Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

April 2017 Meeting Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes 4/10/17

Thank you to Jim Bach for taking this month’s minutes at the meeting; we are still in need of a permanent Secretary.  Call Dave Miller 328-3243 to volunteer.

Wilson Wheeler offered a prayer to open meeting at 7:00 pm in the Starr Town Hall

Dave Miller welcomed everyone and said that the meeting’s format would be questions, answers and comments.

Business:

  • $142 dollars needed for web site renewal.  Expense was approved by membership.
  • Put members’ names who sell honey and supplies on website. Add Joe Kelly, Danny Mitchell, & James Ott.
  • State summer meeting will be in Florence.  James Ott commented that with all that Clemson does for bee keeping that the meeting should be in Clemson, especially since it was in Charleston last year
  • Listed who was mentoring whom.  Class members were emailed that list.
  • Danny Mitchel asked if club was interested in another extractor.  For about $100.00 in material he could convert an extractor he had to a radial one.  He could have it ready for this year.

Comments:

  • Who has had a swarm? Many hands were raised.  In catching a swarm, avoid those that are located 20 feet up.  This is for safety reasons.  First swarm from a colony contains the older queen.  James Ott requeens these swarms unless the queen is very productive.  Be sure to feed your captured swarm.
  • Dave Miller has swarm traps for sale and is offering $50 to the first two people who can video a swarm being caught in his traps.
  • Lemon grass oil and pheromones are used inside the traps to attract the bees.
  • Don’t put the swarm trap near your bee yard; put it farther away from you to catch both your bees swarming and others.
  • James Ott said that the same hive can have multiple swarms.
  • Member with a Flow Hive says that it is looking promising that he may get some honey this summer.  Members would like to see the extraction.

Questions:

  • Question on Grant money to be used for 4H kids.  This money could be used for a whole hive, bees, and bee outfit for the beginner beekeepers.  The grant was requested from the state a month ago, but there is no reason to wait.  Our club can fund approximately $500 to get the process going now.  The membership approved the motion and James Ott & Joe Kelly were put in charge of this task.  Jeremy Brick’s children are the recipients of this donation since they are in both 4-H and our bee club.
  • Is now the time to put on honey supers?  Yes, add the honey super if 80% of the frames have been drawn out and bees are on the other two. Frames with drawn comb and cut comb frames can be added to the new super to promote progress.  Start in the center and stagger these frames with undrawn frames.
  • How does one get the practical exam which is needed to be a certified bee keeper? Email Dave Miller or James Ott for information.
  • Is it necessary to have a certified honey house in order to sell your honey to the public.  No.  A person can apply to the State for an exemption.  This will require an approved label and allow the person to sell up to 400 gallons of honey, but only to the end user, not to stores.
  • When should one requeen?   Requeening may be necessary if there is an egg laying worker or signs that the hive is queenless.  A queenless hive is usually noisey and very agitated.

 

Gifts:  Several people brought in things to be raffled to members:  two perennial plants, a queen excluder, a Swarm Trooper, jelly, and fresh eggs.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:30

March 2017 Meeting Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Assoc.

3/13/17

  • 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 www.earthwiselearningcenter.com, or contact her for products (soaps, salves, creams, syrups, and tinctures) by e-mail: robinmcgee16@gmail.com . Her husband also raises organic livestock (pork, chicken & eggs, beef) available for order via www.carolinagrassfedbeef.com
  • 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.

November 2016 Meeting Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 11/14/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm.    Wilson Wheeler offered a prayer.  22 people attended.

Business – James Ott had prepared ballots for election of officers for the two year term starting January 1st.  The slate included Dave Miller as President, James as Vice President, Linda Rakey as Secretary, Renae Ausburn as Treasurer, and per our ByLaws, a Chaplain, Wilson Wheeler.  The duties of membership will be removed from the Secretary and added to the Treasurer’s responsibilities.  Renae and Linda will confer on how to do this.

The holiday party will again be at the Golden Corral banquet room on December 12th  at 6:00 pm.  Members will purchase their own dinners and are responsible for tips at their tables.  Gifts will be purchased by the club to distribute to attendees.

