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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    DC Don't assume that she's "gone" for good. She may have flown into the hive. I have heard of this happening with others also. The chance (from what Michael Bush has said) is about 50/50 that she'll fly back. He leaves the hive open and allows them to fan for about 20 minutes or so.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mount Joy, PA, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    DC give the hive a few days. Then go in and look for eggs. Those dark queens can vanish into a frame of bees even while you are looking at them. My bet is she would not have flown off the frame. I have started to use a queen catcher, to keep track of her while inspecting...easy to catch and release her when ready.

    I had to add some frames to 4 of my wintered Nucs today. Two wintered with just 4 frames, 2 nucs in one deep hive body. These were queens mated in early Sept. Another nuc needed to be cut back from 8 to just 4 medium frames, but the queen looked good and there was capped and open brood, so they should come along.

    They are bringing in nectar as it would drip from the frame if tilted. Lots of that red, green and some tan pollen in the frames.....sort of looks like Christmas.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,790

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Bees View Post
    I leaned the frame with the queen against the hive and walked away to grab the queen excluder and when i got back she was gone.All i wanted to do was move her down out of the honey super.
    I read somewhere that you should always put your frames in an empty box when you remove them from the hive. Now I know why. Probably a nuc would be good for this unless you are going to pick all the frames out.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lancaster County, Pa, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I was able to get back in the hive today. Saw lots of bees, top box about 6 frames full and the bottom was about about four. Didn't do a complete inspection as it was getting late. Hoping to get in them this weekend for a more complete inspection. They were taking the sugar I put in back in early February out by the truckloads, so I removed the rest and the shallow super that was acting as a spacer and put 2:1 in a feeder in case they needed it. I was hoping to reverse them but didn't want to break them up. It will be time to add supers before you know it. If this weather holds probably by early April.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lebanon.PA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Anybody seeing any nectar coming in yet? About 10-20% of the bee's coming back into my hives yesterday were bringing in pollen. I'm assuming the other's were bringing in some nectar but maybe not. Lot's of activity. I did see bee's working a tiny purple flower growing in the yard. I'm assuming it's purple dead nettle from an earlier post but can't Id it for sure. Also don't know if it makes nectar. Might check later today. Also a beek friend I talked to last night from eastern WV has syrup on and his bee's are not taking it which might indicate some type of flow there. We are only a week or two behind him. look's like this weather is gonna hold for now.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    This afternoon we are going to open the hives so I'll look for some.
    Will take some photos if possible.
    Looks like another great day is shaping up.
    Allen

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Slippery Rock PA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly130 View Post
    Anybody seeing any nectar coming in yet?
    I saw some nectar coming into my one and only TBH on Sunday, I haven't really gotten into my other hives yet, not till this weekend. I have no idea what it's from, although I did see a lot of bees on the crocuses in the flower bed at the house. Some were after pollen and others were way down in the flower. All my hives were bringing in pollen with about the same percentages that you noted, Dragonfly, but there were a lot of bees flying in and out. They are definitely on to something. I noticed last night that a lot of our fruit trees are starting to bud. I think spring is here, as long as it sticks around.

    If there are any western PA people on here, I have found a guy in between Erie and Buffalo that has about 200 nucs, as of Saturday, left. They are from overwintered stock and he rears his own queens. Real nice guy. I will be headed up there to get some around the first of May and wouldn't mind hauling some back if anybody is interested. PM me for more details.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Salix, Pa, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hi. Everyone. It's nice to see a thread of Pa beekeepers. I live near Johnstown and we have also had probably the most mild winter I can remember. I had 4 out of 5 hives make it through the winter. I'm not sure who made the comment in an earlier post, but based on the size of the clusters alone it looks like at least 2 of my hives have been laying for sometime b/c they are much larger than anything that I have seen in the past 3 or 4 winters I have been keeping bees. I use all 8 frame medium hive bodies and have two hives that are consistently full of bees through 3 hive bodies and the others have large clusters through 2 bodies.

