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  1. #281
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Just got back in from making a division and saw your reply, thanks.

    Its supposed to be Spring, not July. Thought I was hydrated enough while working the hives but I'm drinking plenty of Gatorade now.

    Here is what I did:

    I moved the original hive to a new spot in the home yard and pulled two frames of brood, eggs and honey.
    Those frames were placed into a new 10 frame Deep that is sitting in the old spot.
    The field bees were coming back to the old spot and populating the new Deep.

    Hope it works.

  2. #282
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,044

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    What a great day in the bee yard I took queens out of two of my hive . 1 was a DBL deep packed with bees found her on frame 12 thought maybe I lost my keen site I have finding the queens but I did not . So I figured i'd try a 3 deep hive and I found that queen on frame number 17 seems like I can find them ever time If really want to. So now I have two hive that are going to make QCs one hive the 3 deep had these 2 cells guessing there supersedure cells .


    last year I had a hive do this and I pulled the queen and she did well and the hive made there supersedure queen and I had two hives and the old queen did well so i'm going to do it again .
    All my hives are doing well all queen right except for the two I just striped them of the queen
    My new nuc yard hoping to make at least 10 to take through winter.

    Great year so far.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 15 hives==== T{OAV}

  3. #283
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Nice pics.

  4. #284
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Here is what I did:

    I moved the original hive to a new spot in the home yard and pulled two frames of brood, eggs and honey.
    Those frames were placed into a new 10 frame Deep that is sitting in the old spot.
    The field bees were coming back to the old spot and populating the new Deep.

    Hope it works.
    My only concern is did those 2 frames have eggs / open and capped? I assume that you left the bees on the 2 frames that were there right? Hopefully there will be enough nurse bees to make the queen, but if you only kept 2 of the frames then It may not be as bang up of a queen as you're hoping. It ought to work though as long as they have eggs. Now you want to check them in about 3 days to make sure they're drawing the cell out well and then let them go for a month. That's a key. YOu want to leave them alone for long enough to have the queen lay and even produce capped brood if possible, but checking when there should be larva is good enough. Consult this calendar to help you get a handle on when to check things out. Once you know that they have a good queen cup going (or 2 or 3) then don't go in again until it's time to check for larva which is about 3-4 weeks later. In this callendar if you enter today's date as the graft day, or tomorrow that should give you a timeline good enough. . . http://www.thebeeyard.org/queen-rearing-calendar/

  5. #285
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Yes to the first two questions.
    Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.
    One of the older beeks in our club suggested I check in 25 days to see eggs.

  6. #286
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The locust trees are blooming in full force around here. Seems like more than in past years.

    I split the third overwintered hive the same way today.
    Tomorrow I'll check the first two hives for queen cells.

    A number of bees this Spring are just plain ornery. They'll follow you for some distance after inspection is over.
    It's gotten to the point where I can't walk next to the hives anymore without being suited up.
    Where as last year I could weed whack around the hives in shorts and a t-shirt.
    Would rather not requeen because these are overwintered bees.
    But maybe one colony requeened themselves.
    That colony is extra grumpy and noticed very dark drones and workers in it that weren't there last Fall.
    This is (was) a Pol-line queen if that matters.

  7. #287
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I was in my strongest hive yesterday for about an hour and a half looking for the queen, but couldn't find her. They had about 15-20 queen cells so I figured swarming is coming. This hive is in 4 deeps and just about everything is packed out. I split it to 3 ways so now I have 2 new hives. They all had just about capped queen cells. Hopefully I will manage to stop a swarm, but we'll see.

  8. #288
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Things have been moving so slow this Spring. The double deep brood supers are getting back filled with honey and seems like the queens can't keep ahead of them.
    Had wanted to start some Nucs but I'm not sure if that will happen.

    One colony in 3 deeps is capping honey in the top deep. I added two shallows to see what they do with it.
    Should I place the shallows between the 2nd and 3rd Deep?

    Some frames in the 2nd deep are solid honey and being capped.
    Not sure if I should leave it for them or take it out and replace with foundation.

    Checked on the two splits this afternoon from 5/29 & 30.
    The one from 5/29 has at least 8 queen cells and a few more that are just getting started.
    All on the same frame. Photo down below.

    The 5/30 split only has one partial queen cell.
    I'm thinking of giving it a day or so and adding another frame of eggs, etc, if no QC's are visible.
    Would be nice to have a Nuc as support staff for this split.

