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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Allen, Your "nuc" is a 2 deep box? I wouldn't consider that a nuc. It appears you have deep 10 frame boxes correct? Looks like you have some NICE swarm lures there also in your comb storage.

    I was also out and 2 of the 3 hives at one yard look GREAT. (I just popped the tops) The third I'm not sure of. I tapped the boxes and some bees came to the top, but not that many. It could be that they're all in the lower box, but I'd think that they'd be coming out and at least a good amt. of them would be on top. I didn't take them apart because I didn't have my suit and there's sugar on top. Also If the main cluster is in the middle of the boxes I don't want to kill a queen this time of year taking the boxes apart.

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hi Delber, the Nuc is in three divided 10 frame Deep supers.
    4 frames per Super for a total of 12 frames in their half.
    There is sawdust in the other half.
    I'm in the Smithy working on a project and can see lotsa bees out the window doing orientation flights.

  3. #143
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Even though this isn't a colony update I thought I would share this info since it is specific to Pennsylvania.
    There were some stricter rules passed in 2011 regarding selling honey that were new in P.A.
    apparently they are easing up on that soon. I don't know if my apiary is technically a farm or not I'm not sure. I am registered with the department of agriculture. Maybe someone could explain that to me. I need to read more on it, but anyway they are going back to the 1974 law referred to as the Honey Sale and Labeling act. So I take that to mean a more live and let live approach to selling honey. Here is what I received from the Penn state extension office.

    Honey Sale Legislation

    (from the PA State Beekeepers website: http://www.pastatebeekeepers.org/index.htm)



    HB 2565 has passed both the House and the Senate ... unanimously. HB 2565 exempts on-the-farm honey producers from food license and registration, provided they produce 100% of the honey offered for sale. The honey offered for sale must comply with the 1974 law referred to as the Honey Sale and Labeling Act.



    However...anyone is still subject to inspection. An inspection would most likely be prompted by someone getting sick on the product or complaint. Otherwise, an on- farm producer will likely never see an inspector.



    The governor signed this legislation Oct 25th. It will take effect in 60 days. So... in January 2013, every honey producer that became a criminal over-night with Act 106 on Jan 1, 2011, will no longer be criminals again. How cool is that ! We will await any clarifications.



    This amendment was initiated by the Susquehanna Beekeepers Association, through their local representative (Sandra Major). Hats off to SBA ! Pa State Beekeepers Association fully supported and actively participated in hearings and communications regarding this amendment.



    House Bill 2565: http://www.pastatebeekeepers.org/pdf/HB2565.pdf

    1974 law referred to as the Honey Sale and Labeling Act.: http://www.pastatebeekeepers.org/pdf...abelingAct.pdf

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I am interepreting this as if you sell pure honey that you don't have to worry about jumping any major hoops to sell it legally because it is considered a safe food. Good news for the honey producers. Last year they were pulling some honey off the shelves that had not had an inspection of the honey house where it was produced. From what I heard.

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mount Joy, PA, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    You are exempt only if you are selling your own honey produced by your bees and are selling it from your property. There may be a few exceptions for a few days, where you are selling it at say a farmer's market...have not seen this in writing yet. As soon as you put it on a market's shelf (corner store, farm or super market) you must be registered and have your bottling area registered and inspected, if your are not registered and inspected they will still pull the product from the shelves. It is the area used for the final bottling process that must meet registration requirements. The extracting is considered a raw process and is not as restricted as the bottling process.
    Our club went through this last summer and registered my business kitchen for members to bottle their honey. We had a small sticker to add to anyone's label who used the kitchen to bottle their honey, making them legal and able to sell their honey in any store.

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Have you folks noticed condensation on your inner or outer covers?
    I have not seen any so far this winter. It sort of worried me at first.
    There is a bottom entrance reducer and I'm using the notch on the inner cover.
    The inner cover is upside down with sugar on it and doesn't appear to be absorbing moisture like I expected.
    Last edited by Allen; 01-31-2013 at 11:21 AM.

