Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 8th, 7:30 P.M.
back at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149.
- Our speaker this evening will be Judy Ellal, a wildlife rehabilitator
from the Cape Wildlife Center, of West Barnstable, who will have a
slide presentation titled “Wild Neighbors”.
Dave Simser of Cape Cod Community College will return with a program
on Beneficial Insects in March. We were sorry that Inez Narbis could
not be with us in January, but hopefully we can schedule her again
for some time in the near future. In April, we will have Kenneth
Warchol, an experienced beekeeper from the Worcester County Beekeepers.
Ken is a seasoned seasonal bee inspector with the Department of
Agricultural Resources and will help us recognize problems in our
hives hopefully before they become devastating.
Finding a meeting space for a group of our size has become a problem.
After utilizing the West Barnstable Community Building for many
years now, we find we are being “squeezed out” due to
the building’s popularity. Since we have members from Wellfleet
and beyond to the east, and Woods Hole to the west, and from off-cape
as well, we are attempting to keep the meeting location in a more
or less centralized location, with easy access to Route 6, but it
is proving difficult to do so. Members are surveying various sites
but in the meantime, we will stay in the general area. Be sure to
note the meeting location in each month’s meeting notice so
that you find yourself at the right location.
Bee School 2005
Bee School will be held at the Whelden Memorial Library, Route 149
(corner of Lombard Av) in West Barnstable on Thursday evenings,
and began on January 13th. As I write this, I am still snowbound
and hope that most folks are able to get out to make the meeting
on the 27th, which will occur prior to this getting to the print
shop. February sessions are on the 10th and 24th.
A reminder to all that when Cape Cod Community College cancels evening
classes, so do we.
From the President
Frigid greetings to all! I hope by now that everyone is dug out from
the 100-year storm. I couldn’t get out the doors at my home
in Sandwich. I had to climb out a window and dig the doors out!
Don’t forget that your girls will have the same problem if the
snow has closed off the front entrance. Even if you have top exits
on your hives it will be important to get the snow off the front entrance
for ventilation. Remember it’s moisture that’s a problem
in the hive in the winter – not cold, so ventilation is crucial
to the survival of your bees. It’s also time to pay attention
to the amount of stores left in your hives for the bees. Heft the
back of the hive to determine how heavy it is – if necessary
feed some fondant candy.
Welcome to all our Bee School Participants. Remember that Bee School
is open to all members. If you want to refresh some of your skills
feel free to sit in on any or all of the classes. Stay warm.
It is almost that time. Are your bees alive? Will they be in April?
Do you want to add a hive or two?
We have again reserved 3# packages with Italian Queens to be brought
up from Georgia. Price will be $60. Arrival will probably be the first
weekend in April.
We have also made arrangements for Nucs with Merrimack Valley Apiaries.
They should be available late April, or early May. Price will be $75.
for 5-frame nuc with your choice of Minnesota Hygienic (Italian),
Russian, or New World Carniolan queens. More details to follow.
Call, or email Claire, with your needs and get your check in the mail,
or bring to the meeting.
Bored with winter yet? Since the catalogs are not yet coming in, check
out the following websites for your beekeeping equipment needs.
I received word after last month’s newsletter from the petition
originators that they had an avalanche of responses and sent a large
number of names to the EPA with a request to add to the original petition.
EPA reacted favorably, but noted that the addition of so many names
would slow their action on the labeling.
If you have not yet sent Ed your equipment order, time is running nigh. We will be ordering from Brushy Mountain, Walter Kelley and Mann Lake this coming January. Bee school members will be given a list of recommended items. The rest of the club membership can order anything from any of those 3 catalogs. The freight savings alone will make your order worthwhile, not to mention the discounts that we receive on many items ordered in bulk. Don't forget, most prices go up in February when the new catalogs come out. We try to beat those increases.
PLEASE print your order clearly, or use the order
forms in the catalogs and bring to the January meeting, with your
check. Don't forget to put your name and phone number on the order.
If you won't be at the meeting, mail to:
18 Solomon Pond Rd.
E. Sandwich 02537
One of our many “selling points” is our comprehensive
library of both books and videos. It has been found however, that
many members have books and videos outstanding. Please check your
shelves and return those items to the librarian at the next meeting
so that our newest members may take full advantage of these valuable
Next month we will name names of who signed out those items still
outstanding if not yet returned
This is being penned as we are “marooned” on our little
estate thanks to the Blizzard of ’05. Currently awaiting the
arrival of a front-end loader as our third day of confinement draws
to an end, we wonder about the condition of the hives on the bogs.
