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  1. #381
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Can't believe they picked Wilkes-Barre , I'm only 35 mins from there , could come in handy . Just hope it doesn't hurt the little guy selling nucs to make a few bucks .

  2. #382
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,975

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    looks good to me only 142 miles and 2 hrs 15 min.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #383
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    cool that's not to far brushy is closer to me I think tho

  4. #384
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I, personally, was fine not paying PA Sales tax though. Just far enough I would not go there unless in the area. Everything will be getting 6% more expensive.

  5. #385
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    At EAS i signed a sales tax exemption form and Dadant kept the form so I didn't have to pay sales tax on the stuff they brought to the convention for me. I wonder if this is possible to do with Brushy, and Mann Lake?

  6. #386
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Not much talk in here lately. Nice to see the bees more active this weekend with the warmer temps.

    Now is a good time to check your PA Apiary Registration/License. I looked at mine, it expires 12/31/13 and does not represent my 2014 expansions.

    In the my last local club meeting, the Department of Health had their Chester county representatives there to discuss the Mosquito Spray program. They could not stress enough to register your hives. Should they ever need to spray, they do look at where all the hives are located and try contact the beekeepers ahead of time by phone. They only spray late evening when the bees are back to the hive.

    Following is the link to the registry form. I completed my update this evening to mail in tomorrow.

    Hope everyone has their hives ready for the winter months. The next few months will be for reflection on 2013 and making plans and preparing new equipment for 2014.

    Happy Holidays to all!

    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...gistration.pdf


    For 2014, I plan to:

    Establish a new apiary in Western PA on a family Farm - We already prepared the site for a 25x25-ish fenced in area (bear country)

    Move many of my local hives to the new site. I have 17 hives going into winter. Hives making it to the spring flow will be split once the flow gets going to get the new apiary up and running.

    Get more swarm traps built and deployed. I was lucky enough to capture 9 swarms using traps in 2013.

    Sell more 6 frame medium NUCs with good laying queens. (I make my own custom NUC boxes).

    Venture into queen rearing. I have done spring splits basically using the mdasplitter.com OTS methods, but want to give grafting a try.

    Put the queen castle I built this year to use. I built a four bay castle (medium frame size), but have not cut the entranced yet. I will get this ready to go over winter and give it a go in the summer.

    Find a new Apiary site in the West Bradford Township area of Chester county (small farm preference) where I can establish some hives and NUCs.

    Take many more hives into honey production, but leave more honey behind.

    Focus on making more robust hives late in the year. Pay more attention to my queens and replace my weak ones with daughters from my booming hives.

    Bring in a couple new high quality queens to extend my genetics. Was part of a group buy this summer and got a couple FULL Bloom Carniolan queens (http://www.fullbloomapiaries.com/). I would be up to do something again in 2014 and maybe get a couple VSH queens.

    Have a couple queens on reserve in mating NUCs for the end of season if I find a hive has gone queenless in September. It would be nice to know I have a couple on reserve. I needed one this year.

    Do better record keeping.

    Creep closer to going into the black. Seems I can always find something to spend money on to support the hobby.

  7. #387
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well got things wrapped up and put away for the winter .

    I didn't wrap two DBL. DEEPS and 1 DBL. nuc. just see how they do this winter. People in these parts are say cool winter .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  8. #388
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    420, eh?

  9. #389
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    420, eh?
    You need to ask?
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  10. #390
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hey Everyone, 1st year beek in SE PA. My top bar hive has a split cluster. I suspect they are queenless. We are supposed to get some warm weather (67 but rainy) this weekend. Would you recommend opening the hive and putting the cluster together as one. The bees are at the back of the hive and the front. Should I move them all to the front??


  11. #391
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I don't have experience with top bar hives but my understanding is that this is the problem with them. YOu need to make sure that the cluster is on one side while the stores are on the other. In a Lang you want the stores above the cluster which isn't very hard because that's how they typically put it anyway. With the warmer weather coming up they'll probably be able to break those clusters and rejoin as they are able. It does seem that they are lite on stores. You may want to consider putting some dry sugar in there somewhere. From what the video looked like the cluster on the back side was next to a follower board and the front side was at the entrance. It seemed that the combs in the middle were empty. What you can do is remove one frame and simply pour dry sugar in it's place. I'd remove one that's as close to the back of the front cluster as possible but make sure it's empty. You don't want to hinder them from getting on either side of any frame that has brood or you run a risk of that brood dying. Perhaps post a new thread in the top bar forum. (I think there's one) Or post in the general beekeeping thread. Hopefully you can get others with experience w/ top bar hives to chime in. I personally wouldn't assume that they're queenless. It seems that if the cluster was in the middle and stores on either side then that just created a natural break in the cluster as the bees went outside of the cluster to get to the stores and that shifted things a bit.

