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Re: Buckwheat Honey Production

Posted: September 3rd, 2018, 9:00 pm
by Allen Dick
I seem to recall that hives working only BW are mean in the mornings until the blossoms yield. I only had BW near here once.

In my experience, the yields a year after a drought are poor regardless of how wet the year is. That applies generally, but one would not think it applies to annual crops planted in the wet year, but it seems to be the case.

There are a lot of factors that have to line up to make a bumper crop and fewer to result in reduced yields.

Re: Buckwheat Honey Production

Posted: September 4th, 2018, 2:22 pm
by Countryboy
You might have that backwards. Usually people say that bees working buckwheat tend to be mean in the afternoons when there is no nectar available. In my experience, as soon as bees are flying in the early morning, they are working the buckwheat.

I haven't really ever took notice of drought years. Maybe I should.

This year has actually been a decent year for honey production. The spring was a month late, and the spring honey crop was lower than normal, but the summer crop has been excellent. (We had no Tulip Poplar flow this year.) Normally bees don't work soybeans around here, but this year I had many hives make 50-75 pounds of soybean honey in July when they are usually just puttering along.

Re: Buckwheat Honey Production

Posted: September 24th, 2018, 2:54 pm
by Countryboy
The buckwheat started blooming around August 22. Yesterday, Sept. 23, I stopped to check on the hives. The buckwheat is done blooming and has set seed.

I had 10 hives on 2 fields. One hive didn't do squat. Another hive made a shallow box and half of honey. 2 hives made me 4 shallow boxes of honey, and 6 hives had honey in all 5 shallow boxes. Roughly a 1,000 pound crop of buckwheat honey. 40 shallow boxes of honey total.

One field has an excellent stand of buckwheat. On the other field, the farmer had spread some manure earlier. The excess nitrogen made the buckwheat really leggy and tall, and the wind laid a good portion of that field down.

The farmer doesn't think the remaining buckwheat that is still standing will be enough to fill a semi truck, and if it is not enough to fill a semi truck, it isn't worth sending in to the mill in NY. He says trucking is $2,000. As it is, he has $20 an acre in seed, plus his cost of drilling it in. He said the value of the buckwheat just using it as a cover crop is worth more than that. He says he is not going to mess with dragging out his swathing cutter and pickup head to try combining a partial load. He may wait until after a frost kills the stems, and then run a gravity wagon load or so and try selling it as seed for cover crops for people if he has time.