Tuesday, March 14th, 7:30 P.M. at the West Barnstable Community
Building on Route 149. Our program will feature Liz Westwater of
West Star Herbs of Mashpee. Liz conducts workshops and consults
on the use of herbs in the home. Her program will center around
the interrelationship of bees and herbs and include many culinary
From the President
As our current year comes to a close and we consider a new slate
of officers, a big THANK YOU to our outgoing president, Peter Cadieux.
Pete has directed us over the past two years, providing not only
leadership, but also many evenings teaching bee school and various
programs at monthly meetings. His carpentry skills were instrumental
in upgrading construction of the bee building.
Fortunately for us, he will sit on the board for a few more years.
Meetings of Interest
If looking for some good information, and don’t mind traveling
a bit, the following meetings are sure to be interesting:
Saturday, March 18th, at the Knights of Columbus
Hall, in Leicester, MA, the Worcester County Beekeepers are hosting
Jennifer Berry, Apiary Research Coordinator at the University of
Georgia. Jen is a great speaker, a favored presenter at the E.A.S.
conferences, and this year’s E.A.S. President. Her topics
are “The New World of Beekeeping” and “Queens
and their Drones”. Her presentations begin at 9 A.M.
There is no charge for this meeting. For more info, go to: http://HoneyBeeClub.org
Saturday, March 25th, at the Univ of Albany, Uptown
Campus, S.A.B.A.’s Annual Spring Seminar will be held from
9 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Speakers will include Jim Bobb, President, PA
Beekeeper’s, Larry Connor, WicWas Press, Tony Jadczak, Maine
Apiary Inspector, Aaron Morris, SABA member & owner of Bee-L,
and Robert Sheehan, CT meadmaker. Cost is $25 per person, or $40
per couple. This is always a very good program. Preregistration
requested, Walkins add $5. Further Details, Anne Frey SABA@capital.net.
Saturday, April 1st, the Massachusetts Beekeepers’
Association will host their Spring Meeting at the Topsfield Fairgrounds.
A series of short presentations and demonstrations will segue into
a Summer Workshop, on June 17th, to be held at the UMass Agronomy
Farm in Sunderland. More on these meetings to come. We are planning
to offer carpooling for these meetings in order to get you folks
“over the bridge”. Much local (read MASS) knowledge
will be available from commercial and backyard beekeepers.
Bee School 2006
Remaining sessions at the Whelden Memorial Library, just across
Lombard Ave from the W.B.C.B., on the second and fourth Thursdays
of February and March. We remind all members in good standing that
they may attend bee school sessions at no charge. Click here for the 2006 Bee School Schedule.
Pollinator Plant Sale
Barnstable Beekeeper's Association Annual Plant Sale, Saturday May
20th, 10:00 - 1:00; Annuals, Perennials, Herbs, and Vegetables. OPEN
EARLY for drop off. Call Jan Rapp @508-428-8442 if you are unable
to drop off your donations and she will arrange for pick-up. New This
Year: Heirloom Tomatoes (sale will benefit Mass Agriculture in the
Classroom), Bags of manure (sheep, goat and chicken). Help needed
the day of the sale..
“If your skin a bee should sting, lemon balm relief will bring.”
I have not tried it, have you? Reportedly invasive, lemon balm (Melissa
officinallis) has many uses which will be revealed by our March
speaker. Container grown will keep it corralled and make it simpler
to harvest the leaves midday when the oils are at their peak. It
can then be used fresh in salads or with fish. Drying the fresh
picked leaves over a screen will take a week, stirring daily. Packed
in a tight jar, they can be used all winter in a soothing tea. Several
cuttings can be made before and after it flowers.
If you are interested in herbal workshops, the Candleberry Inn in
Brewster ( a BCBA member) sponsors West Star Herbs several times
a year. Call Charlotte @ 508-896-3300.
Coming in April will be a new shipment of Honey Bee Healthy. This
product has saved us immeasurable time over the last two years of
use. The essential oils of lemongrass and spearmint will mask pheromones
in the hive. Thus its use becomes two-fold. A capful in 1:1 sugar
syrup placed in a spray bottle and misted in the hive will block
the alarm pheromone (iso-pentyl acetate). A smoker does not need
to be fussed with as the bees become quite content and busy themselves
cleaning each other off. Do you suppose this chore can help deplete
the mite population and increase hygienic behavior?
Secondly, requeening time can be shortened by 24 hours. In the past,
when requeening or building a nuc, we have left the hive queenless
for 24 hours. Now, we need not revisit the hive a day later to install
the queen. With new queen in hand, we lightly mist the queen cage,
the adjacent frames and across the top bars with HBH in sugar syrup.
Here again the pheromone of the new queen is masked while everyone
cleans themselves off.
As we become more health conscious consumers, many of us are reading
food labels more. If you have a few minutes and a computer visit
www.bee-quick.com and check out Jim Fisher’s “Wall of
Shame”. See which honey-labeled products really contain honey
or are heavily laden with sugars. Very Interesting!
The Osterville Comments
At The New England Flower Show running from 3/11 - 3/19, Bartlett
Tree will have a seaside scene complete with lighthouse, featuring
a very rare weeping cedar tree from Armstrong-Kelley Park. Flowers
in bloom today (3/1): hellaborus, witch hazel, snow drops and heath.
Winter jasmine should bloom this week. Before the deep freeze we
had lively bees from all five of our hives. We had fed the ladies
fondant. Thanks, Carl Mongé
The library has seen an increase in returns, but many books and
videos still remain grossly overdue. Remember, each book and video
has a card which members need to sign and date when borrowing an
item and place the card in the appropriate file box. Upon returning
the item, simply find the card, sign and date it, and place it back
in the book or video jacket.
