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  1. #401
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hi everybody, I checked some of my hives today. I'm down with the flu so I only checked the hives out back. I have seven hives and six nucs in the back yard and so far I only lost one hive to mites. I had one nuc that was lite so I added some frames from the dead out. It sure was nice to mess with the bees, feels like spring.

  2. #402
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I checked on the hives yesterday. We had record high temps in NE Pennsylvania in the low 60s. This was a great opportunity to do an assessment. I added fondant packs. I was able to buy a 50-pound block of fondant and made one-pound individual packs with my vacuum food sealer. Found one dead out and two that were weak out of eleven total hives. Couldn't believe how strong a few of them were. I was able to wrap a few of the hives with tar paper about 2 weeks ago and planned to get the rest yesterday, but with the massive snow melt and imminent rain, I didn't want to trap any moisture between the hive and tar paper, so I'll get them later this week. You learn as you go and I learned that I should have had them all wrapped by Thanksgiving. We had an early cold snap this year. Unlike the delayed Winter of last year.

    2013 was a memorable year for me in beekeeping. I experienced my first bear attack. Thank you to the Pennsylvania Game Commission who came out and assesssed and inventoried my damages and reimbursed me. Took the money and installed an electric fence using cattle mesh. The bears were back all summer and fall trying to get at that sweet honey. I caught them many times on the trail cam trying to find a way in. I wish I would have had it set to video to catch that moment when they got the shock to the nose. A couple of times, I hung strips of raw bacon from the wire as a little enticement.

    I plan to increase to 18 hives in 2014 and a few nucs.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you and your families. I hope you have a very prosperous honey harvest in 2014.

  3. #403
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well the bees are going to have a cold week I see temps in the -s MON. night -14 guess we will see how they fair this coming 7 days.
    Its so cold . All my hives are humming and it's been a cold winter so far . I hate winter the older I get if I had more money and time I'd head south.
    Hope every ones bees are doing well and good luck in 2014.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  4. #404
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Did a check up the other week when we had a warm spell. Put 30# of our candy on everyone even if they didn't need it. Good populations in all no duds as of yet out of 50 hives and 30 nucs. We shouldn't see any duds till Feb or March.

  5. #405
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    How are things going?
    A few weeks back we had high winds with temps in the upper 50's and found two of our hives knocked over late in the day. Not sure if it was wind or a deer because they are in a protected spot.
    The night before I had checked on them and they were all ok.

    Didn't expect to find what I found.
    The first hive had 2 deeps and 1 medium and was one of the late Nucs from Spring that didn't get going till the Fall flow.
    That hive toppled against a colony that was started as a Nuc and was the only colony to successfully raise their own queen.
    They were in 3 deeps and the top super is full of honey.

    The first colony population was so, so and the second colony was great.

    When the first hive fell into the second one, some of each hives supers came apart and they were all resting on each other.
    Normally I put ratchet straps around the cement blocks and supers but for some reason I didn't do that this time.

    Bees in the first hive were exposed to the weather but seemed ok.
    There were no bees in the second one.
    The population in the first hive was booming so they must be all one big happy family now.
    But I've probably lost that queen in the second colony.

    I restacked the first hive and added the full deep super from the second hive.
    That put us at 9 colonies.
    We had 8 but a friend gifted us a weak colony at the end of Fall that I reduced down for winter.
    In late Summer I had started two out yards with a strong and not so strong colony in each.

    Just checked on the colonies today.
    One strong colony is dead. I took a full deep super of honey from the dead one and placed it on the weaker one next to it. Lotsa bees in there and thought I was gonna get stung. Almost like springtime again. LOL

    The two weaker ones are holding their own.
    The gifted colony is still alive.
    Due to my lack of attention last Fall, one of the weaker ones had a mouse nest in two deeps. It caused the bees to mover to one side of both deeps.
    I killed the mice, cleaned out the nest, added a mouse guard and rearranged the honey into one deep due to their population size.
    They are still kicking! Amazing.
    Mouse guards are going on early from now on.

