Although honey production has been poor, at least there were good days for bees during the period when the ivy was in flower. Honeybees took in quite a bit of nectar from it and stored it as honey. The brood chambers of the hives were packed with ivy honey but no excess was produced for the beekeeper to harvest. Right now the hives are heavy, which is all that is needed as the bees face into the winter. However, the ivy honey will crystallise in the hive and may be difficult for bees to use next spring.
Beekeepers will need to be aware of the problem of “stores locking”, where bees are unable to remove this solid honey from the cells of the honeycomb in order that the queen will have somewhere to lay her eggs. Any delay in dealing with this problem will lead to a weak colony of bees, simply because there is no place to rear the numbers.