  12. #392
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thanks for your insight. I'll wait to see if they rejoin this weekend. The combs in between the two clusters are actually fully capped. They are about 17" wide at the top, 10 " wide at the bottom, and 10.5" deep... So they have about 6 or 7 fully capped, heavy bars. I was going to wait until January/February before adding fondant. What do you think?

    ETA - I'm adding a lang in the spring. The TBH is great for learning and the kids love to look in the window, but it has caused nothing but roadblocks.

  13. #393
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    My first question would be when did you last check this hive? If it was over a month ago then they may not have that much in capped stores at this point. Second question is do they have a second entrance (or a space they can get in and out of through the back side)? This weekend I hope to do some inspecting / working on one hive particularly. If the weather is above 50 you can quickly open them up. With your hive I don't know of your setup, but I'd try to cover some parts as you look into others so you don't stress them out too much, but it's supposed to be in the 60's on Sunday so that would be the best chance. I'd inspect those center frames. At least on the edges they aren't capped. Perhaps in the center the could be, but in looking at your video that's what I thought. It made sense that the cluster would split in this case. (Well to my logical / sometime illogical mind) If they only have one entrance and this weekend you don't see them flying out of the opposite end then they'll have to recombine. For the bees in the back to get out they'll have to cross over through the front. Hopefully this doesn't cause issues for you because they may have been apart for several days / weeks, but hopefully things will be fine. On another note I am not sure of where you got your bees from, but there are some queens (specifically southern queens) that never really shut down overwinter. They will go through a bunch more resources then a northern queen would.

    On another note. . . What kind of roadblocks has the top bar hive caused for you? I can imagine some things, but I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

  14. #394
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Adding fondant is your call. When to do it is also your thoughts as to when it'd be most beneficial. If you find out that the bees don't have the center frames capped, then I'd add stuff this weekend that hopefully would cary them through the winter. January / February you may not have a chance and if they don't make it until then you'll open them up to a dead hive. In research I've done you want about 3/4 of the hive (whatever size they've been using) to be capped stores to get through our winters. So if you have a 10 frame box you want at least 7 of them solid. Now you'll probably have stores in all 10, but the middle 3 or 4 will only have capped stores in the upper and outer portions. They need cluster space. I hope this helps.

  15. #395
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    13 of 13 alive and well here today. Not bad for approaching Christmas. I made sure they all had at least two winter patties to get through the two flying days I'm likely to have here. Cheap insurance.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 7 nucs, treat when needed.

  16. #396
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Good deal DPBsbees. I checked my hives today also. I had 17 going into winter. A few seemed to be in trouble leading into fall (late swarm captures). I had 2 dead outs of the 17. Added some insurance sugar bricks to the lighter hives and buttoned them up. I have four 6 over 6 medium frame Nucs - they were all doing great, so I'll likely have some insurance going into spring to cover some losses. I'll check on them again in early - mid February.

    I did have one hive that was queen-less in Mid November. Debler lives close by and contacted me that he had a NUC that was crashing, so he caged the queen for me and I installed her. I'm still holding hope that we may have saved that hive. If it makes it, Debler and I will both have one more hive next year than we would have. I'll make a split and return her once they build up some and their are drones available. Keeping fingers crossed.

    Tomorrow I'm going to take 6 frames of capped stores off the dead outs and add a third box to a couple of the strongest NUCS. That will give them more room for rearing brood in the spring. Next year I plan to winter all my 6 frame medium NUCs in 3 boxes rather than 2.

    Happy Holidays!

  17. #397
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Chr157y -

    I'm curious what you find in your top bar hive come Christmas day when it gets cold again. I see we are looking at a high of around 31 degrees in SE PA. Did the bees regroup into a single cluster?

  18. #398
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I'm 25 for 25 have not lost any hives this year.
    Going to check to see if I need to ad sugar to any tomorrow it's going to be in the 60s .
    Hoping for a good turn out come spring but winter has not even started and it's been cold in these parts.
    So guess time will tell.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  19. #399
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Went though my 2 dead-outs today. They seemed to just dwindled down to very small clusters and froze in that last cold snap. Something must have happened with the queens late in the year. I dug up 3 of my custom 6 frame med NUC boxes, filled each with stores from the dead hives, and added a 3rd box to 3 out of 4 of my NUCS. They should have plenty of food to make it till spring now. I plan to start feeding pollen sub patties late Feb/Early March.

  20. #400
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by DPBsbees View Post
    At EAS i signed a sales tax exemption form and Dadant kept the form so I didn't have to pay sales tax on the stuff they brought to the convention for me. I wonder if this is possible to do with Brushy, and Mann Lake?
    I forgot to add this a while ago. I emailed Mann Lake and they said they would be keeping sales tax exemption forms, so I'm hopeful that those of us in PA won't be paying an additional 6 % when they open here.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 7 nucs, treat when needed.

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