August 2013 Minutes

Person County Beekeepers Association
Date:  August 15, 2013
Location: Person County Office Building, Room 165

MINUTES.  Mary opened the meeting with a thank you to all whose contributions helped PCBA earn NCSBA’s Golden Achievement award (now framed, by Carol Carter).

PROGRAM–WAX CRAFTS.   Inge introduced Monica Warner, a master beekeeper and Todd Warner’s wife and partner in a Certified Naturally Grown bee business in which she’s responsible for queen-rearing …for Monica’s first presentation on wax crafts.

Monica said Todd got them into it.  While their beeyard expanded from 2 to 50-plus hives, she grew from watching from the kitchen window to “growing” a bee beard!  In 2007, they started experimenting with selling soap and candles at small festivals and now sell their hive products in 30 retail stores as well as at festivals and farmers’ markets.  Products range from candles to cosmetics.

How to do it?   Wax preparation depends on your market or competition goals.   For competition, products should be collected in the same year from your own bees, taking care not to scorch wax with hot knife.   Drain cappings, using an uncapping tank, cappings bag or cheesecloth.  Let the bees clean it, then finish by melting cappings in a double boiler pot over boiling water, in an electric or solar wax melter, from which it can be filtered.

Choose your molds (should be dedicated to wax creations). Make tree decorations in Christmas cookie mold, for instance.  Novelties may include ornaments, figurines or luminaries.    Choose wicking appropriate to candle size.   She prefers cotton wicking.   Pickle the wick by presoaking in beeswax. and spray molds with mold release while wax melts. (Paint can over boiling water works.) Do not stir as this will re-incorporate impurities that otherwise fall to the bottom.

Pour wax into mold in a single pour to keep the item from showing a crack or even coming apart.   Then WAIT.   Bigger items take longer to cool.  If the metal is still warm, the wax is too soft.   Tea lights may be ready in 20 minutes, but pillars may take several hours.  Cool on counter, not in frig.

Some wicks are placed before pouring wax and some after.  Trim wicks and pack them in boxes, or bags or shrink wrap so the wax doesn’t get dented or gritty.   Ripples mean wax was too hot.

Monica shared supplies so everyone could make their own candles rolled from foundation wax.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT.  Mary shared a thank you note from Debbie Harrelson for the honey given by PCBA for a door prize for the NC Cooperative Extension Administrative Professionals Association and a congratulatory note from Brushy Mtn for winning the best chapter award.    She thanked Inge for great article in the Courier-Times on July 31 about the award.   (Inge also sent this article to Brushy Mtn,  American Bee Journal, and NCSBA.)

MINUTES.   July Minutes were approved as distributed by e-mail.   Extractor policies were distributed.

ACTION:  Todd Walker will create a new section on the PCBA website and extractor policy will be available under “Resources.”

TREASURER’S REPORT.   Amanda (absent) provided a written Finance Report (attached), read by Lynn, showing a beginning balance of $1616.43 and an ending balance of $1891.50.

STUDENT BEEKEEPER SPONSORSHIP.   Inge met with Farmers Market Board about placing demonstration hive at Farmers‘ Market and they are checking on possibilities.  She will meet with FFA sponsor to find out if they would like to be responsible for the hives if we spend the $700 grant  from NCSBA and Brushy Mtn gift certificates for this purpose.   FFA is already managing the garden at the Farmers’ Market.   Todd recommends we provide nucs with locally-raised queens at the package price.    Signage about hives and PCBA-sponsorship is still to be explored.   A clarification about who gets money if hive products are sold will be added to the partnership agreement with FFA.   Inge noted that PCBA could also do workshops and demos at the community hive site to supervise students’ hive management efforts.

ACTION:   PCBA endorsed Inge’s continuing efforts toward sponsoring student management of a community demonstration hive.

FUNDRAISER-BALL CAPS.   Inge brought 3 samples and group requested that minimum order (unknown) be split between hats with structured and unstructured fronts.    If not, the majority preferred the hat with the structured front.   The color will be “bedrock.”  Sell price:  $12 each.

