Sunday, August 30, 2015

Important Fall Nectar Sources

A few of the plants that are important nectar sources here on Long Island in the early Fall.
All are blooming now and give our honey bees a chance to pack in the nectar
for the colder weather to come.

Goldenrod

Knapweed

Knotweed

Some years the goldenrod and knotweed flow is heavy
enough for us to be able to collect a fall honey. Knotweed honey is a beautiful
chestnut red color and also delicious tasting!

Monday, August 24, 2015

NYS Ag & Markets Commissioner Ball

Excitement was high on Saturday August 22, 2015 as we awaited the arrival of a group of chefs and food industry folks, along with representatives from the Empire State
Development Corp, hailing from NYC, Long Island and beyond. The group was 
visiting the North Fork with stops at  Schmitts Farm Stand, Catapano Goat Dairy, Harvest East End and Browder's Birds as part of a culinary tour organized by the NYS Department of Agriculture and 
Markets to highlight Long Island Agriculture.
Also on the trip was NYS Ag and Markets Commissioner Ball! After a short presentation in the bee yard about Tom's honey bees, I had a nice informal chat with Mr. Ball, covering a number of the honey bee issues facing NY beekeepers. I came away feeling that the
NYS Dept. of Ag and Markets is current on the issues facing beekeepers and I'm hopeful the new NY Pollinator Task Force, of which he is Chair, will address these issues and recommend solutions that
can be implemented state wide.
A good day.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Winged Sumac

You may have guessed that obtaining some familiarity with the important 'honey' 
plants in the few miles around our apiaries helps us manage our honey bees. 
Winged Sumac is just now beginning to bloom and is an important nectar 
source going into early Fall. If found in a high enough density the bees can really
add some needed honey weight to the hives after our dry and hot late Summer weather.


Still some honey to pull off of some of our hives but we're gaining on it!



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Staghorn Sumac on Long Island

Staghorn Sumac is a native bush/small tree that honey bees, and native pollinators, 
visit regularly when in bloom. Many may have noticed Staghorn on
the edge of woodland lots or along side the roadways and wondered what it was.
Staghorn sumac is fruiting out now and is very showy so if you keep looking you're
bound to see it.
The red fruit and seeds last almost all winter and just like the flowers that provide 
so much nectar and pollen to honey bees, the fruit and seeds are a favorite of all kinds of 
native birds and even some animals.
A good looking showy native plant worth having around.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Severe Weather

Tuesday morning's severe weather and high wind bursts was enough to
push over beehives still full of honey.
After some work the colony was righted and the honey supers
removed. 
Bees look to be OK.