    Tomorrow I'll replenish sugar on the remaining 7 hives with my suit on.

  6. #406
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Westmoreland County, PA, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    How are things going?

    When the first hive fell into the second one, some of each hives supers came apart and they were all resting on each other.

    .....The gifted colony is still alive..
    Gifted Hive is Right! You lost one, but it could have been worst. I checked my 3 hives today when it hit 50 here in the western part of the Commonweath. All 3 were flying. Being a first beek, I worried entirly too much. I tried to open the tops to give them some surgar bricks they wouldn't hear to it, so since the bricks were mushy anywhow, I jamed them into the center vent holes (3 inch) in the candyboards. That should keep then happy for a few days. Wednesday looks like it will be warm enough to go in again.

    Bests,
    Bob

    https://www.facebook.com/WcbaWestmor...ciation?ref=hl
    co-adminstrator

  7. #407
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Have not checked my hives in a while. I went into winter with 17 hives (5 at my house, and 12 at my brothers place). In Dec I had 2 dead outs, one from each yard. I checked the 4 remaining ones at home today - just visited each, placed my ear to a box and knocked. All 4 remaining are still alive. Will check on the other yard tomorrow, hopefully the remaining 11 will be ok.

    PAHunter62

  8. #408
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, PA USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Opened hives to add Dadant winter patties. Five double deeps and one double nuc. Four of the five deeps have huge clusters that fill up the entire ten frames on the top deep. One deep has smaller cluster (volleyball size) and the nuc has softball sized cluster. All of the hives were flying yesterday and today (47 degrees F).

  9. #409
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    chr157y, How are things now? What has that split cluster done?

    I checked all of my hives today. 2 look great, 2 look Ok, and one is small. I had 10 going into winter, now I'm at 5. I think my issue is nosema and mites. I know of at least 2 hives that had nosema, and 2 that are going still now have it. So we'll see how things are in a few weeks. I did add some pollen patties to all of them today. For some of the hives I expect that this patty will be gone within this week. For others I'm not sure of. Here's hoping for spring!!!

  10. #410
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Searcy, AR in the Ozark Foothills
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I'm in Central Arkansas in an Ice Storm right now.
    I put fondant candy on all my hives last Sunday when it was 66 degrees.
    Now the Ice is so heavy I worry about the power going off, cept I do have a generator.
    If I were you I'd put candy on them being a cake of sugar, fondant fudge, or a candy brick.
    That small hive is one that will need food close.
    All this weather is headed ya'lls way and it's suppose to stick around for a week or two.
    It's a tad early for protein patties for it can trick the queen into laying.
    I won't put syrup or protein patties on mine until around the end of the 2nd week of Febuary on a warm day.
    I just raise the lid and inner cover, add the fudge and close it back up.
    Last edited by capt44; 02-02-2014 at 08:42 PM. Reason: to add a word

  11. #411
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    from 66 degrees to now solid ice!!! That's pretty crazy. I know that the patties are slightly early, but I wanted to get it on them now. I want to encourage them to start building up. I figure I'll need to go back into the hives in 2 weeks to add more unless we get a warm up for a week or so. (I don't expect it at this point) but this weekend was the first time that the temps here got anywhere near 50 so I could check and insert them. Hopefully in 2 weeks I'll be able to add more to those that need it. I'm hoping this may help get a good honey crop this year!!!

  12. #412
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Got to my second yard today. There were 11 hives out of 12 still alive before this latest cold snap. Today, I found one more dead-out, so 10 still alive there. All in all, I have 14 out of 17 still alive. The one today had lots of bees on the bottom board. I suspect mites may have been their downfall- seemed to be lots of stores remaining. In 2-3 weeks, I'll pop the lids and look to add emergency food where needed, and start them on some pollen sub.