Treasurer’s Report – Dave Miller reported that many members have already paid the 2017 dues.  A dues notice was mailed to all.

WebsiteBill Glenn was absent.

Program – Bee Talk:  Q & A.

If your bees have few or no honey stores, you must feed through winter.  Be sure to remove the queen excluder from above the brood, so the queen can feed, too.

Jim Bach has been feeding his bees from a community feeder.  He plans to transition to feeding within the hive as it gets colder.

There were many questions about the best way to feed.  A top feeder is the one most commonly used, but the feeding area may not be directly over the cluster.  Bees will not leave the cluster around the queen and brood to partake of syrup if it is not close enough; they would rather starve.

Some people use an upside down jar of syrup with holes in the lid, like that on a Boardman feeder.  They put the jar within another empty hive body or medium super.  That way the jar can be moved around over the cluster.  This does create a lot of dead air space above the frames to be warmed.  James said to put two pencil-sized spacers under the jar to allow for bee access space.

There is also a kind of inner cover with two jar lid-sized holes cut in it and screen across them.  The addition can be rotated so the holes are closer to the cluster.  As long as the jar lid sets directly on the screen, the bees can feed from it and this would keep the frames warmer.

You may put your plastic bottom trays back in for the winter to keep out the cold wind.

Has anyone noticed a difference in bee behavior since our area has been covered by wildfire smoke?  It must be disruptive to the colony in some way, but no one could say.

Joe Kelly stated that in more than 40 years of beekeeping, he has never seen a more difficult year for bees.  Everyone is concerned about the outcome of this winter season.  With the summer drought coming so early in the year, there was no stimulation for the queen to lay enough eggs for a strong colony.  After lack of laying comes a drop in population, then all the problems and diseases of a small colony.

Someone asked about the color of pollen coming into their hive.  The orange pollen may be from goldenrod or camellia/sasanqua.  White or gray pollen may be old pollen.

Door Prizes –Dana Leonhirth brought a dozen duck eggs.  Danny Mitchell won them.  Thanks, Dana!  Members are encouraged to bring any door prizes, not just bee stuff.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

October 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 10/10/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm.    Wilson Wheeler offered a prayer.  23 people attended.

Business – James Ott is trying to line up officers to be voted in for the two year term starting January 1st.  Officers are President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Chairman (new position), Treasurer, and Chaplain (required by original By-Laws).  According to the By-Laws, the President cannot succeed himself.  Officers will be voted on at the December meeting.  To volunteer, contact James.

The membership was questioned about a holiday party.  It was decided to meet again at the Golden Corral banquet room on December 12th  at 6:00 pm.  Members will purchase their own dinners and are responsible for tips at their tables.  Gifts will be purchased by the club to distribute to attendees.

$25 dues for the calendar year 2017 will be collected between October and December 31st.  The state association wants their portion ($10) in January.  A membership dues notice will be mailed to all.

Treasurer’s Report – Dave Miller was absent.

WebsiteBill Glenn has posted new items to the Resources section of the club website, www.andersonbeekeepers.org, to help members legally sell their honey.

  1. a copy of an application for honey exemption,
  2. an article describing how to properly label jars,
  3. the rules of how many pounds may be sold and to whom,
  4. and a link to the state site.

The club’s monthly minutes for two years have also been added.

A closed Facebook group has been opened for our members.  It is named Beekeepers Community of Upstate SC.  Renae Ausburn and Bruce Garner are the administrators for the site.  Only those in the group will see the posts.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/533767900148226/

 

Program – Bee Talk:  Q & A.

Randolph Pearson brought seeds to share from his Korean Evodia tree, commonly called Be-be tree.  His trees flower in July and August when there are fewer flowers for nectar.  The blossoms are covered by bees.  This is a slow growing tree to ~30’ in a sunny location.  More than one is necessary, since there are male and female trees.

