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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well both my first year hives made it through winter pretty well I would have to say. For how sucky of a year it was last year for honey production. I fed heavy in the fall and obviously it was worth it. Both hives the past few days that we have had beautiful 65+ degree weather and packing in the pollen. I'm seeing 5-6 different colorations...

Light yellow
Dark/bright yellow
Light orange
Dark/deep orange
Light/Pale green

I'm thinking much of it is bulbs that are blooming and maybe early apple blossums. Also have sugar syrup on both hives. The one hive already drank a quart...the other is at about half a quart.
Hows everyone elses hives doing...not just Keystoners?!?
:thumbsup:
 

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I am loving the nice weather too here! My two hives are doing great! It is so nice to see them bring in all that pollen. I opened the hives this past Tuesday and one of them smells like maple syrup, or so I thought..
I think we may have early swarms this year. I am hoping for some honey too.
All the best.:thumbsup:
 

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I opened the hives this past Tuesday and one of them smells like maple syrup, or so I thought..
You probably called it right. Every broken maple tree stem is oozing sweet sap and the bees suck it up like nectar and bring it home to the hive! First signs of pollen in the NY/PA border today! As the summer goes on the smells will reflect the available supplies.
 

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I had 38 out of 50 hives make it through winter this year. I fed all my yards but one, and of course the one yard I didn't feed only had 2 out of 12 make it. I will take a 78% survival rate, but I know it could have been better if I fed that other yard. Looking forward to a great year.
 

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Lots of luck in Pottstown PA. All four of mine made it through the winter. Three winters in a row w/o a loss. Either its luck or the tar paper I wrap the hives in...? All are 1/2 through a gallon of sugar syrup.
 

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Hey Rickole, where you at in Pottstown? I use to live right behind the cumberland farms until I moved up to Schuylkill county in October. Most of my hives surround the Green Lane reservoir, and I also have some up near Barto.
 

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My first and only TBH made it thru the winter, and the bees are bringing in mostly tan pollen. Beautiful weather. Looking to split the hive, or bait a swarm to another TBH.
balhanipi,
Where in in the burgh are you located? Do you have langs?
Carrie
 

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Glad to hear that there is life in Pa. I will be starting my first hive in about a week. Am getting a package next weekend.:)
 

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Not in PA, but I had same results in Michigan -- 2 out or 2 made it.

I attribute it to:

1) keeping mites under control with Apistan and especially Apiguard.

2) Using the "Mountain Camp" method to feed each hive about 25 lbs of dry sugar in November.

3) of course, the very mild winter we had temperature wise helped -- we got down to about zero 2 or 3 mornings. It was the most moderate winter in terms of low temperatures we've had in about a decade. Our "average" temp overall for the winter period Dec-Feb was about 1 degree above normal.
 

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Lost one of two this winter. She was a package queen. The other hive swarmed and the queen who survived was "local". Not sure if that's blind luck or genetics. Will start liquid food this weekend. The hive that died had plenty of stores- just never made it to them.
 

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Hey Rickole, where you at in Pottstown? I use to live right behind the cumberland farms until I moved up to Schuylkill county in October. Most of my hives surround the Green Lane reservoir, and I also have some up near Barto.
I live in N. Coventry, the hives are in my yard. We have mostly clover close by. The bees share it with the horses.
 

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Hi Carrie, I am in north hills of pittsburgh suburban backyard...:shhhh:don't tell anybody
I have 2 langs 8 frame foundationless, one feral and another carniolan both doing their thing. :thumbsup:
I plan to start a TBH if I get another swarm this year, swarm boxes are ready!
 

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Wow! What an awsome thread!

Much to my happyness my 5 Langstroth hives in Phoenixville survived. Out of fear I feed heavy to send them into winter fat and happy and treat with formic acid every September. Haven't lossed one yet, but I can't keep 'em from swarming. Yes, last year was a lousy harvest for me too.

I started with one package and got to 5 from swarms. My original polystyrene hive went mean and was gladly given away. Not the bees, the poly. They're now upstate with an electric fence protecting the bears.

I haven't checked my top bar hive in Downingtown and hope it survived. If so, it will become the foundation for many splits.

This year I'll do queenless splits into 5 frame nucs to open up the hives, but don't intend on keeping the nucs. My buddy needs one to recover from his loss, but as to the rest, who knows.

Pcord, I'd try a queenless split into your lost hive. Seems that your swarm stock did better than bred so why mess with success. Besides, I' expect a queenless split in late march with result In a colony just as fast as a package a with no cost.

Big thanks for starting this thread!:applause:
 

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Hello,I have seven lang hives and one topbar in blair county all doing well so far!Winter winds beat two hives badly but they are still going,I am a Happy Beekeeper so far.
 

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My one hive made it through winter despite a visit from a mouse or maybe a shrew about 2 weeks ago. A wild hive in a huge oak tree about 200 yards from my house died out at some point during the winter. My bees were bringing in a white colored pollen yesterday. I have no idea where they are getting pollen, there appears to be nothing at all blooming here in Sandy Ridge. They are amazing little creatures! It is good to see Tyrone and Boalsburg in here!
 

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Nice to here we have a few local beeks around,silver maples blooming here willows should be coming on soon.Opened up some hives today four lang hives full of bees and brood of all stages.Topbar the same but a little grumpy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm loving this weather and I'm sure the hives are too. My stronger hive has already taken 2 qts of syrup. The weaker is about done with its 1st qt. Going to keep feeding until the sugar maple hits...and maybe a little past that.
:popcorn:
 
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