Monthly Archives: October 2016

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

April 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes – 4/11/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 40 people attended.

Business – Mr. Ott sent assignments to mentors for the new beekeepers who finished the class. There were 33 students. James hosted a field day at his bee yard for the students on Saturday, March 19th for practical experience of opening a hive.

James asked the membership to approve a $250 donation to the town of Starr for use of the town hall location for our 2016 meetings. Passed.

Paul Horvath renewed his membership and Therese Moorhead joined today.

Treasurer’s Report – checking balance is $_____. The planning committee will investigate purchasing some more club equipment for member use in honey harvesting. Any ideas for other uses of funds will be considered.

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 members should beware of offers of “free bees” from swarms. Often removal from buildings and such is more involved than visible, and members must be competent to finish the job once started.

Varroa mites – Cornelia Buch saw a high volume of mites on her larva and bees. Early mite buildup could be due to early warming of temps. James suggested that with a high mite load now, she must treat now before putting on any honey supers. To ignore the mites now may result in a lost hive by fall. Judging from comments from beekeepers conducting mite counts last fall, those hives with VSH queens did have a significantly lower mite count – the hygienic characteristic does work.

Dave Miller showed an observation inner cover board he made with plexiglass. This allows for a quick inspection without fully opening the hive. It was questioned whether the bees will cover the plexiglass with burr comb to block out any light. Dave’s son in Nashville uses these successfully.

One member observed some swarming around the box entrance one afternoon, which later settled down. It was probably a hatching of new bees making their practice flights.

Which is better: to prevent a swarm, should you make a forced split (walk away) or just let them swarm and hope to catch them? A walk away split takes the queen for one new colony and the other half of the bees must make their own. If this is done at the wrong time of year with few nectar resources available, the queenless half of bees is unprepared and may produce a poor queen. A swarm is properly prepared and ready to start strongly – these usually make the strongest colonies.

What is a swarm trap? Could be any container with about the same volume of space as the deep hive box. It should have one frame of drawn comb to attract them; old foundation will do. It is best placed 500 to 600 yards away from your bee yard – bees are looking for a new location. There were many hilarious suggestions on placement: a hive box strapped up in a tree, a container on a tall step ladder, etc.

Melinda Beach had seen an outdoor presentation in Asheville by Brushy Mountain Bee Company where the speaker demonstrated beekeeping techniques within a screened telephone booth-like box. While wearing his bee suit inside, he could safely show how to install a package of bees to the public. That was an interesting teaching tool.

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 then enter your locations.

Door Prizes –Keith Raines brought 1 dozen fresh eggs, Billy Craft brought a package of ApiLife VAR, Dave Miller donated an observation inner cover, and Joe Kelly a queen excluder and stainless steel queen catcher.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

March 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes

3/14/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 50 people attended.

Business – Mr. Ott stated that the beginner beekeeping class will finish tomorrow, March 15th. There are 33 students. James will host a field day for students on Saturday, March 19th for practical experience of opening a hive.

James will be asking members to volunteer as mentors to those students living near them. This is an important aspect of the class to answer simple questions from new beekeepers and get them personally connected to the club. Also, the 3rd Saturday workshops will be continued.

Three members attended the State Beekeepers Spring meeting in Columbia on March 5th. Some of the topics covered were increased communications between clubs to get speakers, how to better market your products, sales tax exemptions, registering with your federal tax ID, moving bees across state lines, and grants for research.

Treasurer’s Report – checking balance is $_____

Dues for this calendar year were due 1/01/16. $25 checks made out to ACBA should be sent to David Miller, 152 Calm Cove, Anderson, 29626. $10 of this goes directly to the state. Please include your address, phone #, and email so we can update the roster. Unpaid members will be dropped from the email distribution list.

Announcements – Bees and supplies – these members will be selling:

Nucs: Joe Kelly (845-6663), James Ott (221-2123) will have nucs by 3rd or 4th week of March, and Billy Craft will have nucs by the 2nd or 3rd week of April.

Packages: Billy Craft (617-7630)

Supplies: Joe Kelly (845-6663), Billy Craft (617-7630) and David Miller – beetle traps (328-3243).

Queens: Joe Kelly (845-6663) around 3rd week in March.

Program – Bee Talk: Q & A.

James Ott stated that swarming has started early due to the warm weather. Red maple trees, red nettle, Bradford pear trees, and henbit are in full bloom, so colony buildup has begun.

Renae and Keith Ausburn found 40 queen cells in one box! They passed a photo. James said that will be disaster when each queen hatches. For every queen that leaves the hive, she takes part of the colony with her. Many of the queen cells were culled. Renae asked about doing a “forced split”. James does not recommend this for new beekeepers; it is possible to lose both hives. Two requirements for the forced split are fresh foundation in the new hive and supplemental feeding for at least two weeks. You have to trick the bees into thinking that they have already swarmed and need to work on setting up house.

