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DocumentClover & Temperature


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I am certain manuka is.I chwcked out some honey from Ruatoria last year and there was more honey dew than manuka.The honey dew comes from the black sooty mould on the mnuka plant.

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I am interested to understand what is known about clover nectar secretion(and privet) as I am trying to understand the challenges in keepiing bees from pollination hives inside Waikato kiwiifruit orchards where competition from clover outside can be a serious problem some years. It is reported that temps above 18C are required for nectar production but that overnight lows can also be also important. I compared Oct &Nov weather data from two "bad" pollination years 2012 and 2013 against 2011 and 2014. The only correlation I could find was the bad years had more cooler nights. There was no corelation with maximum or average temperatures.

Any thoughts appreciated

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I am interested to understand what is known about clover nectar secretion

 

I thought the greatest effect was solar gain in the preceding couple of days. The night temperature either has no effect, or it's the difference between night and day that matters. But this is a big question, because besides phenotypic regulation of production by the plant, many environmental factors like soil moisture, humidity, air movement, light, and temperature will conspire to produce a different result every time. Then competition from other foragers for the resource, or temporal variation from competing nectar suppliers, will muddy the water.

On the other hand, did the cooler nights you saw affect pollen tubule growth down the stigma?

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anyone know why bumble bees are working clover but honey bees are leaving it?

Honeybees and bumblebees have different thresholds for nectar volume and sugar concentration. Without knowing the specifics the amount of nectar may not interest honeybees (in comparison with something else) while a smaller volume of more concentrated nectar is still useful to bumbles. Very small differences can be important. For example, nectar viscosity matters to pollinators, and it increases with concentration. Feeders that use a tube take less viscous nectars than feeders that use a tongue. The energy content in proportion to the volume matters, the way in which flower shape facilitates landing for different a body mass matters. With foraging behaviour there's a beauty in minutiae and the apparently trivial which makes questions like this impossible to answer.

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Thanks Dave, that makes some sense now, the bees will hit the clover when the time is right for them.

I'll watch with interest as we seem to have good clover coverage this year. I'm going to move some bee to work as there is tons of it there as well and not an apiary in sight for miles. Should be a good way to fill in a lunch break or two checking on bees.

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Good post Yesbut.

This topic has always intrigued me...and the most fascinating clover for me is red clover. Photo is from Wikipedia:

 

330px-Trifolium_pratense_0522.jpg.556601d500fd796cab2c5ae09d99ef8b.jpg

 

I had been beekeeping for quite a few years and had come to the conclusion that this clover was unsuitable for honeybees...bumblebees loved it but I never saw honeybees work it. I discussed it with an old, very competent beekeeper friend who smiled when I described my observations. He nodded his head with agreement but then he added this caveat..."It doesn't ever produce a crop early in the year but wait for late summer - if you get a large rainfall and the weather turns sunny and temperatures above 80F (27C) for 3 consecutive days, watchout!" This advice turned out to be true in later years...but those events are few and far between...perhaps 3 times in a lifetime. The good beekeepers would recognize these subtleties and super like mad. He told me that one year the red clover nectar secretion was so heavy that when he walked through the red clover field in full bloom, his pant legs were wet. He said it wouldn't matter how many hives you would put per acre.

 

I know this may sound like a "fishing" story...but it is his story...and to this day I have never doubted it. My experience in my later commercial years reinforced the idea of very sporadic, great nectar secretion of red clover under similar conditions.

 

So on some clover cultivars, the stars do indeed need to line up. In this case, time of year and rainfall followed by high temperatures of at least three days (and likely nights) consecutively were the triggers.

 

Have any of you beeks in NZ experienced anything similar with red clover?

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For our red clover is said it has to be cut down three times before it shorten its flower so bees can reach the nectar. I am more relying on white clover, one year was so great flow of white clover - supers were filled nicelly, colonies developing superbly, and in clover field I breath with full lungs - great smell. Even today images are vivid to me. " Clovers" are considered one of the best for overwintering here. Also sweet clover.. 5992eab8e1287_whiteclover.JPG.0e99b6515c0fe8ee8215a017a0ab520a.JPG

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