Over and over the old chestnut of the Glorious 12th as the starting date appears in print. If you want a heather crop it pays, literally to be on your moor by the third week in July.
I attended one Aberdeen and District honey show where the “worthies” were moaning about the failure of the heather that year. I smiled quietly having extracted a ton of the gloriously pungent honey. The so called failure of the heather that year was in reality the failure of the beekeepers to get the bees there in time. It was and is that simple.
As for starvation on the moors if the weather is reasonable they will work away quite happily amongst the myriad of little flowers that exist amongst the heather stems. Go up now and have a look for yourself. Obviously if the weather is dire then that is quite another matter. I have had some supers of very nice moor honey before the Ling flow commences.
The advice about having the brood box full of brood is good, and two broods full of brood are doubly better than the one. Remember the heather is hard on the bees with the spiders taking their toll as well as the bees wearing them selves out.
Another useful trick is to put a couple of cut comb frames in the supers to give yourself the chance of some lovely comb honey, your customers and or friends will appreciate the delicacy.
Get organised, get going and get there early, it winna wait for you, trust me on this.