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  1. #301
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    My NUCs have been drawing out some new comb yet this week as I checked them without feeding. I caught another swarm this week in Indiana County, PA. Pulled supers Sunday at my second yard. Added escape boards to my two home hives Sunday late afternoon. The first day I have a chance where it is not raining I will pull the supers from them. Plan to extract next weekend. I'll post my per hive averages after I'm done. Anyone else harvest yet?

  2. #302
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    As far as harvesting it doesn't seem that I'm going to get much if any this year. I think I'm paying for some beekeeper error last fall / late summer with the drought that we had.

    I do have a question for you all. . . Last night I saw something I haven't seen this early yet. My hives are kicking out the drones. Do you all have any idea why they'd be doing this now? Would there be another reason other than that they're low on stores? There were about 8 or so drones on top of one of my hives and I put one at the entrance of my biggest hive here at home and it was attacked. Two workers balled this drone and took it down to the ground.

  3. #303
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    interesting, I will look for it on the 4th when I make my rounds. My guess would be low on stores too.

  4. #304
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I found this thread after I started a new thread, but haven't gotten any replies yet. We'll see what a day or two will bring as to the thoughts. One from this thread I found interesting is perhaps based on inferior / contaminated pollen the drones are sterral and that's why the girls are kicking them out? I'm not sure, but I'm planning / hopping to do an inspection on this hive soon so I'm interested in seeing if there are drones inside this hive. If so then I can assume that the girls know something's up with the drones and are doing away with them. I'll keep you all posted. If anyone else has thoughts I'd love to hear. Here's the thread that I found. . .
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...xpelled-Drones

  5. #305
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Workers will Kick out drones when there is no need for them. I really am glad to see when they start giving them the butt. Just like some people who over stay their welcome, they eat sleep and never contribute to the family, in this case colony.

  6. #306
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well I don't understand what's going on, but I saw out of this same hive just a few minutes ago drones coming and going. Why did they kick out the others and ball it when I put it back there? I have no idea. Perhaps the drone's sterril or some other "issue" that we can't see. I also tipped the hive and it seems that there's plenty of weight for me not to be concerned at this point. I was going to open them up, but there was fighting at the entrance of another hive so I didn't want to encourage robbing further. I had reduced that hive entrance this morning before leaving for work so I think that now they're able to fend them off. It seemed that the robbers wern't getting the upper hand, but we'll have to see how things continue from here. The entrance is now reduced to about 3 bee space which they ought to be able (as a new swarm of 1.5 weeks ago) to keep themselves taken care of.

  7. #307
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    - An update to an earlier post in this thread.
    One of the divisions I made from an overwintered colony at the end of May didn't work out.
    It had 8 or more queen cells to start with but for some reason ended up with no queen.
    But they made a full deep of honey in the meantime.

    Tonight I just did a newspaper combine of the queenless colony with another colony that has a local mated queen. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    - One colony that overwintered just took forever to take off.
    The queen seemed to be taking it slow and tonight I finally saw lots of nice brood patterns for a change.
    And the flow is supposed to be over.

    - Am seeing the first bearding of the season with these crazy temps.

    - I've got honey ready to be extracted plus some for crush and strain.
    Am waiting to hear back from someone who has a honey house and will be using his equipment. Left it on the hives for now.

  8. #308
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well Allen then you are better than I as far as your hives. My hives started bearding about 3 weeks ago, but about 2 weeks ago there's about 1" thick on the lower entrance covering about 1/2 of the front of the box. Honey is another story. It's not looking good for me this year. If I have any hives that I don't need to feed to get them ready for winter I'll be thankfull. One of my hives that was my largest (4 deeps) had queen cells about a month ago. I split them into 3 hives now all with laying queens. I dont' know if I missed a swarm or not, but you know how it goes. . . You either get more hives or you get more honey, so I checked that one off of the list for this year as far as making a surpluss of honey. They have enough for now and I think they'll be fine for the summer as long as we continue to get some rain. The others??? Well I did get about 20 oz. of honey trying to clean up one hive's drawing blunders, but that's all and I'm not looking at any more this year sadly. I did go from 3 to 9 hives this year though. For that I'm thankfull. Hey how about next year for honey??? Last fall / summer was too bad, and this spring took forever to get here. We'll see what the summer holds. Hey I've read where people have taken fall honey off. Perhaps???

  9. #309
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    When I started the hives last year, they seemed to build up much faster with foundation and foundationless.
    They did store a lot more honey in the brood chambers this season and may be why the queen didn't lay so much.
    My swarm control consisted of reversing hive bodies, plus making a small split and moving the parent hive to another spot.
    Then placing a new hive with the split in the old location so all the field bees would go in the new hive.
    An older beekeeper in our group told me once the queen loses her field bees she will be less likely to swarm.
    Don't know how factual that is but they didn't swarm and didn't see any cells.
    Next year I'm going to remove the queen and make a Nuc, leaving the old hive in the original location.
    The field bees should go to town with bringing in nectar and they can try raising their own queen.

