Colony Update here in MA - Page 18
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  1. #341
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    Tough loss bob. Hopefully they can build up in time.
    Thanks! Sadly one of my best hives.... So stupid of me and with the day temps dropping as we move into fall was not necessary.... I've been doing this for several years now without a problem but will never do it again... Once burned, twice learned..... Am just praying that the queen wasn't killed....:-(
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

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  3. #342
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    4,953

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    They are agitated because you have started a robbing frenzy. I hope you don't have neighbors.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  4. #343
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
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    2,413

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Who, me? I hope not. But no, I don't have neighbors.

    I have feeders both in the hives and now some out. I was hoping if robbing was taking place, it would happen outside the hives and leave my colonies alone. It's that kind of climate right now. I was hesitant to put any open feed out for that very reason, but it was just some to supplement, since I'm now out of sugar and have appointments today so that I won't be able to get some till late this afternoon.

    I'm not seeing big congregations at the nucs, so I'm hoping that means no robbing action. If there is robbing, then I guess I'm feeding someone else's bees. Probably wouldn't be the first time.

    Yeah, I'm not sure what to do at this point. It rained a few inches last night, which while nice, means there is absolutely nothing for them to gather today from plants. Cloudy and possible rain later again. I can't just let them starve.

  5. #344
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

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  6. #345
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    Feb 2013
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    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Lucky stiff! So far in Quincy we only have 0.14" of light rain....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  7. #346
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Hi everyone...It's been a really long time since I posted to Beesource! Hope this content is relevant to Massachusetts update thread...

    I now have 41 colonies in Leominster and New Braintree, 2 in a new location in Fitchburg. 10 of them are nucs, mostly 3 deep. I'm currently feeding diluted honey to three nucs in my backyard in Leominster; the others are on their own for now. I've been through all the colonies in the last 10 days or so, all have some stores, some up to a deep full. Almost all have gorgeous brood patterns and originate from treatment-free southern stock. Over the summer I took about 200 lbs of honey from around 6 colonies that were 3 and 4 deeps. I harvest by the deep frame and was very conservative as my main goal currently is to build up the bees and my colony numbers and see what they can do without treatments.

    Yesterday it was cloudy and humid in Leominster, perfect weather for cranky bees! Everyone was hard at work bringing in loads of pollen. All were storing at least some fresh nectar so my plan is to keep an eye on them for the next week or two and see what they can do before I consider liquid feed.

    I did overwinter last year with Lauri's sugar bricks on the nucs and full colonies that were lighter in stores. LOVE the bricks and feel that they were incredibly helpful in making sure that the bees had food under the covers where they spend a lot of the winter. All 21 of the 21 colonies I went into winter with made it through!

    I brought 15 more treatment-free nucs up from Florida in early April 2016 and fed them; when I used liquid sugar I added food coloring so I could track the stores. Very little ended up stored.

    I started minimally grafting last year and raised 7 queens in 2015 and 3 through grafting in 2016. I had one of my 2015 queens come through the winter bursting out of a 3 x 5 frame deep, crowded them into a 10 frame deep with an excluder over it and another 10 frame deep plus a medium on top, thinking they would produce honey. Instead, they made a ton of queen cells! I was able to use the cells and split to make 4 more nucs. One nuc is now in three 10 frame deeps and produced another queen from a later split. All 5 have the nicest brood patterns and have stored capped honey.

    I'm using relectex as inner covers year round and 1" rigid pink foam insulation under my telescoping covers year round. Some of my colonies have upper entrance migratory covers: I put the relectex and pink foam on top with rocks to hold them over the winter. No wrapping.

    Thankful when the drought came that I harvested so conservatively.

    Am loving my bees so much!!! I have photos in my samsung galaxy note 3; if anyone knows how I can easily post here from that phone and attach photos, let me know. Too much going on to try and learn more technology before winter!!!

    Ramona

  8. #347
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Welcome Ramona! ;- )
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  9. #348
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    219

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob J View Post
    Welcome Ramona! ;- )
    Hi Bob, have been following all your updates. I'm at the Quincy Farmers Market every Friday 11:30 am - 5 pm at Merrymount Park if you or anyone else is around. Can show you photos there until I figure out a more advanced procedure!

  10. #349
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    Hi Bob, have been following all your updates. I'm at the Quincy Farmers Market every Friday 11:30 am - 5 pm at Merrymount Park if you or anyone else is around. Can show you photos there until I figure out a more advanced procedure!
    Very cool! Will swing by if I get a chance....;- ) Glad to hear your bees are doing well!
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  11. #350
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Leominster, MA USA
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    219

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob J View Post
    Very cool! Will swing by if I get a chance....;- ) Glad to hear your bees are doing well!
    I think your bees have been swinging by already and helping themselves to my sample jars!!!

  12. #351
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    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
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    2,295

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    I think your bees have been swinging by already and helping themselves to my sample jars!!!
    Interested to see how your florida bees winter. that is if we have a new England winter. are you continuing treatment free on them?
    Terrence

  13. #352
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Leominster, MA USA
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    219

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    Interested to see how your florida bees winter. that is if we have a new England winter. are you continuing treatment free on them?
    It's my second winter with the Florida bees. Last year I brought 7 TF back from Palm Beach County. Seventeen of the 21 I went into winter with were from those original 7. None of them were treated, last year or this year.

  14. #353
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    I think your bees have been swinging by already and helping themselves to my sample jars!!!
    ;-)
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  15. #354
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Interested to see how your florida bees winter. that is if we have a new England winter
    I don't know why so many beekeepers are fixated on northern queens. I have taken probably over a 100 Florida queens through the winter up here over the last 6 years. I don't believe it's northern queens but the queen breeder that makes the difference. JMIO

  16. #355
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    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    It's my second winter with the Florida bees. Last year I brought 7 TF back from Palm Beach County. Seventeen of the 21 I went into winter with were from those original 7. None of them were treated, last year or this year.
    That's interesting. I hear a lot of buying local bees and cold country bees because of our location. yours apparently don't care
    Terrence

  17. #356
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    219

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I don't know why so many beekeepers are fixated on northern queens. I have taken probably over a 100 Florida queens through the winter up here over the last 6 years. I don't believe it's northern queens but the queen breeder that makes the difference. JMIO
    I've been thinking a lot lately about this topic. Coming of age in the 60's and 70's, it was all about the power of "nurture". No one I hung out with wanted to believe that we were predestined in any way by "nature" or any kind of biological determinism. The older I get, the more I'm understanding the power of genetics, that some life forms just are the way they are, regardless of environment, upbringing, etc. Yes, environment can shape and influence to a degree but the underlying genetics are the most important.

    Bees are highly adaptable. Great genetics moving anywhere will trump not so great localized genetics.

  18. #357
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Bees are highly adaptable. Great genetics moving anywhere will trump not so great localized genetics.
    Could not agree more. That said, I've ordered some Michael Palmer queens, not because they are from Vermont but because I believe their genetics might fit my program quite well. Will continue with the Carpenter queens from FL next year. Nice patterns and seem like they will be good honey producers. Not sure they are much better at grooming but it's been a small sample so far.

  19. #358
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Bees working asters pretty hard today.
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  20. #359
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Nuc yard really sucking down the syrup...

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  21. #360
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    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
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    2,295

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    just went out to walk the dog. I saw something. it was a distant memory. I think we call it a puddle. then mixed up 2-1 syrup and made a mess. I really hope they start collecting something cause i'm not liking this feeding deal.
    Terrence

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