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  1. #361
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The Fall flow is on around these parts.
    While in Vermont, Mass, RI and New York it's been hard seeing their goldenrod blooming and ours wasn't ready yet.

    It's been a busy summer for me balancing the new part-time job and winding down my portrait business and haven't been able to check on the bees very often.

    In the beginning of August I discovered one colony to be starving. Bees were crawling on the ground all around the hive and seemed barely able to move.
    This same colony about 10 days prior had honey and seemed in good shape.
    I immediately gave them three frames of honey and reduced their entrance down to a small hole.
    They bounced back within 36 hours.
    Started checking the others and found several that were also out of stores but weren't starving.
    Started feeding them 1-1 syrup to hold them over till the fall flow started.

    Around the same time, one of the Nucs (which was in 2 deeps) was full of capped supercedure cells. Maybe 15 or so.
    I've had more problems with queens this year. None of the queens I tried to get started survived to start laying so I was preparing myself to write this colony off and maybe do a combine with two other hives.
    This colony also needed syrup and took about 4 gallons.

    Left them alone and didn't do an inspection till today. Much to my surprise I've got a brood pattern with eggs and larvae. Amazing, it worked I guess.

    All six colonies in the home yard are doing well and finally look like they are supposed to in Spring.
    With the syrup, they started drawing more comb and are filling it with nectar.
    Found the marked queen that came with a package that I purchased in Spring of 2012. She looked huge!

    Hope winter isn't as bad as what some are trying to predict it will be.

  2. #362
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    How is everyone doing leading into their winter prep?

    Two weekends ago I checked on two swarms I had caught in western PA. They were not as strong as I was hoping for, so I brought them back to SEPA for the winter. I did a newspaper combine on Saturday. That gives me 17 hives going into winter. I started the year with 4 overwintered, peaked at 24. I sold a few, combined a few to give them a better chance.

    Late August and early this month I gave most of my hives about 1 gal of 5/3 syrup mix to get them started. I will check back on them late in the month and feed 2:1 where needed. I made the rounds through 10 of my hives on Sunday. It was good to see stores and brood being raised. Many hives still have several frames of brood in the top boxes, some recently filled with eggs. Hoping to see these hives work the brood nest down. Several hives have a bunch of new drone brood going. I expect in a couple weeks once we get some real cold nights they will have their wings chewed off and marched out the front door.

    I need to get off my tail and make a bunch of proper hive lids before winter sets in. Part of my winter management has also been to use a quilt box. I had 4 of these made for last winter:

    http://www.beebehavior.com/THSC_Unit.php

    I'll probably cobble a bunch more together, but will probably modify them a little. Probably only use one board in them with the upper vent just below. I'll still drill holes through and lay a piece of #8 hardware cloth on top. I'll leave about 1-1.25 inches under the divider board to provide space for some emergency feeding of sugar/pollen sub candy if needed.

    I've been lucky enough to not loose any hives over the winter yet - 2 the first year, 4 the second. I suspect this year I will have some losses with 17 hives going into winter, but would like to keep it to a minimum. I've also been hearing some predictions of a bad winter.

    This weekend I'll see if my last combine went well and get through the rest of the hives.

    good luck all.

  3. #363
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Like PAHunter62 I started the season four hives and now have eleven. My mite treatments should be done this week, depending on sample results. I'm feeding several of the newer hives with 1 to 1 to get them to continue to draw out comb, and will be feeding with 2 to 1 shortly. I can smell the smell of goldenrod honey at times, so I hope they bring a decent amount in so I can minimize the sugar I go through. I like to use the beemax hive top covers (good insulating properties, and cheap), and I use bee cozy's as winter wraps with an upper entrance. They are easy, re-usable, and they work. Haven't lost a hive in winter yet. I am also using the Dadant Megabee winter patties. I find them to be very convenient and believe them to be better than fondant since they have 3 % Megabee for a little protein. I place four of these patties in the hives when I think it's getting close to being to late to open them. I take a peak on nice winter days, and if they're gone, I slide another one in. So far things look good. Got to get the hives up to fighting weight, and hope for a reasonable winter. Best of luck to all.

