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Buzz Words - April 2010

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Queens
4. Future Meetings
5. Claire's Corner
6. Used Equipment
7. Grant Update
8. Tips
9. Pollinator Plant Sale
10. Bee-L
11. Honey Granola
12. Looking for an “away location”?

Tuesday, April 13th,  7:30 P.M., at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149.   Swarming --  How to avoid, How to capture   - George Muhlebach and Andy Morris

This is also our Annual Meeting and we need to elect a new slate of officers.  We have lost 3 members of our Board of Directors and Volunteers and Nominations from the floor will be accepted for these positions.  Those wishing positions, according to the nominating committee, are:
President: Jan Rapp
Vice-President: John Beach
Secretary: Claire Desilets
Treasurer: Paul Desilets
Nominations for these positions will also be accepted from the floor.

Many questions come up throughout the bee season. In order to benefit all members, the following format has been proposed by a board member.  Throughout the month, members can email questions to Claire and Paul. At the next monthly meeting, three of the most pertinent questions will be offered for  discussion.

2 liter soda or iced tea - Brian ODonnell
˝ gallon Juice - Beth/Tom Nyhan
Cookies, Brownies, etc. - Kate Clemens & Donna Tanis

Don’t forget to periodically check out member Julie Lipkin’s blog, AND add your comments to let her know that your are in fact reading her efforts.

From the President
As I write this, the weather is cold, windy and raw.  After a few very nice, warm days, now this.  Someone said to me recently:  "Spring was nice, while it lasted".  But nice, sunny weather is forecast for Easter weekend.  Great.

Our Best Management Practices “Being a Good Neighbor” have been approved by the Board in our March meeting and are now posted on our website.  With the Cape becoming more and more populated, it is very important that we consider our neighbors in our decisions where to set up our hives and how to keep our bees.  I thank Sue Angus, Julie Lipkin, Brian O’Donnell, and John Portnoy for their help in putting these guidelines together.    This is my last president’s letter to you.  During our April meeting, a new president will be elected.  For me, it has been a good two years and I would like to thank the entire Board for their support and the all members for their participation in the meetings.


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We have confirmed an order for Minnesota Hygienic queens to arrive in 2 shipments of 20 each. They are scheduled to ship on May 17th and June 7th. These will be available for members to requeen or to make a split to prevent swarming. This might help to add to our genetic mix for our grant queens.  The price is pending, right now between $17 and $20.

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Future Meetings
April 13th – Swarming, how to control, how to capture - Andy Morris and George Muhlebach

May 11th – Pollinating Plants –Roberta Clark, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension

May 15th  - Annual Pollinator Plant Sale  -  Club fundraiser

June 8th - Sam Comfort of (check out his website)

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Claire's Corner
First, we are excited to mention that the observation hive has capped brood; always an encouraging sign. Her daughters have hovered over her so well that our perfect paint job (green) needs to be repeated – always a challenge. (Oh, what if we squish her?)

At the March meeting many members were elated that their hives had made it through the winter. How many have peeked at the brood pattern? No excuses this weekend. Over the next four weeks (April) be aware of your brood pattern as queens will be available mid-May and early June. Queens are our weak link here on Cape Cod. Long live the queen?

So here is how we aim to solve this “weak link”, thanks to the USDA and MA DAR – a synopsis of the approach to our grant: 6 new hives are to be placed in Wellfleet, Barnstable and E Sandwich. Once established, these will be our cell builders, using a Cloake Board (a modified queen excluder) placed between 2 deep brood boxes – queen-right below, and queenless above where queen cells will be nursed and raised.

Russian Queens (3) and Cape Cod Survivor Queens (3) will be placed in nucs (splits). Once established, the appropriate aged larva will be transferred, on the frame and in the cell they were laid in, to the top deep over the Cloake Board. This is the Miller Method which includes special trimming of the brood comb. More on that in a hands-on workshop. This process produces only 5-10 queen cells. That is o.k. for us, as it is a learning experience.

Each cell, once capped in the cell builder, will then be transferred to a queen mating nuc (a deep divided in 3 sections, each holding 3 frames). It is basically a mini-nuc with a frame of nurse bees, brood, pollen, honey or a feeder. Here the queen will hatch, mate and start laying (we hope). Then the word will go out to all that we have laying Cape Cod Queens for members to requeen or, preferably, make a split or nucleus colony.