    Fascinating stuff...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #289
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,044

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    . The double deep brood supers are getting back filled with honey and seems like the queens can't keep ahead of them
    I have 3 deep that there back filling everything. I put another deep on but I don't think that will help I am going to on Wed. pull some honey and put in some frames of comb and some blank frame the hive was queen right last Wed. and there is no QCs. This is the first real problem I have had this year . I'm sure they'll bee more.
    Good luck guys .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 15 hives==== T{OAV}

  10. #290
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Allen, My only thought for you is it doesn't seem like these will end up being good queens. It seems that the comb you have there is fairly old and hard comb. What it appears that they have done is not cut down the comb, but built the cell out because the comb is too hard. What happens in this situation is the larva is fed less than ideal feed as they use this to kind of float it out and then go down. What you may want to do next time is either use younger comb (with only a brood cycle or two having been run through it) or under the cells with eggs use your hive tool or something else to break the cells below it so that they can start drawing the queen cell down right away. You will get a queen that will lay eggs, but she won't be a "great" queen.

  11. #291
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thanks for the info.
    I'm not sure what old comb is but that frame is from Fall.
    Being in the hobby/experimental stage right now, everything is a learning experience.
    The next time I split, I'll try it the way you mentioned and see how that works.

  12. #292
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    It is a bit difficult to tell for sure from the picture, but old comb is hard. The bees will draw the q-cell on new comb so that the queen cell is just a little farther out than what the surrounding comb is because they'll draw it almost straight down. What it seems on your picture is that they seem like they're stuck on the outside rather than starting from the bottom of the cell. Young comb will still be very light and when the brood has hatched out you can still see right through the bottom of the cells with the sun behind the frame. I'll post a couple pictures for comparison. . . The first one is young comb (notice how you can see through the back side of the cells?) while the second I was able to find a frame with the queen cell drawn like it seems on your frame also. Can you see that it's on the outside edge of the already drawn comb with the hole in the center? That's where they "float" the larva out of and then draw it down. The food they use from what I've read is lower quality than pure royal jelly and will produce a lesser quality queen. I know this from this instance as I had to replace this queen soon after she "started laying". She never did really start laying well.
    100_8859.jpg100_7473.jpg
    Last edited by delber; 06-03-2013 at 05:27 PM. Reason: clarification

  13. #293
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I too am seeing my larger hives backfilling down into the brood area. I gave them an additional super to see if they would start drawing comb. I'll check over the weekend. It will be the first time looking for larvae after my May 4th splits. The splits all built two 8 frame medium boxes, so I gave them all a super on Tuesday to start working on.

    When I returned home Sunday early afternoon, I walked around the house to see a cloud of bees coming down and into one of my swarm traps:

    http://youtu.be/PrP0_pTiByc

    They were already marching in, not sure if they came from my hives, or not. If they did, it would have been from a newly mated queen. Maybe a couple virgins in one of the hives, not sure. I'll check with the next door neighbor to see if they saw them crossing their yard or not. I can't wait to pull that trap down and see the size of it, they were marching in the front door when I got home and it took me a few minutes to run inside and get my camcorder.

    Later Sunday, my dad called from Western PA - He checked my trap line there after church. I captured two swarms there too. One he said was extremely busy working, so it may be a good sized catch. I'll be going home to hive them in 10 days. That puts me at five swarms caught in 2013 so far.

    Started the year with 4 hives, now have 13 colonies. Will be making a couple splits early next week to prepare for a couple new carnie queens. I'll make two of the splits I made May 4th queen-less a day ahead by pulling the queen and a couple brood frames, and a couple shakes of bees. I'll re-queen the donor hives with my new black queens. I'll put together a couple queen introduction frames to let the new queens run in for 3-4 days, then release them next weekend.

    I'll let the new splits build up to a strong 6 frame medium NUCs and sell those off.

    Anybody have hives on a scale in SE PA? If so, what kind of increases have you been seeing lately?

  14. #294
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Posted to the swarm thread today. Caught 3 more swarms this week in Indiana County, PA. 5 traps out of seven scored. I think these are all feral bees - very rural area and I don't know of anyone close by keeping bees. Total swarms caught 2013 so far = 8.

  15. #295
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    That's great.
    How do you set up your swarm traps?

