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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Its been an educational summer so far.
    I reduced two hives by one super each because they weren't doing anything with the empty space.

    All 5 hives have honey in various stages of being capped but they still feel light when I tip them up.
    Goldenrod and a late honeysuckle are starting to bloom all around here and lots of pollen has been coming in for the last week or so.
    They started building a small amount of comb again.
    Am holding off on feeding for another couple weeks to see what they do with the Fall flow.

    We placed our Nuc into a divided 10 frame deep yesterday.
    I started feeding them and hope to expand them into a second deep.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,286

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    The goldenrod is now starting to bloom prettygood and all my hives are gaining Weight i have hives at all diffrent stages but all are looking good.
    I have 2 DBL.NUCS with swarms i took aug.26 and 27 guess i'll see if i can get them trought winter i'm feeding them and they are taking in 1 gal. aday so i'll check them in about 3 weeks plus i now have 2 queen in case i lose one before winter. I still have drone pluss some of my hives are still making drone cell's i've had a great year of building my stock pluss buidling out frames with comb and still got some honey. What a great hobby
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    I just checked 3 nucs today. All three seem to be brooding up well, but are light on stores. I started feeding one a few weeks ago and am waiting for the other two because they had more stores a while ago. All 3 had drones, and my other hives (in another yard) I also saw drones. I also expanded fairly well this year. I only lost one hive to a swarm and failed replacement queen, I gave them a frame and the started a q-cell but it was too late. I think they absconded with the virgin queen as SHB and wax moths had started up. I'll be hitting the feed fairly hard this time next month. Putting a super on and using small quart feeders right on top of the brood nest has enabled me to feed slightly later in the year so I'm also interested what fall flow we have this year.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Correction:
    It's not honeysuckle but rather a sweet clematis which is an invasive plant.
    It's growing unchecked nearby and that can only mean more blooms for next year.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    My hives in PA are not looking that great this year. No locust or Basswood this spring, hot and dry weather during clover. It seems that much of the rain has been spotty and some of my areas have not seen much rain at all during August. Goldenrod is in bloom but not producing heavy nectar yet. Honestly, even if it starts raining I don't think the GR will do much this year.

    Allen- don't you guys need bear fencing?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Papar, every few years a black bear comes wandering through here.
    If we were further north in Berks Co near the Appalachian Trail we probably would.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Checked my two home hives this morning. They are not adding much nectar so far. Enough I have not had to feed though. GR is blooming all around now, today is the last real rainy day in the 10 day forecast ahead. Hopefully, the rains of late will help produce some nectar. I really hope I don't need to feed going into winter. I'm running all 8 frame medium boxes, look to get all my hives into 4 boxes, the top being packed with honey, the 3rd as much as they can get. I will feed candy feb-mar if needed. I also have a NUC just started mid Aug. I'll be looking for a laying queen in a week or so. If it needs help, I plan to pull resources from my other 4 hives. I want to go into winter with it in two 6 frame boxes, the top box being full. I will post updates here.

    I will be checking my other two hives approx. 5 miles away tomorrow, maybe they are doing a little better!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    First the good news:
    PAHunter, I couldn't wait and decided to do a trial run with feeding.
    All the hives are a bit light and they must have eaten some of their honey during the dearth.
    I've got three 10-frame black plastic hive top feeders from Forest Hills as a test run and the other three have double mason jar feeders on top inside an empty super.

    The hive which always seems to be lagging behind the others isn't taking the syrup as much as the others. That must be a good thing.

    The Nuc is drawing new comb since being given syrup and looked like they were getting crowded.
    Pretty neat to see comb on a sheet of foundation that was empty as of last Saturday.
    Before the cells are finished they are already storing syrup in them.
    I also purchased 4 sheets of small cell foundation and frames to go with it while I was at Ike's.
    Those new frames got added to the Nuc along with a second divided 10 frame deep.

    One of our hives has numerous bees coming back covered in white pollen.
    Wish they'd share the location with the other colonies.

    And now the bad.

