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Buzz Words - August 2008

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Barnstable County Fair
4. Upcoming Meetings of Interest
5. Claire's Corner
6. Summertime Tips
7. The Continuing Beekeeping Adventures of Paul ’n Patty
8. Library
9. Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod
10. Websites of Interest
11. Classifieds

Will be in September at the West Barnstable Community Bldg.
No Meeting in August, as we cannot use the Community Building in the summer.

From the President
Again we had a very successful Fair. I want to thank all the club members who volunteered in our bee house. Very special thanks go to Marthe Ayers and to Claire Desilets. Marthe did a great (and difficult) job in coordinating all staffing and the dealings with the Fair management. Then Claire designed and implemented the pleasing and informative displays and decorations in the bee house.

As I was working on this letter, I received the great results from Paul. I am sure he will have more on those in this newsletter.

In addition to the regular meetings, this fall we have two great activities planned. On Sunday, October 12, 2008 the our club will co-sponsor the third annual “Honey Bee Jamboree” (formerly called the “Honey Extraction Festival”) at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (CCMNH). While there will be “Museum Honey” for sale, club members are encouraged to come and sell their bee-related products (honey, candles, ointments, lotions, etc). We will have room for 10 display tables where we can sell the products and demonstrate how they are made. A share of the proceeds will go to the Museum. Please let me know as soon as possible (call or e-mail) if you are interested in having a table. More details will follow.

On Saturday, October 25, 2008, our club will host the State Association’s meeting in Middleboro. The program is being worked on. Let’s all pitch in: This is an opportunity to let our club shine. Again, more details will follow.
I wish you good health and that all the “shallows” are full. -- George

Barnstable County Fair Award Winners
As always, we had many members taking ribbons at the Fair. This year, I went ‘round with pad and pencil so that I could recognize your efforts. Congratulations to you all, and our apologies to those missed.

  • We start with our youngest member, Olivia Rose, who took 4 BLUE ribbons, as well as Best of Show for her “Beehive Cake”. She also received a 3rd prize for a 4-H display on the newly founded Bee Club.

  • In the honey category, Cindy Mesmer and Ray Ruggles each took a BLUE ribbon, while Pam Ashcroft garnered 2 SECONDS.

  • Joe Miksch took a FIRST with a dozen eggs.

    Now we get to Vegetables, and there was a lot of competition. I only noted top winners, as follows:

  • Jan Rapp – BLUE -- Garden Basket, Garlic, & Escarole
    RED -- Beets and Onions
    MOST POINTS in the category

  • Cal Mutti - BLUE -- Zucchini and Roma Tomatoes
    RED -- Summer Squash (should not have taken my advice)
    YELLOW -- Red Cherry Tomatoes

  • Leslie Lichtenstein - BLUE -- Black Raspberries

  • Wally Miller – RED -- Red Potatoes

  • Arlene Wheeler - BLUE -- Sugar Snap Peas

    And, last, but not least, is the Flower Category. That was a mind-blowing display, so we probably missed some of you.

  • We did find Cal Mutti with a FIRST for his Balloon Flowers, and SECONDS for Gloriosa Daisies and Butterfly Bush.

  • And Leslie Lichtenstein was right there with a FIRST for Butterfly Bush and a THIRD for Marigolds.

Barnstable County Fair Bee Booth Volunteer Thank You
I would like to especially thank all the volunteers who manned our building during the fair. Your response was great and I was able to fill most of the shifts without too many phone calls. The email response was impressive. I hope everyone enjoyed his/her experience answering questions and selling our products, and if we have time at our next meeting, you are welcomed to share your experience. I know my "job" went smoothly thanks to all of you. I hope to see you all at the meetings and at the booth next year. -- Marte

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Meetings of Interest
Saturday, October 25th, Our monthly meeting is changed once again, as B.C.B.A. host the Massachusetts Beekeepers Assoc. Fall Meeting and Honey Show at the Middleboro Elks Lodge, a hop, skip, and jump off I-495; close enough for all to partake. You will all have had a chance to extract your honey crop by then, so you can enter the competition and see if you can knock the reigning entrants away from those blue and red ribbons.
We will show you how it is done at the September meeting.

November, date TBA- hopefully will be in conjunction with the Plymouth County Beekeepers. The speaker is scheduled to be Ross Conrad, author of “Natural Beekeeping”. One more chance for us to “cross over the bridge” and interact with other beekeepers.

There are still some members who have not responded to our very simple queen survey. We remind you that you are putting your future purchase of packages thru the club in jeopardy. Snail mail or email, A.S.A.P., please.

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Claire's Corner
Floriferous - What a perfect word for beekeepers! Think Black Locust drenched with shiny white blossoms back in June and now clethera (Sweet Pepper Bush) with tall spikes gradually opening. Goldenrod and aster will soon grace the fields and roadsides with their lush nectar-filled blossoms. It appears to have been an improved honey harvest compared with the past few seasons, with much appreciation to all these blooms.

As summer progresses, requeening should be on our schedule. Although more difficult to find her majesty, most texts expound on the benefits of late summer/early fall requeening. Young queens will provide a new generation of workers before cold weather sets in, increasing the hive’s survival rate. It is very evident that over wintered hives produce the greatest yield of honey.

The weather did not cooperate this past spring when scheduling a Requeening/spit-making workshop. We will be on vacation August 13 thru 16 and plan on Requeening and making a few summer nucleus colonies. You are invited to look over our shoulders, weather permitting. Email us as the date gets closer and we will forward times and locations for those interested.

We are packing away the fair displays, but would love to entertain any member’s ideas or suggestions for future displays and bee building rehab. New eyes, new hands, new voices will benefit our future educational endeavors.

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Summertime Tips
Always have a source of water available as the hot weather continues.