    My question for this season is how much earlier should I perform splits. Like others I'm afraid of what April has to bring, the 15 day forecast has temperatures up to the end of the most staying consistenly above 50 degrees. Most of them are nearer to 60. When are most of you planning on doing splits if this warm trend continues? Plus when do you estimate that a sufficient drone population will be available for individual who do walk away splits and allow their queens to breed naturally?

    Does anyone think it would be to early to order a mated queen and do a split that way?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I was in my hives last thursday the 8th and 1 nuc (10 frame deep) had 3 frames of brood and 3 capped and a little dry sugar on top still. I went in again yesterday the 13th and they had only about a 2" wide by 1" patch of capped stores. The rest of those 3 frames were now eggs / larva. I have 7 frames of brood in this hive at this point. WOW!!! Needless to say I put the feed on. What was said earlier was so true. Make sure you keep a close eye on things. Michael Bush or someone else has said it takes about a frame of stores to rear a frame of brood. This was a lesson to me for sure. I thought they'd be fine for a few weeks until nectar started coming in, but man was I wrong!!!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lebanon.PA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Definitely nectar coming in at some point this week. Not a large amount but they are working something. Little white flower's also in the yard open and the purple deadnettle open everywhere. Also saw the first dandelion flower today. For those looking for nuc's I have an ad in the for sale section. Under 8 frame hives for sale. I didn't run it separate but will. Kinda got em hidden.

    It is nice to hear from all the other Pa beek's. Keep it up as we can all do better at managing by knowing what's going on with everyone else. For me I'm working way too much and often have to guess on timing.

    Jim

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    We got into both hives this afternoon.
    Took photos and got a short video of a bee breaking out of its cell.
    Will try to post some tomorrow or the next day.
    Lots of brood, pollen and what looked like honey being capped.

    Allen

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I decided to take a look at one of my two story nucs today and i was shocked at how much pollen they are bringing in.The nuc is also packed with bees and brood from top to bottom.I also saw some drone cells for the first time this year.If i don't split or move them to a bigger box they will swarm for sure.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lebanon.PA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Plus when do you estimate that a sufficient drone population will be available for individual who do walk away splits and allow their queens to breed naturally?
    Denon I would probably say walk away's in may or June during the main flow so they have lot's of resources available. Lot's of drones should be available by then also. I'm not a big fan of feeding bee's so love early may split's as they will build on the flow's.

    I really can't recommend walk away's though as you will likely get inferior queen's. Buy some queen's or cell's or better yet raise some. If you don't want to graft or use another method watch for supercedure or swarm cell's and make your split then. These will be great queen's.

    Hope this help's!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Here are some images.
    I tried to upload clickable thumbnails. It takes you to my photobucket album and the photo that appears can be clicked on to see it even larger.

    The first 3 are from the dead hive.
    Is that drone comb?



    Queenie







  15. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa


  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well i'm seeing pollen coming in to day and i have a lot of bee's coming and going.
    I took my quilts off to day and my mouse gards. I put on entrance reducers to the big hole just to make sure no robbing go's on.
    I Have feeders out about 100 yards away and there hitting them hard and they where hitting the dry BEEPRO pretty hard but are starting to not want it quess cuz pollen is now coming in got stung 3 times this trip to the bee yard. Learned a sting to the ear hurts! only for a little while.
    This SUNDY i'm going to get into the whole hive on all three and see just what going on can't wait.
    I know i have 3 healthy hive yea.!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well guys I've been feeding on the top bars and only one hive has taken any of it. So this must mean that they're getting nectar on their own and don't like my sugar syrup.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Delber,my observation hive is bringing in nectar and loads of pollen and i checked another nuc today after work and they were bringing in nectar also.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    In some of those photos I posted it looks like they are capping honey.
    Is that possible this time of year?

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lebanon.PA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Allen
    I agree that they are capping honey. Nectar has been coming in. Light yet, but coming in.

    I also noticed some capped drone brood to the right on the medium frame (last pic).
    That is drone comb that you questioned.

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