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  From last year’s roster, 35 members have been archived at the state level.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.

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