Reliability of the shake test

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Well I tell the bees all my important news often before I share it with anybody else. They never do anything but buzz back. Perhaps you’ll be luckier 😉
 
What’s the stores like in the brood chambers, I have a couple of apiaries where the may/June gape is early and it’s probably going to last for another week or two, like you they are using some of the stores in the supers they are big colony’s so I will be leaving the supers on untill they are capped.
First extraction will be mid June by which time the flow would of started again.
I walked around one of them today and the clover and brambles are a good 10 days away even though there are lots of garden flowers I will wait untill mid June which seams to be the norm for those apiaries,
Up on high ground the hawthorn is flowering well but this weather is not consistent enough
Would you do this even if you had OSR on the hives? This is only the second year my bees have been near OSR and it’s usually a mix and i’m keen not to have it mix with future honey but would happily leave it for them till the risk of a june gap has passed.
My bees were slow to get going this year due to the weather but are quite strong now.
 

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My observations suggest that honey bees hardly ever visit buttercup flowers. I did record a honey bee harvesting buttercup pollen about 5yrs ago. They probably visit for pollen when there is no better offer - poor nutritional quality?
 
I have four acres of buttercups immediately next to my hives, never seen a bee on them, but then I have only ever once seen a bee on dandelion so maybe I am not very observant 😄
 
Just a quick update: refractometer puts it at just over 18%.
18Kg from one hive (and that was leaving half a brood box of nectar to cover the next few weeks).
Rather pleased with that as a first ever harvest!
Many thanks for all of your advice.
 

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