On Tuesday, May 13th. A continuation of bee school will bring newbees
a program on available pollen and nectar sources for our bees. Sue
Phelan, beekeeper, organic gardener, and director of GreenCAPE,
will provide us with color slides of what floral sources might,
or could, be in your backyards and neighborhoods.
The following members volunteered to bring goodies and drinks to
this meeting: Marte Ayers, Doris Krueger and Gail Hanlon are bringing
drinks; Donna Tanis, Kathy Frucci, and Ray White promised to bring
munchies. Thank You!
From the President
Well, spring has definitely sprung and the new bees and the “newbees”
are here. I welcome all. The new bees have come and have found their
new homes. Thanks to Claire and Paul Desilets for their heavy lifting,
both physically and figuratively. I hope all the hiving went well.
The weather cooperated, but it was a bit of a challenge the weekend
after when it was time to remove the now empty queen cage.
It’s a joy to see the furious activities of the foragers,
returning with their pollen baskets loaded with reddish, green,
gray and various hues of yellow pollen; or to see them scrambling
to get out and bring in another load. If you have new colonies,
remember that the first three to four weeks are especially challenging.
In established, over wintered colonies, the brood nest is expanding
at a rapid pace now, and you should think about reversing the hive
bodies soon (if you have not done so already), to allow the colony
to continue its growth upward. Do this when you have one solid box
of bees—if they have already expanded into the box below them,
you’ve got a very strong colony and reverse right away.
When you reverse, renew some old combs. Remove four of the oldest
combs from the bottom deep, and replace them with fresh foundation.
The bees are primed for comb building and expansion at this time
of the year. Comb renewal is part of ensuring a healthy environment
for the bees. Referring old combs to a solar wax melter (or other
device) removes the contamination from the hive, and relieves that
particular stress on the bees. -- George
Pollinator Plant Sale
Saturday, May 17th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the greenhouse at
Meetinghouse Farm on Route 149 in West Barnstable. Jan will begin
at 8 a.m. for early drop-offs and could use extra hands from 8 to
11 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
All donations should be labeled - plant tags will be available at
the May meeting, or you can use Popsicle sticks or disposable plastic
knives. Perennial splits, seedlings and the like are needed to load
Questions? -- Jan Rapp -- 508-428-6949
Meetings of Interest
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Earth Day at Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. 10 a.m. to
B.C.B.A. shall have a display. Could use a few more volunteers to
help Marte. You get free admission.
For more details, call Marte
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Requeening and Splits
Hands on in Marstons Mills. The location is a bog on Race Lane,
the entrance is at #1198 which is on the right side of the road
just 7/10’s of a mile from the rotary at Route 149. Mystic
Lake is on the opposite side. Look for the bee windsocks by the
driveway. Parking will be around the bog edges.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Pollinating Plants for your gardens – Monthly Meeting in West
Saturday, May 17, 2008
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Pollinator Plant Sale
Bring plants to sell, bring money to buy
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Hive Opening for “Newbees”
Michelson Bog on Old County Road, East Sandwich. Parking along the
road by the bog at the Route 6-A end of Old County. Look for those
same bee windsocks.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Queen Rearing – hands on with Larry Connor , PhD., of Michigan,
owner of Wicwas Press.
Larry will present a queen-rearing class in East Sandwich. If you
may be interested, speak up as the class is limited to 20 and still
has a few spaces left.
Members - $15. and bring bag lunch & Protective clothing. Limited
attendance, contact Claire.
Monday, June 16, 2008
7:30 p.m. – NOTE DATE & LOCATION CHANGE FOR MONTHLY MEETING
Honey Bee Biology Essentials with Larry Connor, PhD at the Cape
Cod Museum of Natural History
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Massachusetts Beekeepers 3rd Annual Field Day, sponsored by the
Franklin County Beekeepers, in South Deerfield, MA. There is NO
ENTRY FEE. More info to come.
