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Buzz Words - April 2008

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Bees, Bees, Bees
4. Upcoming Meetings of Interest
5. Claire's Corner
6. Annual Meeting
7. Pollen Patties
8. Need a Location for Hive

Next Meeting
Tuesday, April 8th at 7:30 P.M. at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149.
Why did your hive die? Do you know, or have you an educated guess? Our April meeting will feature a member forum for Q & A. Equipment or dead-outs may be brought in for diagnosis. Just be careful and package them properly to avoid any contamination. We welcome all newbies to the first association meeting and look forward to their questions before our bees arrive.

Members Joe Miksch and Richard Simon volunteered to bring drinks to this meeting; and Donna Donovan and Susan Kelley will donate munchies. Thank You!!

A sign up sheet will be passed around at the meeting for those wishing to provide drinks and nibbles for upcoming meetings and bee school sessions as well.

From the President
We are another month closer to spring; if we actually have one on the Cape. It's exciting to see the crocus in bloom and the daffodils in bud. At least the plants think spring is in the air and our bees are taking flight more frequently with the sunny, warmer days. Keep checking the food supply regularly as it is critical at this time of the year until there is nectar flowing.

We meet as a board periodically throughout the year to eliminate the "business" from our meetings so we can have topics and speakers of interest. Please don't ever hesitate to chat with any of the Board members regarding our meetings, and Claire always has the minutes available for anyone to read.. At my last Board of Directors meeting in March, we had two organizations we voted to help with their education in beekeeping. They are Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster and the Green Briar Nature Center located in East Sandwich. Green Briar is setting up an observation hive and we are providing the bees to start them on their way. We are also donating a package of bees to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History for its continuing educational program using an observation hive there as well. Since it is one of our goals to continually educate the general public in our love for honeybees, we thought both were worthy organizations.

I was contacted by the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich inquiring if our club would be interested in participating in their Earth Day program on Saturday, April 26, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. I am coordinating our participation and would like more people to help work in 2 or 3 hours shifts (longer if you wish). It will be handled similar to our fair program. Claire will provide the observation hive and club display material. We will be able to sell our bee related products also just as we do at the fair. Please contact me by email or phone if you would like to help in this education related program.

It is with a little sadness that I write this last "President’s Message" for our newsletter. The two years have flown and it has been a pleasure to serve as President. I actually have to say that my job was easy as we have a great Board of Directors and Officers. We all worked well together so decisions were accomplished easily. I have to especially thank Claire, who makes everything run smoothly behind the scenes as our Secretary with her years of being involved in our club, as well as Paul. Between the Treasurer and Secretary they are the backbone to our club. I'll continue to be active in our club in any way I can. So you'll still see me around. Thank you for all your support. -- Marte ( (508) 539-1774

Bees, Bees, Bees
Helmets and Veils Should be Worn

11 A.M. at Bill’s Bog on Route 124 in Brewster
Take Exit 10 off of Route 6 and head north. Bill’s Bog is on the left. The bog owner requests that you please park on the RIGHT side of the road, opposite the bog.
Andy Morris will instruct the proper installation procedure to all members East of the Dennis/Yarmouth line.

1 P.M. at 186 Old County Rd. East Sandwich
Take Route 6 to Exit 4, head north off the ramp for approximately ½ mile. Turn left on Old County Rd. 186 is the first driveway on the left. Befitting our love of bees, a sign hangs above a Rhododendron proclaiming Rocky Bottum along with a carved honeybee. Parking is limited, so you are asked to park along the neighbor’s fence and between our driveway and Chase Road.

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Meetings of Interest
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Earth Day at Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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
1 P.M.
Requeening and Splits
Hhands on in Marstons Mills. Details to follow

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
7:30 P.M.
Pollinating Plants for your gardens – Monthly Meeting in West Barnstable

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
1 p.m.
Hive Opening for “Newbees”
location T.B.A.

Sunday, June 15, 2008
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Queen Rearing – hands on with Larry Connor
Members - $15. and bring bag lunch & Protective clothing. Limited attendance, contact Claire.

Monday, June 16, 2008
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, Murray, KY

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Massachusetts Beekeepers Assoc. Fall Meeting and Honey Show

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Claire's Corner
As promised, here is the recipe for propolis tincture, an all-natural alternative to iodine. Like iodine, it stains. Use it on minor cuts, rashes and abrasions. Some folks even use a few drops in a glass of drinking water to relieve sore throats. The shelf life of this tincture is several years.

Measure the crumbled propolis and add an equal measure of 100 proof vodka or grain alcohol (1 to 1). Place in an oven proof bottle with lid.

Heat the closed bottle in a 200 degree oven. Shake the bottle every 3 0 minutes. Continue until the propolis is completely dissolved.

Strain the mixture thru a paper coffee filter or nylon stocking. Bottle the tincture into dropper bottles, which you can get at a pharmacy.

Propolis Ointment can be applied to minor cuts, bruises and abrasions.

Melt the following ingredients in a microwave or a double boiler: 1 tsp of beeswax, 4 teaspoons of liquid paraffin, 1 teaspoon of propolis granules, and 1 teaspoon of honey

Remove from heat and stir continuously until the mixture cools and thickens; then pour into suitable jars.

Current information online suggests that we return to the practice of feeding a teaspoon dose of fumagillin-b to our new packages. In addition to the Nosema apis that has been around for years, we now could be exposed to a more virulent Nosema ceranae. B.C.B.A. currently has a small supply left, in single dose packaging, for $1 per dose, but due to the recommendations, it is currently on a back-order situation, so we would not have enough for all. What we do have will be available at the April meeting.

We have received our shipment of Honey Bee Healthy, and the price remains at $20. See Claire at meetings.

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Annual Meeting
April is the time of our annual meeting. A short business session will find us nominating and voting on our 2008 officers. There are positions open on the board of directors as well. Please consider stepping up to the plate and assisting those that have come forward to keep our 200 or so member organization functioning as one of the best in the state.

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Pollen Patties
This year with each new package of bees a pollen patty (1lb Bee Pro, Mann Lake) will be included. More and more information is coming our way regarding poor nutrition in the hive. Poor nutrition can compromise the new package as they struggle to build their new nest, especially here on the Cape where our season is later than most. This pollen patty should give our packages a much needed spring boost as the dandelions blossom and we watch for other spring blooms.

As our hive develops, the queen lays, and workers build comb to keep ahead of her, pollen is a very basic component. Not only is it the protein portion of the honeybee diet, but, it is the major component for the worker to make royal jelly. The hypopharyngeal gland in the young nurse bee's head produces an enzyme invertase. Include this enzyme with nectar and pollen and the production of royal jelly results. As we know, all freshly laid eggs rest on a spot of royal jelly. More pollen should result in more brood, healthier brood, and a stronger hive. And as the season progresses, we will be amazed at the spectrum of color of pollen here on Cape Cod.

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Need a location for a hive
Dan McMillan of Marstons Mills is looking for someone to place one or two hives on his property. If interested, Dan can be reached at (H) (508) 428-4545, or Cell (508) 265-7305.

Gerry Tutten of Hyannisport is looking for a hive in his location. Marte has his contact info.

And, there is a new Community Garden being developed on Route 130 in Sandwich that is looking for a hive or two. Contact for that is Bob Johnson at Housing Assistance Corporation, (5080 771-5400, Ext 204 or

back to top Last updated 04/5/08