Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bloom Dates

When I started keeping bees five years ago I really didn't know what I was doing and had a ton of questions.  One of the places I would go to ask those questions was to an online forum called Beesource.  The forum is full of beekeepers both old and new who ask questions and share their experiences.  I got a lot of good advice when I was first starting out but was also frustrated with some of the answers.  I would almost always get responses that ended with something like "That is what I would do in my location, but that might be completely opposite from what you should do in your location."

It is true that the timing of bee activity, when and which flowers they will visit, how much honey they might produce, etc. depends a lot on location.  Even here in Wyoming I could never get a straight answer about which blossoms would be available and when they would bloom.  Nectar flows start here in Lovell earlier than they start in Powell thirty miles away, and that is earlier than when the same nectar flows will start in Cody another twenty miles down the highway.

I came across a tool the other day that allows beekeepers to map their location and record bloom dates of various flowers.  This tool was just created last week by a fellow beekeeper who shared in on Beesource.  I wish this had been available five years ago.  It consists of a form (find it here) in which you can record location, bloom dates, and comments and a map (find it here) on which the information is plotted.  I have added the links to the group of links on the side bar.

Here is an image of what the map looks like today:
There are only a few entries that have been added so far.  I would love to see it fill up and see everybody's bloom dates around the world.


Jim Davis said...

Thanks for posting the blooming tool. I added one from here in Iowa for Maple pollen, but maybe you just want nectar producers? They get a lot of early pollen from the maple trees but I don't think there is much nectar available from that.

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