Tuesday, September 11th, will see a discussion
on preparing your hives for winter. August is left to the enjoyment
of our Cape Cod.
There will be NO MEETING in August, as we cannot use the Community
Building in the summer.
» Barnstable County Beekeepers 2007 Survey (pdf)
From the President
Thanks to all the wonderful helpers who prepared the booth for the
fair and worked during the fair to make it a successful week. It's
always fun to exchange conversations, helpful tips and educate the
public. I really appreciate all your help and cooperation; some
of you worked up to 3 shifts to fill in the blanks in my schedule.
Again, many thanks to all. -- Marte
The glassware has arrived and is stored at Ed Osmun’s farm on
Lombard Rd, in W Barnstable. The B.C.B.A. Glass Store is available
– by appointment – on the first and third Saturday’s
of September. Call George Muhlebach at 508-362-8693 or email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your pickup time.
Prices are as follows: 24 x 8 oz - $9.00, 24 x 16 oz - $9.00, and
12 x 32 oz - $7.00
George will not have change. Please bring correct amount or a check.
Meetings of Interest
Massachusetts Beekeepersí Association Fall Meeting and Honey Show
Saturday, October 13, 2007
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Knights of Columbus Hall, Leicester, MA
Featured speaker will be Ross Conrad, author of Natural Beekeeping
Offering organic approaches to modern apiculture
Enter your honey or wax products and see if you can take one of
those blue ribbons away
from the likes of Jim Gross, Claire Desilets, or Dan Conlon
Southern New England Beekeepers Assembly (SNEBA)
Saturday November 17, 2007
Unitarian Society of New Haven,
700 Hartford Tpke, Hamden, CT
Theme: Healthy Bees
Speakers: Dewey Caron, Jennifer Berry, Janet Brisson, Larry Connor
Glasstown Queens are here!
Well, have you heard the exciting buzz emanating from the Upper
Cape? Six queen cells hatched on Friday the 13th, have mated, and
each now head a new “household”. Mark’s girls
are gorgeous Italians raised from a winter survivor and mated with
(we assume) drones of varying heritage.
One household in particular has grown from a 2-frame nuc to 5 frames
and has now been moved to an 8-frame hive. To prevent robbing (it
is in a yard with 5 full-sized hives) during this dearth they are
being fed fondant and a pollen patty in the division board feeder.
Upon emerging, this queen was a stubby little creature. When attempting
to mark her, as there were queen cells in the mating nuc, would
you believe she flew away? Gulp!! A few minutes later we saw her
fly back, land on the entrance board and march right back in to
do her thing. Phew! A few days later, the workers had torn down
all queen cells. We then knew who was in charge.
We hope this is just the beginning of our queen-rearing project.
We will keep you posted.
How to treat – watch that hive tool and heat sterilize it.
If only a frame or two seem affected, remove them and treat the
hive with terramycin. The hive can be shaken onto new equipment
and treated, but all removed frames should be burned or bagged for
incineration. The hive bodies can be sprayed with full-strength
bleach, and then scorched with a propane torch. More extensive infections
of AFB, when discovered, should be destroyed entirely. Bees and
equipment should be incinerated a.s.a.p.
How do these infections sneak up on us? It is hard to find a common
denominator as frames get swapped, hives moved, used equipment purchased,
and new packages and nucleus colonies are moved in. Preventative
treatment with terramycin has been discontinued due to the buildup
of resistance to the drug. So, just be ever aware of all the possible
infirmities and problems that might affect your honeybee hives.
Well, the Barnstable County Fair is over. I hope everyone who stood
a shift in the Bee Booth had a good time. I know I did. The club
members with whom I spent time were wonderful. Some had more experience
than others. I think that is important because it gives the visitors
to the booth a chance to see that we are not all wizened old people
who have lost their sanity as proven by their hobby: keeping bees.
