Monthly Archives: April 2017

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.


  • $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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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