  4. #364
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,230

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well it's starting to feel like fall and the G.ROD is whining down and all hives are getting heavy and all are about done with mite treatment{OAV} I have had a great year I started with 10 dbl.deeps and now have 12 dbl.deeps and 13 nucs{dbl.deeps} and all seem healthy . I lost no hives his year yet and I got 90 qts honey and had no PMS or any virus . All hives have 2013 queens {my own} . This has been the best year I have had yet . All my hives have brood frames like this right now and by what I can tell i'm going to have some healthy winter bees.
    All I have to do now is wait and wrap my hives in DEC.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  5. #365
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    That's great news. I checked on half of my hives yesterday and can't believe how much g-rod honey that they have made. Lots of new brood. Installed the entrance mouse guards. I came out of winter with 4 hives and now have 10 hives (dbl deeps) and 2 nucs (dbl deeps). I bottled 118 lbs and would have had much more if I didn't have the bear incident back in May. Been calling around local bakerys looking for a 50 lb block of fondant. Will also wait until Dec to wrap.

  6. #366
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Also checked on half my hives today. I run all 8 frame mediums. For Nucs I run custom 6 frame medium boxes. My hives that are three 8 frame mediums high are looking nice, top box pretty much full of honey and the brood nest pushed down. Also the 2 box 6 frame Nucs are looking pretty good, a frame or two with some brood up top, but the rest stores. The remaining hives that are two eight frame medium have not really pushed down much yet, lots of brood up top, so I will probably need to do some late 2:1 feeding on them.

    I plan to insulate/wrap in December too, may to a Oxalic dribble around Christmas week, weather depending.

    Lots of people talking about bad winter predictions.

  7. #367
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,230

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Ok guy I have a question I was in my dbl. deeps today some had just capped brood and one had no capped brood and no eggs some had day old eggs and open brood and capped brood. but 3 weeks ago things look normal capped brood /open brood / and eggs in all hives.
    So is this normal to have the queens shutting down{stop laying} around now and to have the bottom boxes with out honey they have some pollen in the bottom box but all the honey and pollen is mostly in the top boxes.? Remember here in snow shoe thing are about 2 weeks ahead on people down off the mountain.
    So what do you all think? Are what's hatching now my winter bees?
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  8. #368
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Most likely that's what's going on. My hives here have slowed down in the brood rearing arena also. In about 2 or 3 weeks it'll be time to stuff them with whatever they need to get them through.

  9. #369
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    842

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The GR in my field is turning more brown and doesn't have that bright yellow look anymore , how much longer should I wait to take my honey supers off , not sure if there still getting nectar from the brown GR but I do see pollen on them and they are working the small white asters also , we still haven't had a hard frost . I'm in Northeast PA north of Bloomsburg and south of Wilkes-Barre .

  10. #370
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I had one of the state inspectors come out last Friday. We found a couple of hives with capped brood, but no new eggs. She declared them queen-less. She didn't pull every frame in the hive. Not sure how you can determine this without a very thorough inspection. I'm going to inspect (and feed) tomorrow. About 2 weeks ago, we had low temps in the high 30's. But this week, the lows are in the low to mid 50's. I'm hoping to have a more definitive answer tomorrow.

    We did find a high mite count in my two nucs. Not sure what happened since I treated with MAQS in late July. One nuc was queen-less so I combined them (now 3 deeps high). I'll put a MAQS in tomorrow. I also added a frame of eggs from a neighboring hive. Also found starved bees that never made it out of the comb. Their tongues were completey extended.....but there was plenty of honey in the frames next to them. Why did the house bees not feed them? I can't say that I had much luck this year with the nucs. One thing that I did notice in my nucs was mold. Need more ventiliation.