Each time you visit the hive, heft it carefully from the back to get an idea of weight and stores.

Continue to monitor monthly for varroa because the varroa count increases as the brood increases.

Do NOT remove your honey until ready to extract. Stored honey is hygroscopic and can easily pick up moisture while in your garage or basement. It is also very alluring to small hive beetle.

Replace those grease patties when consumed to keep the tracheal mite count low.

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The Continuing Beekeeping Adventures of Paul ’n Patty
by Andy Morris

The neighborhood was all a-buzz. No one who lived on Auntie Bellum Avenue had ever seen them leave their car outside overnight, let alone an entire week. Also, Paul ’n Patty were acting pretty strange. They had carried several large cardboard boxes from their car into the garage late Saturday morning and lots of banging noises had been coming from it all week. Along with the banging came some choice words from Paul. The curiosity factor was becoming epidemic, consuming the social lives of many of the neighborhood busy bodies.

Finally, Sarah, their immediate neighbor on the north side of their property, and the grand niece of the lady for whom the avenue was named, could stand it no longer and under the pretense of needing a cup of sugar knocked on their front door. No answer.

She knocked again, louder and longer. Still, there was no answer.

She was just about to strike the door with her foot this time, having bruised her knuckles on the previous attempt, when the door swung open, and Paul dropped to the floor, gripping his right kneecap with his right hand because he had his left thumb, which he had just hit with a hammer, in his mouth.

“Oh!” Sarah exclaimed, “I’m so sorry, Paul. I did knock in the conventional way but no one answered.

“Anyway,” she murmured as she strode into the kitchen, head swiveling and bobbing like one of those dolls on the dashboard of a car, “I need some sugar.”

“We don’t have any,” said Paul, limp(ing)ly. “We now use only honey.”

Sarah headed in a beeline toward the door that opened to the garage. There were banging noises in that direction and she was determined to find out what was going on. The entire avenue was counting on her being successful.
Patty turned around as the door passing to the kitchen swung open violently, slamming against the wall. “What the…!” she slipped. “Sarah, what are you doing here?”

“What are you doing here?” asked Sarah. “I hear all this banging, boxes coming into the garage, weird things happening. What’s going on? Are these bird houses or something?”

“No,” said Patty, “they are hive boxes.”

There was a silence. Sarah was processing that statement. “Hive boxes? Is that like flower boxes. Are they planters?”

“No,” Patty said patiently, “they are for bees. Paul and I are soon to be beekeepers.”

“Say that again,” replied Sarah. “You’re going to be what?”

“Beekeepers…people who keep honeybees. You know, the little insects that make honey and pollinate flowers,” Patty said with a cautious look. She wasn’t sure how her neighbor was going to react to having two hives of bees next door.

“Do you have a permit? Don’t you need a permit? I mean, like, these things sting. People are allergic to them and die. What if they are Killer Bees?” queried Sarah. “I mean how do you know? Ya know what I mean? Like, they could attack someone and, like, kill them.”

“Well, you don’t have to worry. The bees we are getting aren’t “killer bees”. As a matter of fact, “killer bees” are really called Africanized Honey Bees, and they are originally from South America,” informed Patty. “The honey bees we are getting are Italian honey bees, and they are coming from Georgia.”

Sarah tilted her head and squinted one eye. “African bees are from South America? Italian bees are coming from Georgia? Well, I better not get stung, that’s all I have to say!”

She turned on her heel and strode out of the garage, without her sugar.

Patty fell back against the workbench, and leaned unconcernedly against the fresh paint she had just put on one of the honey supers. “&*#$,” She blurted. “I can’t believe some people! They can be just so ignorant!”

Paul cautiously slid next to her and, putting a comforting arm around her shoulders and pulling her to his side, said, “If you remember, just a few short weeks ago I wasn’t too warm on the idea of keeping bees. I’m still a little nervous. People are different and take time to adjust to new things, especially stinging things.”

When he pulled away, he noticed that the inside of the arm of his shirt was covered with wet paint. He took Patty by the shoulders and planted a dramatic kiss on her lips, spun her around and whispered into her ear, “I think we should quit for the time being. We need some cleaning up.”

To be continued . . .

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Please return all books and videos to the June meeting. We need to re-catalog, and assess what needs to be eplaced. If you cannot make the meeting, you can mail the items to BCBA, P O Box 808, E Sandwich, 02537, or drop them off at 186 Old County Rd, East Sandwich. Just leave them on our breakfast table.

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Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod
Your connection to Cape Cod’s freshest and most delicious local food.

People on Cape Cod are asking for locally produced food! If you produce or buy Cape-grown food as part of your business, the new Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod program is for you.

Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod is a consumer education effort of the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, and the goal is to make it easy for citizens to find and buy fresh, local food through outreach materials, advertisements and point of purchase materials.

We invite growers and businesses to become member partners in this program. For $75, partners receive posters, bumper stickers and point of purchase cards, and benefit from an intense public awareness campaign geared toward educating people about the benefits of eating local foods. Members also have access to a dedicated business-to-business coordinator to help facilitate grower-buyer meetings.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can participate as a member in the program, please call Jessie Gunnard, Program Coordinator, at (508) 444-6313, or email at Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod is a program of the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP).

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Websites of Interest
Members researching solutions for problems in their hives sent the following sites to us:
And, don't forget to periodically check out Julie Lipkin's blog at:

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Claire has 6 ounce flat-belly bears for sale with hi-flo caps for 50 cents each.

There is still an extractor available. Contact Claire or Paul for this item. As the restaurants say: “Pris fixe.” The extractor, used 4 times, is a motorized Maxant Model 3100, which will extract 6 shallow frames at a time, lists for $799.00. We will accept $650.00.

back to top Last updated 08/12/08