July 2013 Minutes

Date:  July 18, 2013
Location: Person County Office Building, Room 165

MINUTES.  In Mary’s absence, Inge opened the meeting.   Todd staged a group photo to accompany Inge’s press release about PCBA’s  “Chapter of the Year” award from the NCSBA.  June minutes were approved.

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT.  Inge delivered $300 award check to Amanda as Treasurer and reported that PCBA earned 2698.75 points from the NCSBA awards committee, far outdistancing other NC clubs.  Committee liked the award application notebook and Inge will share her templates.  Orange County also received an award as our mentor.  (Who can we mentor next year?)  The Committee said participation in events was noteworthy and recommended we offer a Bee Sting Safety Awareness workshop.  Inge will add that to 2014 program ideas.   The Pinehurst conference focused on the need for genetic diversity and sustainable, less harsh bee management practices.   A new, user-friendly website will be launched soon by NCSBA, allowing clubs and members to update profiles and events.  An upcoming webinar will train club admin volunteers.

DECISION:  The group would like to spend $700 grant (confirm before 9/14/13 and spend within one year) to sponsor two 4-H (first priority) or FFA student beekeepers.   $275 in Brushy Mountain gift certificates might be used to set up a community demonstration hive.

ACTION:  Mac and Amanda and Inge agreed to serve as student mentors.

ACTION:  Inge will get feedback from 4-H and FFA advisors about proposal.

ACTION:  Carol Carter took the award certificate for framing to be reimbursed by PCBA.

ACTION:   Jim Hayward will bring the idea of a demonstration hive to the Farmers’ Market Board.

ACTION:  Inge will do a press release about the award.

ACTION:  Inge will get training as PCBA admin for the new NCSBA website and encourages others to get the training, too.

EXTRACTOR RENTAL POLICY.   Inge summarized and the group approved the proposed policy, which incorporates changes suggested by “honey extraction field day” participants. (Thanks again to Tom and Linda Savage for hosting field day.)  (Policy attached.)   She recommended and the group agreed to test out the candle molds at an upcoming wax workshop before developing rental policy.

FUNDRAISER-BALL CAPS.   Inge proposed that a brown ball cap with gold embroidery of a modified PCBA logo or bee be purchased for $8.  Members endorsed a sales price of $12.  About half of 23 people present agreed to purchase a cap.

ACTION:  Inge will bring sample caps and design options to the August meeting.

FUNDRAISER-HONEY OF THE MONTH.   Previously suggested by Michele Warren, Cecil and Todd have already donated honey for this project.   The group agreed to provide one raffle ticket for each $1 donation.  Donations will be solicited at the Farmers’ Market and tickets will be provided to PCBA members who wish to solicit donations.   More honey donors are needed!

ACTION:  Todd will design and print raffle tickets.

DISPLAY CASES.   Mike Lagaly volunteered to build a display case for PCBA ribbons to be mounted at the Person County office building.   Inge and Todd are also working on an educational display for the large exhibit case here.

AUGUST OUTREACH VOLUNTEERS.

ACTION:   Jim Hayward, Carol Carter, Inge Kautzmann and Tim Gentry will represent PCBA at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, August 17 from 7:30 am-1 pm.

ACTION:  Carol Carter and Mac and Amanda Blanks will represent PCBA at the Personality Festival on Saturday, August 24, 9 am-NOON.   Calvin Hester will represent PCBA from 1-4 pm.

ACTION:   Inge requests one more volunteer for the morning shift and three from NOON-4 pm.

STATE FAIR BOOTH.   Theme suggestions were:  Bees as Livestock (picture bees holding up a triangle with the rest of the farm, says Tim) or Beekeepers as Inventors (the best at recycling by re-purposing!)   The booth will be judged on educational value (the story it tells) and graphic appeal.   Inge reported State hasn’t determined booth sizes.

ACTION:   Decide on theme and execution at August meeting.

