Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 13th, 7:30 P.M.
at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149.
This month’s program will feature honey extraction, processing
and preparation for market. Various types of harvesting methods
will be demonstrated, and their pro’s and con’s will
Well my daughter has been home for a week and decided it was time
to process the accumulated cappings from years past. For days the
kitchen has been strewn with pans, newspapers, empty cardboard juice
and milk containers, strainers, bottles, jugs and other ephemera
one might require for such an undertaking. The house has indeed
smelled very good with the aroma of beeswax and honey constantly
pervading the hot, humid air these past days. The end product of
all this toil and trouble has been some beautiful chunks of pale
yellow beeswax – better than the stuff you can buy.
I’m sure that lots of you have been through this labor of
love, and for the rest of you, this is something you have to look
forward to. My wife is certainly looking forward to getting her
kitchen back. Thank you Kirsten!
There are 44 videos out at this time. Please return them to the July
meeting. If you cannot make the meeting, drop them off at 186 Old
County Rd, E Sandwich, or mail them to:
BCBA c/o Desilets, P O Box 808, E Sandwich, 02537
We have a list of titles we would like to purchase, but will not do
so if the library continues to be abused. Please think of your fellow
Did you increase the number of hives and forget to buy feeders?
Do you not want to use bucket feeders? Have you heard of using plastic
storage bags for feeders? Really simple, just fill a gallon-sized
bag no more than 2/3 full of sugar syrup (or water) and place over
the inner cover. You may want to place a stick or two under the
bag to allow the bees to come up through the center hole and access
the syrup. Just one slice along the length of the bag with a utility
knife and the bees will be there lapping things up. Some folks place
a piece of gutter guard or a stick to keep the bag from collapsing
and trapping the bees that are trying to get the last drops. Just
cover this with an empty shallow.
Barnstable County Fair
The results are in. Even though the crowds were not great, nor were
the honey crops, we ended up with total sales of $3633.50. After issuing
checks to those members who sold honey, wax, candles, lip balms, etc,
which totaled $1731.20; and paying other expenses, we cleared $1489.50
on sales of honey stix, honey candy, and cookbooks. Thanks to all
who brought product to sell, and to all who made this another successful
Another positive result is the addition of 22 names of potential beekeepers
to our mailing list from now til it is time for beeschool registration.
We do not yet have a total of all sales, but the checks for member
sales will be issued soon.
Glassware Pickup Day
Has been changed to Sunday, September 24th at Ed Osmun’s 508-833-9696
Again, it has been encouraging to hear that our “newbees”
are harvesting their first honey. Interestingly, we hear that different
areas of the Cape have had varying success, as the weather has been
anything but accommodating. The goldenrod is available in some areas
and more varieties will certainly follow. That special odor has
already been noted. Let us hope the hives will gain weight by the
end of the coming month.
We have seen evidence of the varroa virus in the form of the deformed
wing syndrome. This spells trouble, even with a low varroa count.
What to do? Requeen and treat. Treat with what?, you say. You may
use Apistan, Formic Acid Pads, Sucrocide, or just let them fend
for themselves. The bottom line is how you feel towards the use
of medications/pesticides and what was used in the past. An alternative
product is suggested if you decide to treat.
Summer nucs have been started with interesting results. A real challenge
has occurred due to robbing while we still experience a dearth.
Opening size has been insignificant as one hive with a nickel-sized
opening was totally decimated by sister hives. One really needs
to be creative. At one point, we had to resort to using cone-board
cones to restrict passage to “out-only” to reduce numbers
that had invaded one hive. It did quiet the activity and salvaged
the nucs. We are now slowly adding small amounts of sugar syrup
to hive top feeders and calm prevails. Ideally, the weather changed
to rain which also helped the project.
Ultimately, feeding all the hives in a yard, once the honey shallows
are off, will also help. What was supposed to be 4-frame nucs going
into winter have now blossomed into 8-frame deeps. One just never
knows. We will keep you abreast of the “survivability”
our NY-bred Russians, and our CT “mutts”.
