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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    delber, it seems that once bees make up their mind to swarm - sometimes you can't stop them. If they were feeling cramped due to only one hive body, they might have already decided "We are running out of room." and even though you "built on", their minds were already made up.

    I haven't heard of any swarms in our area yet.

    I did put out two swarm traps near my two hives if they decide to swarm. And I'm hoping to get several more swarm traps placed around where I know feral colonies are.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    We brought home our first colony of bees tonight.
    Ratchet strapped the hive together with 1/8" hardware cloth in the entrance, placed it in the Trailblazer and they handled the ride with no problems.
    Still looking for queen cells on and am hoping something shows soon.
    Getting a package this Sunday.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    What's new across the state? Looks of uncapped nectar in my hives. Will be checking on my hives on Saturday again.

    Had to take a small split off of one, due to swarm cells being present a couple weeks ago.

    Anyone catching any swarms in PA lately? I have 6 traps up, nothing yet ...

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Most of my hives are doing good so far,had a monster hive try to swarm.The bees were hanging under the hive. There must of been five pounds of bees under the hive.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I caught a swarm on Tuesday May 1 in Worthville, PA - a very small town between Brookville and Punxsutawney. It was a nice size clustered on several pine tree branches about 2' high. I was just able to slide the hive under it. When I jolted the branch, apparently the multiple branches made the bees lose cluster as instead of the whole swarm dropping into the hive, some did but most of the bees took flight. Luckily the queen was in the hive, as once I put on the lid, the cloud of bees slowly got smaller and smaller as they went into the hive.

    I brought them home after dark and the following morning put on a 2nd hive body. They have accepted their hive and going about their business.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Our split and package bees are drawing comb and some eggs were finally found.
    I'm still waiting to hear about our three Nucs from Yule Apiary.
    Things must be moving slow for them.

    My friends TBH had some issues yesterday.
    He discovered lots of newly drawn comb which started off straight and then ran into the adjoining top bars.
    He got them back on track and will keep a daily eye on them for now.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lancaster County, Pa, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Also caught a swarm Tuesday of a decent size. They were in a olive bush about ten feet up. Learned some valuable lessons. One don't under estimate the weight. The cluster doesn't like to drop from that height only ONE sting . Make sure you get the queen. After they regrouped on the branch on the ground I carried it over to my nuc box and tried the white sheet trick. Well, after dumping them on the sheet they simply flew away and regrouped on the front of my hive. Meanwhile, a cluster started forming on the outside of thebucket I tried to place them in earlier. Nuc box moved some sugar water spray and a quick jolt sent most of them into the box. Got the queen this time as the remaining bees entered the box. Moved the nuc next to the spot I want to put another hive after dark (still need to get another one). Its now Friday lots of activity, fanning, foraging, guarding the entrance, even saw some pollen comiing in. Hoping to move them into a full hive soon so I can get that nuc back up to try and catch one without having to climb ladders and cut branches sure don't like heights.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,052

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well i've never seen a swarm till MAY 1 my wife hived the first swarm she quess's it was around 12 lb it was huge for sure and the bee's are brite orange and big very nice looking bee's .
    So she boxed the swarm and set up a hive in my apiary and dump them in and they are still hived the next day we are up at my apiary the next day checking out my new hive when in a little thawhorn tree was a nother swarm but only a third of the size of the first one but still a nice swarm. So i got two swarms in two days just 15 to 20 feet from my hives and i know for sure the monster swarm was not my bee's there biger and much more orange then mine . Swarm 2 is hived and looking good i quess i'll now if we got the queens or not in 12 more days i'll look for eggs then.
    Now the secone swarm kindda looked like my bee's but i see no sign of swarming from my 3 originl hives.
    I have queens come this week (i hope so) i don't want to dig into the hive till i do my splits and i know they had room a week ago and one had no brood so i gave them a frame of open brood from a strong hive.
    This is my first year of bee's making it througt winter and in to the spring flow and so far it's been crazy the swarms blow my mind.
    I all so have Nucs from Yule Apiary orded and have not heard for him yet.
    And qweens from White oak and no word for them yet i'm quessing soon.
    Will bee's swarm to other apiarys? What a great MAY so far what fun.
    Last edited by GLOCK; 05-05-2012 at 06:09 AM.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The neighbor called and left a message on my answering machine today while I was at work. He had a swarm in his back yard (Summerville, PA 15864) and thought I had bees. Told me I wanted them to call him and come get them. The next message was him again that he called the county extention office and they told him a swarm only sticks around for a couple of hours, so he called another beekeeper and so they were collected.