VARROA MITE LOAD UPDATES.   Responding to Lewis’ challenge to “know your mite load”, several members reported sugar shake results:   Lagalys found no mites,  Blanks found not enough to treat.   Carol Carter, Warrens, and Lynn Wilson will treat.   Todd clarified that sticky board is not statistically sound sample because it doesn’t factor in how many bees are in the hive.    Inge noted that one NCSBA conference speaker said:  Expect losses of 30-60% if your hives go into the winter with a heavy mite load or nosema.  Lewis recommended testing again in four weeks.

FINANCE REPORT.    Amanda reported a beginning balance of $2,386.27, expenses of $724.84, income of $5, and an ending balance of $1666.43, which includes $50 in petty cash.

NEW MEMBER.   Inge welcomed Renee Boone.

UPCOMING FIELD DAY.   Inge announced GRAFTING demo, by Todd at their home at 9646 Hurdle Mills Road, followed by group lunch at Flat River Cafe, begins at 10 AM on Saturday, July 20.

QUEEN REARING, Guest speakers: TODD WALKER, LEWIS CAUBLE, TIM GENTRY.   Inge introduced the speakers with a note from a conference speaker:   “Excellent queens are not an accident!”  She also noted the recommendation that for every hive, a beekeeper should keep a nuc going to increase resources for dealing with colony issues.

Lewis encouraged members to let queen rearing be their next beekeeping challenge after getting overwintering under control.  He recommends starting in the spring.  His first attempt at queen-rearing was a walk-away split.

Todd pointed to several reasons for rearing your own queens:  new skills, improve queen quality by raising queens in the environment where they will live and by selecting for traits you like.

He recommends these resources:  Successful Queen Rearing (http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG6346.html); Micheal Bush at http://www.bushfarms.com/bees, Queen Rearing Essentials by Lawrence John Connor, and  “The Cloake Board Method of Queen Rearing.”

Methods include:  walk-away split, Miller, Jenter/Nicot, Doolittle, and others.  Naturally, bees raise queens when queen dies, needs to be superceded, or for swarms.  Pheromones tell the bees when hive is queenright. so create the conditions with a queenless colony.  Bees will also need royal jelly (produced by ample, healthy nurse bees) and female larvae less than 3-days old to raise queen,  space, and food.

STEPS.

  1. Set up cell builder box.
  2. Shake nurse bees from frame with uncapped larvae into cell builder.
  3. Shake worker bees off capped brood frame back into source hive, then move the capped brood to cell builder (no queen).
  4. Add pollen and nectar to cell builder.
  5. Graft
  6. WAIT!

SCHEDULE.

DAY 1-Egg is laid
DAY 4-Graft
DAY 6-Check graft
DAY 9-Cells are capped.
DAY 13-Move cells to mating nucs
DAY 16-Queens emerge
DAY 21-Mating flights
DAY 34-Check for eggs

TIPS!  Lewis recommends sharing brains and equipment with a partner.  In spring, a nuc is too small for cell-builder.    Practice grafting ahead of cell-building.  Use a flashlight and good glasses!  Bees will build comb but you can cut the queen cells out of it.

Queen cells are moved because Cloake realized that bees start queens better without queens, but raise queens better when a queen is present.  BE THERE on Day 13 or queen raised from too-old-larvae may kill the best.  Some beekeepers leave queens in nucs for 10 months for evaluation.

Tim Gentry uses the Nicot-Jenter method because you can do it without grafting or touching larva.  You use a special cage with 110 cell starter cups in back.   A queen excluder allows the workers to attend the queen.  Next you confine the queen in the front of the cage and she lays eggs in the cells and is released.  On the 4th day each newly hatched larvae is transferred.  Cell starter cups are inserted into cell cup holders on a special frame which is then placed in cell building colony.   Tim re-purposed part of an old hair dryer to hold the queen while he marks her.  He uses a small marshmellow to close the queen cage when she’s ready to be introduced.

MEETING ADJOURNED.  Inge adjourned the meeting for refreshments provided by the Lagalys.

NEXT PCBA MEETING:  Monica Warner talks about wax- and soap-making.
August 15, 2013, 7 PM, Room 165, Person Co. Office Bldg.

ACTION:  Refreshments by Tim Gentry

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED
Lynn S. Wilson
August 15, 2013

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