October 2012 Minutes


Previous Meeting Minutes
3 sets of meeting minutes approved. for July, August and September.

State Fair Bee Booth Awards
Inge Kautzmann announced PCBA member awards from the State Fair and showed photos of the booth. Awards are as follows:

1st Place: Observation hive with bees, Todd Walker

1st Place: Chunk honey, John Harrell

1st Place: Gift basket with bee products, club entry

1st Place: Pollinator plant display, club entry

1st Place: Black and white photography of bees, Todd Walker

1st Place: Color photography of bees, Todd Walker

2nd Place: Display of 50 pounds of honey, Randall Austin

3rd Place: Pure beeswax product, Todd Walker

Carol Carter also received several awards in the cooking with honey category

Mary Dietz announced that at the next meeting (November) we would be electing officers for the 2013 calendar year. The open positions are Vice President and Treasurer. Mary Dietz, President, and Inge Kautzmann, Secretary, said they would stay on. Although Inge said that if no one else expressed interest in the VP position she would consider it leaving the Secretary position open.

Treasurer, Donna Steen discussed dues for next year for the state association and for the club. In order to receive full benefits from the state association, especially for new members, registration in October is best.  The association processes more than 3,000 memberships each year. Registering now allows the state to get new members set up and added to the system by the end of the year. Donna stated that this also ensures members will receive the 2013 calendar the beginning of the year.

State Dues are $15 and county chapter dues are $5. Donna said registration forms would be available at the end of the meeting for people to sign up.

Bee School
It was decided that the club will run a bee school again in January. The class meeting will be held on Thursdays and on those days that coincide with a regular monthly club meeting a brief business meeting will take place. Bee school will begin on January 17th. Class size will be held to 45.


Wax Workshop Recap
Mary mentioned the wax workshop from last month and thanked Tom and Linda Savage for hosting the event.


Guest Speaker – Todd  Warner – Low Impact Beekeeping
Todd Warner of the Carolina Bee Company gave a talk about low impact beekeeping. He is also our regional representative for the state association NCSBA. He gave an update on the Master Beekeeper Program and said that the state anticipates that the new website will be up by the end of the year.

Todd and his wife Monica employ the philosophy of low impact beekeeping for their business. They began their business 8 years ago and 6 years ago they made the decision to go chemical free. They had 60-70 hives in 2012 and are looking to increase that to 100 in 2013. Their primary business is candles and soaps, they don’t focus so much on honey at the moment. There are 12 stores in the area that carry their soap and candle products. They also raise queens.

Todd stated that the national average of hive loss with the use of chemicals is about 25% to 30% and they are in that range without using chemicals.

He said that it takes about 2 years for a hive to succumb to mites. These are the IPM strategies he discussed for controlling mites:

  • Breaking the brood cycle
  • Drone trapping
  • Screen bottom boards
  • Sugar Shakes – late summer early fall 1x per week for 3 weeks

Strategies for controlling Beetles and Moths are:

  • Traps
  • Sunny hive locations
  • Strong hives
  • Migration – rotating your hives like you would crops
  • Mindful storage with adequate light and air flow

They inspect their hives once per month and in their hive they don’t use foundation.  When bees build their own comb without foundation, they have the ability to build more of the larger sized drone cells as needed. This can encourage more drone production. In their hives they have about 10% to 20% drones whereas the norm with standard foundation is about 1% to 2%. This works for their business because they raise queens and need the drones for mating.  However, the increased number of drone cells means more mites because mites like drone cells for their longer development time. Todd uses this to his advantage as part of his drone trapping IPM.

Todd recommended rotating brood comb out every 3 to 5 years. Write the year on the drawn out frame to keep track. You want to rotate out the comb used for brood because that’s where you have the most pest, disease and pesticide build up. Rotating comb out of honey supers is not done as often.

While Todd does not use chemicals in his hives, he did say that the newer (lower impact) chemicals are much better. He mentioned sucrocide an insecticide that requires lots of hard work if used, menthol and formic acid.

Todd Warner can be reached at todd@carolinabees.com
Their website is www.carolinabees.com

Donna Steen mentioned that Debbie Roos, Extension Agent for Chatham County, will be giving a talk on Bee Nutrition. The date is November 7th and the fee is $10.

Special thanks to Carol Carter for providing some of her award winning honey recipes for refreshments.

Donna Steen reported that the account balance is $1,686.51

The next meeting will be held on Thursday,  November 15th at 7pm. Our guest speaker with be Randall Austin. Randall is a Master Beekeeper. His talk titled “Your Bees Stink” will address how bees use pheromones and their most important sense, their sense of smell.

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