    Also want to try raising queens.
    I wonder if its too late to do that this season?

  10. #310
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    It's not too late, (Last year I reared some in July to mate early August) however I'd encourage you to feed the hive that you're going to be using for at least a week before starting. Refer to 2 threads. . . First from Oldtimer. . . "the cut cell method". I believe Barry put it under the main beesource homepage under resources. You can also search here for it. Also check out "going from Ok queens to great queens". There's MUCH info on both of these pages as well as many other places on here.

  11. #311
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thanks

  12. #312
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Some other information I found useful on raising queens:


    Here is another good thread I saved off a while back -

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...arter-Finisher

    This location has mostly the same information, but some additional pics, etc:

    http://doorgarden.com/11/simple-hone...-for-beginners

    This is a good video tutorial from TheOhioCountryBoy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKUH8...=TLrAHteahMWV8

  13. #313
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well I was out at one yard today and was going through 2 splits I made there. I use upper entrances so I'm feeding them with a 3" rim under the frames and have baggie feeders in there. One seems good, the other is a bit small but doing allright. I did see about 20 or so small SHB's on the bottom board. They were very small. They were skinny, not like the ones from last year that were / are almost round. These had the same length and the shape on their backs were the same, but they were only about 1/16" wide. About the normal 1/8" long, but skinny. Well they're all dead now and the bees seem fine that were above them, but This is something to keep an eye on.

  14. #314
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Was off today and started extracting. Not quite half done. Extracted honey from my second yard - 2 hives - 78.2 lbs honey - 39.1 per hive.

    Still have from my home 2 hives to do. Should get a little more from them. I'll post my averages and a summary when I'm done.

  15. #315
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Thought I'd try taking honey this afternoon.
    First, with this humidity I can't wait to buy an Ultrabreeze suit.
    I went through one hive and had to go in for a cool drink and sit in the a/c.

    In the first hive what I thought was a full deep of honey turned out to be 3 full frames and 6 frames of half honey and half brood.
    There is a 10 frame shallow almost capped. Two of the frames each have one side that isn't finished yet.

    Am going out to check the rest shortly.

    Started feeding 1-1 syrup to one of the newer hives that is still in a 10 frame deep.

  16. #316
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Allen that has been my lot this year also. Hives that look great and booming in 3 deeps have 2 frames of capped stores. I can't take that and leave them nothing for the summer. I dont' want to have to feed them this early!!! Hopefully the summer won't be too bad and I'm looking forward to a fall flow this year .

  17. #317
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    None of the others were any good either.
    The over wintered hives just now seem to be taking off. And the main flow is over. Go figure.
    At least if they use up their honey during a dry spell, there will be drawn comb ready for Fall.

    I've heard from a few beekeepers that this years honey production is way off and queen rearing never seemed to go well.

  18. #318
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I wrapped up my harvest.

    The first two hives came in at just about 80 lbs after the cappings drained and I added that in. My home hives did a little better.

    The breakdown:

    Second yard
    80 lbs (40 per hive)

    Home Yard
    114 lbs (57 per hive) - One of the hives far out-produced the other. It had 7 frames to a 8 frame box where the others did not.

    Total - 194 lbs - Overall Average 48.5 per hive


    The hive that produced the most has the most remaining in the hive also - I will likely steal a few frames of stores for other hives if needed.

    I feel lucky after hearing from you guys.

    My cappings, utensils, etc. are out away from any hives being cleaned up by the girls today.
    Last edited by PAHunter62; 07-14-2013 at 01:43 PM.

  19. #319
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,286

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    I've heard from a few beekeepers that this years honey production is way off and queen rearing never seemed to go well.
    I had a pretty good year I have honey every where and I have made 10 queens so far that are laying and 2 that are not and my queen castle is full {4}.
    But i'm just a 4 year hobbyist and I didn't keep track of how much honey I got but I still have 3 deeps full of honey on my hives and 1 deep setting in the shad
    and abut 20 qts setting around a great year in this part of pa. Very nice beekeeping year for me.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  20. #320
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hey GLOCK, sounds like things are good for you this year.It's looking pretty good here also,so far I pulled 165lb and put the empty supers back on and they are almost full again. I should have close to 16 supers full of honey, some supers will have some brood in the center that will hopefully be filled in after the brood hatches out.I also tried my hand at queen rearing this year.I grafted four different times and improved a little every time,I still have a long way to go before I get good quality queens.Also caught two swarms this year one was on the ground and other moved into one of my swarm traps.

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