August 4-8, 2008
Eastern Apicultural Short Course and Conference, Murray State Univ,
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Massachusetts Beekeepers Assoc. Fall Meeting and Honey Show
May is playing out to be a very busy month with a number of club
workshops and activities. Let’s hope the weather continues
as warm and sunny as April. It is hard to recall better weather
than we experienced when installing our new packages. Other than
a few queen mishaps, most of the Georgia girls have settled in well,
nibbling their pollen patties, slurping down the syrup and hitting
the boards with quite an array of pollen colors.
The over-wintered hives have been a real treat to work. Most were
quite gentle when rotating the deeps, checking brook patterns and
exchanging out old comb. It was a pleasure to see no small hive
beetles scurrying around, with but a few “shells” with
the detritus on the sticky boards. The strength of the hives was
most encouraging especially with queens arriving to make splits
and nucleus colonies.
As an advocate of drone comb for IPM control of the varroa mite,
we were shocked at the amount of capped drone brood to date. Only
mid-April and we filled a 5-gallon pail of capped drone and trapped
varroa mites. Appreciating our enjoyment in skewering drone brood
with a capping scratcher, we went to work doing just that when taking
brood from each hive. Keep in mind that most of these over-wintered
hives were new packages in the spring of 2007. Upon installation
sticky boards were inserted looking for a varroa drop. These boards
were clean in 2007. Drone brood during the season showed very few
mites per multiple pupal pull. But now, as spring evolves and the
hive builds, so does the varroa count. The numbers were not large,
but of concern. So, the next step will be a sticky board with Crisco
for a 3-day count. We will have some of these boards at the May
13 meeting. If the count is over 50 mites per day, we will begin
dusting with powdered sugar. Keep in mind that varroa love the life
cycle of the drone. Add to that the fact that drones can fly 5 to
6 miles and they tend to drift into other hives. This is how the
mites spread across the country.
This is a warning for the 2007 “newbees” with over-wintered
hives. We really, really, really need to stay on top of this critter.
When it becomes out of hand, you will experience a fall decline
of your hive. Be aware of the Deformed Wing Virus, which might accompany
the varroa mite.
An article in the May 2007 issue of ABJ by Randy Oliver of California
provides a simple and safe IPM of controlling varroa. We will demonstrate
it at the hive opening. One can treat a 2-deep hive by sprinkling
2 cups of powdered sugar on a screen over the top deep frames. Brush
the sugar through the screen, then brush the sugar off of each frame
into the frame spaces to sprinkle down on all the bees. This will
drop through both deeps to the screened bottom board. The sugar
adheres to the mites’ footpad and the grip on the honey bee
is lost. Thus, the mite falls down and out of the screened bottom
board. Secondly, the honey bees are busy grooming themselves and
additional mites will fall. The only possible damage to the hive
might be a small percentage loss of eggs and larva, but this is
only if one dusts too heavily. How often to use this depends on
your mite count, but it can be done weekly if needed, or monthly
for prevention. This really is a simple and cheap solution to a
potentially devastating problem.
OSTERVILLE MEMORIAL DAY PROGRAM
FRIDAY, MAY 23RD, 9:00 AM
AN OLD FASHIONED MEMORIAL DAY PROGRAM
"FLANDERS FIELD" ORATORY
LILACS PLACED AT THE GAVIN MEMORIAL
TAPS PLAYED IN THE DISTANCE
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO THIS MEMORABLE MEMORIAL DAY
THERE WILL BE AN AMERICAN FLAG
FOR EVERY STUDENT
Community Garden Looking for a Hive
The new Dana’s Fields* Community Garden in Sandwich will provide
area residents with inexpensive plots (25’x25’) to grow
vegetables, herbs and flowers in an organic environment. The garden
is open to everyone. There will be raised beds to accommodate the
needs of people with disabilities.
Dana’s Fields is located in a 47 acre tract, off Route 130,
in the Sandwich Industrial Park, on Victory Drive.
