Yeah, Black Locust started in SE PA earlier in the week. The main flow is on!
Yeah, Black Locust started in SE PA earlier in the week. The main flow is on!
Caught a few of my hives wanting to swarm last week. Glad I caught them when I did otherwise I think another day and they were leaving town. Had 8 swarm cells... Added them to a queen castle and a few nucs. Looking like a good spring.
Caught my first swarm today- Fayette County. I checker boarded my hives to get new comb started and to open up laying space. In the process, I created my first 2 nucs with the Beeweaver queens that finally made it. I'm not seeing mites, but I do have a minor ant problem- just a few small ants getting into the feeder. Everything else seems to be going great- I just wish that I had prior hands on experiences to compare this all with.
Year 2 Zone 6a
Well I'm back up to 9 colonies and began feeding five of them last week.
Had started all of them on drawn comb and some were obtained a bit late in May.
They need the supplement since the dearth has arrived here.
Have been putting in a little honey b healthy with each batch of sugar water and they go crazy over it. You really have to be careful in the bee yard so a frenzy doesn't get started.
One was a survivor colony, four are nucs, three were split from two packages and one swarm.
The first goldenrod of the season is blooming and it couldn't come soon enough.
Japanese knotweed is also starting to bloom but the bees aren't working it yet.
Very unseasonably warm temps in Northeastern PA. I haven't been on here in quited a while. I lost some hives back in October. I wasn't able to treat for mites this past August/September due to the high temps. I was taking a local television news crew to one of my apiaries when I discovered the loss. I had just been in that yard 2 weeks prior and they seemed very strong. We learn from our mistakes. I've been taking advantage of the warm weather by doing some needed fence repair.
I believe we broke several records last week and I think we'll be breaking some more this coming week also. It's nice to see the girls flying, but I wonder what effect this will have on them. I wonder if this will cause them to go through more stores thinking that spring is coming? We'll see how things go. I wish you all well for the winter to come!!!
To everything there is a season....
It hasn't been a good winter but it was nice to see some bees flying today.
They were bringing in a dull orange and bright orange pollen today and they've got plenty of honey to make it through March.
Four colonies just disappeared in early winter. There were a few bees in the hives and no brood.
A combine didn't make it either.
Last edited by Allen; 02-21-2016 at 10:10 PM.
It's been a tough year around here as well. One friend has lost all six hives, another friend has lost 7 of 10. I've done OK so far. Lost 3 of 25. Two expected due to poor queens and one trying to keep brood warm during a cold spell. Hope we don't get any more tough cold spells. I have one more on the edge. My friends who have been tough on mites are doing OK. One more month to go.
Dan Boylan, When in doubt "It's mites".
I thought survival was looking much better this year from what another thread on here was saying, alot were saying they haven't loss any yet and it seemed like a totally different story from a couple years ago when loss was very high . Allen any idea on the four colonies that disappeared in early winter , no brood maybe a queen issue but four colonies with a queen issue doesn't sound right .
checked mine saturday started winter with 35 about half double nucs and half a mix between single deeps and double deeps so far have lost 5 2 double nucs 2 singles (witch i will not be attempting to overwinter anymore just cant seem to get them right) and 1 double all starved out which is bittersweet for me just glad that i have the mites under control this year with 1 formic treatment in aug can hardly sit still thinking about what this year has to come just trying to get all my new double nuc boxes made know a guy that has a saw mill and wood shop waiting for him to build me a few and let me know if and how much he can beat better bees price
So far, I'm doing good with the garden hive. Over the weekend, the bees were coming back with pollen and some were taking orientation flights.
Stores are starting to get light, but they have been working the fondant in the candy board. My guess is that since the last warm spell (roughly 3 weeks ago) they have used a pound or less. I have no idea if that's normal, as I can make no comparison. But I have some sugar bricks on hand when needed. I'm just hoping that we are spared any harsh temperature changes.
Year 2 Zone 6a
Laketrout, those four seemed to be doing ok with a decent bee population and I'd like to correct the time frame. It was more like late Fall when they were still active.
They disappeared in about a week between inspections and not all at once.
Two of these were swarms and the other two were package bees.
I know two other beekeepers that have had similar problems.
The previous year I had some similar issues with a bee yard located away from home.
All hives treated with MAQS and had no issues with queens.
Finally some pollen coming in today a pale yellow color , I was contemplating putting some pollen substitute out but I have never done it ,always afraid I'll kick start the brooding and then cold weather will come back , I'd rather they get natural pollen and on there time frame .
Laketrout, I'm reluctant to add pollen also but I considered it. I feel like there is still some time yet of cold weather so I'm thinking that the bees will be clustered a good bit for a few more weeks at least. A good thing about adding some pollen here early in the season if you chose to do it is that the beetles probably won't be a problem. The bees were out today looking all around but I didn't get close enough to see if pollen was coming in. I'm glad that you mentioned that. I will look closer next time. The warm days haven't been frequent. Today we could feel warm breezes blowing up the mountain as night started to fall. It felt like heat from a dryer vent would pass us and then it was cool again. It was a beautiful day.
The temps hit 64 degrees yesterday so I did a quick hive inspection.
The girls were orienting and bringing back yellow pollen in addition to the other colors this time.
Maybe it's just me but I can stand next to the entrance for awhile and watch them come and go doing their thing. Very relaxing.
The cluster is covering 3 deep frames on all sides and there are two deeps of honey above them.
They should be fine till the dandelions bloom.
Found a small batch of eggs and immediately put everything back together. The eggs were low on the frame and there is plenty of honey directly above the brood area.
Am going to be pulling honey off all the dead hives this coming week and may be extracting soon.
I tried pollen patties a few years ago and they didn't care for it.
Now that three different kinds of pollen are coming in, they seem to have that covered.
This is a link to a vid of the girls on my instagram page:
Hello! I have not had great success over the past few years with hives always lost them over the winter. But this year has changed. I went into winter with 3 hives from packages in spring and a late swarm that I found (not from my hives). Going in to winter the swarm was the weakest hive. Lost one of the package hives in December for starving since they still had brood? I think the weather changed to quick.
Fast forward to yesterday we were in the 60's and had all 3 brining in pollen! The swarm hive seems to now have the the largest population! The other 2 seem good but not to strong.
I am excited for this year and can't wait to see how a hive reacts that is established!!!
Zip , they can build up really fast and swarm on you , you can just tell from the number of bee's sometimes compared to your other hives. I have one that will definitely need to be split this year its loaded , bee's just flow out over the rim when I add sugar bricks if its fairly warm out and they are always the first to fly in marginal weather . Its good news just keep a eye on it and get your gear ready for a split.
Zib, congrats on the three survivor hives so far.
Just to echo what Laketrout said, if the Spring nectar flow is anything like last year you will have to stay on top of them.
If you're not keeping the broodnest clear and adding honey supers, they quickly become honey bound and then swarm.
Last Spring I was rearranging the honey super frames by placing the outside untouched frames in to the middle to give them extra room.
A couple of new beekeepers last season didn't realize how strong the Spring flow was coming in and their brood frames were getting back-filled with nectar.
They were running two deep supers on the bottom.
We added a third deep to each affected hive and checker-boarded fresh frames into the bottom deeps.
Then the honey frames from the bottom deeps were placed into the third deep on the outside edges.
Both newbies harvested honey off of their first year package bees.
I don't know how many people know about http://foresthillbeesupply.com/.
Ike has great prices and a good product.