ACTION:  Inge will bring design options to the September meeting.

FUNDRAISER-HONEY OF THE MONTH.   Calvin Boyd and Todd Walker have already donated honey for this project.   Carol, Mac (and Amanda), Geneva (and Lewis) will also donate 2 jars each.  The group agreed to provide one raffle ticket for each $1 donation.  Inge shared her raffle ticket design.

ACTION:   Raffle tickets will be sold by PCBA members and at Farmers’ Market on August 17 and on Sept 28 (Kids Special) and at Personality Festival on August 24.

ACTION:   Contact Inge to request tickets to sell

ACTION:   Drawing for the Honey-Every-Month prize will be at the November PCBA meeting.

DISPLAY CASES.   Mike Lagaly is working on a display case for PCBA ribbons to be mounted at the Person County office building.   Carol volunteered to help Inge work on an educational display for the large exhibit case here.


ACTION:   Jim Hayward, Carol Carter, Inge Kautzmann, Mary Deitz, Calvin Hester and Tim Gentry will represent PCBA at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, August 17.

ACTION:  Carol Carter and Mac and Amanda Blanks will represent PCBA at the Personality Festival on Saturday, August 24.   Calvin Hester,  Todd Walker and Inge Kautzmann will represent PCBA in the afternoon.

ACTION:   Come by and help if you can!

NOMINATING COMMITTEE.   Tom (and Linda) Savage will chair this committee with Amanda Blanks and Calvin Hester as members, and present a slate of officers to the November meeting.

FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE.   Mac Blanks agreed to chair the Fundraising Committee.  Tim Harris agreed to serve.  Mary will also ask Michele Warren to serve.

GRAFTING WORKSHOP.   Carol, Cecil, and the Lagalys joined the workshop at Todd and Inge’s.

FREE SUGAR SHAKE JARS.   Orange and Chatham beekeepers put together a lot of sugar shake jars that David Bailey is now making available at his shop FREE.

FIELD DAY–WAX WORKSHOP.   Coming up on Saturday, September 28 at 2 pm and beginning with potluck lunch, this workshop gives PCBA members a chance to create luminaries, lotions, bee balm and candles.   Inge also asked members if there is anything else they’d like to try.    Products may become part of State Fair entries.

DAVID BAILEY.   David says thanks for making his first months on the job so rewarding.  He has a few queens for sale and will buy your bottled honey at $6.50 per pound.

STATE FAIR BOOTH.   Theme ideas ranged from “bees as livestock (or where there are fruits and nuts there are beekeepers!)” and “beekeepers as inventors.”   The group endorsed Lewis’ idea:  “What it takes to be a beekeeper?”  The answer might include … time, money, effort, and traits like a commitment to the craft and interest in lifelong learning.

ACTION:   Lewis and Inge will work on State Fair booth.   Carol will help with printing.

ACTION:   Send YOUR ideas to Inge.

LAST T-SHIRT.   The last T-shirt was auctioned to Lewis Cauble for $13.

HIVE OBSERVATIONS.    Get your pinestraw up when it’s dry!   Inge and Lynn enjoyed Inge’s sighting of the virgin queen in Lynn’s new split, and then again after she’d mated.    Mary’s goal for next year is a nuc for every two hives.  It’s possible to start a nuc now but better wait for spring.   How can you “ramp up” hive health for winter?   Knock down the mite population by mid-September and feed your bees.   Don’t worry too much about hive beetles (even a sighting of 30 or so) if your mite load is low.  Cecil uses boric acid plugged in corrugated plastic with lard to kill hive beetles.

Call Tim Harris if you’d like to buy some plastic pound honey containers at a good price.

MEETING ADJOURNED.  Mary adjourned the meeting.

NEXT PCBA MEETING:    Todd Walker will share some ideas for photography in your beeyard on September 19, 2013, 7 PM, in Room 165, Person Co. Office Bldg.    The Warners will be back to talk about Certified Naturally Grown beekeeping in October.   Nancy Rupert will speak on bee nutrition in November.

ACTION:  September refreshments by Amanda and Mac Blanks.

Lynn S. Wilson

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