Mitchell Burdette has recently lost hives and doesn’t know why.  Could it be foulbrood disease?  If he is unsure, he always burns the whole hive and bees.  There was plenty of honey in his hive so they weren’t robbed, they were not lying dead on the ground, and there was no foul odor.  Bees in contact with neonicotinoids on plants often suffer from navigation problems and cannot find their home.  No other members at the meeting had exactly the same problem.

Brad Cavin, the state Apiary Inspector, routinely takes samples and tests of 10 to 15 colonies for levels of incoming diseases – those not appearing in our area yet.  You may contact Brad at scavin@clemson.edu or 864-596-2993 if you suspect a disease.

One member asked why their bees look so small.  Too much inbreeding?  Also, there are types of smaller bees, but Mr. Ott ventured an opinion that maybe they simply haven’t fattened up due to the poor weather and little food.  It was suggested that bees be fed pollen for protein now.  Not in the hive, as that would draw hive beetles, but from a covered area, like a blue bird feeder placed near the hive.  Dry pollen can be purchased for about $10/1 # or $90/50 lbs.

Mr. Ott stated that you better be feeding sugar syrup during this dearth to ensure your bees will be healthy enough to get through winter.  They have probably already consumed much of their stored honey.  Mr. Randolph said he puts ~1/2 cup of plain vinegar into 5 gallons of syrup to keep it fresh and to prevent mold.  Some people put Honey Bee Healthy into the syrup also.

Be sure and remove empty supers to discourage hive beetles.  Hive excluders should be removed going into winter so the queen can go up into the honey stores.  If she is blocked, the colony will not leave her to go eat and all will starve to death together.

Ryan Whitfield described his comb as filled with royal jelly – bees do not store royal jelly.  He will send a photo to James, but Mitchell Burdette and Mr. Pearson will go to see Ryan’s hive to make sure it isn’t a disease.

Question:   How many frames of brood should be in a healthy hive at this time of year?  3 to 5 frames of brood would be good.  May need to have plenty of honey to get them through till spring.

Door Prizes –None.  Members are encouraged to bring any door prizes, not just bee stuff.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

September 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 9/12/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 31 people attended.

Business – At the present time, the motorized extractor Mr. Ott has ordered is on backorder status.

James Ott is trying to line up officers to be voted in for the two year term starting January 1st. Officers are President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Chairman (new position), Treasurer, and Chaplain (required by original By-Laws). According to the By-Laws, the President cannot succeed himself. To volunteer, contact James.

$25 dues for the calendar year 2017 will be collected between October and December 31st. The state association wants their portion ($10) in January. A membership dues notice will be mailed to all.

Welcome to new member Lillian Bevill from Anderson.

Treasurer’s Report – Dave Miller stated the checking balance is $_____.

A check was written for the $250 donation to Starr for use of the building.

WebsiteA few items have been sent to Bill Glenn for posting to the club website, www.andersonbeekeepers.org. These should help educate members on how to legally sell their honey:

  1. a copy of an application for honey exemption,
  2. an article describing how to properly label jars,
  3. the rules of how many pounds may be sold and to whom,
  4. and a link to the state site.

The club’s monthly minutes may be added under a new category, if approved.

A closed Facebook group has been opened for our members. It is named Beekeepers Community of Upstate SC. Renae Ausburn and Bruce Garner are the administrators for the site. Only those in the group will see the posts. https://www.facebook.com/groups/533767900148226/

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

A Zika virus forum discussion of spraying for mosquitoes occurred recently, led by the County Emergency Management Department. Officials explained the various components of the issue, but no rules have been established. Mr. Ott has been involved in pushing for another discussion of some ethics and rules. Afraid in the end that the phrase “human health concern” may trump saving bees. For now, beekeepers should register their hive locations at www.kellysolutions.com/clemson/beekeepers/ . You will be contacted by email or phone to warn when spraying will occur near your yards. As of now, pesticide applicators are not even required to look at the site, but it will make it harder to get reimbursement for losses if you are not registered.

James warned that you must treat for varroa mites if you expect to overwinter your bees. If you are using ApiLife VAR for varroa mite control, start the 3 week treatment NOW. Later will be ineffective.

