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Author Topic: Specialty honey from early blooming crop  (Read 3441 times)
Kaisa
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« on: February 03, 2011, 10:05:44 AM »

Hello, We would like to produce honey from a crop which blooms at a time when we normally need to be feeding the bees. How does one prevent the syrup one feeds from being mixed with whatever nectar the bees are bringing in? Do people feed bees during warm periods to produce surplus frames of capped honey which can then be stored and given to the bees in the spring rather than feeding syrup at that time?

Thanks,
Kaisa
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 10:09:08 AM »

You do not want to feed the bees when the honey flow is on.   You will contaminate you honey with syrup.  And if they are a strong hive, they will not need the extra food.   You would only feed weak hives or nucs during the spring/ summer.   Feed them late summer/ fall for them to have enough food for the winter. 
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 10:12:34 AM »

What honey crop are you looking at harvesting when you are feeding?
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Kaisa
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 10:49:03 AM »

The crop we are looking at is cloudberry- it's not a good honey plant but in Finland and in Norway they do produce honey from the plant as there is next to nothing else in bloom at the time.  It grows in bogs and is in bloom right after the willow and before the lowbush blueberry.
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 11:43:27 AM »

.
Hi from Finland. At least here Kaisa is popular name.

Cloudberry honey must have special flavour because it has won many times , years 2000, 2005 ja 2009, "best honey competition".

Some produce it in Lapland on Polar Circle area.

It blooms in such time that old wintered bees have died and new bees are so youn that they do not forage.  To get the hive forage you need to start patty feeding 2 months earlier. Only 2 box wintered hives forage  surplus. Smaller hives consume everyting to build up the colony.

http://yle.fi/alueet/lappi/2009/11/suomen_paras_hunaja_syntyy_lapin_hillasoilla_1130752.html

That article : best honey arises from cloudberry bogs of Lapland.  Put it ito google translate.

If you want to ask about cloud berry honey hunting,
 here is address of one hunter Aappo Valo  aappo.valo@pp.inet.fi

Aappo Valo's hive on cloud berry pastures



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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 11:52:07 AM »

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Cloud berries

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D Coates
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 12:22:50 PM »

Finski,

I can always count on you to put totally unique and previously unknown (to me) things to understand.  What do cloudberries taste like?  After a quick Google, I see we can buy the preserves (from Halfi of Sweden) here in the US.
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T Beek
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 12:38:41 PM »

Feeding syrup during a flow will wreck the cloudberry honey your trying to get your bees to produce.  Don't do it.  If your bees need syrup, wait till temps are in the 50's (otherwise its too cold and they won't take it anyway), and only to prevent starvation, not to get "more specialty" honey, that would be kinda underhanded I think and wouldn't be pure cloudberry honey at all.  If they have nothing now, give them dry sugar, fondant or (something new to me) a candy board.  If willows are open during same time, you shouldn't need to feed them as they'll be taking care of business, provided temps allow it.  "That's" why its a "specialty" crop.

thomas
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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 12:51:46 PM »

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I hunt dandelion honey on my area. It so early that hives are not ready to forage it even if it more than canola fields here.  First problem is weathers. I get it 5 years /out of 10 year. When bees get it, they often eate it in a week if it is cold.

I know an architeckt in Rovaniemi town. It is just Polar Circle line.  He has a warmed and ventilated bee shelter. He feed pollen patty got get bees foraging condition.

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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 12:57:30 PM »

.

Here is better picture from tundra where cloudberry lives
People are mad to pick them. It like salmon in berry world: its is worth to pick them even if you get them

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AllenF
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 01:00:42 PM »

They are beautiful.    Great pic.
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hardwood
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 01:09:30 PM »

Something for my bucket list..."try cloudberries"

Scott
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Kaisa
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 01:32:29 PM »

Thanks for all the replies and great pictures.  The bogs in finland look just like the area we've been working in. We brought bees in to pollinate the cloudberry which worked very well for the cloudberry but the bees would have suffered had they not been fed.  This is why I'm looking for alternative methods of feeding- perhaps as mentioned candy or dry sugar would do the job.  Thanks again. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 01:32:55 PM »

Finski, we may all want to move to Finland after seeing your beautiful pictures from over there.
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 02:00:42 PM »

Thanks for all the replies and great pictures.  The bogs in finland look just like the area we've been working in. We brought bees in to pollinate the cloudberry which worked very well for the cloudberry but the bees would have suffered had they not been fed.  This is why I'm looking for alternative methods of feeding- perhaps as mentioned candy or dry sugar would do the job.  Thanks again. 