    I don't think the swarm was mine. I only have 1 hive that it could have come from - and it seemed to be as busy as usual this evening. I know 2 years ago, a feral swarm flew from the woods across our property and was heading in the direction of this neighbor, so I'm fairly certain this was a feral swarm.

    I did have a swarm trap out, but they must not have been interested in it.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    How much longer do we expect the flow to be on this spring in SE PA?

    I took some off two hives this past weekend, extracted and put the wet supers back on.

    Anyone one else take any yet?

    I did catch a dinky swarm mothers day weekend in my yard.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I got 3 galons off of one hive on Memorial day (along with almost getting heat stroke. I'm thankful for a GREAT wife!!!) As far as a flow I haven't seen the sumac blooming yet and I know that's one of the later trees to bloom in the "spring flow" at least according to last year.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Not sure about the flow.
    Honey suckle vine is just starting to flower along with some other kinds of shrubs.
    Locust and multiflora rose seem to be over.

    Pollen has been a nice orange color today.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Slippery Rock PA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    So PA beekeepers, what's the harvest looking like? Mine sucked big time.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    795

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I only was able to harvest from one hive this year. The second swarmed on me and the third had queen issues. My one hive I harvested about 70# or so of honey before they swarmed on me mid / late June and had queen failure and is now dead. Currently I have 6 going into winter that seem to be set for a good spring hopefully.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I got to do an inspection this afternoon of my first year bees.
    They all have sufficient honey/sugar syrup and pollen for the winter.
    Was almost tempted to pull a capped frame from each hive but thought better of it.
    May do some more feeding as soon as I can find some sugar on sale at the store.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    It's been a busy year. Had both hives make it through the winter and did a split on one which got me up to 3 hives. I advertised I would remove swarms and captured at least 11 swarms but I had several abscond. I am up to 12 hives right now and I would say half of them have enough stores. Once we get some decent weather (and I have the time. I think I can steal some honey from the heavy hives to give to the lighter ones. That plus feeding and we will see how they survive this winter.

    I was going to get some honey off at least 3 of my heaviest hives, but don't have an extractor nor did I want to spend $300.00 to buy one. I have a local beekeeper who is thinking of getting out of beekeeping, and so will either buy his extractor or next year I will at least borrow it. Some of the swarms I captured just didn't seem to do much while others really went to work.

    And I guess if I don't "rob from the rich and give to the poor" or feed, it will be survival of the fittest.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Slippery Rock PA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I'll give a little more information on how my year went. I went into last winter with four hives, came out with two which made an average of 52lbs. of honey each for the spring harvest. I collected some swarms, bought four nucs, two of which came with more mites than bees, did some splits and had 14 hives by mid summer. I'm back down to nine and one nuc heading into winter. I only had two hives make honey this fall, I haven't extracted it yet but I'm guessing about 40 lbs. each. I was really disappointed with how this fall turned out but I've talk to some other beekeepers and it seems like it just wasn't a good fall.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, PA USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I started two hives this year, one Italian from a package and another from a nuc (Carniolan). I split them into two more hives, which I have in nucs for the winter. The original nuc didn't produce any excess honey and superceded the queen and the Italian package produced seven medium frames of excess honey. I got no excess from the fall flow, even though there was a lot of goldenrod in the area. I smelled the goldenrod nectar in the hives, so I believe they were using it to backfilling the hive bodies. I can't complain as they were both new hives and I didn't expect any honey from them the first year.

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lebanon.PA
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hopefully we aren't hijacking your thread here Allen!

    I got a 25- 30# average for the season just pulled yesterday so not sure of exact weight yet but somewhere in that range. Was really expecting more(always am ) but don't think the fall flow was too strong or I've got too many colonies for my area lowering averages. They were working the golden rod hard from what I'm told but not much golden rod smell in the hives and certainly not showing up in weight in supers. That's got me stumped! Maybe they stored it all below super's. I do believe they've moved some down from the super's also but that ok as I got enough for myself and to sale and the bee's have enough for themselves.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    You're not hijacking the thread!
    I look forward to hearing how other colonies are doing in the areas around us.
    I've been spreading the word around that I'll remove swarms for next year.
    Am buying an air stapler and will be shopping this winter for the lowest frame and hive pricing.

    Dragonfly130, are you planning to have queens this coming Spring?

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