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  1. #421
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Chester Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Checked them today thinking they might need candy. Found one dead, that was my strongest one last year( second time that has happened), The one with the worst hive beetles was plugging along, and the last two looked fine. The nuc was doing the best, None needed food, So, how do you store candy blocks for next year?
    Meridith
    I am frequently confused!

  2. #422
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    You can store the sugar blocks in freezer bags in the freezer. I checked my hives today, no more losses since the first cold snap in early January. I have one nuc that has some dysentery problems hopefully It will clear up on Its own.
    Quote Originally Posted by MeriB View Post
    Checked them today thinking they might need candy. Found one dead, that was my strongest one last year( second time that has happened), The one with the worst hive beetles was plugging along, and the last two looked fine. The nuc was doing the best, None needed food, So, how do you store candy blocks for next year?

  3. #423
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Found two dead today. Suspect queen issues as they were weak going into winter. Re-queened one late because it was queenless, and the the other had an old queen I should have replaced in the summer. Can't wait for spring.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 7 nucs, treat when needed.

  4. #424
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chester, PA, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Did my first full inspection Sunday. Both hives alive and doing well. One still hive still had over 50lbs of honey from the fall flow and I stole a frame since I've never had excess fall honey before. I liked the stronger flavor, but I'm the only one in the house who did.

    Edit: 3/11 - Bees started pulling in a very pale yellow pollen.
    Last edited by Ennui; 03-11-2014 at 08:22 PM.

  5. #425
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    A couple weeks ago I started providing pollen sub/protein patty mix to my survivors. Full size hives got 2 ice cream scoops, NUCs got one scoop. I was back to check on all the hives this week on the days that crossed 60 degrees. Most all the hives had finished the patty mix added, which is a good sign they are brooding up. I'll keep this up until they reject in favor of real pollen.

    Was excited when I got to one of my strong NUCs - I found a dead marked queen just outside the entrance right after my christmas travels. When I was checking the hives today, I saw this hive consumed the entire protein patty. I decided to carefully pull a frame from the middle of the hive and found capped and open larvae. They must have taken two queens into winter and replaced the marked queen. I don't think it is a laying worker because the brood pattern is well defined and circular with all stages of larvae surrounding the capped brood. That made my day. 14 out of 17 fall hives alive and doing well.

  6. #426
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lancaster County, Pa, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Went down to the hives yesterday and saw alot of activity at the entrance. Some of them were bringing back pollen. I cannot imagine were they were getting it from. Went in today to see if they needed any candy since they were already on it a month ago. There was about 4 pounds left out of the original 10. Guess I need to make some more very soon. After this next storm the temps are supposed to get back in the upper 40s to low 50s. Its nice to see more grass than snow finally. On a side note. Heard the first woodcock of the season and that smart/lucky pheasant from the fall is in full spring wattles and making eyes at my chickens. Hopefully spring is on the way.

  7. #427
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    WEll I wish this winter was as favorable for me!!! I've lost about 3/4 of my hives this year. I have 2 that look good, and one that I just checked that is VERY small. I think the pollen sub that I gave has nosema or something in it because hives that I gave it to had no signs of it, and now kaboom!!! I'm going to trap my own pollen this year to feed next winter. This year I'm not taking any production hives into winter. I'm going to split them all up into nucs. I'm making double nucs (Like Michael Palmer only 5, 1-1/4" wide frames on each side) and going to try this. I hope to have 20 -30 to take into next winter. We'll see how things go.

  8. #428
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,972

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    I think the pollen sub that I gave has nosema or something in it because hives that I gave it to had no signs of it, and now kaboom!!!.
    more than likely you feeding the pollen sub and the bees eating it and raising more brood caused them to need to go to the bathroom more frequently, if they couldn't get out,
    kaboom, they may be kabooming more after the next cold spell if the pollen sub is still available. just one thought
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  9. #429
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Enola, PA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I made up 8 nucs last July and August and overwintered them on 2 mediums with 6 frames each. All are doing well although I had to begin feeding them fondant in mid January.


    Brian
    Enola, PA

  10. #430
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I was able to check on the hives last Tuesday (61 degrees F) and Friday (49 degree F). They had devoured the fondant that I put in back February. Of the 10 hives and 1 nuc that I went into Winter with, I have 1 dead out and I lost the nuc. The 9 remaining hives are looking really good and strong. I pulled a frame to see if they had any stores left over and I just happened to pull the frame with the queen. She had just laid 2 frames of eggs.

    Monroe County had their first beekeepers association meeting last Wednesday evening. I couldn't believe the losses that members were reporting. Many lost most, some lost all. I felt very fortunate.

    We took a ride out to the new Mann Lake location in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday afternoon. I spoke with Frank Licata (Master Beekeeper and General Manager of Mann Lake Wilkes-Barre) and he suggested BeePro patties to get them to start building brood. He said to only place a half patty in each hive since we are so close to the Maple bloom.

    Spring is right around the corner. I'm hoping that we will be seeing 50's and 60's in the next few weeks as normal high temps.

  11. #431
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Mayday Malone, that was a nice article!