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I'm using upper entrances so it's not as big of an issue, but I am seeing mold on the opposite side of the top. I'm also using insulated lids to cut down on the condensation on the lid. It may be on the sides, but that's fine with me. I have about a 2" wide entrance cut in my custom made lids for an entrance. The only thing I saw this year was "frost" just about sealing the entrance one night during that cold snap last week. That was cool to see. I figured that the bees would be fine w/o the ventilation due to the fact that the lid is insulated. What I've made is a 3/4" piece of plywood on top, w/ 3/4" foam insulation, then another piece of plywood under that. I use a piece of pine to go around the sides, front and back and I have aluminum flashing on top and around the sides to keep moisture off the plywood. I can post pictures sometime if anyone is interested.

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Some of my nucs have water dripping out the bottom entrances, I'm glad the hives are tilted forward to let the water run out if it gets too bad.

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thanks Jim, So if legislation is passed I can sell it from my yard with out a hastle? How much did the registration of your extracting area cost?

    Allen, Last year I was seeing a bunch of moisture dead center above the inner covers so I got homasote board at home depot and cut it so it would fit above each inner cover to absorb moisture. It worked. I also liked having the pieces of homasote to use for this and that when I was opening hives and stuff. I have it on some hives this year not on others. I think the bees drink that mositure to an extent and use the mositure to mix in with the capped honey. I read that. The sugar is supposed to absorb the mositure. I haven't seen water coming out the entrances but I haven't really looked for it. Like DC I keep mine angled forward slightly.


    Delber I would like to see your flashing install. That sounds like a good idea

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The home kitchen registration was $35. But if you have a private well then you need to pay for water testing. For most of the members of my club, the money wasn't really the issue, although that was a burn. The issue I and most of my friends had was the pet restriction. In order to register a home kitchen, you cannot have a pet in your home, period, ever, end of story. You can't just keep the cat upstairs or the dog outside and sterilize the kitchen on the day you bottle. And what if the pet never goes into the kitchen. Does the goldfish count? The hamster? My son's hissing cockroach? It's a pet, it's in the home. I'll stop ranting now.

    With Act 180, you don't need to register anymore if you produce (meaning bottle) at your house and sell from your house. Your kitchen still needs to be "inspectable". The dept. of ag is allowed to inspect your kitchen if they want to. So Act 180 doesn't get rid of the pet prohibition. If you have a pet and bottle in your kitchen, you still technically can't sell your honey anywhere because your kitchen wouldn't pass an inspection. That's the way I read it. What Act 180 really served to do was to save very small home sellers the time and cost of the registration as well as keeping them off the radar.

  11. #151
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thank You libhart, I have a place to do the extracting that I thing will be acceptable that has city water and no pets. I will investigate it furthur and hopefully we can have hastle free honey distribution in the near future. I extracted last year with friends for the first time and it was fun. I'm looking forward to some steady warm weather

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I have two options open to me for extracting and bottling.

    One of the guys in our bee club opened up a state inspected honey house for folks who don't have extracting equipment. That's a good deal for someone like me who isn't going to buy an extractor for awhile.
    You pay a small fee and get to use his equipment. Not sure of all the details though.

    Hi name is Jim Griesemer at Griesemer Beekeeping
    Cell: 610-301-5833
    http://www.facebook.com/GriesemerBeekeeping

    I'm going to try out those facilities when we have honey this season.

    The fire co where I volunteer has a commercial kitchen. I'm sending in an app to the state in the next month or so to get that approved also.
    The only problem I might run into (where the state of pa is concerned) is where you store the honey.
    If it is seperate from the facilities where you are approved to extract and bottle, then that location has to be inspected also. That was from a conversation last summer with someone from the dept of food safety.

  13. #153
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Allen do you think Jim would mind others contacting him? This may be the ticket that I've been looking for.

    That last statement just doesn't make sense. If the honey is bottled already what difference does it make where it's stored? I understand that I wouldn't want to have the food stored in a rat infested warehouse, however most of the food that is on the shelves in the store is stored in a warehouse. (rats and all I'd imagine which is why we wash lids before we open a can of whatever)The honey often has a seal and a lid so . . . ??? I'm not saying you are wrong I'm just looking for some clarification. Could it have been that this was under the previous laws? How about transporting it? Would you have to have a certified vehicle also?

  14. #154
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Also understand that they only really care about the bottling. Extracting can be done in any reasonably clean place with a roof. They think of it like milking a cow. You milk a cow in a barn and the barn isn't exactly clean. But when they bottle the milk, the bottling has to be clean as a whistle. So you can extract in your garage, get the honey in buckets, and then take the buckets to the inspected kitchen and bottle.

    If you're a member of a bee club, you can register a kitchen under the name of the club. Then any member of the club can use the kitchen. This is a little tricky as the club's name has to then be on the bottle somewhere. It doesn't mean everyone needs the same label or that the real beekeepers name can't be on the label, but whatever the registered name is has to be there too (on the back even). Also if someone using the club's kitchen has honey that gets a complaint, the dept of ag can make everyone who used the kitchen pull their honey, it's a shared registration basically. But it's a good option I think.

    The part about storing the honey....that's interesting, because then anyone with a pet can't do anything with their honey from their home regardless of bottling in a fully registered and inspected kitchen. Can't sell your already-bottled-in-a-super-clean-kitchen honey from a home with a goldfish...nice.

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Jim would love to hear from others. He is starting this as part of his honey business.
    In addition to state approval, he is also insured.


    You and I are on the same page and was just as surprised when this was verbally said to me.
    I asked "why does it matter"? And I'm sorry I don't recall the exact answer.
    The person I talked to was most helpful and very nice.

    Intially, the discussion centered around the commercial kitchen.
    If I pay the $35 fee to have the commercial kitchen inspected and want to store elsewhere, then I have to pay another $35 fee to have the off-premises storage inspected also.
    I was asked if there was a locked storage closet in the fire co and I said "why yes, there is".
    So she says, "now you have a storage area that doesn't need an extra inspection fee".

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    libhart, is there a back label requirement in Pa?
    I thought it was only the front.

  17. #157
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Yep, only the front required. But for a bee club registered kitchen, my preference as a member is that only my name, address, and phone be on the front. I want my name front and center, that's repeat business. The fact that the club's name has to be on the bottle is just a formality from the fact that it was bottled in the kitchen registered to the club. So for me, that name and town goes on a very small label on the back.

    Allen, that's just awful. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir. So you're expected to meet customers at the firehall to sell them honey? That's nuts. Before our bee club registration, I also had given thought to doing my bottling in a firehall kitchen. Of course I was going to have to pay to use that kitchen. My feeling is that if I pay to use the kitchen, then part of the reason I'm paying money to the firehall is in fact because their kitchen is registered and inspected. I shouldn't then have to re-register that same kitchen in my name with the state and have them re-inspect something they've already inspected. But that's what they want to require. That's like asking me to pay the full state registration fee on a rental car. I'm renting the car, the owner of the car pays the fees.

    Ok, enough soap box for now.

  18. #158
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I understand on the labels.

    Also got the sense that the person who was giving me the info about storage didn't agree with the info either.
    Yeah, that facilites registration is just one more tax you have to add into a growing list of them.

    Wait, shouldn't our tax dollars already be paying for those inspectors to come out and inspect?

    Oops, lets not go there.
    I just hijacked another of my own threads for a second time in one day.

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,066

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    OMG why would you want to go through all that BS? Extract it in PA and bottle it in NY and pay the taxes (customer pays) and everybody is happy.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Tell me about it....If I lived anywhere near the border I might do just that!


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