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  1. #461
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I've heard of a few on the SE side of the state. If I would not have done splits on my production hives, I think all nine would have swarmed this past week. I have about a dozen traps up in Western PA(Indiana County), I'll be checking them this weekend for the first time - I think it is still a little early, but it's getting close there too.
    PAHunter62
    Zone 6b: 11 Hives, 17 NUCs, 10 swarms captured 2014

  2. #462
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest PA Beekeeper View Post
    Just wondering if anyone here in PA has heard of any swarms yet? I've seen where there have been reports of swarms down near Lancaster, but here in NorthWest, PA, I haven't heard of any swarms yet.
    I've had two hives that I absolutely know swarmed, and another two I suspect. The swarm season is in full gear in the southeast portion of the state. I have three friends that have been fighting them for a couple of weeks.
    Dan Boylan, When it doubt "It's mites".

  3. #463
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I had a call for a large swarm in Howard Pa last evening but the call came too late. Called the guy after work today and he said most of the bees where gone. I was out walking around today checking out the locust trees and they are loaded with large buds. Looks like It will be close to a week before they are ready here.

  4. #464
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Last Thursday there was a swarm in Oxford. I only was told about it yesterday because the home owner wants them removed.

  5. #465
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest PA Beekeeper View Post
    Just wondering if anyone here in PA has heard of any swarms yet? .
    A co-worker told me of a swarm spotted at a hotel in Clarks Summit. Unfortunately, they dealt with it themselves with pesticide.

    Wayne

  6. #466
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I got word from my family that I captured 3 swarms back home on a family farm this week in Western PA. I was home for Memorial Day and checked the 10 traps I set several weeks before and bees were checking all 10 traps out. I figured they would start moving in this week. Expect a few more before it slows down.

    How is everyone doing on Honey this spring? I seem to be having a very good year so far. Most hives are on track to fill 3 supers, a couple may fill 4. Going to need to purchase some extra 5 gallon buckets!
    PAHunter62
    Zone 6b: 11 Hives, 17 NUCs, 10 swarms captured 2014

  7. #467
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    One of my larger hives had queen cells a few weeks back. I took the queen and split off the cells into mini nucs and left one with the large hive. I still wanted to get honey from this hive. Well I was there today and saw the queen returning from the mating flight. Man is she a beaut!!! She's fat and "clumsy" flying in. That was a first for me. My other hive I was in today and I've given them their fourth box today and I could have given them another if I had it. In a week they filled a deep. Things look great on that end. I also saw and marked the queen in this hive. I was shocked because I only pulled 2 or 3 frames from each box just to see how they're doing. I wasn't expecting to see her at all. But you need to capatalize on what situations God gives you.

  8. #468
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    locust are blooming all over here

  9. #469
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fairview PA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    ERIE County First 5# swarm 28 May-Capture in an 8 Frame Deep- moved them 1/4 mile- Doing well today
    Second small swarm 3# Today 3 June Placed in NUC- will see if they will stay.
    Black Locust and Clover full Bloom

  10. #470
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    First swarm of the year for me! Just happened to be driving down the road and saw "something" on a bush. I'm thinking "Was that a swarm or dead stuff in the bush?" I back up - yep, it's a swarm.

    The deep hive body and bottom board was just able to be put under the swarm with a couple inches to spare. One shake, and they are in the box and they set up fanning telling any stragglers "Hey, here we are with the queen."

    Must be a secondary swarm as it was only 1 1/2 - 2 pounds.

    Summerville, PA 15864

  11. #471
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Nice eye!!! Congrats on your first for the year. Any idea where it came from?

  12. #472
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    We ended up with 4 survivor colonies this Spring and one was suspected of going queenless with the population going down.
    Decided to give a frame of brood each week for a few weeks to see what happens. They never did make queen cells that I could find but started seeing eggs after 3 weeks or so. The queen must have just gotten off to a slow start. They are doing well enough now that I was able to make a split last week.

    The donor hive for the brood had been so strong that I made two splits. One was given a mated queen from Keeney and the other was left to make their own queen.

