The honey season goes from the break of spring until harvest in late-summer, early autumn. With rare exception (winter cleansing flights) honeybees will not fly if the air temperature is less than 55°F. Because the Catskills are at a higher elevation than the rest of the region, this usually leads us into mid-May before we can make regular hive inspections to work with the bees. The actual production of honey follows the pollen flow, which is highly dependent on seasonal fluctuations in weather and environmental factors effecting floral nectar forage.
Hive equipment is readily available year-round. Honeybees are sourced from local providers of naturally-raised bees without chemicals and may change depending on availability. It’s an important part of our hive management program to minimise the introduction of chemical pesticides, fungicides, and miticides. You wouldn’t want to eat it, and neither do the bees. Our orders for new hives of bees have to be made before the end of the year. Beyond that it becomes increasingly more difficult to source honeybees at a reasonable cost and without issues in delivery. These are in-fact living creatures, deserving of our respect in transportation.
Bees don’t like cold weather or hot weather. Warm weather suits them just fine. It becomes difficult to maintain those conditions during shipping, so the later in the season, the warmer it gets, the scarcer it is to find bees, and then arrange for delivery without stressing them out.
Honey production begins with Spring pollen flows. In our area things like the pollen from 24 heritage cider apple trees on our farm become a feast. In late Summer, early-Autumn the honey becomes darker, as our fields of goldenrod become prime feeding ground. Throughout the growing season, ample clover, blackberries, and wild strawberries become pollen sources.
Depending upon pollen flow, we may harvest in early Summer as well as early Autumn. The season’s harvest is packaged and ready to go in October. Consider plotting out the Winter months by joining or expanding your HoneyShare℠ for the coming season.