Hello from The North Country

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by sqkcrk, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    My name is Mark Berninghausen. I'm from Brasher Falls, NY. Really Upstate NY. Two hours from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, three hours from Montreal, Quebec, Canada and seven hours from NYC or Buffalo, NY. I'm above the snow belt, but temps are usually 5 degrees colder than most of the rest of NY.

    My company name is Squeak Creek Apiaries. That's why my handle is sqkcrk. Squeak Brook or Squeak River, depending on the deed abstract or map you are looking at, runs through my 103 acre property, which used to be a dairy farm. We still have the barn, but I stopped milking the cow when I got tired of doing it. Better things to do.

    Every fall my 400 or so colonies of bees go to South Carolina for the winter. I come back home to package and distribute honey to stores and farm markets and to move snow and feed the stove to help keep things from freezing.

    Come March I go south to work the bees for 6 weeks or so. That's when I make splits to fill in the deadouts and to make nucs to sell. I get queen cells from a friend in SC who grows them or I buy queens from FL or CA, depending on their availability or if I was smart enough to book ahead. I prefer Carniolans, but I'll use whatever I can get my hands on or whatever the nucs raise themselves. Often the first nukes I make are left to raise their own queens, unless I can get cells. and the splits I make three weeks before leaving for the north get queens.

    When we, the bees and I, get back north the bees go right into the orchards along Lake Champlain. I have 4 orchards that I pollinate. They take about 360 colonies in total. The smallest orchard taking 24 and the largest taking 200.

    Once pollination season is over w/ the bees are brought out of the orchards into their summer locations. At that time more splitting is done to try to keep the swarming down. Also, in late June, there is a cranberry operation nearby that uses 40 colonies for their pollination.

    My colonies don't make big crops like some of my fellow beekeepers fifty or sixty miles south of me. The St. Lawrence Valley isn't quite the honey country that it used to be. So, next year I be putting some of my colonies a little farther away from home for better production.

    What more can I tell you?

    Oh, yeah. Iddee invited me here. We used to exchange ideas and beliefs on beesource. Thanks Iddee. Hi Bjorn and others.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Welcome and thanks for coming. A number of good people here, and more coming all the time.
     

  3. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Hello Mark.
    Nice to see you on the forum.
    Beesource...what is that..... :lol:
     
  4. rast

    rast New Member

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    Sure welcome your knowledge.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Glad to have you on board, your knowledge will be very welcome.

    Where in SC do you winter your bees?

    G3
     
  6. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Out Rt 378 from Conway, SC. Thirty or fourty miles inland from Myrtle Beach.
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    HA just got back from MB, burnt my white legs and white belly..................they don't ever see the sunshine.

    G3
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    From the map, it looks like you are wintering near where Joel does.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    welcome aboard mark.

    it is always pleasurable (and yes sometime profitable) to see a friendly and well experienced folk share what they know.
     
  10. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Thanks, tec. Back at ya.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Hello,
    Brasher Falls, small world, I lived for 18 years in Philadelphia, NY you probably know is about 50 miles south of you maybe alittle closer. I moved to Florida to get away from the extreme cold - 30 and 150 inches of snow. knowing it gets no colder then 22 is a bit easier to take then knowing that 22 is probably the days high.
    Good to have you on board.
    Barry
     
  12. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Thanks Barry. Yes, we are about 65 miles north of Phillie. Did you know Buster Smith from Antwerp? Or Bob Dake?

    We're above the snow belt , so we don't get the BIG snows, but it is colder here than it is in Watertown.

    When did you move to FL?
     
  13. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Yes I did, they are quite the group, I was amazed how they weren't killed by htier bees with how rough they were, and as always the perpetual cloud of bees following thier truck as it came bouncing out of the fields. Bob Drake nice guy met him on a few events, very level headed. I moved to Florida in 2003.
    Barry