May 2013 Minutes

Date:  May 16, 2013
Location: Person County Office Building, Room 165

MINUTES.  Mary opened the meeting and April minutes were approved.

TREASURY.  Mary announced that she appointed Amanda Blanks to be Treasurer in light of Donna Steen’s request to be relieved of the office.   Amanda’s financial report showing a balance of $2346.27 is attached.  Amanda noted that some persons have still not paid for T-shirts.

ACTION:   Inge will follow up with persons whose T-shirts have not yet been picked up.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT.  Mary welcomed several guests to the meeting.  Mary reported the following results of her effort to let the community know about PCBA:

  • PCBA has permission to exhibit ribbons earned at State Fair.
  • Charter schools have requested presentation for 8-9 year olds.
  • Cooperative Extension Agent Kim Woods agreed to include bees in her report of “livestock” in Person County if PCBA reports the number of hives in each quadrant of the County to her by December 1.

ACTION:  Inge will get prices on exhibit case for PCBA approval at June meeting.

ACTION:  Inge is working on a presentation kit and needs volunteer presenters.

ACTION:   Todd will ask Don Hopkins what data is already available, including the USDA farm census (which counts bees, according to Carol.)

ACTION:  Members are asked to note their current number of hives on attendance sheets.

BEES FOR SALE.  Ken Medlin, from Guess Road in Hurdle Mills, reported that he had some bees for sale.  Contact him at 336-364-1915.

UPCOMING EVENTS.   Inge noted that rain is forecast for the weekend.   Check or call Todd and Inge at 336-364-4077 on Saturday morning, May 18, before driving to the 10 AM SPLITS DEMO at Mary and Gary Dietz’s home at 3625 Denny’s Store Road for weather-driven changes.  Rain date is 6-1.

Inge and Mary reported that NC BEEKEEPERS’ SUMMER CONFERENCE will be in Pinehurst, July 11-13 and that PCBA has a strong chance of winning the best club award that will be presented at the Saturday night banquet so this would be a great time for lots of Person beekeepers to be present.  Check for great workshops list and registration details.

For the June 20 PCBA program, Inge will present HEALING WITH HONEY (honey lozenge recipe if located, will be concocted in class), followed by HONEY EXTRACTION field day on June 22 or 29.

Inge requests volunteers to help with NATIONAL HONEYBEE DAY booth at Person County Farmers’ Market on August 17 and a booth at PERSONALITY FESTIVAL on August 24.  Check for more volunteer and event information.  Send e-mail to Inge at STATE FAIR booth theme needs to be firmed up soon.

FUNDRAISER IDEAS, anyone?  Inge explained that the Executive Committee’s goal is for PCBA to sponsor one or two 4-H student beekeepers in 2014.

ACTION:  In response to Michelle’s earlier suggestion that we raffle “Honey of the Month”, several members volunteered to donate 2 one-pound jars of honey (if available):  Todd-Inge, Carol, Cecil, and Tim.

ACTION:  Todd will find out how much raffle tickets will cost.

ACTION:  Cecil suggested selling hats with logo and Todd will investigate the possibilities.

PCBA FINANCIAL DECISIONS:   PCBA approved the following expenditures:

  • Todd – to get posters laminated for future presentations.Inge- to purchase Study Prints ($35) and Teaching Frames ($74) for presentation kits.
  • Inge- to purchase 9-frame extractor for the extraction demo and for use by Club members (perhaps with minimal rental charge)

ACTION:   Todd will investigate price for a shadow-box style display for PCBA State Fair ribbons.

MASTER BEEKEEPING TRACK.  Inge reported that four people completed the requirements for the Certified Beekeeper Certification this year and Donna voiced the group’s congratulations to:

  • Mac and Amanda Blanks
  • Richard Kinn
  • Jane Gledhill

HIVE OBSERVATIONS:   Mary said some of her bees aren’t moving up into the supers above the queen excluder.  John and Renee Boone of Timberlake and William Towner of Durham reported their bees aren’t moving up even without queen excluders.   Mary will remove her queen excluder and Todd suggested others might consider removing a super.

Donna caught her first swarm with the help of her husband and an extension ladder.

Todd noted that removing a frame with a swarm cell(s) won’t necessarily stop the swarm.  The bees have already decided to swarm.

Cecil shared a screened closure that he’d made for closing a nuc for transport.  Possible fundraiser?

Calvin suggests that if you have a screened bottom board, you close off the hive bottom and reduce the entrance when you hive a swarm to keep bees from swarming again.

MAKING NUCS – NOT NUKES!  (GUEST SPEAKER:  TODD WALKER)   A biological nucleus has all the components necessary for life.  Langstroth used “nuclei” to describe the small colony that results from a split.   The nuc must have all stages of brood, queen (or queen potential), food (pollen to feed brood) and nectar (for adults), and the proper environment.

Make a nuc to raise and mate queens or if you want more colonies.   North Carolinians need to quit buying packages from Georgia because locally-raised queens are better adapted to local conditions.  Creating a nuc can also relieve pressure on an overflowing hive and break the Varroa mite cycle.

To create the nuc, you need a low mite load, a healthy queen, ample bees, drawn comb, and honey/nectar source.   An early spring nuc for instance shouldn’t be attempted before the red maple blooms.   May might be best because conditions are good for queen-rearing with lots of food, more stable temperatures, and more drones for mating.   Waiting later can mean you won’t have time to re-queen if the population increase is inadequate.

To create a MATING NUC you’ll need a frame of sealed brood (no feeding/nurse bees required and bees are closer to emerging), a frame of honey/pollen, and extra bees.   (Shake bees off a frame from your strong hive into the nuc and then replace the frame.)  Also add a frame of drawn comb.   A division board feeder with sugar water takes up extra space to prevent burr-comb-building.  Now reduce the entrance, then MONITOR and EVALUATE to be sure that the queen emerges, to replenish food supplies as needed, and to make sure the queen has the qualities you want.

To create an EXPANSION NUC, take two frames with all stages of brood, 1-2 frames of food, and add a queen (or let the nuc raise its own queen for a “walk-away split”).   Remove the entrance reducer when the nuc has 5 frames of bees.    And MONITOR and EVALUATE.  Todd shared a chart showing the relative increase in bee population over time with different queen strategies.   The mother queen builds up the bee population most quickly, then an introduced queen, virgin queen,  queen cell, and nuc-raised queen.

WINTERING NUCS is a challenge …to keep bees warm and fed.   Stacking nucs with screen between enables two nuc clusters to share warmth.  FEED YOUR NUCS!

Some sources recommend SPACING NUCS three miles or more from original hive, but Todd sets his in row with other hives and expects some loss of foragers.   And if the result isn’t a strong colony, Todd says, you can always put the frames back in your other hive.

MEETING ADJOURNED.  Mary extended her regrets that she would be unable to attend several upcoming PCBA meetings and events due to business travel and adjourned the meeting for refreshments provided by Tom and Linda Savage.

NEXT PCBA MEETING:  June 20, 2013, 7 PM, Room 165, Person Co. Office Bldg.

ACTION:  Refreshments by Tokso Pak.

Lynn S. Wilson

APPROVED:  6/20/13

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