    Much as I love winter it's time for a change.

    We are down to 5 colonies.
    It's 63 degrees here and each hive had orientation flights going on.
    The bees are bringing in a bright yellow and also orange pollen.

    Since the temps were so nice today, I went into the hives to check on honey stores and discovered eggs, larvae and capped brood.
    It was great to finally be working the bees again.

    The gifted colony mentioned in my previous post is still going. Gave them 2 deep capped frames of honey and their entrance is still reduced to its smallest size.
    All colonies have plenty of honey in contact with the cluster.

    If Keeney has any extra packages later this Spring I'm going to buy a few and use them as Nucs. Have got so many frames of drawn comb that they should take off fairly fast.
    Btw, his mom Ruth told me that packages probably won't be available till May.

    Two of the colonies have a large enough population that I might be able to get 2 splits from them.
    I have a goal of 15 colonies this summer. Would like to reach 20 but that may be pushing it for 2014.

  12. #432
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Need to build a bunch of boxes this spring/summer. In the SE PA region, where is a good place for good quality 1x8 kiln dried pine lumber? I would like to beat the price of the big box stores (Lowes and Home Depot) if possible. Just as a point of reference, the local Lowes lists 1x8x10 pine at $12.91 ea.

    Thanks

    PAHunter62

  13. #433
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    PA , I'm paying 7.30 for 1x8x6 at the big box stores , enough for one box and just enough material to square the fist end and run them through, easy to handle and sort through the pile . Let me know if you find any decent boards any cheaper , I'll start looking to .

  14. #434
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    The best bet is to find someone that has a saw mill. you can get the lumber and dry it yourself and use it after that, however it also would require a shop so that may not work too well. I think there was a lumber shop north of us Pa Hunter. Somewhere just north of Morgantown. I'll see if I can find it and I'll post it. If I remember right they seemed to have descent prices. (That was some time ago though) Personally I use T1-11 for my boxes. (perhaps I shouldn't say all this to you all here on the forum,but oh well. My boxes are all custom sizes!!) I can make a standard 8 frame box for about $5.00 and some change. I can get 5 of my boxes out of a sheet of T1-11 and have a little left over that I think would work for a medium box, but I'm not positive.

    I'm sorry I looked but I can't find it. They may not be in business any more. I'll keep an eye out and let you know if I find anything.
    Last edited by delber; 03-26-2014 at 08:48 PM. Reason: more info

  15. #435
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    When you guys talk about finding sawmills are you using it as ruff cut or planning it down to 3/4 lumber .

  16. #436
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Westmoreland County, PA, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Hunter,

    Here on the western side of the Commonwealth, Busy Beaver (a local small box store) is featuring 1x8x8 pine boards in their sales flyer for $4.99. If you can not local a sawmill, check out small lumber yards.

  17. #437
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Westmoreland County, PA, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    PennApic Spring Workshop in Dover

    Is anyone attending the PennApic Spring Workshop in Dover this Saturday? Has anyone attended previous workshops? I am considering attending, but is it worth a 3 hour drive, each way?

    Bob

  18. #438
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    When you guys talk about finding sawmills are you using it as ruff cut or planning it down to 3/4 lumber .
    Laketrout, If I were buying rough lumber I'd plane it down only enough to get the inside smooth. I'd leave the outside rough. If the material was 4/4 (Four quarter or one inch) then I'd try to get 7/8" thick. The more "insulating" / AKA thicker wood the better. I have recently read a archived book where the author said that it was best to have a 1-1/2" outside wall to the hives. IMHO that's WAY too heavy to even think about taking off of a hive. I didn't get far enough in the book to see if he was talking about the horizonal / slightly angled "log" hives that I've seen pictures of or not, but it seems to me that although this would be nice in the insulating factor, is WAY too thick for a lang hive.

    If you have "standard" hive parts (that you bought from somewhere) then it would be difficult for me to think about not making the material standard so that it fits over the current boxes. But at least if you make the inside cavity the same you can put the thicker ones on top and that should work fine.

  19. #439
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    One colony seems to be lagging behind the others in activity at the front entrance so I did an inspection last Saturday.
    Didn't find any sign of brood or eggs.
    Not sure if the queen stopped laying or something happened to her so I gave them a frame of eggs, larvae and capped brood.
    This is the first day I can check for queen cells but it's too cold. Won't get back up to the 60's till the weekend.

    Keeney will have bees on 5/11 and have got three packages ordered.

    www.musselmanlumber.com in Ephrata has 3/4" Advantech plywood. Will be trying some of that to make Nucs from.

    There may be close to 20 frames of honey left in the hives from Fall and not sure if it's granulated in the comb.
    Should I harvest it or wait till the outside temps warm up a little more?

  20. #440
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Anyone seeing much nectar being brought in yet? I've had supers on for a week or so and as of last weekend they were not working the foundation yet. I'm sure that will change soon. I wonder how far behind we are this spring with the cooler weather? Before I had the supers on, I did see a couple days they were into something.
    PAHunter62
    Zone 6b: 10 Hives, 4 NUCs, 9 swarms captured 2013

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