What hive setup to use for the ivy flows?

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Curly green finger's 

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Hi if we can use queen's reared between June and July of the same year to take to a Heather stance, give 2 year olds a rest by using a modified demaree to take also, what colony/queen would one use to take advantage of the ivy flow?? To produce a ivy crop?
I ask because I've had small amounts of ivy honey mainly 2020 and I like it myself not everyone's preference.

My thoughts: later reared queen's from July - August that year maybe?
What are your thoughts pls?
 

GuyNir 

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I leave the Ivy honey for my bees - really valuable source of forage going into winter - I get enough honey from spring and summer - I don't need to to rob them of their winter stores as well.
Same here. From mid Aug onward, everything they bring (HB, Heather, Ivy a bit some years) is winter stores for them. As a result, I have to do very little feeding (this year as an example, just a couple of nucs).
 

ericbeaumont 

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To produce a ivy crop?
Last good ivy flow in outer London was 2013 when they went wild for it; I hastily put a super of drawn on each and managed to extract half of what came in.

Trouble is, it sets quickly in the comb like concrete and I had to stick the boxes under the BB in spring to clear out the rest.

If I tried again I'd use cut comb and sell it at top price. Slight issue of having drawn comb at that time of year, but extracting summer cut comb would free it up for the ivy.

Rob Brown wrote about ivy in Beekeeping: a Seasonal Guide. Here is the ivy transcript.

In 2013 a customer described ivy as having the flavour of Christmas; it is a fabulous flavour: gingery and spicy.
 
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Erichalfbee 

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Ivy is for the bees. They have worked hard enough all year so when supers come off in august everything is theirs.
Can you imagine the nightmare of extracting it frame by frame if the weather is stop start?
 

pargyle 

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Ivy is for the bees. They have worked hard enough all year so when supers come off in august everything is theirs.
Can you imagine the nightmare of extracting it frame by frame if the weather is stop start?
YES ... Anything else is just beekeeper greed and I certainly don't consider it good beekeeping no matter how much you need the income ... there's better ways than taking the best of the winter stores.
 

Ian123 

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Good beekeeping is ensuring there well stocked and prepared for winter it’s nothing to do with how much honey you take. I’ve taken some before by simply using the largest hives and condensing to a single bb with queen excluder and super.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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What setup for the ivy flow?
Easy, supers off or part filled nadired for the winter, feeders on and treatment in progress.
Especially if they've been to the heather, the bees will be knackered by this time, give the poor buggers a chance to recover, bed down for winter and prepare for the next season.
 

ericbeaumont 

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just beekeeper greed and I certainly don't consider it good beekeeping
Some would say the same of taking any honey.

I agree with Ian: if the colony is prepared for winter, what does it matter? It's part of the seasonal yield no more or less than any other crop.
 

pargyle 

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Some would say the same of taking any honey.

I agree with Ian: if the colony is prepared for winter, what does it matter? It's part of the seasonal yield no more or less than any other crop.
Depends on your perspective ... I'm happy to take a honey crop and I extract usually the first week in September so fairly late in the season ... anything after that (and there's usually a fair amount down here in the Costa del Fareham - plus the ivy which here is still a week or two away) I consider as a reward for their hard work. Plus ... In my opinion .. bees were intended to overwinter on honey - I have no issue topping up colonies that look a little light going into winter but I rather hope they mostly overwinter on honey. But there again ... I'm not a proper beekeeper.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Depends on your perspective ... I'm happy to take a honey crop and I extract usually the first week in September so fairly late in the season ... anything after that (and there's usually a fair amount down here in the Costa del Fareham - plus the ivy which here is still a week or two away) I consider as a reward for their hard work. Plus ... In my opinion .. bees were intended to overwinter on honey - I have no issue topping up colonies that look a little light going into winter but I rather hope they mostly overwinter on honey. But there again ... I'm not a proper beekeeper.
A 'proper' beekeeper knows when to draw the line under the season.
 

mbc 

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Anybody who's kept bees in an ivy producing area for any number of years has probably seen some colonies getting totally plugged out with ivy honey, squeezed into feeders or roof spaces, why not collect it in supers? I know of one beekeeper who has special shallow supers with top bars and starter strips especially for cutting out ivy honey and chucking in the apimelter.
As always in beekeeping, it depends on locality and there's more than one way to skin a cat.
 

pargyle 

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My home apiary is in a fox covert absolutely full of ivy , I have to put some supers on in this location for ivy flow or hives will be plugged out , I leave supers on with no qx if the bees eat it by spring fine if not its mine
Mind you ... by spring it will be so hard you will have to extract it with pneumatic hammer ....
 

Curly green finger's 

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Mind you ... by spring it will be so hard you will have to extract it with pneumatic hammer ....
Don't they say that about osr and yet extracted honey in August can have osr in it.

This thread wasn't to think about robbing bees of honey or thinking about profiting from ivy honey, or to make bees work more to produce honey, It was to think beyond that. Sounds like the " proper beekeepers" on here are just stuck with money and profiteering and colonys winter preparations..

E. G.... A young queen in September in her box with loads of stores ( not been to Heather) but maybe was near late clover, moved to a ivy rich site or has a good source locally..??
 

rolande 

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I'm not sure it matters too much about what queen/prep you use. Put a super above an excluder on any healthy hive in an ivy area and you're probably going to get some ivy surplus, I've done it in the past for sure, mind, I've also questioned my sanity when I've tasted it although it does mellow with age unlike a lot of beekeepers....

But since I started using September for getting new combs drawn everything's different and an ivy harvest just wouldn't work for me so I tend to leave well alone.

Edit: the thing I like even less than the taste of ivy honey is its appearance; a jar of lard comes to mind.
 
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