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March 2017 Meeting Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Assoc.


  • President Dave Miller opened the meeting @ 7 pm.
  • Opening prayer by Wilson Wheeler
  • Linda Rakey gave the Treasurer’s Report – We have 72 paid members, a $ balance, receipts for dues payments are available, and 31  were in attendance
  • President Dave Miller-
    • WE STILL NEED A SECRETARY! Dodie Clark filled in tonight
    • Mentioned the joint NC/SC Beekeepers Meeting for Spring has past, but the Summer Meeting is in Charleston in July
    • Youth Education Grant monies are still available for each chapter to sponsor a student beekeeper
  • Danny Mitchell demonstrated how to install a package-
    • Set up your hive body in your apiary/yard
    • Pull out 5 frames from the hive body
    • Remove the queen cage from the package and set her in a safe place to the side (out of extreme weather)
    • Spray the package of bees with sugar water and then shake/bump the package to get them to the bottom of the container; then place the opened package in the hive body where the 5 frames were.
    • Remove the cork from the hole with the candy of the queen cage, place it horizontally on top of the package, and then close up hive body.
    • Check after a few days…the worker bees should have eaten the candy and released the queen from her cage. Remove the package container and queen cage. Put the 5 frames back in the hive body and close it up.
  • Dave Miller introduced his “Swarm Trooper”-
    • He and his son are marketing this lightweight swarm catcher made of corrugated plastic and that holds up to 5 frames. It has vents, entrance, feeder hole, and mounting straps. ONLY $40!
    • Bonus- If you are the first one to call him with a swarm captured in his invention, he will award you $50 if you allow him to take pictures of the captured swarm in the Swarm Trooper for marketing purposes.
  • Guest Speaker, Robin McGee, Herbalist of Earthwise Learning Center. Anderson, SC
    • She discussed her uses of honey and beeswax in her herbal medicines
      • Honey – (medicinal qualities alone)
        • Flower infused honeys (i.e. honeysuckle, passion flower, mimosa, rosemary, and elderberry for emotional and physical well-being)
        • Syrups/Elixirs (i.e. elderberry)
        • Topical applications (i.e. leg ulcers, acne, burns)
      • Beeswax- (great emulsifier and natural preservative)
        • Salves (i.e. chickweed, olive oil, and beeswax to make “relief balm” for burns)
        • Creams (i.e. violet leaves, olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, water to make dry skin reliever)
      • Propolis – She was asked about its use in herbal medicine. She affirmed its use in a tincture to fight bacterial infections
      • Plantain (Plantago major) – She mentioned that this common weed is one of the best remedies for honeybee stings. Chew it up and put it directly on the sting. Change every 10 minutes. It is supposed to reduce inflammation and relieves pain
      • You can peruse her classes at, or contact her for products (soaps, salves, creams, syrups, and tinctures) by e-mail: . Her husband also raises organic livestock (pork, chicken & eggs, beef) available for order via
  • Bee Question-
    • Linda’s only hive swarmed on March 8th and she wasn’t home to catch it. She asked about splitting her hives in February of next year to avoid early swarms. James Ott, said that is weather dependent (was it a fair winter again?), as well as on whether a queen is available for purchase in late winter.
  • Giveaway Winners-
    • Joe Duffy – butterfly house
    • Jim Bach – candle mold
    • Brad Tolbert- jar of hot pepper jelly


February 2017 Meeting Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 2/13/17

Thank you to Katrina Emirzian for taking minutes.  The Secretary position is still open, so people will have to take turns every month with notes and typing.

President Dave Miller opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. Wilson Wheeler offered a prayer. 35 people attended.  Linda Rakey brought refreshments for Valentine’s Day.

Business – $25 dues for the calendar year 2017 are overdue.  If you haven’t renewed your membership, please do so as soon as possible.  From last year’s roster, 35 members have been archived at the state level.

We need a volunteer on March 25 to promote the ACBA and Beekeeping at the Anderson County Library’s How-to Fair.  The morning session will be from 10am-12:30pm and the afternoon session will be from 1pm-3:30pm.  Please let us know if you are available to fill one of these slots.  This is the same day as our “field day” with the beekeepers class.

The State Association has a youth education grant available in the amount of $514.16.  The application must be submitted by April 15th.  It was suggested that the club also donate a portion of funds to help more than one youth get started in beekeeping.  Possible places to look: 4h Bee Program and Future Farmers of America.

We need mentors for our bee class participants – someone who can answer questions and be a point of contact.  Those in attendance that have already offered to mentor are: Wilson Wheeler, Mike Parker, Dave Miller, Tim Watkins, James Ott, and Linda Rakey

Treasurer’s Report – current balance is $

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

Dave Miller brought several styles of hives he has built from online plans and talked about hive types.
There are 10 frame and 8 frame hives.  They have the same basic components. A deep super/brood box, medium super, frames with wax or plastic foundation.  The bees prefer wax foundation as it is more natural to them, but they will draw out comb on plastic foundation if given that.  Not a good idea to mix them though as the bees will choose to work the wax foundation first.  You can use a shallow super for the honey as it is less heavy in weight, approx 30-35# compared to a medium at 50-54#. A shallow can also be used for cut comb.

The 8 frame hive takes up less space and weighs less when full.

We talked a little about the top bar hive.  Dave has not had good luck with his.

Gus lost 2 hives. He checked his week hive late January and most of the bees were dead.  There were a lot on the screen bottom and others looked frozen in place all over the comb.  They had plenty of honey stored.  Two weeks later, the hive next to it was dead as well.

The dearth was bad last year.  Too small of clusters have trouble surviving through winter.

A member lost a hive in January.  There were approx 10 dead bees in the bottom of the hive.  It had been active, but some ants were noticed entering the hive a few weeks prior.  Appeared to have run out of honey, or was robbed.

Another member lost 2 hives last fall.  Their stronger hive robbed them out.

By a raise of hands, it was shown that the majority of the club members have lost hives during their time as beekeepers.  We need to support each other and learn from these losses.

Follow-up from Fall mite treatments.  Api Life Var vs Oxalic acid treatments.  Mark Avery lost less this season by not using oxalic acid.  He lost 9 in the previous year.  He also used VSH queens and only had 1 of 10 hives with a treatable mite count.  James has used both methods.  He likes the ease of use and cost of the Api Life Var.

What we need to be doing now:  Check your honey stores.   Feed them, but excessive feeding can lead to early swarms.  It has been warm and plants are blooming early.  If your bees are doing really well, super up and give them more room to reduce the chance of swarming.  It is difficult to change a hives mind once they’ve decided to swarm.

Door Prizes – Lillian brought two aloe plants, Billy donated a 3# package of bees, Dodie brought a bag of buckwheat, and Katrina brought a bottle of her Goats Milk Lotion

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Please keep quiet while other club members are talking.  Save your question or wait until after the meeting for private conversations.

Beginner Beekeeping Course Scolarship

The Anderson Garden Club generously sponsored a young beekeeper’s fee for participating in the 2015 beekeeping course.  Here is a photo of Ryan W. accepting the check covering his tuition for the course.  We congratulate Ryan and thank the Anderson Garden Club.  Here’s to the next generation of beekeepers!