Snow is a great insulator, but ventilation is critical at times
like this. Snowshoes and hive tools will pair up to clean those
entrances in a few days.
Our January meeting (due to weather conditions and the absence
of the scheduled speaker) proved to be a healthy and informative
discussion on packages, nucs, and queens.
The ideal queen, or race of bees, for Cape Cod has not arrived
to date. Many of us have winter survivors and isolated good honey
producers. And that changes from season to season. Our spring Italian
packages are the best way to start, but requeening for winter survival
and mite resistance has become necessary. So, what do we order?
Whose claims do we believe?
The journals of late have been filled with encouraging articles
on queens and hardy, surviving races. Russian/Russian and Minnesota
Hygienics appear to have taken the lead. Available with desirable
traits also are New World Carniolans, Carniolans, Caucasians and
Buckfast, in no special order.
Desperately needed are local queen breeders in Barnstable County.
Recording of successes and losses is most important if we are to
find the “best” queens for our locale.
One final bit of information gleaned from Larry Connor in an article
in the January issue of Bee Culture helps explain the failures of
requeening. If you decide to change the race of a queen in a hive,
the “unrelated or foreign” stock is not always accepted
as the worker bees can tell the difference. This must be the reason
why Russian queens are so difficult to introduce into an Italian
Tentatively, we have set Saturday, May 21st for our 9th Annual Pollinator
Plant Sale. As you peruse those catalogs, plan a few extra pots
for the sale. Jan Rapp will chair this event.
Continue to heft your hives from the back. Honeybees use their honey
reserves more efficiently at 45F. Except for a few days late in December,
the temperature has been ideal for our hives this winter. The candy
placed near the cluster on the frames will stave off starvation. The
days are slowly lengthening and, believe it or not, the queen will
start laying soon. Placing your sticky board back in will help keep
the brood warmer.
Ventilation is most important! Be sure to clear ice and snow away
from the entrances.
EAS Raffle Tickets
Last chance!!! See Paul at the meeting if you want to take advantage of this terrific opportunity for a free trip to the EAS 5oth Anniversary Conference to be held at Kent State University, Ohio. I have the last few remaining tickets in Massachusetts. What doesn't sell at the February meeting will be offered to other clubs. $5 can save you $500!!
The editor has not been notified that the below merchandise is, or
is not, still available, so will list them again this month. Please,
when items have found new owners, let us know.
Lucy Wood has 20 plastic frames for sale @$1.00 each. 508-540-1813
Ed Osmun has the following items for sale. You can catch him at
the meeting or call him @ 508-833-9696
- 12 oz Flat Panel Bears- $12. per 24.
- Type S Pollen Traps- Built by Amish craftsmen $59.
Races of Bees
Outlined below are characteristics of the various races of bees
you will see available in current journals:
Buckfast -originated at Buckfast Abbey in England.
-brought to the US in 1967 by Weaver Apiaries, Navasota, TX. –not a true race, but a hybrid
of several races -good honey producer, with little propolis
and burr comb -demonstrated disease and tracheal mite resistance
-low incidence of chalk brood -
small winter clusters, using moderate amounts of stores -slow spring
buildup with resultant swarm
activity -do well in cool, wet spring -supecedure queens become
Carniolan -true race originated in Autria/Yugoslavia
-rapid spring buildup from small over-wintered
cluster -most gentle race -produces little propolis or brace comb
-heavy swarmers due to rapid spring
builup -forage in cool, rainy weather, and at long distances - some
New World -developed at Ohio State Univ, by Sue
Cobey -has increased mite resistance
Caucasian -Originated in the Caucas Mtns in the
Black Sea area -true race -very gentle -longest
tongue of any race -slow spring buildup, low tendency to swarm -able
to fly in unfavorable weather,
cool temps, and even rain -produce excessive amounts of propolis
-susceptible to Nosema -shut down
brood production in mid-October
Italian -most common in US, coming from Northern
Italy in 1861 -short distance foragers -greater
tendency to rob -slow spring buildup, low swarming tendency (given
enough room) -late brood rearing
and high over-winter food consumption -produce more propolis than
Minnesota Hygienics -remove diseased brood -clean mites with better
Russians -result of breeding program fostered
by USDA Lab, Baton Rouge, LA -color ranges from light to dark -gentle,
excellent honey producers -difficult to introduce into non-Russian
hive -egg production shuts down during nectar dearth -more resistant
to mites and disease -require constant feeding for spring buildup
-do not expand well on undrawn foundation -most promising for drug-free