Linda Rakey lost one of her two hives. Noticing that one hive wasn’t taking as much syrup as the other, she opened the hive to find sunken, rather moldy looking sections of comb. While taking a photo to send for diagnosis, a large worm crawled out – wax moths. The hive was disassembled, the frames set out for bees to clean out the open honey, then the frames were put into the freezer to kill the moth larvae and eggs. They may stay there all winter.

Katrina brought some used Swiffer duster clothes to show how many hive beetles she had trapped in the fibers. Some members swear by the beetle traps that hang between the frames and some rely on an oil tray underneath the hive. Many use all three factors together to keep beetles under control.

Mrs. Rakey sprinkled Terro ant killer granules around her hives to discourage the streams of black ants coming to the top feeders. While this has worked, Mr. Ott does not recommend any insecticide around hives.

The large carnivorous European hornets have been spotted grabbing flying honeybees lately. Some people mistakenly refer to them as Japanese hornets, but we don’t have this species here.

Considering the dearth of nectar lately, you may consider feeding your hives. A simple 50/50 ratio of sugar and water works, but doesn’t need to be perfect. James said fill a gallon jug half full of sugar, fill to top with water, and shake to dissolve. He recommends a top feeder on the hive or a 5 gallon bucket of syrup set away from any hives. A boardman feeder on the front of the hive may promote robbing. With all feeding, reduce the entrance size to discourage the excited bees from robbing. If you are using honey for feeding, make sure to dilute it.

Beware of new homes being built near your apiary. Chemicals are regularly used to help establish new lawns and are probably toxic to bees.

Door Prizes – Dave Miller brought 3 potted vitex plants. It is a small tree/shrub with late summer purple flowers bees love. Renae Ausburn brought homemade cupcakes. Members are encouraged to bring any door prizes, not just bee stuff.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

August 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 8/08/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 26 people attended.

Business – At the present time, the motorized extractor Mr. Ott has ordered is on backorder status.

James Ott stated that the club needs to fill the job of Vice President to be able to transition into the President’s role in January. Linda Rakey also suggested that the current Secretary’s duties be divided between the Secretary and a new board position, Membership Chairman. The club has grown to 92 paid members and duties have expanded.

Welcome to new member Alton Owens from Anderson.

Treasurer’s Report – Dave Miller stated the checking balance is still $_____.

The $250 donation to Starr for use of the building has been written yet.

WebsiteMembers discussed what items we could add to the website. The question was whether members could be listed as selling honey or supplies. This gets into whether they are selling legally by having an exemption, properly labeled jars, and how many pounds they can sell. It was described as opening a can of worms.

Then the question became what do our members want to see on our website? A few suggestions were made: more photos, a copy of an exemption, an article describing how to properly label jars, the rules of how many pounds may be sold and to whom, and a link to the state site. Preparing these items for the website is not the job of the webmaster; we are to write them up and he posts them.

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

James Ott noted that with the lack of rain he has noticed foul temperaments in his hive and the bees seem more calm after a rain. He was also surprised to find that hive beetle populations seem low.

If you are using ApiLife VAR for varroa mite control, begin in the next week or so. Temperature highs should not exceed 95 degrees during the 3 week treatment, or could drive the colony out. Need colonies to be varroa mite free going into winter in order to survive. Honey supers must be removed before application.

Katrina said she lost a hive last month due to wax moths. She thought there was plenty of honey on the hive, but may have lost the queen then the population plummeted and the moths moved in. Can she save the wax and frames? No; may contain disease or moth larvae.

If your bees die with their heads pointed into the comb that is a sign of starvation.

Gus stated one of his hives is not doing well. 5 to 6 weeks ago, the colony was fine. Now there is no brood and he can’t find the queen. No supercedure cells had formed. He bought a new queen, installed correctly and she was accepted, he thought. Now can’t find her and still no brood. What to do? Answer: the original queen may have been there all along, but with high temps and no rain, she may not be stimulated to lay eggs. Take a frame of open, fresh eggs and brood from another hive and place into troubled one. This may cause queen cell production (if there isn’t one in there). Start feeding now to stimulate egg laying to build up before winter.