    I've killed several wax moths outside of one of our hives over a two day period.
    Today I found one inside a super that contains the mason feeding jars for our Nuc.
    I killed that one also.
    Not sure what this means.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Did an inspection this afternoon.
    The colony that's not taking alot of syrup appears to be on a good nectar source and has been filling out their comb.
    But, they still had some empty frames in the top super (3rd deep).
    While lifting a frame out of the 3rd deep, I found a hive beetle running around.
    Was so surprised that as I fumbled to kill it, it dropped to the ground.

    I reduced another hive from 4 deep supers down to 3.
    Some of the drawn frames (from the 4th deep) went into its 3rd deep and also gave some of its drawn comb and stored honey to that first colony.

    The Nuc is drawing out the first super very well but hasn't started on the 2nd super yet.
    It has a good bee population and I've decided to keep a small sized entrance reducer on it.
    Golden-yellow and orange colored pollen is being brought back by all 6 colonies.

    Saw eggs and lots of larvae.

    Three of the colonies are being fed via double mason jar holders on top of the inner cover and enclosed by a deep super.
    I've killed about a dozen wax moths inside the super next to the mason jars or on the outside of the hive.
    This just started recently.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    On 9/12 I decided to move some frames around in the Nuc.
    One frame of some brood and mostly honey got moved up to the second super and an empty frame of small cell foundation got moved to the bottom super in its place.

    Today, while replenishing their syrup, I found brand new comb being drawn on two of the previously empty frames.
    The frame that got placed in the bottom has almost one side completely drawn out with eggs, pollen and syrup in it. The other side isn't quite as far along yet.
    Pretty neat to see how fast they can draw comb when they want to.

    Decided to check the top super of the weak colony.
    They are still drawing more comb but aren't filling it yet.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Checked on things today.
    My smithy is about 50' from the hives and you can really catch an odor when the wind is right.
    They smelled great earlier in summer but not now...
    Am feeding them 2-1.

    The Nuc is doing great! Someone needs to tell that queen to stop laying or I'll have to put a third box on top.

    Saw beautiful looking comb in the top supers of the other hives with some being partially filled or empty.
    Moved those frames into the center of each box so hopefully they will get filled.
    One colony is still refusing to take syrup. Hope they can build up their own stores.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Welcome to fall everyone!!! I checked on things this past weekend. . . I have one nuc (of 4 total) that is busting out of the seams. It's looking great. 2 nucs aren't looking so hot. I checked one about a week ago and there was a wolf spider inside. MAN I'M TOTALLY TIRED OF THESE SPIDERS!!! So I think that may have gotten a few bees for sure. It seems that there may have been 2 in this box, but I only found and saw one. Perhaps they killed it I'm not sure. I reduced the entrance and put a frame of capped / uncapped nectar in to give them a boost. Hopefully that one will start taking off. The other one is Ok. Just Ok. There is some brood in the hive and a fair ammt. of bees, but not as much as I'd like to see at this point. We'll see how things go with that one. I'm feeding 3 of the nucs and letting that one that's busting alone. My production hives I checked last week also and they're still low, but they are working the goldenrod so I'm going to give them a couple more weeks to see how things go.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Forgot to mention.
    The last few mornings I'm seeing dead bees, both workers and drones plus pupae being drug out of the hive during the night.
    Guess they are cleaning house before the cold spell.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    I have seen them take drone pupae out of the cells before they're finished when they determine that the drones must go.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    508

