From the Hive Tool: Regional reports from around Tennessee

The Tennessee Beekeepers Association newsletter, The Hive Tool, showed up the other day with, as usual, a wealth of information about beekeeping in the state. We’ll be passing some of it on to you over the next week or two. Here are some parts of some of the regional reports:From Middle Tennessee:

It’s always interesting during this time of the season to hear from beekeepers about their honey production. Some, it seems, always have an abundant crop, and others never have very much. Sounds like fishermen a little doesn’t it? I think the production overall is pretty good this year. The difference is that most of us lost so many over the winter, that the mature hives we had left can’t make up for the losses, so the overall production will probably be down because of the shortage of mature hives. Those that we split, nucs that we purchased, and packages have built up pretty well, so if we get a fall flow, they’ll be ready for that most likely. Jim Garrison

From West Tennessee:

Reports from around West Tn indicate that the bees are doing good and are producing a good amount of honey. In our area the white clover continues to bloom with the rainfall helping to extend the season. The honey that I have harvested is really light in color. Several have reported fewer small hive beetle numbers this year and attribute it to the more severe winter weather we had. Just remember it only takes a few beetles and a weakened hive to have an explosion of numbers. There are some reports of elevated varroa mite numbers. Terry Woodard

From East Tennessee:

East Tennessee has had a good nectar flow in most areas and appears to result in good honey productions. Time to start removing supers. The cool weather has made it easier to work the bees. Make sure your hives are Queen right. Seeing some Queen losses. Continue to see new bee keepers joining clubs in all areas. Hope everyone has a good summer and keep an eye on stores as strong hives need lots of feed. Mike Coulter

From Upper East Tennessee:

Whew! We are hot, humid and dry. Our poor bees are looking for relief and fanning away. Be sure to have a water supply for them and keep it filled. Our nectar flow is almost gone and the bees are working the clover. I can say that the sourwood trees are blooming now so prepare for that. We have some reports of people taking honey off and doing fair this year. We are preparing for another mediocre honey harvest. Sure hope that we are wrong and it turns out a great harvest. Deborah Holman

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