If you have a hive that has been queenless for 3 or 4 weeks, it is nearly impossible to requeen. You should combine that hive with a strong one. To combine, use a bee escape frame to funnel all the weak bees into one box. Remove the queen excluder from the strong hive and add a single sheet of newspaper (with one small slit) on top of that hive. Put the queenless group on top of that. It will take several days for the weak colony to get used to the new queen smell and eat their way through the newsprint to join the colony. Use the same technique to combine two weak hives, but one queen must be killed and allow a 24 hour delay before starting.

Joe Kelly predicted that these hot and dry weather conditions and lack of nectar and pollen may present unusual problems getting through winter.

Question: If you start feeding now, will the colonies draw out fresh comb on new frames? No, too late.

Question: Can you purchase drawn comb? Possible, but you may be buying disease spores and insect eggs in the comb. Not recommended

Renae Ausburn has been practicing marking queens. Instead of the expensive markers sold online, she bought one from Hobby Lobby. It is a Testors brand, opaque paint pen, and is non toxic. Mr. Ott recommended she would get more practice by using drones.

American Foul Brood disease has been located in the Upstate. Someone asked if this could be passed to their hive by wearing the same gear in various bee yards. Mr. Ott stated that you should always torch your hive tool; that is the usual way of spreading disease.

Door Prizes – Keith Raines brought fresh eggs, and Katrina brought homemade peach jam.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

July 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 7/11/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 34 people attended.

Business – Mr. Ott is still pursuing the best price for a motorized 9-frame extractor, hot knife, and decapping tank for members’ use.

James Ott stated that the club needs to fill the job of Vice President to be able to transition into the President’s role in January. Linda Rakey also suggested that the current Secretary’s duties be divided between the Secretary and a new board position, Membership Chairman. The club has grown to 92 paid members and duties have expanded.

Welcome to new members Michael Parker from Belton and Dana Leonhirth from Anderson.

Treasurer’s Report – Dave Miller was absent but sent a message stating the checking balance is still $_____.

Someone asked if the donation to Starr for use of the building has been paid yet. No answer.

Announcements – Bees and supplies – these members are selling:

Supplies: Joe Kelly (845-6663) has ApiLife VAR mite treatment, beetle traps, & other supplies, and David Miller has beetle traps & observation (clear) inner covers (328-3243).

Possible queens: Call Joe Kelly.

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

If we have finished harvesting honey, should we apply treatment now for varroa mites? Not yet. ApiLife VAR directions say to apply when temperature highs are between 64 & 95 degrees. If too hot, the fumes will drive the bees out of the hive. August should have better temperatures, but early is better to have your bees healthy going into winter. Honey supers must be removed before application.

How to store dedicated honey supers once they have been extracted and are no longer needed on the hive? Just stack them up with a queen excluder on the top and bottom of the stack to prevent mice from entering. Wax moths will not be attracted to a dedicated honey super because it has never contained any pollen.

Is it too early to start feeding? Depends on how much honey the bees have available in their own super. If you need to feed now, remove your honey supers so they don’t get diluted with sugar water and limit the hive entrance to the smallest width to protect against robbing.

If you want to provide ventilation with a spacer, put screen over the oval hole in the inner cover so outsiders cannot enter.

Watch for small hive beetles. At this time of year, just a few can blossom into an epidemic quickly. Jennifer Jordan uses half of a Swiffer sweeper pad (unscented, plain) on top of her supers and catches 20 beetles per super. Their feet get tangled in the fibers when they run to the top to hide. Replace with new pads when they are old.

Does feeding in the open from a five gallon bucket attract more insects? James Ott is a fan of the community feeder and does not see a problem with drawing others. He puts sticks and leaves in the syrup so the bees don’t drown. A community feeder can be made from many items, including a chicken feeder. If ants are a problem, set the feeder into a pan containing shallow water and a mosquito dunk.

