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  1. #621
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,686

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Nucs are too weak in bees and resources to properly raise a good queen from larvae.

    Cam didn't say it but I'd think he added a cell or queen to the 1 frame nuc he made and didn't have the 1 frame
    nuc make it's own queen from larvae. Maybe he'll clarify.

  2. #622
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Cam didn't say it but I'd think he added a cell or queen to the 1 frame nuc he made and didn't have the 1 frame
    nuc make it's own queen from larvae. Maybe he'll clarify.
    Thanks Clyde, should have stated, I only use mated queens to introduce to the new nuc. I NEVER expect them to raise their own. Actually I am not a fan of forcing bees to raise a queen. I almost always use cells or introduce queens. I have had pretty good success with virgin queens but I make the nuc stronger to last better until the queen mates and starts laying.

  3. #623
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,686

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Cam>> I was already planning my trip to Spencer in case you had some new technique to teach me

  4. #624
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    After this horrible fall & winter I'm the last person who should be teaching anything about beekeeping...

  5. #625
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,686

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    After this horrible fall & winter I'm the last person who should be teaching anything about beekeeping...
    I know, but you'll be back in the swing of things pretty soon.
    All these losses this year has me looking over my shoulder, that's for darn sure.

    Between crappy imported honey and bee "troubles" I planted 4 acres of berries last year- rasp, black, aronia, haskap and goose-
    to hedge myself in case the hatchet falls my way.- Bees and berries going forward for me.

  6. #626
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    sounds like a plan

  7. #627
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Clyde,

    Where are you in Suffolk County, I'm in Nassau County, South shore. Would love to see you operation, do you run a farmer's market in the summer?

    Larry

  8. #628
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,686

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    LLgoddj> PM'd you

  9. #629
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Somerville Ma
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    What are those of you who are going to feed with pollen thinking for timing this year? I know it's not even March yet but the weather over the next few weeks looks great? The Farmers Alminac says last frost will be April 7th for the boston area.
    Massachusetts, Zone 5b, 18' ASL, 3 Hives, 6th Year, Urban and TF Bees.

  10. #630
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I was planning to put on Global pollen patties on about March 15. I know I am a little north of you, (grew up in Somerville, though), but I don't want the bees to make so much brood that then they can't keep it warm in case a freak nor'easter appears.

    The last two days, all seven hives have been cleansing and orienting. I am tempted to put them on earlier, but then I temper myself. Spring fever et al.
    The last frost on April 7 seems awfully early. I have never put much store in the Farmers' Almanac after I discovered that their reputation was sealed when a printing shop apprentice in 1816, charged by his master to finish up the weather for the year, got bored and started making up interesting weather patterns. He forecast snow in July, and what do you know, it did that year, and the Farmers Almanac has had believers ever since.
    At least, that's the story I was told as a kid.

  11. #631
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    HOPKINTON, MA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    My notes say I put first pollen patty on March 8th last yr. which I think was too early given the swarm mania that happened.

    56 degrees in Hopkinton today and bees flying. Popped tops to check on sugar bricks under the quilts. All hives still alive.

    The hives that went into winter at more than 135lbs gross haven't touched the sugar, hives under 135lbs are up on the sugar bricks. The lightest at 98lbs, has consumed over half of the 9"x12" brick.

  12. #632
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,320

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Last March we had freak negative temperatures for I think 2 nights in a row. Be careful encouraging brood too early.

    What a beautiful sunny day. I saw 2 hives flying. The rest are probably dead. Maybe I'll be surprised and one or two will prove me wrong in spring. But at least there are two. From those I can probably make 2 more. Maybe more if they're really robust.

    Worst year so far. I hope to never have a season like last year's. At least this year we have a lot of snow cover that will melt. The next hurdle will be a good spring and dandelion season, which would be a great advantage to the bees.

  13. #633
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Meriden, CT
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I'm on CT shore and had pollen coming in. Looked like willow and hazel. My hives chewed through a patty each in the last week. Three days ago I put dry pollen sub out and no one touched it. Now I know why.

    I think everything is early this year.

  14. #634
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    589

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Last week nighttime lows ranging from 24 to 45F and daytime highs from 36 to 59F. 3 days above 50F. Rainfall for the month (Feb) is 1.58" and YTD is 4.32". 3.5" of snowfall last week.

    Hive temperatures are climbing so it looks like all my hives are starting to brood. All hives have fondant on and some are taking it and some are not. My pollen patties will go on the middle of next month. Based on my bloom records (posted earlier) that timing should give them two brood cycles before the first of May and should ensure a good transition between the pollen patties and decent natural pollen coming in.
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 13H 7N OAV
    Seaside Apiaries

  15. #635
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,671

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    My February has been just the opposite of last year.

    Last year my bees could fly ALL but 4 or 5 days the entire month. This year they ONLY flew about 4 days in the entire month. It's been colder than normal this winter, tree buds are also behind in their development.

    As this cool weather continues into the end of the month, I've lost more mating nucs than usual, a few larger nucs that were limping along going into winter didn't make it, but losses so far have been not surprising. All losses from starvation/not being able to move to honey.

    Some mating nucs on mini frames doing surprisingly well. Overwintering those in such small colonies is always a crap shoot. This could be the year I lose many of them, but those extra queens early spring are sure nice to have on hand.

    I could sure use some flying weather (and working weather) More cold rainy and possibly snow in the forecast for the rest of the week and into the long range forecast.









    A lot my colonies are still low in the hives with good populations, but likely are not rearing much brood yet.

    Some others that have been more active, are really ramping up, need more room and some feed overhead.



    Last edited by Lauri; 02-20-2017 at 01:16 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.

  16. #636
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    HOPKINTON, MA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Four straight days this week in the low 60s in February in Metrowest.

    My question is-- is this a good thing or bad thing?

  17. #637
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I had lost 1 hive out of 11 in the first or second week of December 2016. It wasn't going to make it as it was having problems in early fall so it was not unexpected.

    I checked all remaining 10 on Monday 2/20 some are stronger than others but all are looking good. I put some homemade pollen patties on to get them ready for what could be an early spring.

    I did give them a fall mite treatment with a follow up OA drip in November which I have done in the past but not as good results. I did change to Lauri's
    sugar blocks for winter feed this year so I am thinking this is what may have been the game changer for me. Past years I have not come through winter as lucky.

    So a big shout out to Lauri
    Think about it....Buy American

  18. #638
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    double post
    Think about it....Buy American

  19. #639
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Framingham, MA, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    My bees were busy today bringing a lot of pollen. Traffic was comparable to summer traffic.
    firstPollen2017.jpg
    The color off the pollen is grayish white with little yellow.
    I want to find out what plant it is. Must be some tree.
    Season has started, as far as I am concerned!

  20. #640
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Tewksbury, MA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I could be mistaken, but here in Tewksbury MA it looks like the buds on my Norway and Silver Maples appear to be swelling, nothing at all on the Sugar Maples though.

    The reason I note this is the similarity to the warm February weather we saw last year, unfortunately immediately followed by that hard freeze. We lost our Basswood flow but my friends with Apples and Peach Orchards fared far worse, hoping for better luck this year... I am a bit worried though given this afternoon was 69 degrees and we have a high in the mid 60s for the next two days as well!

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