Dandelion Flow and Your Bees- #3 Honey Production

The Dandelion flow produces a very particular and delicious honey that you can selectively harvest. If you are interested in harvesting dandelion honey, now is the time to begin taking note.

How to Harvest Dandelion Honey

You will want to inspect your colony and take note of your combs that are already full of honey and capped, this will be honey from last year. I like to mark with a pencil on the top-bars so it is easy to remember on next inspection. What I like to do is to super my colonies as mentioned here but instead of empty frames, use empty fully-pulled combs in the bottom box, no frames with any honey stores in them. This means that the bottom box is ready for the nectar flow and the easiest to access by the bees foraging for storage. I want to keep the top box honey full with the brood. this way, when I come back at the end of the flow in 10-14 days, I am able to mark and harvest or wait until they are 60+% capped.

How to Harvest Pollen

Pollen trapping is done in the spring when you have very strong colonies with good pollen stores already in place. You dont want to keep the pollen trap on for longer than 7 days during the honey flow, and unload them daily. You can see how much pollen that can be taken in this video from Georgia:

How a pollen trap works?

Here are some good illustrations and detailed instructions on how pollen traps work.

How to build your own?

Click here for info

SWARM SUPPRESSION

If your goal is honey production, it is very important that you make sure that your brood nest is expanded enough that you have no concerns of honey locking and your queen has room to lay. Currently, your brood nest is on the top box. Eventually you will open the top entrance (end of dandelion flow) and begin supering up. You are going to want to make sure, that when doing this, you remove much of the honey stores from the bottom 2 boxes and insert empty drawn combs, so the queen continues to have room. Moving the honey up to the supers will aid in moving the bees up too. Always add filled frames in to the middle of the supered box and never super without moving combs from the boxes below up. This will encourage your bees to move up with the brood, increasing supering success. If you are going to follow these instructions, be sure to not use a queen excluder or site your queen in the bottom boxes before placing excluder.

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