How to requeen? Kill the old queen and allow the hive to go queenless at least 24 hours. A queen cage contains the queen, a few attendants, corks at both ends, and some candy covering one cork. Pull the cork out of the end with the candy and place in the hive. Slightly tilt the candy end up so that any dead attendants don’t block the exit. It will take a day or so for the hive to get used to the queen and the workers to eat through the candy to free her. You should see eggs in a week or so, since most queens are already mated.

How to combine a weak hive with a stronger one? Weak hives need to be combined with another now so they have time to build up for winter. Kill the weak queen and use a bee excluder on that hive to get all the bees concentrated into one box. Cover the top of the strong hive with a sheet of newspaper with a few tiny slits cut into it. Set the weak hive on top. The weak bees get used to the queen’s scent and gradually eat their way through the newspaper to join the colony. Then remove the weak hive box.

How much of a super needs to be capped before harvest? 90%

Door Prizes – Keith Raines brought fresh eggs.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

June 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 6/13/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 30 people attended.

Business – Mr. Ott is still pursuing the best price for a 9-frame extractor, hot knife, and decapping tank for members’ use.

James Ott stated that the club needs to fill the job of Vice President to be able to transition into the President’s role in January. His committee to find a VP met after the general meeting to discuss candidates.

Welcome to new member Calvin Kaufman from Anderson.

Africanized bees have been confirmed in Charleston. Brad Cavin did the confirmation.

Treasurer’s Report – Dave Miller was absent but sent a message stating the checking balance is $_____.

Ryan Whitfield, a student government officer, made a presentation to the club asking for a donation to Crescent High School’s Student Government Association. A donation would help support travels to the student government conventions and leadership camps. A motion was made and approved to donate $300 to Crescent High at the President’s Circle Sponsorship level which promotes our club’s name in their advertising.

Announcements – Bees and supplies – these members are selling:

Supplies: Joe Kelly (845-6663), Billy Craft (617-7630) – ApiLife VAR mite treatment, beetle traps, & other supplies, and David Miller – beetle traps & observation (clear) inner covers (328-3243).

Possible queens: Call Joe Kelly, James Ott (221-2123) and Billy Craft.

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

James Ott asked Leonard Camidge how his “flow hive” was doing. Leonard discussed issues, but is not ready to harvest yet.

How to store dedicated honey supers once they have been extracted and are no longer needed on the hive? Just stack them up with a queen exluder on the top and bottom of the stack. Wax moths will not be attracted to a dedicated honey super because it has never contained any pollen.

Bearding – is this normal? Yes, the bees are making room inside the hive for air flow. If you give extra ventilation by using a spacer, they will probably pack the space with propolis.

One member is changing their bee’s honey super from medium to shallow due to the excessive weight. Is that still enough space for the bees? Yes.

Gus Plagianis doesn’t want to take any honey from his new hives this year. Is that okay? Yes, but James encouraged him to take a little for himself.

One member was marking his queen when she “fainted”. He thought he had killed her, but looked up fainting queen on the internet to find this has occurred elsewhere. She did recover later, and he named her “drama queen”.

There was discussion of the Bee Cause Grant Program which puts observation hives in elementary schools. Our club has money to do this, but the grant program cost seems high.

Old queens in swarmed colonies may need to be replaced in fall. (You can give her away to someone needing an emergency queen.)

With the Zika virus mosquito scare, more spraying could be done this year. Register your hive locations through Clemson University to be notified by email when a pesticide applicator may be spraying near you. Go to www.kellysolutions.com/clemson/beekeepers/ and register to get a password, and then enter your locations.

Door Prizes

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

May 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 5/09/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 37 people attended.

Business – Mr. Ott asked the membership if they wished to upgrade the club’s extractor. It was suggested the club purchase a 9-frame extractor, a hot knife, and decapping tank for members’ use. Since it is time to begin harvesting, James will start shopping.

James Ott stated that the club needs to fill the job of Vice President to be able to transition into the President’s role in January. He asked for a committee to find a VP now. Joe Duffy, Linda Rakey, Joe Kelly, and James volunteered.

