Friday, August 21, 2015

2015 Honey Crop Experiment

We have three hives at an apiary in Foster.  This season was an interesting honey year and we actually tried managing the wild flowers making it even more interesting.   Early in the season we had large areas of Red Clover.  Red clover is a tall coarse stemmed purple/red clover.  As the red clover began to die back our cutting revealed white clover which grows much closer to the ground and a high field cutting left the white clover intact.  We also left some areas completely alone providing the bees with a succession of wild flowers.  This was all helped along with a decent amount of fairly consistent moisture going into August.

The normal occurrence, in much of New England, is for the bees to have a very difficult time, from late July and into August, finding nectar producing flowers, sometimes referred to nectar dearth. That has not happened yet this season.  We are not sure if managing the fields in the manner we described will work in a year without such consistent moisture but we think it is worth another try next season.

While we would feel comfortable calling this years honey crop clover honey, we won't.

Our honey is not organic.  We only treat, when necessary, with formic acid which is allowed in the organic program for mite reduction.  Because our bees forage at other farms, residential areas and even a golf course our honey can not be certified.

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