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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been keeping bees for eight or so years. A couple of years ago both of my colonies absconded (at the same time). Last year I replaced these with one recaptured swarm and a swarm that simply moved into the other vacant hive. Back in business this year and looking forward to working with the bees again.

This forum is great and is similar to another I belong to as a maple syrup producer called Mapletrader.com
 

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Hello and welcome. I just started with bees this year. My husband and I also do maple syrup (hobby) in PA this was our second year with the syrup and boy was it a short season. We had 20-25 taps and only got 7 gallons. It was very cold and suddenly very warm and the trees budded very quickly. I hope you had better luck.

Bad news for maple syrup was at least good news for bees. Perhaps it will even itself out my sugar harvest overall :)

Any idea why your bees left?

--kate
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Katers and all,

Not sure why the bees left. It occurred toward the last week of August 2007, the fall prior to the winter many beekeepers throughout North America lost unusually high numbers of colonies. What was particularly strange was the fact that both colonies absconded at the same time. Has anyone ever experienced this before?

(Yes, the maple season was poor, although you did well with 20-25 taps yielding 7 gallons--the general rule of thumb is 1 tap = 1 litre syrup. Good thing bees are more generous!)
 

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The sugar content was high this year with our trees. The first year the trees were recovering from gypsy moth damage, which we believe caused the sugar in the sap to be low, a little over 1%. This year the sap was closer to 2.5%. I find it fascinating that there is such a big difference. We ended up with the same amount of syrup but this year we boiled much less. We aren't overly concerned about filtering niter so our yield might look higher.

Thanks for the response. We don't know anyone else who does maple syrup so I'm glad that we are doing something right.

Kate
 
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