September 2014 Minutes

Date: September 18, 2014
Location: Person County Office Building, Room 165

WELCOME. Mary opened the meeting and welcomed guest Ike Clark from North Durham. She shared thank you notes from 4-H for PCBA’s Summer Fun workshop and from the Roxboro Garden Study Club for a presentation about bees by Mary and Lynn (including a check for $25 to PCBA).

MINUTES: Minutes of August meeting were approved as distributed by e-mail. (One correction: Todd and Inge’s son, present for his first PCBA meeting, is named Calvin Ray Walker.)

VARROA REPORTS. Kim found only 2 mites in each of two hives on her last check, but a more recent sample yielded 32 and 24 mites so she plans to treat with ApiVar. Lynn and Mary F. checked Lynn’s hives a few weeks ago, and found 11 mites. Lynn will treat with formic acid.

TREASURY: Amanda reported a beginning balance of $3072.71, income of $188, expenses of $95, and an ending balance of $3215.71.

FUNDRAISING.-HONEY RAFFLE. Mac reports that $320 worth of raffle tickets have been sold to date. His goal is for every member to buy OR SELL at least $10 worth of tickets. Kim reported selling about 70 raffle tickets booth-to-booth at Personality.

ACTION.: Contact Mac Blanks at to get raffle tickets to sell before the November 20 drawing. Person County Farmers’ Market might be a good place to sell tickets. They’ll be open on Saturdays through September.

FUNDRAISING.-FALL SHIRTS/SWEATSHIRTS?CAPS. Mac delivered clothing previously ordered. He can place another order as soon as he receives 8 more orders to meet the minimum of 12.

ACTION: Contact Mac Blanks at to order PCBA shirts, sweatshirts or caps.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-ROXBORO GARDEN STUDY CLUB. Lynn and Mary reported that 26 members were present and they were already planting forage for bees, birds and butterflies. Lynn and Mary also noted that some members of the Garden Club were interested in watching honey extraction and perhaps attending wax workshop. The group considered some options like running a newspaper ad about these events to make them open to the public, but group isn’t ready to do this. Individual members may invite people they know are interested to specific workshops.

ACTION: Lynn and Mary asked the Community Outreach Committee to submit a list of possible topics so groups can choose ONE topic to make sure we’re addressing their interests and to limit our scope so we can “fit” their time limits (20-40 minutes). Also, we can then make repeat visits if groups are interested in more than one topic.

ACTION: Amanda suggested that we consider offering a wax workshop for adults in concert with a crafts program that Cooperative Extension already does.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-PERSONALITY: Kim reported some issues with PCBA tent. Supports are weak and suggested we may soon need to get a new tent.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-BEE SCHOOL. Inge reported that dates will be posted in November.

ACTION. Lynn will e-mail members to discover interest in having a separate PCBA meeting instead of joining with Bee School class during January-March.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-AG FIELD DAY. Mary says this event is coming up on October 10, from 9-2 at Huck Sansbury Park in Roxboro. Fewer stations are planned but PCBA is invited back because teachers reported that kids learned a lot at the PCBA station.

ACTION: PCBA voted to participate and Mary routed a volunteer sign-up sheet. Mary will take the lead on this outreach effort so let her know if you can help …

COMMUNITY OUTREACH–STATE FAIR. Don Hopkins passed around a sign-up sheet for volunteers to work at the NCSBA State Fair booth to talk about bees. Those who signed up received State Fair tickets for the dates they plan to serve. A separate sign-up is available for people who want to sell honey at the State Fair. Mary reminds that this is one way to earn public service units in the Master Beekeepers program.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH-COUNTRY CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA. Tom and Linda are hosting a Christmas event on their farm on November 15 and invite PCBA to provide a booth…at no charge to PCBA. Raffle tickets could still be sold and perhaps State Fair wax products, as well. Possibly, the State Fair booth could be re-staged at this event.

ACTION: PCBA agreed to participate. Contact Lynn Wilson at to help.

ACTION: Amanda agreed to design a Christmas gift certificate for the PCBA bee school. per Kim’s suggestion. Perhaps it could be offered in combination with a veil, gloves, and/or smoker.

STATE FAIR COMMITTEE. Kim says the group is finalizing details and will let folks know which date they plan to set up. Mary is entering 50 pounds of honey that can go in the PCBA display.

ACTION: If you can share an item for the hive products shelf, please let Kim know at

ACTION: Attend the September 20 wax workshop at 2 PM at Tom and Linda Savage’s home to help make wax products for the PCBA State Fair booth. Bring a potluck dish to share.

ACTION: If you plan to enter something in State Fair, deadline is tomorrow at 5 PM!

COMMUNITY OUTREACH- 4H offers an annual Christmas crafts workshop.

ACTION: Whitney Barnes will lead a wax crafts workshop, possibly rolled candles and cut-out Christmas ornaments, for 4-H with materials and content help from Inge.

ACTION: Mary reported that she sent a card to Dr. Ambrose with wishes for his speedy recovery after his hospitalization on behalf of PCBA.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE. Amanda says the proposed slate is complete except for President and Fundraising Chair and needs to hear from interested folks right away. We need to vote at the November meeting.

