August, before goldenrod. It yields a lot of nectar also, pretty dark honey. Knotweed isnít as common as goldenrod, and many times itís found near a water course. Purple loosestrife , another invasive found in wet areas , also makes good honey.

Zeke, the hives are really on the goldenrod now. I always figured Canadian goldenrod was good from September 3rd-September 21st in my area. Thereís over 100 varieties of goldenrod, some of it blooms in late July, but bees barely work it. Supers usually come off Sept. 22-25. I like to get them off before they start hauling too much aster....that stuff turns to sugar and is a dickens to extract. Also, if you pull the supers off and the honey flow is shutting down completely, the robbing instinct is magnified X 10.

Plus, I like to get the worst of the bee work done before archery season.
Having much trouble with yellow jackets robbing this year? Sometimes they can be tough on hives, especially a weak hive. I have lost hives to them in the past.
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