  11. #371
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    It's interesting that your inspector said that. I am surprised to be honest. However there were issues with the inspection process last year (no funding for some reason) and I'd imagine that the inspectors that they had for Pa may have gotten another job or something. I have also been surprised with the inspector that's for my area. He set up a time to come by and inspect my hives with me (which I wanted to be there and still do). He told me to call him when I got home and he'll come over. I left work at lunch time planning on spending some time with him only to find out that he didn't bring the addresses with him and he was in another township alltogether. There was no way he'd make it in time for these inspections. Then he called the other day about a week or two ago and talked with my wife only to say that he's going to be in the area "I'm going to be in such and such a town" which is not near ours. I kind of chalk it up to inexperienced or just non beekeepers and them being young folks.
    When queenrearing I wait a minimum of a month from the time I see or plant a queen cell to go and check things out. I realize that things could be in a bad situation, but it's better for a young queen for her not to be interrupted. If you check before the queen has started to lay you could be hurting her and miss judge things. A frame of open brood won't hurt anything that's for sure. Oh and some breeds will slow brood rearing sooner than others. One line that I have I can tell if there's a dearth on because of the ammt. of brood frames. The queen just won't lay if stuff isn't coming in. Once things start they explode. (2.5 deeps (7 framers) full of mostly brood)

  12. #372
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    842

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    How is the goldenrod holding up in your areas .

  13. #373
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The bees are still hitting it as we haven't had our first frost yet. Lots of Aster alongside the road also. Just took 55 pounds of GR honey last Saturday. All hives still have a full box of honey for winter.

  14. #374
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    laketrout are you north of bloomsburg with yellow hives that sit off the road

  15. #375
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    842

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    No , there not mine , can't see mine from the road .

  16. #376
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hi all, I was hoping to pull some GR honey but I think the hives may need it. My honey has been selling like crazy this year and it is getting low. Anybody Know where I can buy honey by the bucket? I tried calling Alum Bank Farms but there numbers have been changed or disconnected they were located in the Bedford area, thanks and Happy Beekeeping.

  17. #377
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Finally got some time to try and catch up on building some needed equipment before the cold weather gets here. I expanded at a rate I could not keep up this year with having proper covers. I had collected a bunch of 3/4 inch plywood from jobsite dumpsters over the course of the summer and put it to good use this weekend. I run all eight frame medium equipment, and have some custom 6 frame medium NUCs (two boxes) going into winter.

    Just need to prime and paint the side rails, and then wrap the tops with some aluminum. I got a bunch of aluminum print sheets from my hometown newspaper to use for the hive tops.

    The 3/4 plywood top sits down into a 3/8 rabbet, all the way around the top, so I had more gluing surface.

    These turned out better than any I have purchased, and were a lot cheaper.

    HiveCovers.jpg

  18. #378
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hive Update:

    I had combined a couple late swarms I captured late summer a few weeks ago. One of the queens must have been rolled when I was prepping the swarm for moving. I took the emergency cells out and did a newspaper combine with the queen right (smaller) swarm. Well, thy must have had every intent of raising their own because a week later, there were queen cells throughout the smaller colony hive body after the combine.

    I checked them on Friday and did not see a laying queen yet. The neighboring hive had some fresh eggs/larvae on the bottom of a frame under a honey dome. Probably only 1/5 eggs/larvae and the rest honey. I decided I would swap this frame into the swarm hive to see if they start to build queen cells off the larvae. I carefully pulled that frame this evening and there are about 6 queen cells going on it.

    Hopefully there are enough drones left to get the queen properly mated, then enough warm weather for her to make enough winter bees. I don't have a good feeling about this hive, keeping my fingers crossed.

  19. #379
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I was just out at a yard this weekend and the drones are thick out the front of the hives. I don't think there are many if any drones left at this point. Unless they are in the hive that they're raising a queen I'd say it's probably too late to rear them. But hey there's always a "slim chance" if you've got nothing to loose, but Personally I'd catch a queen from the smaller hive in a week or so and combine them. Not newspaper combine, just do it and smoke them a bunch then introduce the queen as you would installing a package. Give them a couple days then release her again. If I were in this situation this is what I'd do. As long as they're rearing queen cells they should accept a queen once you tear them down. If you don't decide to tear them down please let us know how things go. I successfully reared a queen Mid September last year that I know didn't get mated well, but she got them through the winter and they replaced her in April of this year.

  20. #380
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Been busy this week with work, hit a deer with my truck, and life in general, so I have not done anything with the hive yet. The next time I have the chance to get into that hive I'll decide what to do.

    Here is something of interest for Eastern PA beekeepers. Just got a Mann Lake shipment in today, and this flyer was in the box:

    MannLakePA2014.jpg

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