  13. #413
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well it's been a cold crappie winter up here in SNOW SHOE that's for sure the apiary is hanging in there .
    Out of 12 DBL. deeps and 13 nucs. I have lost 2 nucs and 1 DBL. deep so far.
    As I get older I hate winter in this area I was just telling my wife as I look out the window at the snow falling we need to move south by the time I'm 60 this **** sucks!!!
    I have a sustainable apiary and my bees are dealing with theses crazy temps. just find. And if my bees are doing good through this winter I bet spring will be fun . I have 20 new nuc boxes and a enough boxes to make 30 nucs and 20 DBL deeps so I'm ready .
    I had 1 dead out I did a post mortem on and there was a little brood so there growing
    This week looks like another lovely wintery mix we need a break .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  14. #414
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I went out and checked on the hives earlier this week before the snow arrived. We got a one-two punch on Monday and Wednesday here in the Poconos with 8 inches of the white stuff on Monday and then another 10 inches with an inch of ice on Wednesday. The groundhog really screwed us. Of the 10 double deep hives and 1 triple deep nuc going into winter, I lost one double deep and my nuc. The double deep was weak going into winter.

    It's been about a month since we had the 60 degree F weekend where I was able to open the hives and give them fondant. Yesterday, it reached 30 degrees with full sun. The next few days are calling for the same. I'm hoping that with the black tar paper wrapped around the hives that the sun will warm the hives enough where the cluster will be able to expand and reach their stores. The next 10 days are not supposed to get about 32F.

    I placed my order for a few 3 lb packages for an expansion project at a neighbors farm. They are organic farmers and were happy when I approached them about placing some hives on their property. With working a full-time job, I'm only looking to reach 20 total hives and 5 nucs. My travel time with work has dropped to zero. No more trips to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    winterbees.jpg

  15. #415
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Lots of weather activity in the past week here in the Poconos. We had 20 inches of snow on Thursday into Friday and then another 6 today. I was able to check the few hives that are located at my house. They seem to be doing well. Loud humming means lots of bees. The end of next week calls for upper 40's possibly 50 degrees. I'll be able to add fondant. Hope everyone is doing well.
    Last edited by MaydayMalone; 02-15-2014 at 08:56 PM.

  16. #416
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Down here they're calling for possibly 60's on Friday. I'll be checking and adding more pollen sub if that's the case. We also got 13.5" of snow Wednesday and Thursday morning and another 5-6" Thursday night into Friday. I was nervous about the girls being totally covered, but Thursday afternoon we had a several hour break in the weather so I went and uncovered them and they had about a 6-10" diameter cavity at their entrance where they've melted the snow and they had a few dead bees out of the entrance. So I figure they're fine. A nice blanket of insulation!!! We'll see what kind of wet weather we have next week.

  17. #417
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Up here we got 10in. Thursday and another 4 last night. Been a crazy cold year . I have lost 2 hives so far that's out of 25 so I'm doing ok . Going to ad sugar next week been a long winter so far .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  18. #418
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa


  19. #419
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Made up a batch of protein patties last night in prep to start supplementing today. I took 17 hives into winter - had 3 dead outs before this last set of horrible weather. Was anxious to get in and take a look today and add some sugar and patty.

    Was glad to find all hives thriving. This was one of the better ones, but the remaining 14 seemed to be strong and doing well.

    IMG_1914.jpg

    You can see I have a quilt box on top the hive with the cluster clinging to the hardware cloth. I like this option - as you can see I made inserts that slide inside a standard box. I put legs on the front of the insert to keep the upper entrance/vent open. On top of the hardware cloth is a double layer of burlap, then cedar chips, topped off with a piece of 1.5 inch rigid insulation (the green stuff).

    The benefit of making the insert so it will slide up - I can add sugar bricks, mountain camp with granulated sugar and just push the box down on top of the food and it will auto adjust for the feed added.

    Turned out to be a winning solution for me.


    PAHunter62

  20. #420
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    West Middlesex Pa. USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I seen some decent activity out of my hive today here in western Pa. They were using the top entrance into the candy board I made for them.photo 1.jpg

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