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Thread: CT beekeepers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Posts
    597

    Default CT beekeepers

    I just checked my bees today and all 4 hives are low on nectur stores, also I did not get a fall harvest this year. What I did get was 1 spring(Yellow honey) and 1 early summer(Amber looking like fall honey). Has anyone in my area experienced the same this year?
    And yes I am feeding them 2/1 syrup.
    If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. If you build it, they will fill it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    I am north of you in Mass., but I can tell you this had not been a normal year. I got two nucs in May and didn't get any light colored honey at all. My friend one mile away, had a colony winter over and she got no late honey. She had three full supers in June and added a fourth. When she went to harvest, there was nothing in the fourth and they had eaten half of the spring honey.
    My guess is that June and July were so bad that bees were not able to forage much and consumed what they gathered during those two months. Some strong colonies were able to put up stores in August and Sept. while less strong hives were playing catch up. Either way, not a good year for honey harvest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    I'm also in mass and I had a simalar year to you grim. Early spring was fairly productive then the rains came and really breat up on the bees stores. Overall I had very poor productivity. And also like you the honey strted out very light in the spring started out light and by mid summer started getting dark much more so than in past years.


    Well there always next year

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,545

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    Same throughout the Northeast this year. TJ called me about bees starving in July in Maine. Piles of dead bees on the ground. In Vermont, no starving, but nucs had a hard time drawing foundation. My crop was down 70% from average. Had to buy 30,000 lbs of sucrose syrup to get them ready for winter.

    Glad to get what honey I did. This was definitely not a year to split your bees in the spring. They just never had the resources toi build up properly...and the parent colonies couldn't rebound to take advantage of what flows there were.

    This year...rebuilding or expanding your apiary was better with wintered nucs. Production colonies were never split and were able to maintain their strength.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winsted, CT, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    I have increased my colonies from 2 to 9 by buying, trading, splits and swarms however not a drop of honey. I think the other observations are right on. Spring production feed the bees during the looooong rainy period and they ate the supplies when they should have been making honey. Cost of my increases, about 200# SW. Last year I got 6# honey from 2 hives. Now my biggest objective is to have a successful overwinter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    [QUOTE= This was definitely not a year to split your bees in the spring. They just never had the resources toi build up properly...and the parent colonies couldn't rebound to take advantage of what flows there were.

    Or to split at the end of the first flow.Lesson learned.Feed,feed,feed.Some of my (russian) queens quit laying end of Aug.

    Mike,is this similar to the conditions Kirk had last fall?

    Jack

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,545

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    [QUOTE=Jack Grimshaw;469311 Some of my (russian) queens quit laying end of Aug.

    Mike,is this similar to the conditions Kirk had last fall?

    Jack[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I would say so. No flow...bees shut down early...no winter stores or young winter bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Waterford, Connecticut
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    I'm in Southeastern CT and had a pretty bad year. One hive gave me 30 pounds of honey in late June, but nothing at all in the fall from the other three. The whole month of June rains really did the bees in, it really affected their buildup.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    East Hampton, CT, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    I started 2 hives in March from packages. Had to requeen one at the end of May. That one hasn't built much stores, so I'm feeding 2:1 syrup and they're loading that into frames. The other hive has 1 medium and 2 shallow supers of honey stored up, along with some in the deeps. This being the first year, I'm leaving all of it for the winter. Hopefully They'll winter over well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlestown, RHode Island, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: CT beekeepers

    It's been awful in RI as well. I started two hives from packages this year, in April. I lost one of the package queens almost immediately. Then the replacement queen and the other package queen went AWOL in early July. Twice I made the mistake of trying to let the bees raise new queens (huge waste of time, I will never do it again!)

    I obtained a couple of locally raised queens and they are doing well. I have had to feed, feed, feed. Then I made the mistake of stopping the feed in mid-july. By mid-August I discovered one hive was starving, and tearing out brood. The other hive had a little more honey, but neither hive had very much pollen, almost none.

    Since then I have been feeding heavy syrup and all the pollen/protein patties they will take and they have really rebounded.

    Between my mistakes as a new beekeeper and the crappy weather this year my bees have had a tough year. On the bringht side, I've learned a lot.

    Now if I can just get them through winter...

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