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We’re about a week away from the start of the goldenrod bloom here in Western Pa. For many beekeepers, it’s gametime. There were years I made more honey in September than the rest of the season combined. With the surplus rain we’ve 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, I’ve smelled hives nearly 100 yards away. When foraging bees return with goldenrod nectar, it’s about 50% water. Honeybees need to dry it to 17-18% moisture in the comb before they’ll 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, you’ll 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!
 

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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, I’ve smelled hives nearly 100 yards away............….it was common for me to find a bee tree in September with my nose.
Not a beekeeper, but YEP !!!!

It seems to take just the right type of day...………...generally a nice warm day that's just perfect for a walk in the woods. I've sniffed out quite a number of bee trees over the years. Some of them from quite a distance. Smell it once, you'll never forget it !!!
 

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Goldenrod is also good for bluegill bait in the fall, the little maggots that are in the stems. Just look for a stem with a gall on it and split it open along the stem centerline and take them out till you get enough to go fishing.
 

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Goldenrod is also good for bluegill bait in the fall, the little maggots that are in the stems. Just look for a stem with a gall on it and split it open along the stem centerline and take them out till you get enough to go fishing.
. I never knew that. I’ve seen what you’ve described, but never opened up a gall.
 

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Goldenrod is also good for bluegill bait in the fall, the little maggots that are in the stems. Just look for a stem with a gall on it and split it open along the stem centerline and take them out till you get enough to go fishing.

Or turn over one fork of dirt and use redworms. Takes about an hour less...………. :rolleyes:

Takes a lotta gall to go bluegill fishing the goldenrod way...……...
 

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Many of my customers seem like they prefer light colored spring- early summer honey. I’ve extracted black locust honey that was as clear as water. Clover, dandelion, and maple also make a lighter colored honey.

I really like the fall honey....goldenrod, aster, and probably some Japanese knotweed mixed in. Knotweed, an invasive, is worked really hard by all bees in early September. Same with purple loosestrife ( another invasive ). Goldenrod honey is dark ( not as dark as buckwheat ), and has a rich flavor. ( it doesn’t taste like it smells when the bees are drying it ) Much of the fall crop in the Northeast US is sold to commercial users, for baking and honey flavored goods. I have folks as far away as Texas and Utah who get fall honey every year from us.
 

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My hives sit approximately 70-75 yds from my screen porch and I can smell them as I type this. I guess I’ll have to walk out there and make sure the fence charger is working.
BigB, I’d take the knotweed over the goldenrod every time. At my old place there was a 1-2 acre hillside covered in knotweed about 1/4 mile from my hives, I was a happy camper when I’d uncap a frame and see that it was red. The new place doesn’t have any within 3 miles that I know about.
 

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Knotweed is a great honey maker. And even if it frosts out in the spring, it’s always prime again in the fall. I’ve often thought of moving some hives to take advantage of it. The thickest I’ve ever seen it is along the Sinnemahoning Creek at the intersection of the Keating Mountain Road.

Bees are flying early and working late...it’s time!
 
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