Well, even though we are still in the depths of our astronomical
winter, we have had days of unbelievably unseasonable weather. I
feel sorry for those oil companies…not getting all the profits
they can out of my pockets.
This is the time of year I start looking for flowers in my yard.
That’s right! I have flowers blooming in my yard at this moment.
I don’t mean pussy willows, which will be blooming soon, or
skunk cabbage, which will likewise, soon be blooming. I mean there
is in my yard a shrub with flowers having petals, stamens and pistils.
It is the witch hazel plant.
My first exposure to this interesting plant, other than seeing
it’s extract in that rectangular bottle in the medicine cabinet
(which no one ever used), was during one of the first years of my
being a beekeeper. I was living in Sandwich then. Anticipating spring
one warm February day, I wandered over to my single hive to see
if anything was happening. My bees were flying. They were very busy,
busier than I had seen them previously. As I stood beside the hive,
I was shocked to see them bringing in baskets of pollen. Pollen
in February! This was absurd and contrary to my knowledge of flowering
plants. Of course I had no way of finding out where the pollen was
Later that day I was taking a walk with my daughters. It was a
beautiful day, no wind, and brilliant blue skies. Our walk to the
Sandwich Boardwalk brought us down Jarvis Street, just a block away
from our house and my hive. There was a bush with weirdly shaped
yellow flowers teeming with honeybees. They were my bees (I asked
them.). But what was this plant?
We will have witch hazel plants available for sale at our Annual
Plant Sale, late in May. I hope you will consider purchasing some
for your garden. They are an interesting plant. They give much needed
pleasure during that time of the year when there is a dearth of
blooming plants, and provide sustenance for our bees.
I also hope you will consider contributing some plants from your
gardens. We always need vegetable plants (tomatoes were in demand
last year), and any plant you divide from your gardens. Ask your
friends for their thinnings and divisions. It is amazing what appears
at the sale. Pick-ups can be arranged prior to the day of the sale.
Every year I say I won’t be buying anything because I need
no new plants, but every year I buy something unusual and interesting.
I hope to see you there.
Bits and Pieces
The following was on Bee-L last week. Claire has been an advocate
of using Baggie Feeders for some time now. This hint is a good addition
to that feeding solution.
- Place the ZipLock bag inside a 2 lb coffee can or equal. Pour
the syrup inside the ZipLock bag. Zip the bag and remove it from
the can. Place a queen excluder on the hive. Place the filled baggie
on the excluder and cut the slits for bee access. The coffee can
is a good consistent measure of volume and if you ever tried filling
a loose ZipLock bag from a 5 gallon jug, from the tail gate of your
truck you will realize the real advantage of this method. If you
ever need to move a plastic bag full of liquid with holes in it,
you will realize the value of the queen excluder
We still have a few packages available. Just a reminder that payment
of $63 for each package that you have ordered MUST be received no
later that Friday, March 10th. You can add your $10 dues to that
same check, made out to BCBA, and send it to Claire Desilets, P
O Box 808, East Sandwich, 02537
Spraying for Mosquitoes
At the last meeting the question was raised about spraying by the
state for Eastern Equine Virus infected mosquitoes. I have emailed
Mark Buffone at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
and asked him if they had plans to spray the Cape and should we
be mapping (GPS) our hives. His response was “No….I
don’t want folks to be overly alarmed here…….
Again the purpose of my initial emails was to get folks thinking/
ready for something that may not happen” He went on to say
that the material that they would be using if they did spray would
be Anvil 10 +10 or Sumithrin at very low rates. It would be done
in the evening into the night likely in August. The Anvil does not
have a bee caution on the label. We would have to be in a situation
that would have to be deemed public health event and spraying would
be done for that purpose.
The way we will be notified if spraying is going to be done is they
will be notifying your association and then you will be notified
So until we get notified that things have changed I would not worry
about it unless you would just like to know where your hives are
by GPS for your own information. – Ed Osmun
Fondant Candy Recipe
Microwave Recipe (feeds 1 or 2 colonies)
- In a 1 quart or larger microwave dish, thoroughly mix 1 &
½ cups granulated sugar and ½ cup light corn syrup.
- Microwave on high, stirring every few minutes until the mixture
is clear and bubbles become thumbnail size (about 10 minutes). Stop
immediately if the mixture starts to brown. A wooden spoon Is very
effective for stirring, as it can be left in the dish during cooking.
- Pour into a mold made from cardboard or a container lined with
paper to cool. The candy will become brittle and can be slipped
on top of frames where the bees will consume it.
Stovetop Recipe (makes nine 5” x 6”
- Mix 5# granulated sugar, 1 pint corn syrup, 1 & 1/3 cups of
water in a large pot.
- Hold over medium heat to 240 d on a candy thermometer. VERY IMPORTANT
TO HOLD THE 240 F.
- Stir only occasionally, it takes a while.
- At 240 , place the pot in a sink of cold water.
- Change the water a few times.
- Beat with a mixer, cooling the mixture to 190
- Pour onto greased (Pam) cookie sheets to ¼ inch thick
- Cool and slice into patties
Dear Fellow Beekeepers, I am a member of the Rhode Island Beekeepers
Association. I have an extractor for sale. It is a Fritz SS 4-8
frame tangential extractor hand crank. It was used for one season
only and the apiary was dismantled due to an allergic reaction.
Contact Edward Marsland, 401 568-6514
NOT FOR SALE- Faith has sold her extractor, and was actually overwhelmed
by the response.
FOR FREE- Sandy Wilkins has much manure for you gardeners out there.
Her pile grows daily and she wishes to share it with you all. Call
Sandy at 398-4808
If you have anything bee-related to sell, or wish to purchase, this
is the place to list it. Call Paul at 888-2304 or email to email@example.com.