Requeening is the current program here. Those queens that over-wintered
or never built up well will soon be history (fertilizer?). Two approaches
will be made. One will be to just kill the old queen, mist with
Honey Bee Healthy in 1:1 sugar syrup and add the new queen over
the frames using a shim. Weather permitting, the second approach
will be to remove 2 frames of capped brood and bees, add a frame
of honey and place in a nuc box atop the hive to be requeened. Add
the new queen as above and let her settle in. This approach gives
you time to find and kill the old queen, after the new queen has
been accepted. If the new queen is not accepted, all is not lost,
as the frames can go right back into the hive, making a renewed
effort in the spring. If all goes according to the plan, the new
queen and brood can be replaced below once she is laying.
Of late, a number of interesting comments have been relayed on he
internet regarding hives with 2 and 3 queens coexisting. Mother
and daughter queens apparently can share a hive. One gentleman noted
that he requeened an Italian hive with a Carniolan and later found
both an Italian and a Carniolan queen laying side by side.
Michael Palmer of Vermont (October speaker at Mass Bee) commercial
beekeeper and queen breeder experienced nearly a 30% multiple queen
rate last year after requeening 50 hives. Daughters and old mom
were seen laying on adjacent comb. One must wonder if that is why
attempts at requeening do fail as the hive has no need for the new
queen even after one kills a/the old queen.
I just have one link for you this month, but if you are looking for info on Top Bar Hives, or how to administer (not recommended by USDA) Oxalic Acid to combat Varroa in your hives, or even how to make a Varroa Blaster to spray powdered sugar (no unsafe chemicals there) onto your bees; this is the place to look. Check out bwrangler.madpage.com. Just found a second site with still more info on using powdered sugar -- www.countryrubes.com.
Mass Beekeeper Association
The Mass Beekeepers’ Assn invites you all to our Fall Meeting
and Honey Show, to be held October 14th and 15th at the Royal Plaza
Hotel in Fitchburg. The Friday evening program will be a presentation
on the increase in the bear population in Massachusetts by James
Cardoza, a Wildlife Biologist with the Division of Fisheries and
Wildlife. Saturday will feature David Tarpy, the Apiary Extension
person at North Carolina State University, and Commercial Beekeeper
Michael Palmer of St. Albans, VT. They will be presenting the basics
of queen biology and management, and queen production. For further
information, see Paul or go to our website at www.massbee.org
What would you do
An overwintered hive with a 2004 swarm queen has a shallow of honey,
but the Deformed Wing Virus has established itself with 4 to 5 bees
evident on each frame. The queen has a great brood pattern, good
stores, and currently a good population. A varroa count with a sticky
board is underway. This is a great teaching tool in a location for
a hive opening. Keep an eye on your email as we will try to schedule
a hive opening on an upcoming weekend.
A reminder that Armstrong-Kelley Park is always open and illuminated
on both board walks. Come, visit our gardens which include wetland,
water, shade and flower gardens. We are just restaining the 1200
personalized planks. There is always time to Get A'Board, Post A
Poem or just relax in our wonderland in the woods. In the quiet
corner of Cape Cod called Osterville, turn left in the center heading
toward Centerville and a 1/4 mile on the left you'll find 8.5 acres
Thank you for caring, Carl Mongé
For Sale – B.C.B.A. has Fumagillin-B available
in single dose containers, just $1 per dose. No need to buy those
large jars that will go out of date before you can use it all. See
us at the September and October meetings.
For Sale - Mac Welch of 35 Acre Hill Rd, Barnstable,
has a Deluxe 3-frame hand-crank extractor, used one time only, as
listed in the Mann Lake catalog (HH-190) for $299.95, plus freight,
that he is willing to part with for $200.00. 508-362-9622.
Wanted - Do you have any of those cold, all steel
queen excluders lying around unused? If so, call Paul Desilets at