Treasurer’s Report – checking balance is $_____.

Announcements – Bees and supplies – these members are selling:

Nucs: Joe Kelly (845-6663), James Ott (221-2123)

Supplies: Joe Kelly (845-6663), Billy Craft (617-7630) – ApiLife VAR mite treatment, beetle traps, & other supplies, and David Miller – beetle traps & observation (clear) inner covers (328-3243).

Queens: Call Joe Kelly, James Ott and Billy Craft.

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

James Ott stated that there is much talk of the “flow hive”, but he has not heard how owners like it. In our group, Leonard Camidge has one, but is not ready to harvest yet.

Gus Plagianis took the class last year, attended all the workshops, and got his first two hives this March. Thanks to all the workshop experience, he determined that one colony exhibited textbook behavior and is now drawing out the first super. The second hive he labeled as “crazy”. After two weeks they made a small swarm, which he caught and added a hive for them. Three weeks later they swarmed again and he lost half the original colony. He caught that swarm also, so now has 4 hives. Question: He sees no eggs in new hives. Is it too early to see egg laying from a new queen or should he buy a queen now? Answer: give the new queen up to 3 weeks before giving up and putting in a new mated queen.

What do you do if you have a laying worker? How do you tell which worker is laying? Answer: A laying worker is the hive’s last attempt to save its colony, but they can only lay drones. Danny Mitchell had this situation and got rid of the laying worker by taking the hive “down the road”, brushed off all the bees, and took the frames back home. A laying worker can’t fly home (too heavy), so he introduced a new queen and it worked.

One member made the mistake of removing a few frames and the bees immediately built a curtain of hanging comb in place of the missing frames. You can cut out the curtain, wire it onto an empty frame for them to fill, but it will be weak when you try to spin it out because of no wires in the center. Make a habit of always putting the frames back in before closing up the hive.

Question: How often is too often to look in the hive? It takes about 24 hours for the bees to calm down due to the disruption of smoke. Unless you are monitoring a problem, every two weeks is fine. Without using smoke, you can just take off the lid to check for space more often.

Question: If you are too hands-off with your care of a hive, what happens? At this time of year the foragers are working hardest and dying off at the fastest rate. If you lose a queen now, the colony can go down quickly.

Question: After a swarm, should you scrape off all the queen cells from the parent hive? No, leave 3 or 4 big queen cells in the swarmed box to hatch into the replacement queen.

To keep a swarm in place in their new hive, use a queen guard across the entrance. A mated queen is too large to get through, but the workers have no trouble. Once you see large amounts of pollen coming in on the workers, you can remove the queen guard because you know the queen is laying.

James Ott has used the pheromone spray Swarm Commander to interest them to stay in a box.

Question: One member had a lid lined with Styrofoam that the bees are eating. What to do? Answer: scrape out the Styrofoam; don’t need it.

Do not break up a cluster of brood by alternating nuc frames with drawn frames. The bees will be forced to only attend to one portion and let the others die.

Question: When do you rotate out old blackened frames from the brood box? It is recommended that the old frames be replaced every 3 to 5 years due to buildup of insecticides in the wax. Rotate in new frames in late winter when the cluster has moved up and the frames are empty, not now.

Question: The brood chamber is packed with nectar and I have no drawn comb to provide in place of some frames. What to do? Spin out a few frames to make room.

Old queens in swarmed colonies may need to be replaced in fall. (You can give her away to someone needing an emergency queen.)

With the Zika virus mosquito scare, more spraying could be done this year. Register your hive locations through Clemson University to be notified by email when a pesticide applicator may be spraying near you. Go to www.kellysolutions.com/clemson/beekeepers/ and register to get a password, and then enter your locations.

Door Prizes –Dave Miller donated a nuc observation inner cover and a Millerbees “feed easy” – sits on top of inner cover hole, holds 2 quart mason jars, jars can be changed without bees coming out, bees cannot drown, ventilation around jars but beetles and wax moths cannot enter.

Jim Bach brought free vegetable starts of tomatoes, hot peppers, and eggplant.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary