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  1. #241
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Popped a couple tops of the hives I split from last weekend to see if there were any queen cells in there. I saw lots of cells both capped and open. Just tilted the boxes and looked up between the frames, then gently replaced. I'll stay out now till the first week of June other than making sure they don't need another super. Seem to be getting into some decent nectar lately. More rain coming over night hopefully, lets get this flow going!

  2. #242
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Checked all 10 of my hives for queens to day and all have eggs in them. I seem to have a little nector coming in and i add supers to 5 hives{deeps i use all deeps} I have alot of drones hatching but no swarm cells and i have added some blank frames to some of the strong hives brood nest.
    Put on my SSBs and am going to fog for the first time this sunday as long as the weather is good. I have some varroa but not alot so maybe if i fog on weekly time table maybe i can keep them at manageable level. Going to do a mite count {sticky boards} the next 24 hours.
    This is my 4th year and i didn't have to buy bees and things are going good for now.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  3. #243
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The bears got me on Saturday night. I went out to the backyard around midnight to put mesh over the entrances of the 2 hives that I was going to move on Sunday. I came around the corner and saw the hives strewn all down through the woods. For the next 3 hours I was cleaning up. I moved the surviving hives and nucs onto my back deck. There was nothing else I could do until daylight. At 4am, they were back...Momma and her 2 yearling cubs. One of the cubs was on the deck and knocked over a nuc. I stepped out onto the deck, screaming at this 100+ lb cub. It stood up on its hind legs and now we were 6 feet apart looking eye to eye. I'm still screaming like a mad man. The cub left the deck with me in pursuit. I chased them away and didn't see them again. I called and reported the incident to the PA Game Commission. I placed the hives on the roof of my house out of reach. I left one nuc down in the yard for lost bees. The bears came back early Monday morning and got the nuc. A PGC Officer came to the house and did an investigation and took inventory for the damages. A "bear damage claim for compensation" was filed. The PGC is going to compensate me for my loss including bees.

    I had planned on getting an electric fence up but the bears were faster. My plans for this weekend are to put up an 8x12 hog fence with solar charger.

    By the way, the Officer told me that the complaint must be reported within 5 days of the incident to be considered for compensation.

  4. #244
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Bummer Mayday. I have plans to move some hives to Indiana County, PA this year. They would be in bear territory too. I'm preparing for a fence, but have not decided on the site location yet.

    Any total losses?

    Thanks for the information about the 5 day reporting.

  5. #245
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Mayday, sorry to hear about the bear problem. I didn't know the PGC pays compensation.

    Finally, the two colonies that were lagging are kicking it into gear. Both had a bunch of new bees orienting in front of the hive this afternoon and more foragers were out flying.

    The booming hive seemed agitated yesterday. Like they were frantic to get out and bring in nectar and pollen.
    I've got a wooden entrance reducer on it and its set to the larger opening. But there was still a major traffic jam coming and going.
    So, while wearing shorts and a t-shirt I attempted to remove the reducer. The were a lot of bees flying and orienting at the time.
    Couldn't get it to budge and as I turned away, surprise, one got me right on the nose.
    It felt as bad as the way Marcia Brady's nose looked when she got hit with the football. LOL
    I suited up and got it done.

    No swarm cells in any of them yet and may be splitting the stronger colony next week.
    I plan to move the queen to another yard in a Nuc and let the other half raise their own queen in the same spot That should give them a brood break for a bit.
    Hope the other two colonies will build up enough for a split in the next couple of weeks.

  6. #246
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    PAHunter62.....Total loss was under $500 in materials and possibly another $400-500 in lost honey revenues. It could have been much worse. I am going to order a couple of new queens from Kelley's today.

    Allen....I didn't know that the PGC compensated losses either. They have a bear damage fund in their budget. Since it is early in the season, there is still money in the fund. The Officer told me that they compensate losses for livestock, poultry and honey bees.

  7. #247
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    No swarm cells in any of them yet and may be splitting the stronger colony next week.
    I have already done 4 splits this year off of my strong hive. I come back a week later and it is like I never touched it. This is a supercedure queen from last July. Super genetics. I would really like to breed that queen.

  8. #248
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lebanon PA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Checked my hives today... Glad I did... Swarm cells! One hive had 6-8 capped queen cells. Split them all up into some new hives... Fingers crossed in a few weeks we should have some new queens laying gangbusters.

  9. #249
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    so I checked one hive today that I had to bring into the house to try to save them because they were so small. I took them back outside early April and inspected and they had a 5" patch of brood on one frame. That was the cluster size. My word were they small. Well about 6 weeks later they have the upper box (my own 7 frame deep) with 6 frames full of brood and the 7th with a small patch and the rest w/ nectar. I'm shocked at how fast a almost dead hive sprung back.

  10. #250
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Anyone else worried about the lovely forecast for rain every day this month during the heat of the flow? The locust is in full bloom in my area and it drizzelled all day here washing the nectar away. I sure hope the forecasters are as incorrect as ever, or it will be long year buying sugar.

  11. #251
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Looking at the 10-day forecast, looks like the rain will be spotty. It may end up helping the flow, rather than hurt it. It was pretty dry around me before this weekend. I think there will be many hours of dry/flying weather this week.

    Mid week will mark the timing for the mating flights for my four split donor hives. I'll be checking the supers and adding where needed in the next couple days. I will also get all my splits into two medium eight frame boxes this week. I'm hoping to get them strong enough to harvest one super each if things go well.

    With my splits, I needed to make boxes this weekend, Got eight boxes ready, and will be placing an order for 100 more frames to assemble tomorrow. I'll need some more by the weekend. Need to get some bottom boards put together too.

    I did check in on a couple of my splits. Had added some foundationless frames between brood. They drew out full frames of perfect worker comb. I'll try and take a pic next time I'm in them and post.

  12. #252
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I hope your correct about the weather. I spent some time this week getting my equipment ready to make some nucs this week and am expecting some northern queens this week. Planning to increase my numbers this year and bring in some good queens to overwinter this year. I'm hoping to get a good harvest and double my numbers for next year. Next year it will be queen rearing time from the best performers.

  13. #253
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,227

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The cold rain hit yesterday morning and by the evening when it warmed up my bees were foraging like crazy. They come out of the hive and go into the hive like a fighter jet on an air craft carrier. When I walk in front of the hives I swear they are going to smack right into me but they miss me every time.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #254
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brookville, PA
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Checking in for the first time this year on this thread. Didn't have a good winter - out of 12 hives, 3 were still alive in March. (I figured as much, many of the swarms I caught last year just didn't do anything. I knew several of the boxes didn't have enough honey in them, but figured if they weren't able to produce enough to last through the winter, I didn't need their genetics.) By the end of March, I was down to 1 hive. I couldn't believe I lost the other 2 hives, they were my strongest ones filled with honey.

    So far no swarms around here that I've heard of. I have several swarm traps out and have an ad in a freebie paper for swarms, but haven't received a call yet. Seems to be kind of late in the year not to have any swarms yet.

    I need swams to get my hive count back up.

  15. #255
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Northwest, one of the lessons I learned last year is pollen. My hives lacked pollen and I lost 3 late summer (September-ish) due to I think a lack of pollen. I was feeding sugar due to the drought but I had no idea what signs to look for in regards to lacking pollen. Now I know that if there are next to no drones and no drone brood then it's a problem. They all had adequate stores, but were dwindling. I added pollen patties on top the first chance I could in January and I believe I saved at least 2 of them if not all 3 that made it. This isn't necessicarily "bad genes" but more of "bad nutrition". For where I am the fall flow was just starting and then we got hit with a couple good frosts that killed most of the goldenrod that I saw. So Now I have a new thing to look for in my hives. I'm going to be looking for not only brood, but also drone qty. Right now they are obviously in great shape as the flow is on, but we'll see what the summer brings. Now I'm ready with some pollen sub if I need to.

  16. #256
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    Northwest, one of the lessons I learned last year is pollen. My hives lacked pollen and I lost 3 late summer (September-ish) due to I think a lack of pollen.
    So you had no pollen coming in all summer? I used pollen substitute last year but this year I did no feeding or setting out pollen substitute and my hives are booming.
    Had eggs in all hives {10} last Thursday and no swarm cells and my 5 production hives have 3 deeps and a lot of bees coming and going.
    My mite counts are super low and they seem nicer this year I've only been zapped around 10 times
    I have fogged 1 time this year so far with FGMO and plan on every 7 to 10 days through the year till fall. I have no crawlers but it's still early hopping for the best .
    No swarms this year yet my SPM has worked so far I had 4 this time last year.
    Hopping for a good year so far so good.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  17. #257
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I invested in a pollen trap this spring. I'll harvest pollen and freeze it just in case there is ever a pollen "draught".

  18. #258
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Been thinking of doing the same Mayday - which trap did you get? How many days do you run it at a time?

    Figure I could get one trap and just move it from hive to hive during inspections as to not rob too much from any one hive.

  19. #259
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    So you had no pollen coming in all summer? I used pollen substitute last year but this year I did no feeding or setting out pollen substitute and my hives are booming.
    This is most likely the reason why your hives are booming now. (well apart from the flow is now on) but If i would have realized the lack of pollen last summer and the problems that it causes and fed pollen sub I think I'd have more hives than I do now. There was some pollen coming in, (perhaps 1 of 6 entering the hive or so) but not nearly enough as I understand. Tell take signs are no drone cells and no drones in the hives really. (they were cutting down on "unnecessicary" bees due to lack of resources) This left the young bees w/o the protein that they need to get "fat" and have the energy to overwinter and rear new brood. Cluster sizes went down fast this winter due to this. Now I have tons of drones in the hives which is actually a good sign that they're getting enough of everything to thrive. I use all foundationless frames so there are drone cells on about 1/2 of the frames in the boxes. I'm going to try to get them to the outside and up / out, but for now they're in there. Perhaps on a frame there may be 1/4 of the frame that has drone cells.

  20. #260
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by PAHunter62 View Post
    Been thinking of doing the same Mayday - which trap did you get? How many days do you run it at a time?

    Figure I could get one trap and just move it from hive to hive during inspections as to not rob too much from any one hive.
    I have thought of trapping also. I've read somewhere that when the bees see that less pollen is coming in that things will shift and more bees will be going to gather pollen rather than just nectar so changing things so that you rotate the hives may not be the best. I'd be interested in what those think of that that have and do trap pollen. I know you have to remove the pollen daily also so it does take a considerable ammt. of time.

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