Drought continues but Mesquite honeyflow starts

2011
04.17

Frank and I are back from my outyard. The bad news is that I lost almost all of my nucs. This drought in central texas has gotten pretty bad. There are flowers, but little nectar in them. The ants are looking for anything, and I’m forced to feed which attracts them.  So at this point I have more falled nucs than Iran.  2 TBH nucs are hanging on, so I gave them more bees and a frame of eggs, as one was queenless.  Only 1 lang nuc was alive, and I couldn’t find a queen in it.  All 3 got fed, assuming they don’t have the foragers for the Mesquite flow.

 

The silver lining is that the reports of Mesquite trees having a rare early flow is true. It looks like it began about a week ago if I go by posts from fellow beeks nearby in Dripping Springs and Seguin. For those beeks who don’t understand the fickle nature of Mesquite honeyflows, here’s the quick briefing: Mesquite is the biggest honeyflow in the state of Texas, when it flows.  But the tree is water fickle in an inverse way – meaning that it blooms when their is a dry spell and it stops blooming after a rain. In rare conditions it does a double bloom, once in April and once in June. Scientist say each tree produces between 1,000 – 2,000 grams of nectar per day. But all a beekeeper cares about is what is brought into the hive. And that depends upon the hive population, which is low, this year.

 

My strong TBHs are booming and kicking, with the first surplus honey going into white comb. I dropped lots of spare combs from the failed nucs into these hives to give them instant storage space.  I also moved 2 swarms caught in swarms traps out to the outyard, and moved them into Lang bodies. Ironically, they are doing better than the overwintered Langs I have.

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