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joelsoo 

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I had commenced feeding now and plan to stop in early October, currently running on double brood boxes and supers removed. Was thinking to get a batch of ivy honey in autumn to try out as I have alot of ivy in my neighbourhood, last year I remember them flowering right up to December!

I am still new to beekeeping but after feeding, and if I wanna try get a batch of ivy honey, do I just put a super in Oct onwards and let them fill it up, presumably the bees would have filled up the 2 brood boxes below with mix of brood and storage, and the super if I place above would be from the ivy that they foraged? Or is there a risk of them moving the syrup from below up to the supers?

Thoughts?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too late - you've fed them sugar syrup - once the super goes back on they will start shifting it up so all you'll end up with is a mix of ivy and sugar syrup I'm afraid
 

joelsoo 

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Ahh, so that's how that works. OK then I'd scrap the idea. Lol.

If anyone wants to get some ivy honey, how do we get around to do it? It seems that it's always preached to feed them from Aug to Oct. But ivy only flowers around mid Oct to end Nov.?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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That's why it's best left for the bees
However, you must realise that the feeding mantra was thought up when the only option was sugar syrup, if that doesn't go on early enough the bees struggle to process is and reduce the water content for storing - this then leads to fermentation and the danger of dysentery. the trick with ivy is to hang on until the flow starts (unless you have totally denuded the brood box of honey, the bees will last until then with their own stores) wait for them to fill a super (I wouldn't venture two) then immediately slap on a big feed of invert syrup which you can feed a lot later.
Or you can just feed fondant.
 

drex 

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My first year I did not know if I would get a flow from ivy or not, so I fed them. I need not have worried as every year I get a good ivy flow. I also leave them some honey in the brood box, so often do not have to feed. As JBM says, fondant is also a good standby. Starved bees = dead bees
 

Plastics 

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Fascinating; there is an article in Beecraft 09/20 about ivy honey that says the complete opposite “if there isn’t much nectar available after the main harvest feed your colonies on heavy sugar syrup so that by the time the ivy flowers the bees will already have sufficient stores for winter...when the ivy starts to flower...select the colonies to gather a crop of ivy honey. Choose large colonies that have a brood box already full to capacity with stores and brood... with plenty of brood and stores incoming ivy nectar will be stored elsewhere”

you pays your money and takes your chance

ask 9 bee keepers and you will get 19 opinions

😂
 

joelsoo 

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hmmm i am not sure if the bees will move the stored syrup in brood, up to the super or not, i guess i can try because my syrup contains thymol, and if they moved it up the super will have smell of thymol? haha


Fascinating; there is an article in Beecraft 09/20 about ivy honey that says the complete opposite “if there isn’t much nectar available after the main harvest feed your colonies on heavy sugar syrup so that by the time the ivy flowers the bees will already have sufficient stores for winter...when the ivy starts to flower...select the colonies to gather a crop of ivy honey. Choose large colonies that have a brood box already full to capacity with stores and brood... with plenty of brood and stores incoming ivy nectar will be stored elsewhere”

you pays your money and takes your chance

ask 9 bee keepers and you will get 19 opinions

😂
full
 

hemo 

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It's an acquired taste which is strong and bitter/tart, very nice in tea but on it's own very strong tasting. Whether true or not I have heard it mellows with age.
I had a 2 x 1ltr tubs of it last year as I left an eke on a bit too long and they filled it partly as well as their stores super.
I liked it and will try and get some wild comb ivy this year as well, advantage of fresh wild comb ivy is the pristine new comb to eat as well.
 

Ash-Rhea 

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My spouse loved the ivy honey from 2016 but it was probably 90% 'Other'. The ivy gave it a nice tang though.
Here there are huge trees full of flowering ivy and the flow has begun....
 

alancooper 

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Bees in Fermanagh have a hedged and wooded landscape with lots of ivy. It begins to flower in early Sept and continues until Dec (weather dependent). My bees stop using it when temperature falls below about 10C and the weather is windy or wet.
Flows are usual and often large but most poeple here will not buy set honey - and it is almost impossible to make “creamed“ ivy honey.
In most years I get a good crop and I feed it back to the bees or sell a small amount. What I need is an industrial customer but I am having difficulty finding one. Grateful for any guidance.
Alan.
 

Bill_J 

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Bees in Fermanagh have a hedged and wooded landscape with lots of ivy. It begins to flower in early Sept and continues until Dec (weather dependent). My bees stop using it when temperature falls below about 10C and the weather is windy or wet.
Flows are usual and often large but most poeple here will not buy set honey - and it is almost impossible to make “creamed“ ivy honey.
In most years I get a good crop and I feed it back to the bees or sell a small amount. What I need is an industrial customer but I am having difficulty finding one. Grateful for any guidance.
Alan.
Hi Alan, I'm also in Fermanagh. Sorry I can't help you with your question. Only my second year keeping bees and my first year extracting (mainly) ivy honey. After a battle with the extracter, I managed to get a small amount into jars and it seems soft set, so maybe a mix of ivy and other? Is that normal? Probably 20% to 30% remains set hard in the frames which I've given up trying to extract and will simply feed back to the bees. Should I keep it until Spring before feeding back? I'm on 14 x 12 brood boxes and they look fairly full at the minute.
 

Ian123 

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I have spots around me that produce ivy and heather if I’m after any crop from these I treat slightly differently. For ivy I remove my main crop end of July and treat forcing the bees down into dbl brood. I have on odd accusations Had the need for a very small feed but best avoided, it’s purely weather dependant. When the ivy starts place all brood into a single box and then qx then 1 or 2 supers Depends on colony size. I can normally still feed in mid late November so it’s just a case of judging when to call it quits. This is the sunny southeast though!
 
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