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Pennsylvania is so beautiful this time of year.
    There are still a few flowers here and the golden rod has been out for a while.
    How late do you you folks feed till?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, PA USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    I went into my hives yesterday and in one there were a few cells uncapped with pupae inside. I assume they were drones.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    I'll feed almost as late as I NEED to. Last year I fed until the end of November. The issue is that the bees need to be able to get the water off of the feed so if they can't get out then it's too late to feed them. If the temps during the day aren't getting up above 60 then that's where I stop. I know that this weekend it's supposed to get pretty cold during the night, but the daytime temps are fine for them to fly and for opening them up. I checked two hives today and they're doing well for now. The way I feed is with an empty super / deep on top and shims on the top bars and I invert old plastic yogurt containers with holes cut in the rim so the lid fills up with syrup and they can take it right out of there as fast as they want. This way they are in direct contact with the feed jar and can keep it warm being above the cluster. This enables me to feed in temps that get well below 50 as long as they can get out during the day. They wont' take syrup that's below 50 and they won't fly much before 50.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Mount Joy, PA, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    On another note. . . Does anyone know how late is too late to rear queens in our area? I see some of you are in Chester Co. but what experience do you all have in this? I have 2 hives w/ queens in process and looking at the calendar inspection on the latest seems to be early / mid next month. Is this too late? I had a batch of queens that 1/2 of them didn't pan out so well. I have some good queens but not "enough" to overwinter what I wanted this year. Any thoughts?
    My last 2 queens of the year mated early to mid Sept and were laying nice patterns by the 3rd week. I have 2 frame mating hives (4 in one deep hive body) and combined the last one that 3rd week into 2 / 4 frame nucs (in one hive body) and added 5 shallow frames of honey on top of each. They should be set for winter.

    I have only began to smell that fall honey in the last week. Seems there are 2 types of golden rod. I have seen one plant that has bloomed and now has seeds forming and a plant with just opening flowers next to it. On a calm day I can smell that honey more than 100 feet from the hives.

    Jim

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Well guys I typically wouldn't do this but I feel the need due to several fronts. This is regarding a "anti beekeeping law" or regulation that seems to be in the works. I just got this e-mail from our beekeeping club and I thought it would be good to pass this along. If there's anyone that could make it to speak tomorrow at this meeting I think it would be good. Here's the e-mail. . .

    Hello, everyone:

    Below is an email from J*** M***** who holds dual mmbership in the CCBA as well as in the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association. On Saturday, Jack brought our attention a developing anti-bee ordinance in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County. It seems that one person who lives four doors away from a beekeeper has concerns about the safety of their child.

    At the website listed below, there is a link to more information as well as a way to sign an on-line petition.

    The next township meeting is tomorrow, October 8 --- please take a minute to review the information and to consider signing the petition.

    Even though this is not occurring in Chester County, it is important to lend a voice. If the ability to keep bees is taken away in one township, adjacent townships may feel a need to review their position on keeping bees and then who knows what will happen? It may be our best chance to act as beekeepers to stop this nonsense before it really gets started.

    Here are the main points:

    ~Minimum lot size: 12,000 or 15,000 sq. ft.

    ~Hives must be in rear yard

    ~Limit of 2 hives regardless of acreage

    ~Beekeeping is an accessory use to a residence.

    ~20 foot setback from property line

    ~40 foot setback from nearest residential dwelling

    ~75 foot setback from a neighhbor's pool

    ~Requirement to take a beekeeping training course

    ~Possible registration with the township in order to inspect beekeepers for conformity to this ordinance

    ~Emergency contact information with a backup contact must be provided in case of a swarm.

    ~Comply with PA Dept. of Ag. Beekeeper's Compliance Agreement


    So that's the latest. If anyone is interested in attending Monday night's public meeting, it will be at 700 Belvoir Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. The meeting starts at 7pm. If anyone knows Plymouth residents who would be willing to come out and speak, please encourage people to pass the word.

    We are also maintaining www.saveourgardens.org to keep meeting information posted. There is also an online petition that people can sign through that website.

    Thanks so much for spreading the word. Have a great weekend,
    Last edited by Barry; 10-07-2012 at 04:48 PM. Reason: formatting

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    508

    Default Re: Penn Colony Update: Summer

    Thanks for responding about the feeding Delber. I have a few that I want to keep feeding for a while and your response was helpful

    I also signed the petition. I pointed out that keeping more than two hives is part of swarm management and rearing local queens etc. I also mentioned about the gentle nature of honeybees and how that beekeepers spread awareness in the community about the importance of insects etc.

    My neighbors have thanked me for having bees. They said that their gardens have never done so well. Seriously


    I hope that this anti-bee ordinance doesn't happen.

    One of the ladies.jpg

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