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Hello from Pennsylvania


#1

Am I the first to post from PA??

I am new to beekeeping and have taken online courses, watched YouTube videos, read books and have found a Mentor (non Flow Hive) to help me in my first year. I have my two Flow Hives and I am waiting for my Flow Frames to arrive. My Mentor is providing me with my nucs.

Building a bear fence as soon as ground thaws.


#2

Cowgirl,

Sounds like your on the right path. Actually not much difference between Flows n other langstroth’s … Only the harvest honey super is different. Does your mentor run single or double brood boxes ? Your set up (Flow-hive) has only single brood box. I am guess your mentor will guide you in that. I’m buying an extra cedar brood super from the company that makes Flow-hives out here on the West Coast.
I am running double broods out here east of Seattle n my Nuc’s will arrive mid April. I am looking excitedly at returning to beekeeping this Spring. Good luck n enjoy !
Gerald


#4

Hi there,

If you want to buy matching supplies, and start with a double deep (which you probably need in your area), you can get the right box from here:


If you have any questions, their customer service is excellent.


#5

Where in PA are you? I am a beekeeper in Southeastern PA and am trying to see who has a flow hive locally


#7

Looks like there is one more “bass” in the Lehigh Valley. How far are you from chester county?


#8

I am from Franklin county PA. My flow hives are suppose to ship in April. I have some regular hives ready incase the flows are late. My bees show up in May.


#9

I’m 20 miles south of Philadelphia on the Jersey side. I sell queens and nucs starting in mid-late May.


#11

I’m here to say welcome to the forum.


#13

Hi PA folks! Really excited to see more local Flow adopters. I’m looking forward to sharing info & learning more as I get started. I live in Oreland, a suburb just NW of Philly. I have a complete flow hive and my package is coming this Saturday. After researching I decided to buy another deep, and also a regular 3-medium hive setup for possible swarm increase. I know that having two sizes of equipment isn’t ideal, but I’m also considering overwintering strategies. I’m in a class where the instructor is knowledgeable but very ag-industry orthodox, so I’m taking in all I can & weighing it against natural beekeeping sources like Michael Bush’s site & Honey Bee Suite on the web. Decisions I’ve made so far:

I’m going with foundationless frames & might make a top entrance.
Will feed as needed & try to avoid more, and be conservative about harvesting
If my bees don’t make it this winter, next year I’ll make sure to find a local supplier (a bit shocked to learn that my ‘local’ apiarist who’s also the class instructor drives down to GA for the packages he sells)

Finally, I’m still unsure if I’ll go with the typical 2-deep winter setup, or if 1 deep & 1 medium would be good for heat conservation & still hold enough stores. I’m assuming I’ll remove the Flow box & keep it clean & dry in the house after letting bees move stores down to brood boxes.

:heart_eyes::honeybee:


#14

You might be marginal if you do less than 2 deeps. Personally, I wouldn’t risk it. @Red_Hot_Chilipepper has winters just a bit colder than yours, I think, and he overwinters on three 8-frame deeps. I believe that @Michael_Bush overwinters on five mediums. Don’t cut them too short on space. :wink:


#16

Thanks Dawn, I’m glad to have your input. There’s a lot I don’t know & am trying to make sense of that I’m sure will come with time. Definitely don’t want to push limits as a newbee. Reason I wondered about deep plus medium for winter is that I keep hearing about people’s bees that “die of starvation with stores close by, because it was too cold to get to them”. Size of cluster going into winter would seem to be a factor in how much space to give them, since I’m assuming more is not better for fewer bees’ ability to warm their space. But, I’m sure sometimes it’s just too cold, period and they could stop trying to get to food so starvation is really the result of cold?


#17

Thank you Cowgirl😊 it’ll be fun to see what happens with the Flow equipment!


#18

Well, I can understand that if you leave the food stores above a queen excluder. In that case, one of two bad things can happen. First, the cluster moves above the excluder to get to the food, leaving the queen behind and she dies of cold and starvation. Second, the cluster doesn’t leave the queen, but can’t reach the food because of the excluder.

However, if you have a well-ventilated hive, I don’t see why the bees can’t stay warm enough to shift the cluster around as needed to reach food stores. One big killer in winter is moisture condensing and dripping on the bees, effectively freezing them. Dry cold is much better tolerated, as several people have found when they put a cluster of bees in the freezer for a few days, and the bees were fine!


#19

I was doing some reading not long ago that suggested that bees that die with plenty of stores in the hive did not die from starvation but likely from Varroa related virus issues weakening the hive too much to withstand the harsh conditions during a winter. They stated that if there is food in the hive they did not die from starvation.


#20

Thanks Dee & adagna, helps make sense of what I’m reading. Had no intention of leaving an excluder on so should be safe there…sounds like varroa vigilance is key!


#21

Sorry, I meant Dawn not Dee :yum:


#23

Jon, Plutoman, are you still there?


#24

Yes, I am still around. Lost my first package, second one went in the hive yesterday. Been raining everyday for close 2 weeks.


#26

Sorry to hear about your first package Plutoman! It was cool of you to post about it tho - these real-time details (that are missing from the class I’m taking) are very valuable to me as a newbie. So thanks & I’m glad you got hold of another package - better luck this time!

What part of PA are you in, if you don’t mind sharing? I’m in Montgomery Co. near Philadelphia.

Seriously, this rain? Starting to grow gills here :tropical_fish::sweat_drops:


#28

I am just south of Chambersburg. So south central Pa.