Colony Update here in MA - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Salisbury, NH
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    508

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    I just saw you're in zone 7a. Only 1.5 hrs. from you (I figure), I'm in 5b. Probably makes a difference.
    Yea. I'm in Hadley, MA and Salisbury, NH. Huge difference between the two

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Both hives in my home yard had a large amount of new bees orienting this afternoon.... First day I've seen them this season... Looks like the first wave of brood is out and about...;- )
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
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    2,413

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob J View Post
    Both hives in my home yard had a large amount of new bees orienting this afternoon.... First day I've seen them this season... Looks like the first wave of brood is out and about...;- )
    I started another thread earlier today, I had a very large mass of bees on the front of my hive today, I was sure they were getting ready to swarm. Tomorrow it's raining but Wednesday I'm going in.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
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    813

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    I started another thread earlier today, I had a very large mass of bees on the front of my hive today, I was sure they were getting ready to swarm. Tomorrow it's raining but Wednesday I'm going in.
    I have yet to see mature drones and my hive weights are still dropping so too early for a swarm where I am.... Are you seeing mature drones? OTOH the first dandelions are blooming and the fruit trees are not far off so I'm going to need to super soon....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Well, got a report on that other thread from someone who lives the next county from me who has drone brood and swarm cells! Probably depends on the colony itself, but most of my queens are entering their 2nd year and that's prime swarm time so I am really on guard. No dandelions here at all, and I haven't been in my hives yet, too chilly, but tomorrow I'm looking.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lawrence, Ma
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    66

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Well, got a report on that other thread from someone who lives the next county from me who has drone brood and swarm cells! Probably depends on the colony itself, but most of my queens are entering their 2nd year and that's prime swarm time so I am really on guard. No dandelions here at all, and I haven't been in my hives yet, too chilly, but tomorrow I'm looking.
    I am in Andover MA. I have drone in all of my 4 hives - a lot of them. One hive has swarm cells already. I plan to check on the others tomorrow when I rain stops. Second year here, and things are not getting any easier for me.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I'd bet some of those swarm cells are supercedure cells. Been too cold, rainy and windy for bees to swarm here.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lawrence, Ma
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    66

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I'd bet some of those swarm cells are supercedure cells. Been too cold, rainy and windy for bees to swarm here.
    I thought of that too. But in panic, I destroyed the queen cell.

    How to tell if the queen cell is a supercedure cell? Some people said it based on the persition of the cells, and also the number of the cells presented. My case is the cells were on the lower and middle part of the frame( swarm cell?), but the number of the cells wasn't big, 6-8, and one had larva in pool of loyal jelly, and one had egg. The others were empty cups( supercedure?). I am really confused and know know what to do next.

  10. #29
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Swarm prep includes being crowded, none of mine at at this point, and backfilling the brood nest with honey. Bees haven't been able to fly for several days, so they certainly are not backfilling the brood nest. Also, in only 2 were laid in and the rest were cell cups, doubtful they are in swarm prep. When the hive is busting with bees and the brood nest is full of nectar, that's the time to worry about swarming.

  11. #30
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    2,413

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Went thru 3 of my hives so far (what a nice day) and no signs of swarming at all, so so far, so good. I reversed the boxes and did some checkerboarding and styrofoam boarded them back up for another couple weeks.

    I saw some capped drone cells, but no frames of drone brood yet, and I didn't see any drones.

  12. #31
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    IMO you guys are too fixated on swarming... there are about 3 weeks to swarm season. Dandelions aren't even in bloom yet.

  13. #32
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    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Never met a spring bee I could trust.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lawrence, Ma
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    66

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    IMO you guys are too fixated on swarming... there are about 3 weeks to swarm season. Dandelions aren't even in bloom yet.
    You are right. I now believe what I have destroyed were supercedure cells. Poor bees, I should have just leave them alone.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
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    63

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I saw the first drone of spring today! Dandelions are in bloom all over my yard. I'm going in this weekend, also have a group of bee school students coming over to watch. Gotta play it cool-think I might have bit off more than I can chew!

  16. #35
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Flying drones, a lot of pollen, big orientation flights, dandelions popping ouit and nectar coming in... I'd say IT'S ON!

  17. #36
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
    You are right. I now believe what I have destroyed were supercedure cells. Poor bees, I should have just leave them alone.
    Pearl, if they still have a queen they'll make more. This weekend check for the queen and if you don't see her look for eggs. That will tell you if she's there. If they are queenless, order a queen.

  18. #37
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Flying drones, a lot of pollen, big orientation flights, dandelions popping ouit and nectar coming in... I'd say IT'S ON!
    Don't want to barge in on the MA thread so just a question-
    Did you happen to look at the brood nest and notice if the queen shut down during the last 2 weeks of miserable weather?

    here on LI I was in the brood nest of all hives in one yard a couple of days before the weather got bad. Had 5-7 frames of brood
    in each hive. Got in the same hives yesterday and all that brood has emerged so there are lots of bees, but very limited capped brood. There are some larvae and eggs, plenty of stores, found the queens in all hives to requeen them and start nucs with the old queens.
    Looks like the queens shut down for nearly 2 weeks. Wondering if anyone else has seen this.
    Need to check a few yards tomorrow that are within 5 or 6 miles from this yard and I'm curious to see the brood nests in those hives.

  19. #38
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    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    No, I was setting up hives for the packages on the way and was observing the hives. Wouldn't be surprised if that happened here too. Still a little cool to get into the brood chamber IMO. I like it over 60F

  20. #39
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    Thanks Cam.
    A abnormally warm month of March followed by 2 weeks of junk weather put
    the brakes on any sustained early brood buildup.

  21. #40
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Colony Update here in MA

    I agree, but going to be in the 70's this weekend. they will catch up fast.

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