Linda Rakey’s swarm evidently contained a queen who was unable to fly off, so came back to the concrete blocks underneath the hive. James extracted the swarm, put it into an empty hive body, and covered the entrance with a queen excluder strip to hold her in until settled. Never saw the queen, but it was possible she was injured or else had not yet dieted enough to fly. The new hive is prospering.

Hive beetles – seem to be lots this early. The adults overwinter. Be proactive on control, as a small number can explode into a hopeless invasion in a short time. One control discussed was putting a Swiffer pad in the top of a box; the beetles get tangled in the fibers. Make sure to use ones with no chemicals or fragrances. Beetle traps work some, but best control is when the hive is in full sun. Beetle larva pupate in cool, moist ground.

Question – Does a new beekeeper have to be on alert right away for varroa mites if purchasing a package of bees? Answer: Not for a while. Can treat later in the summer if necessary. Good control of mites is promising with VSH queens (Varroa Sensitive Hygienic – they cull out pupa that are infected with mites). Some members asked that we find how to purchase the Perdue queens that are famous for biting the legs off the mites. Dwight Wells covered that topic at the last summer conference. Joe Kelly reported that he will have VSH queens later in March.

Question – With limited money, should a new beekeeper buy one nuc or two packages of bees? Answer: At this time of year, with this flow of nectar, two packages placed into two hives could build up into productive colonies quickly. The advantage of a nuc is that it contains brood and is already working as a unit, but costs more than a package. The benefits of having two hives is that it is good for comparisons and if one hive is weak, it can be strengthened from the other hive.

Question – When do I add supers to divert a swarm? Before the upper super is almost honey-bound and there is nowhere for the colony to expand.

Door Prizes – Art and Paola Hilberts brought 2 dozen fresh eggs, and Billy Craft brought a shallow super with frames and foundation for the raffle.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

February 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes

2/09/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 36 people were present.

Business – Mr. Ott stated that the beginner beekeeping class will begin tomorrow, February 9th for 6 weeks. 31 have enrolled. Donations to help cover the class costs have been received from AgSouth Farm Credit, O’Neil Seed & Feed, and Southern States. The last two companies do carry some beekeeping supplies in stock, so please do shop there and thank them for making a donation. Several catalog companies are sending donations of supplies to the class.

James asked that members think about volunteering to be mentors to those students living near them. This is an important aspect of the class to answer simple questions from new beekeepers and get them personally connected to the club. Also, the 3rd Saturday workshops will be continued.

Treasurer’s Report – Dues for this calendar year were due 1/01/16. $25 checks made out to ACBA should be sent to David Miller, 152 Calm Cove, Anderson, 29626. $10 of this goes directly to the state. Please include your address, phone #, and email so we can update the roster. After the March meeting, unpaid members will be dropped from the email distribution list.

Some members have received notices from the State of lapsed memberships. You will receive an updated notice when the State receives the dues our club sends for you.

Announcements – If you want bees, get your name on a list now to be sure of availability. These members will be selling:

Nucs: Joe Kelly (845-6663), James Ott (221-2123) will have nucs by 3rd or 4th week of March, and Billy Craft will have nucs by the 2nd or 3rd week of April.

Packages: Billy Craft (617-7630)

Supplies: Joe Kelly (845-6663), Billy Craft (617-7630) and David Miller – beetle traps (328-3243).

Order your bees now, they are selling fast!!

Joe Duffy stated that Miller Manufacturing bought out Kelly Beekeeping supplies and will have a presentation and trade show at T. Ed Garrison arena on Wednesday, 2/17/16, 10 – 3pm. www.miller-cfm.com

One visitor, Mitchell Burdette, stated that sometimes frames from different companies do not match hive boxes and supers you may have. James Ott’s opinion is that Mann Lake catalog has good quality.

The invention, Flow Hive, for harvesting honey has garnered much interest on the internet. You can watch the system work on www.youtube.com.

Program – Jack Collins on annual tasks of beekeeping.

Beekeeping is year round, but in cycles. To have your bees pay for your supplies, take care of the bees all year.

Spring: Bees are now coming in with pollen getting ready to start increasing brood. Make sure there is adequate honey for them to consume or feed them to get them through to the first nectar flows. Red maple trees, tulip poplar, and dandelions are some of the first nectar producing plants. If one hive seems weak, this is the time to make a split from a strong hive. Jack had planted 2 to 3 acres of buckwheat near his hives. He is also analyzing white sweet clover and yellow clover as a crop for bees.

Summer: Be on watch for queen cells forming in advance of swarming. Add supers to make room for expanding honey reserves. Extracting and selling will take most of your time.

Fall: Jack has never treated any of his hives for varroa mites or hive beetles. This is the season to strengthen the bees to make it through winter.

Winter: Mr. Collins stated that Italian bees eat 40 more pounds of honey than other breeds. He leaves two supers on the hive for them. Remember to take the queen excluder off during the winter. Reduce the entrance to ½”.