  16. #296
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I was recently asked to EM a friend of a friend some tips, so I'll just drop the EM as it was written here:



    My best advise is to read beesource forums. There is a section specific to catching swarms and doing cut-outs:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/foru...s-and-Cut-outs

    Search google, etc.

    Another really good source (although I have never picked this up), is the book Honeybee Democracy:

    http://www.amazon.com/Honeybee-Democ.../dp/0691147213

    Once you read enough, you will see that swarms are attracted to a certain sized cavity, around 40 liters seems to be what most people shoot for. Many older beekeepers repurpose old deep brood boxes and make traps out of them. I run all eight frame medium sized boxes (6 5/8 deep).

    one medium box is just not large enough to attract most swarms, so I used a free online volume calculator to see how much more I needed to add on to get to around 40 liters:

    http://dmplastics.ca/volume_calculator.htm

    I ended up adding a 4 inch tray under a standard medium 8 frame box, this is where I placed the entrance hole. This made a cavity of about 40.866 liters. I taped the joint where I attached the tray from the inside. Scout bees look for openings, all around the box before making a selection.

    For lure, I use one old brood comb - I spray it with BT Aizawai spray, from powder I got here. It will keep wax moth from destroying the bait comb. It is totally harmless to humans and bees.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Aizawai-Powder

    I fill the remainder of the box with empty frames, I don't really use foundation, just a starter strip made from wood, ripped with my table saw.

    For bait, there are lures on the market, but I never bought any. Lemongrass oil is the key. this year, I ended up making a paste using the recipe from Linda Tillman. Pretty simple - olive oil, a hunk of beeswax, lemongrass oil. It will form a paste when cool. I applied it liberally around the entrance, and inside the box.

    https://plus.google.com/photos/11674...70159747164350

    I also staple about a 2 inch piece of straw (McDonalds drink straw) stuffed with cotton ball to the back part of the trap (inside), then add about 10+ drops of lemongrass oil to the cotton, it will smell good for a long time.

    I hang mine anywhere from 6 - 10 feet, somewhere they will be easy to get to and relocate. I close them in after dark, or early am. Then I can move them to a hive location the next day.

    Hope this helps.

  17. #297
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thanks.
    I wonder if its too late to try this around my area?

  18. #298
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Probably not too late, but as the weeks go by, less and less chance compared to the last two weeks.

    I noticed this week one of my early splits was built up enough into two full boxes - 8 frame mediums ... that even though I added a third box a week ago, there were several queen cells drawn with a couple capped.

    I pulled the frames with queen cells and dropped them into two of the donor hives I had not yet seen larvae in yet. I figured if they needed a queen I would deliver a cell, if not they could dispose of them.

    I then took the queen from the hive that was in swarm prep last night to prepare for a queen install tonight. Hoping this solved both problems (stopped from swarming and was able to make the hive queenless). As luck would have it, the goverment got us again and shipped the queens through Pittsburgh, so will not be until tomorrow. Oh well, what can you do ...

    Here are pictures of the two varients I have out:

    Example with the 4 inch tray under a standard sized medium super ... yes it is populated, have not taken it down to move them yet. On these I made a slide block system for enclosing them. Just slide a block in and use a zip tie through eyelet screws to secure the block in place:
    trap1.jpg

    Example of some I made from Dumpster dived plywood:
    Trap2.jpg

    I like to have a couple up around both my apiaries just incase my bees decide to swarm, but I also have 7 of these hung in rural parts unknown in western PA.

    If you don't do it this year, make a winter project out of it, that is what I did. Hung mine mid to late March.

  19. #299
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    What is everyone seeing as far as the flow and nectar coming in lately? My girls are really slowing down with new wax production over the last couple weeks. Anyone in SE PA have their hives on a scale? How much more time before we dry up this year?

  20. #300
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Locust over, that's the fast and furious flow. I have a couple hives that are super-big and still drawing a little wax on clover, that's the major thing that's coming in now. Got a couple recent swarms that are making a valiant attempt at drawing but I'll probably have to feed them to get them to continue to draw well. My wife has salvia planted out front and I see a few bees on it, and when they're hitting that I know that things are really slowing down, so even the clover I think is on its way out. I still see a few big areas of it clover so it is out there and I'm sure they're hitting it, but they're also starting to hit the less productive things too. I'm planning to pull my supers around 7/2. By then I think there won't be excess coming in, there will be nectar to raise brood and keep things going, but nothing more to put up until fall goldenrod and asters.

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