It depends what you are doing, pollinating clouberry or trying honey.

If you do not want to mix sugar to honey, you should use last summer honey frames to keep bees alive.

But if bees do not get food to themselves, they will not get honey to be extracted.
Perhaps you should find a place

- which has more flowers
- wind shelter
- south slope

It will not succeed every year. Bees are there beyound  extreme edge


At least you should use polystyrene hives

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greenbtree
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2011, 04:33:23 PM »

Might not be practical for you, but is there any way you can do a migratory situation?  Find some location farther South, that you can rent as an outyard, get them going there, then move them North for the Cloudberry flow?  Then feed them a lot of syrup in Fall?

JC
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Kaisa
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2011, 05:43:41 PM »

Well migratory beekeeping is what is being done in the area at the moment- not for the cloudberry as it is not profitable to pay for pollination when yields, even doubled due to the added pollination, are only 30-50 kg per hectare. However the main problem in the area is with the lowbush blueberry- huge acreages are being cleared and the producers need to bring in hives for pollination. Very few beekeepers are interested in traveling that far- in fact only one so far- so we've got a project going to look at the potential of developing stationary beekeeping up there. We've brought in bees from Newfoundland which are mite free so we'd rather not winter the bees further south where they might pick up mites.  In the first year of the project we're just looking at whether or not there are enough floral resources after the blueberry period but in the next phase of the project we'd like to look into niche products such as cloudberry honey.   
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2011, 07:32:46 PM »


Well, migratory beekeeping!

The collectors of berries come from Thailand. They collect low cloubery, blueberry (bilberry) and cow berry.

It is written here, that it is researched, that beehives raise berry yield. I am fond of collect wood berries, and get best berry yields from areas which has never seen a honey bee hives.

I have kept several times hives on good bilberry areas, and flowers are enormous quantyties. But the hives starve. I believe that bluberry nectar has so low sugar content that nothing is left when nectar has dried up.

I Finland wild raspberry and fireweed give huge honey yields. They are main honey plants in north.


We talk here much pollinators that they are important. About 15 willow species are important in wood for pollinators. They bloom about 4 weeks. But wood growers are mad to clean willows off from woods.

But I understand that this is a cloudberry project. I have accustomed so much to cloudberry cultivation that it will not ever come profitable. So much rubbish has bee written too about that cultivation.

One rubbish is that when we burn sphagnum peat, we may cultivate clouberry on those digged places.
I have measured that when we digg bottom soil, clay and minerals are mixed and pH will raise to 6. Cloudberry needs pH 4.  The berry yield even at its best is tiny compared to Michigan blueberry varietes.



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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2011, 07:39:20 PM »

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Fireweed is mysterious. It seems that it does not give much honey on sandy and cliffy soils, but on moist clay and peat soil areas the yield is often over 100 kg per hive.


http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/media/29/fireweed_sc112.jpg
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Kaisa
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2011, 04:47:48 PM »

That's a spectacular photo-  where we are at there is not much fireweed or wild raspberry.  The soil is pretty much pure sand apart from the bogs.  The bees work the kalmia, ledum and adromeda and whatever weeds they can find growing along the road.  In one area along the St Lawerence there are more basic soils with a completely different flora but the people who have thier cabins there aren't big on bees and although the land is public land we'd risk having the beehives shot full shot if we put them out there.  We have enough problems as it is with the bears.

The beekeepers who bring thier hives in for pollinating the lowbush blueberry do get some surplus-  the species here is different and produces a lot more flowers than the blueberries in Europe- they don't flower as early either but I don't know if the sugar content is any good.
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