    Also installed three packages that I purchased from Keeney.
    The other two survivor colonies were split and we are now back to 8 colonies and waiting on 4 splits to raise their own queens.
    The splits and packages were installed on mostly drawn comb and some foundation here and there. That comb should give them a head start.
    Also put in some foundationless frames between drawn comb frames.
    Honey production looks better than last Spring and some of the supers are getting heavy.
    I'm not using a queen excluder so it's interesting to see where the queen lays and then how she is forced down when they backfill with honey.
    Am seeing some full frames of capped honey down in the deeps but the queens still have plenty of space to lay eggs.
    I'm making splits by pulling three or four frames of eggs, larvae and capped brood along with some capped honey and placing them in a deep. I check to make sure the queen isn't on these frames and do this in the middle of the day.
    The parent hive is moved to the other end of the bee yard and the new deep is placed in the parent hive original location.

  13. #473
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I started a 3rd yard in Northampton County back on April 13th with 3 packages and 2 splits. The 3 package hives are doing very well. When I checked on them on May 30th, they had their 2nd hive body drawn and full of brood. I added a medium honey super to each. Last night I checked on them and they had it completely drawn and full of honey. I added more honey supers.

    When I asked the land owner about placing bees there back in March, he told me that those fields were full of Orchard grass (Timothy). When I was telling him how well the hives were doing, I happened to notice that the field was also full of white clover. I have heard that you can yield 200 lbs of honey from one acre of white clover. This field is 7 acres. It'll be interesting to see what the newly added supers will look like next week.

    The 2 split hives are doing well, but I think that I will add a couple of frames of brood from the stronger hives when I return next week.

  14. #474
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Pass out the cigars and light 'em up.
    We've got two new daughters added to the family!
    Checked on the splits and packages late this afternoon.
    Two of them successfully raised their own queens and found eggs and larvae. After only one queen getting raised last year, this is exciting.

    One of the packages and a split have been building up well so I gave each another deep super mixed with some comb, foundationless and foundation.

    The colony that I took two splits from has been so busy they've filled a shallow, med and almost an entire deep with honey. Currently I t has a total of 3 deeps, a med and a shallow with a ratchet strap around it, and the base it's sitting on. Btw, I had also taken 3 frames of brood from it when I thought the one colony went queenless.
    Just made up two more shallows tonight with foundation and foundationless (for cut comb) for that colony.
    Tomorrow I plan to checkerboard a few capped shallow frames up to an empty super and will put some empty frames down in between the existing drawn out honey frames.

    And the day wouldn't have been right without an "oh crap" moment.
    Whenever I take off the inner cover I'll look it over before setting it down.
    While checking one of the packages, and after removing the inner cover, I glanced at it, and laid it on top of the hive next to me and did my inspection. After that, I looked over at the inner cover and there is this worker bee with a blue dot on her... Whoops, that's the queen and she had some attendants hanging out with her.
    I quickly pulled two frames back out of the super, and carefully slipped the end of the inner cover she was on down inside to where she could walk off.

  15. #475
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Another split (third one), successfully raised their own queen. Hope the fourth one makes out ok.

  16. #476
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    i scraped some honey that they had put up inbetween inspections of inner cover and it was a lighter yellow and had a very floral taste to it like i was chewing on flowwers any idea what this came from??

  17. #477
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    westmoreland county, pa
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I took 4 frames of honey off Saturday and it was very light golden color but very good. Everyone who tasted it liked it. I'm hoping we get a good flow next few weeks when the black raspberries bloom cause I sure want more of this stuff than 4 frames out of 2 hives

  18. #478
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    John I have no idea what it comes from, but mine has always tasted that way. I've chalked it up to being "raw" and not pasturized which kills and removes all of that flavor that is actually good for you. I hope to harvest in the next few weeks and start queen rearing on a larger scale. We'll see how things go. I only want to take single boxes into winter this year. I've lost every production hive to date that I've tried to overwinter. The extra frames will serve well to help get them all up to something overwinter. We'll see how things go.

  19. #479
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I noticed the same thing during Spring and everyone that had a sample proclaimed it as the best honey they ever had.
    Was told by another beekeeper that the locust, tulip poplar and maples contribute to the lightness of the honey.
    Our Fall honey is a little darker and more pungent.

  20. #480
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    919

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I'm finding a nice light color honey also , I assumed it might be clover honey which in the past was always light but a little bland I thought but that was store bought, this has something else in it as its very good , the wife likes it just as much as the darker goldenrod honey we get in the fall .

    I have been trying to go all medium and finally pulled out my last deep frames I hope I ever see , now to build up the brood nests to three mediums . I have two new nucs in two med. a parent hive split into three med. and the other half of the split in two med . Hope to have them all into three mediums in time for the fall flow , but for now the spring flow is on .

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