To rent a plot or learn more contact Bob Johnson at: 508-771-5400,
Ext. 204 or email@example.com
*(Dana’s Fields is a community where formerly homeless and
low-income individuals and families will live, learn, and work)
LouAnn Colombo invites all to her establishment, Bee and Blossom,
at Sherman Square, in the west end of Main St, Hyannis. She has
a combination florist shop, bee-themed gift shop, with local honeys
(she wants some of yours), honey truffles, honey soaps, lotions,
The Continuing Beekeeping Adventures
of Paul ’n Patty
by Andy Morris
Paul ’n Patty were concerned about the planet. They subscribed
to the philosophy of the “Four R’s”; Rethink,
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. They had jobs near enough to so they
could use just one car, and that was a hybrid, utilizing both gasoline
and electricity. They had a worm farm in their cellar to dispose
of their vegetable table scraps, and free-range chickens in their
back yard for all the rest. Instead of fertilizer, they composted
their yard and garden waste and surplus.
None of this seemed as important to them as what they learned from
one fateful newscast on the television: that the honeybees were
in crisis, that something called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
was affecting them, and if something wasn’t done, and soon,
the entire planet was in jeopardy.
Sleep didn’t come easy for Patty that night. She kept having
visions of what the world might be like if this CCD weren’t
dealt with. Her dreams were straight out of an early Mel Gibson
movie, post-apocalyptic and violent.
Breakfast wasn’t much fun the following morning. Patty had
her bad night but Paul had slept like a bear in January. Paul was
all smiles and feeling frisky and she was grumpy and quite depressed.
Now Paul could sense something was amiss and asked, “Honey,
what’s the matter. You don’t look like you slept too
well last night.”
“Well, I didn’t,” she said. “And you shouldn’t
Realizing he had already lost whatever battle she was about to wage,
Paul offered, “You’re right, Honey, but I couldn’t
help myself. I was tired, the lights were out and I was in bed.
Tell me what was bothering you so much that you couldn’t sleep.”
“It was the news last night, before we went to bed,”
She said. “That story about the bees being lost and the possible
impact on the world…it kept me up most of the night.”
Cautiously, Paul eased in that he thought it might be many years
before the loss of the bees became a real problem and the impact
wouldn’t and therefore shouldn’t bother them. That’s
when he got “The Look”, and he knew he had made a very
serious tactical error.
With her clenched fists on her hips and her head tilted to the left
(never a good sign), Patty squinted her eyes and said, “Who
are you? I don’t even know you any more!
“Whose idea was it for us to recycle? Yours.
“Whose idea was it to drive the hybrid? Yours.
“And now you have the nerve to say that this is not our problem?
I don’t think so!”
Paul had retreated to the kitchen sink and was holding up a dishtowel
in defense. He could not remember a time when he had seen Patty
this angry. He wasn’t sure if she was angry with him so he
tried to sooth things out. “Honey, you’re right. But
what can we do?”
“I’m glad you asked,” said Patty, “because
while I couldn’t sleep last night, I did some research. I
called the fire department and asked…”
“You WHAT?” Paul exclaimed. “You called the fire
department? But this wasn’t an emergency. There are laws against
“…Them what they knew about honeybees. I knew they would
be awake, so that wouldn’t be a problem. They told me about
a local bee club. Can you believe it? There is actually a club,
here in town, just for beekeepers. Today I’m going to call
them and see what we can do to help out.”
Paul swiped his sleeve across his brow and let out whoosh of air
as he sat down at the center island of the kitchen. He knew anything
could happen when Patty was in one of these moods, and he tried
to brace himself. He cradled his chin in the palm of his hand and
wondered to himself, ‘What’s next?’
John Portnoy of Wellfleet has converted to mediums and has six deeps
left with frames and good drawn comb that he'll sell for $20 each
- pick up in Wellfleet. He has never used pesticides or medications
in these boxes, and they are in very good shape. --508-349-9618
Ed Osmun has division board feeders for sale at 50 cents each.
He will also have Kona Queens available next week. Call Ed at 508-833-9696