This will take lots of bees in all stages. Thus if your hive is strong coming into spring, consider making a split or lending a few frames of bees and brood to a mating nuc in your area.

Weather will be a major factor in our success, and we are already 2 weeks behind schedule.

As we proceed with the grant, we will probably have a need for additional equipment. This will take funds (in-kind) from the club. There are currently nearly 100 memberships unpaid for 2010 (newbees, you are exempt). NO DUES, NO BEES if you have not paid. Please consider this $15.00.

Bee in touch!

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Used Equipment
A club member recently passed away and his family donated his equipment to the club. The Board has decided to sell all equipment at a very reasonable price. These deep and medium supers, frames, telescoping and inner covers come at the perfect time for members with over-wintered hives to add a box or two to prevent swarming or to start a new hive with our very own CC Queen.

1 Smoker $12.00 2 Bee Brush $ 1.00
2 Cappings Scratcher $ 3.00 1 Hackler Honey Punch $25.00
7 Medium Supers $ 5.00 5 Brood Supers $ 7.00
9 Med Supers w/ frames $ 7.00 6 Brood Supers w/ frames $ 9.00
4 Inner Covers $ 3.00 5 Queen Excluders $ 7.00
6 Telescoping Covers $ 7.50 3 Bottom Boards $ 5.00
1 pr Goatskin Gloves SM, lightly used $ 5.00

These will be available at Claire & Paul’s at 186 Old County Rd, E Sandwich, on Saturday April 10th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Just a reminder that the club maintains a small inventory of the basic parts. We also have a few 5-frame nucs in stock, for quick splits to prevent a swarm in mid-May when new queens are available, or to accept a Cape Cod raised queen this summer.

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Grant Update
It appears the initial phase of the queen rearing grant is in delay mode. Due to poor weather in Georgia,  the early April arrival of packages is delayed two weeks. Upon arrival, an email will go out to all members for assistance or overseeing.

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Pollen Patties/Honey B Healthy

  • Bee Pro patties have arrived. They will be put up in packages of 2’s for $4.00. Freezing leftovers is acceptable.
  • Honey B Healthy will be available at meetings for $20.

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Pollinator Plant Sale
Don’t forget to plan some items for the annual pollinator plant sale coming in May.  We will be looking for pots of tomatoes, herbs, and all sorts of plants attractive to bees and butterflies.  

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The following came to us via BEE-L
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 08:48:15 EDT
From: Chris Slade
Subject: Re: The queen or the hive?

Mothers’ Day
I’m Mother to five hundred thousand bees,
With thirty thousand with me, still alive.
I’ve swarmed and changed my home now twice to please
My daughters, who thought somewhere else we’d thrive.
My old homes are not very far away:
One in a hive, the other in a tree.
My grandbbees come and pester us each day:
They try to see what food they’ll get for free.
I know that, now I’m getting past my prime,
My daughters think they’ll try to supersede.
They have four scattered queen cells at this time.
The larvae they’ll with royal jelly feed:
For one of them I really must make way
Because I know this Mother’s had her day!

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Honey Granola
Can't remember if there has been a recipe for honey granola in the newsletter, but as I made some yesterday, I thought I'd send it along. The best thing about granola is if you don't have one thing you can substitute something else, & exact amounts don't matter!

  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Mix dry ingredients together:
    • 3 cups old fashioned (not instant) rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup raw almonds & 1/2 cup raw pecans (can use 1/2 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds, instead or in addition)
    • (can also add 1/2 tbs wheat germ)
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp sea or kosher salt
  3. In sauce pan, mix & just bring to a boil:
    • 1/4 cup margarine or oil
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • (you can add a little water, not more than 1/4 cup if mixture is too thick)
  4. Pour over the dry ingredients - toss so everything is coated
  5. You can add 1 cup of any dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries ,dates, etc) or fresh blueberries in season
  6. Spread on baking sheet (grease or spray or use baking parchment so it doesn't stick)
  7. Bake for 25-45 mins until golden brown
It will still be sticky when it comes out of the oven, but will crisp as it dries. Will keep several weeks in an air tight container. – Leslie L.

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Looking for an “away location”?
We received requests for hives to be placed on 2 Lower Cape locations, one in Chatham(1/2 acre), one in Truro (1/3 acre). If interested, contact Karen in Chatham at or Tara in Truro at 508-432-6973

back to top Last updated 04/10/10