Questions:

  1. Why doesn’t he have hive beetles? Answer: Jack lays felt roofing paper on the ground under the hives and covers lightly with mulch to discourage the larva from going to ground to pupate. Landscaping fabric will do the same.
  2. How to get rid of ants? Use cinnamon all around the hive; ants don’t like it.
  3. What is the danger from mosquitoes carrying Zika virus this year? There may be more spraying this year by the counties and the danger lies in the drifting of the insecticides onto food crops your bees may eat from.

Door Prizes – Art and Paola Hilberts brought 2 dozen fresh eggs for the raffle. A $10 free membership from Renae and Keith Ausburn for the State club was raffled. Dave Miller brought several beetle traps for the club.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

January 2016 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes

1/11/16

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. 20 people were present, despite it being the night of the Orange Bowl.

Business – Mr. Ott asked for input on programs for the New Year. The planning committee will be meeting to set up a schedule of programs similar to 2015. It was suggested that there be a speaker for most months and that they concentrate on subjects suitable for beekeepers on the lower levels of experience. For some months, Q & A sessions between members have been very popular. The Saturday workshops will be continued.

The beginner beekeeping class will begin February 9th at the library and continue for 6 weeks for a $50 cost. Please spread the word; only 3 or 4 have applied. Providing that ~20 people sign up, there should be no expense to the club. Dr. Hood will teach again. James Ott will be keeping the list of students. The flyer has been posted to our website.

James would like to have a club queen rearing class sometime after we establish bees in the spring. The purpose would not be to educate more people to sell queens, but by learning more about the queen, you become a better beekeeper.

Treasurer’s Report – checkbook balance at 1/11/16 was $______.

Dues for this calendar year were due 1/01/16. $25 checks made out to ACBA should be sent to David Miller, 152 Calm Cove, Anderson, 29626. $10 of this goes directly to the state. Please include your address, phone #, and email so we can update the roster.

Announcements – If you want bees, get your name on a list now to be sure of availability. These members will be selling:

Nucs: Joe Kelly (845-6663) and James Ott (221-2123) will have nucs the 2nd or 3rd week of March.

Packages: Billy Craft (617-7630)

David Miller: beetle traps (328-3243)

Program – Bee talk among members. Some questions asked:

What are several situations where you should requeen?

Drawn by communal feeding, why are there ground wasps trying to enter hive?

When should you replace dirty comb frames?

Should we feed syrup all winter?

Is it too cold to open hives for inspection?

Should we buy new queens from this area or get diverse genetics from other regions?

Comments by James Ott – To clarify an issue he has heard discussed, American Foul Brood cannot be killed by treatments twice per year of tetramycin; it only holds the disease down, but the bees keep spreading it everywhere. Only burning the live hive kills AFB.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary

November 2015 Minutes

Anderson County Beekeepers Association

Minutes

11/09/15

President James Ott opened the meeting at 7:00 pm, and Wilson Wheeler offered a prayer. 32 people were present.

Business – The Christmas Social will be held in a Golden Corral banquet room on December 14th at 6:00 pm. Members will pay their own way, spouses and children will be invited. Club funds will be used to purchase several hundred dollars worth of door prizes.

President, James Ott asked for 4 volunteers to be on the planning committee for the upcoming year. Dave Miller, Jim and Sarah Bach, Margaret Smith, and Danny Mitchell will assist in planning programs, workshops, and events for 2016. This committee effort has been successful in 2015.

Treasurer’s Report – checkbook balance at 11/09/15 was $_______.

Program – Virginia Webb demonstrated making many wax products.

Virginia is very active in the Apimondia group. She has won “Best Honey in the World” four times at the World Beekeeping Congress.

She spoke about saving cappings and burr comb for other uses. After straining the honey from the comb cappings well, she heats them over a hot plate in a double boiler of sorts. The cappings may be melted in a large tin can (with no liner) or a metal pitcher sitting within a metal pan containing hot water. Do not melt the wax over direct heat; the maximum temperature should not exceed 165 degrees. The melted wax is then poured through a strainer to remove any slum gum. She suggested the tops of pantyhose or sheer draperies as a strainer for craft wax items. If you are selling wax to a supplier, follow their specific directions for straining.

Mann Lake and Kelley Company have many candle and ornament supplies. Polyurethane molds are her favorite and can be used up to 300 times. Always use a release agent to coat the mold. A small level is used so the wax items will be uniform. She demonstrated how to put in a wick and how to make hangers for ornaments.

Virginia asked for volunteers to pour six different molds and those people got to keep the ornaments. When asked how to price the ornaments for sale, she suggested about $1 per ounce of wax required. It was mentioned that small wax ornaments hung around the neck of a honey jar increase salability.

Mrs. Webb also showed how to make a wax ornament using a water filled balloon – must be a helium quality balloon. This involved dipping the balloon into hot wax several times to build up a thick layer, then cutting the balloon for removal. She applied dried leaves and flowers to the outside, recoated the surface, and added a hanger to the top edge. This idea has been patented, so you may not sell this item.

Everyone in attendance was allowed to choose a wax ornament from her stash, which included bears, bees, angels, and others.

Bee Talk – none.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm.

Respectfully submitted, Linda Rakey, Secretary