A couple of times some of the information that I heard expressed
as fact did not jibe with what I consider accurate, but it is true
that if you ask ten beekeepers what they think on any bee related
subject, you will get eleven opinions. Keeping in mind that we (the
club) are an educational body, there is nothing written that everything
we say in the booth has to be gospel. It just might be that the
information came from another source, and is one of the ten opinions
I didn’t read. We were being examined intensely and had to
give our answers on the spot. That is not an easy thing to do. What
ever, the passion was genuine and contagious. Many people took fliers
and will consider joining the club. I guess the crisis concerning
bees has hit home with many people. (I did meet several people who
had not heard that there was a crisis…interesting.) And many
people expressed what a wonderful and educational display we had.
Next week I leave with Claire and Paul Desilets destined for Delaware
and the 2007 EAS (Eastern Apiculture Society) conference. I’m
loading up my iPOD in case Paul wants to listen to country music
all the way there and back. Maybe they will bring some ‘books
on tape’ (hint, hint). Anyway, I have no doubt that we will
be hearing the latest updates on CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)
and what the future of beekeeping holds in store. Of course we will
get that information to you any way we can. Perhaps, after next
week I will be able to answer definitively the question, ‘What’s
happening to the bees?’
Again, thanks to all involved in making the Fair a smooth operation.
Marte and Claire for trying to coordinate people to fill slots at
the booth, Leslie for her work on the gardens and the numerous shifts
she willingly stood, and to everyone who put time in the booth,
teaching to the public about the bees.
One good thing about this year’s fair being over is that,
for sure, next year the queen will be marked with a different color.
Mother Nature cooperated and gave us some fairly good weather, no
heavy rains, but some days too cloudy for the beach. Even though
we had very little Honey Candy, and the Honey Stick order was partially
back-ordered, we still did well at the Fair. The club sold 21 Cook
Books, approximately 6400 honey sticks and 30 pounds of honey candy.
Add to that, all the member honey, pollen, wax, candles and skin
products, and we generated $4437. Of that total, $2851 went back
to the members for their hive products sold. Claire’s display
on pollination elicited many comments and questions about the importance
of honey bees to our daily meals. And, of course, the observation
hive was the hit of the week!
We noted that many BCBA members showed a spirit of competition,
with Jan Rapp, Leslie Lichtenstein, Pam Ashcroft, Cynthia Prapas,
Ruth Walters, Joe Miksch, and Louise and Wally Miller all entered
various veggies, honeys, and eggs. There are quite a few blue and
red ribbons in members’ homes this week. Congrats, all.
We noted a disqualified honey entry due to a high moisture content.
This happens on occasion due to wet, humid spring weather, which
can lead to a moisture level of 19 to 20%. Even though the workers
have capped the cells, honey, being hygroscopic, can still absorb
water through the wax. This is an excellent reason to not store
honey in your damp cellar.
The Bee Building
Our aging building needs attention. Perhaps calls need to go out
to all our handymen to correct a few sagging doors, and upgrade
an aged window. Our newly shingled roof looks great, but it lacks
a sign boldly proclaiming the presence of local honeys within. (Jan?)
An upgrading of the ventilation fans is needed, and a battery-backup
emergency lighting system has been suggested. And, our handicapped
access ramp is in need of repair.
Many ideas have been received via email on how best to improve
our displays and routine during fair week. The need to require proper
labeling of extracted honey was evident and headed the list of complaints.
Check for crowding. Swarming can occur in August with little hope
of the swarm surviving the winter due to its size. Goldenrod and
aster nectar should soon be available for winter stores, and, hopefully,
some for the beekeeper.
Mite counts should be done, as varroa counts will peak at this time
of year. Dusting with confectionary sugar is innocuous to the bee,
but a deterrent to the mite.
Consider re-queening if yours arrived in the spring of 2006.
If you did not yet have honey to extract, keep in mind the one-day
Harvest Fair, on Saturday, September 29th.
There is also a request from Lou Ann Colombo, of the Bee and Blossom
in Hyannis, for local honeys to be sold in her shop. See Lou Ann
at the corner of Main and South Streets. If you haven’t been
yet, you’re in for a treat!
Ed still has 12-ounce teddy's for sale at 50 cents each, in lots of 24. His cell is (508) 802-0509.