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"North East USA" Ladies & Gentlemen, "Start Your Engines"


Wow, yup I just checked our weather about 45 mins west of you & 14F is the predicted temp for Saturday night!

I rigged up a heater for my chickens’ water using an old engine block heater. It’s stuck to the inside of an overturned galvanized bucket that sits on bricks, so the cord can snake out to an extension cord to the house, and so the block can’t set any duff on fire if it gets dislodged. The waterer sits on top of the bucket & there’s just enough warmth coming through the surface to keep the water from freezing solid, under average temp circumstances. Extended days & nights 20F & below means I’m carting the waterer back & forth like you though!


Beekeeping season is in full swing now. I have lots of flying drones and lots of comb being built even before I offered feed. I did an experimental split with this overcrowded nucleus hive and I’ll post the results as they happen. Actually, I had two overcrowded nucs and I used resources from both to make three equal nucs and added feed to the tops. I’ll check all of them in a few days for queen cells since I don’t know which one is queenless. They all have eggs.

This comb got built after Ground Hog’s Day.

I can use this bucket of comb to make starter strips for my new horizontal hive :slight_smile:

My daughter helped these guys hatch from some rogue comb.


Good news is drones are definately out and flying.

Bad news is one of my strong hives is queenless. Found 2 sorry looking queen cells and no fresh eggs. Only older brood. I added some fresh eggs from my other strong hive to better their odds of requeening.

Lots of pollen coming in and a crazy amount of waggle dancing going on. Not much blooming yet.



Look along the roadsides and unplowed fields. Purple Dead Nettle is very abundant on this side of the Delaware River. I took I70 to I68 out to Louisville, KY last week and it was everywhere. Very good early nectar source. We’ve got round two of the Maple tree blossom as well.


Is that the deep red pollen I see coming in? Really cool color.


Not really sure on the pollen color.

Edit- Snowdrops yield red pollen.


Yep, Dead Nettle yields red pollen :slight_smile:


I was just going to type that. The color I was seeing is the red deadnettle on the chart. Cool chart by the way.

I thought it looked like fresh nectar in the hive but I didn’t think it was possible yet. Figured it was leftover from last year but now I bet it is the red deadnettle. That also explains all the waggle dancing I saw. Never saw so many on the same frame dancing like that before. Deadnettle grows like crazy around here.


It’s a rainy day here in the mid-Atlantic/NE USA so I’m doing some prep work for the horizontal hive. I melted some old wax comb, cut some other comb into strips, oriented them right side up, and used melted wax to adhere them to the frame tops. This will give the bees in my new horizontal hive a comb building guide. I’ll put this box on a super strong hive and let the bees finish it for me. The queen will probably go up there on her own and lay eggs, then I’ll populate the big horizontal hive with the frames and worker bees (no queen) and allow them to make queen cells.


Spring has sprung here in SW Pa.


We got into the top bar hive today. It wintered very well and is brooding up nicely. I’ll need to make splitting provisions or do some artificial swarms in a couple of weeks.


Well I managed to give the queenless hive a frame of drone eggs last Saturday instead of workers.

Both emergency cells were hatched but I did not find a virgin queen. I am hoping that means she is out mating. I put another frame of fresh eggs in with the queenless hive just in case.

The other alarming thing I saw today was my queen right strong hive had swarm cells at the bottom of one frame in the top brood box. All 3 were empty but I was surprised to see this this early in the season. I destroyed them so it is easier to see if they build them again. The queen has remained in the top box even though the bottom is 80% empty so I moved her down stairs since the workers are already filling the top with honey and pollen. Hoping with 6 empty frames of comb satisfies her laying space needs and stops any thoughts of swarming for a while.

Bees are definately bringing in lots of pollen and some honey. Hope I don’t have swarm issues.


Drone eggs…I’ve done that. In fact I almost did it last weekend lol

I wonder if they would have made a drag queen lol


Desperate times… desperate measures :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:



The queen-less nuc made 8 queen-cells. Since they are boiling over with bees and have more capped brood to hatch, I split them again and gave each hive 4 queen-cells.

I also split a full sized colony into 3 separate hives. Each have eggs, young larva, and a feeder. The other has the queen. All have resources.


I am assuming my queenless hive has a virgin queen on mating runs. No signs of her today but also no signs of the workers making queen cells with the frame of eggs from its neighbor. So I am thinking they think they have a queen.

My hive that requeened itself last summer is laying like a champ. She has brood and eggs on 5 frames or more. Will be busting with bees by this weekend. I gave them a second box to grow into.

Definately honey coming in but we need some warmer days. Suppose to be stormy this week.


There is always the option not to treat… After all, you treated and lost some bees anyway I believe? I don’t want to start a debate on “to treat or not to treat”, but I think it is important to consider. I did not treat either of my colonies and they have come through great!


How old are your colonies?


The best thing to do is take a sample using alcohol wash. Otherwise, treat by the second week in July with Apivar; take the honey super(s) off and leave the Apivar in for 6 weeks. You can remove and re-install your super for the fall flow or just leave that flow for the bees to winter over. Come Thanksgiving, OAV.


Save me some searching: How/what did you treat last year?