ACTION: Contact Amanda at if you can serve as a PCBA President or Fundraising Chair in 2015 or if you could share either role as a co-Prez or co-chair.

PROGRAM. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Pesticide Safety were topics covered by Master Beekeeper Lewis Cauble. Lewis noted that Mary Deitz is a valiant servant to PCBA. Lewis: Bee health is challenged but it’s not all doom and gloom. His chart showed bee colonies basically trending upward in North America. IPM is science-based decision-making to control pests with tools that are the least hazardous to bees and environment deployed first. To be effective, IPM practitioners need to understand both pest and host biology; recognize acceptable pest levels and when pests become a problem; use a variety of preventative cultural tools (like keeping hives in full sun to reduce small hive beetles); and understand the regulations (the label is the law). The IPM pyramid begins with careful monitoring and steps through several stages before chemical controls are used. Monitoring
Genetic control (Varroa-resistant and Varroa-hygienic bees)
Physical controls
Mechanical controls (like screened bottom boards)
Biological controls
Chemical controls

Reducing use of chemicals, extends the useful life of chemicals and decreases the chance of hive or beekeeper contamination. IPM requires commitment, time, effort and planning. It means evaluating your efforts and modifying your approach based on results. Adapt and improve. Was the pest managed to your satisfaction? The hive must not only survive the winter, but also be productive in the spring. What will you do next year? IPM is a multi-faceted approach.

SIX MITICIDES are registered in NC. Lewis discourages the use of Apistan (fluvalinate) and Checkmite (coumophos). Look for “signal” words on label: CAUTION means “ya’ll be careful” WARNING “seriously, ya’ll be careful” DANGER “look out, Jack”

1–Apistan (fluvalinate)–Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)-long sleeve shirt, long pants, socks, shoes, chemical resistant gloves Application (APP): One strip per 5 frames of bees or less. Hange on edge of cluster. Remove after 42 days (2 brood cycles) and before 56 days. Remove honey supers before treatment.

2–Checkmite (coumophos)–registered for use against Varroa mites and Small Hive Beetles BUT the treatments are different. PPE–chemical resistant gloves. APP: One strip per 5 frames. Remove after 42 and before 45 days. Remove the honey supers until 14 days AFTER treatment is removed.

3–ApiVar (amitraz) was re-registered last year. Carries WARNING signal. PPE-Coveralls over short sleeve shirt and short pants, socks, footwear and chemical resistant gloves. APP: Two strips are applied and removed after 42 and before 56 days. Remove honey supers until 14 days after treatment is removed.

4–ApiLife Var carries DANGER signal. PPE-Bee suit, gloves, dust mask and goggles. APP: Break tablet in 4 pieces and place on top bar away from brood nest. Repeat 3 times at 7-10 day intervals. Remove the remaining material within 7-10 days of the last application. Remove honey supers before treatment and do not replace supers for 30 days. Do not use if temperatures are above 90 degrees or below 54 degrees. If it’s too hot, the treatment will be too hard on the bees and too cold will not work against mites. Ingredients are similar to Listerine and include thymol and menthol.

5–Apiguard (thymol gel) carries a DANGER signal. PPE – Long sleeved-shirt, pants, socks, shoes, chemical resistant gloves. APP: Two 50-gram doses, 2 weeks apart. Use a smaller dose on a smaller colony or if temperatures are high. Allow at least a 1/4 inch above dose to allow bees to scatter it (they’re attempting to remove it). Remove honey supers before treatment and replace when materials are removed from colony. Do not use above 105 degrees or below 60 degrees. Store above freezing and below 86 detrees.

6–Mite-away Quick Strips (formic acid)–carries a DANGER signal. While current label doesn’t require respirator mask, Lewis recommends a mask covering both nose and eyes. PPE-Coveralls, long-sleeved shirt and long pants, socks, shoes, chemical resistant gloves. Do NOT breath vapors. APP: Place 2 strips on the top bars (of lower hive if 2 brood chambers). Treatment is 7 days and materials may be removed after 7 days. Supers may be on colonies during treatment but may result in off-taste to honey. Do not use above 85 degrees or below 50 degrees. Store below 77 degrees. MAQS have relatively short shelf-life so check expiration dates.

Lewis says it’s pretty miraculous that scientists have been able to develop products that will kill small bugs on a bigger bug. The risk of using a treatment is less than the risk of letting the colony struggle with survival if they’re mite-ridden. Lewis shared results from a research report “High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals” LD50 indicates the amount of a toxin that is sufficient to kill 50 percent of a population so the lower numbers indicate the most toxic compounds. The chart indicates that the most lethal pesticides for honeybees, that were found in large parts of the research sample, were the miticides, or the components into which they break down, that beekeepers themselves were using. Neonics, while more toxic and more often slammed in the media, were not found in very many samples.

ANNOUNCEMENTS. Thanks to Tom and Linda for delicious September refreshments, including birthday cake for Todd Walker.

ACTION: Mary Florence plans to bring October refreshments.

ACTION: Tim Harris plans to bring November refreshments.

ATTENDANCE SUMMARY: 24 members, 1 guest (plus baby!). 4 members reported late summer Varroa test results from 3-32 Varroa per hive.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED by Lynn S. Wilson, September 19, 2014

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