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Buzz Words - December 2010

Next Meeting – Tuesday, December 14th, 7:30 p.m., This will be our annual Holiday Market where various members bring their creations for your shopping pleasure. There is no formal meeting, just a holiday gathering where we get a chance to socialize, meet new members, and – maybe – find something that would make a great gift for that special person.

To date, we will have a spinner with some hand knit & hand dyed items, handmade ceramic votive holders, holiday-themed candles, creamed honey, candles, lip balm, hand cream, fresh greens from E & T Farm, fresh from Florida Grapefruit and Naval Oranges. The club will have honey sticks and honey candy for sale.

We invite newbees to visit, appreciate products from the hive, meet many fellow beekeepers and chat about your soon-to-be new hobby.

Juice/ Cider -- Kate Clemens
Nibbles -- Richard and Lisa Sheehy
Hopefully, as in years past, we will have many delicacies on which to feast.

Check Out Club Member Blogs

Julie Lipkin @

Mark Marinaccio @

Tamar Haspel @

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Upcoming Meetings
***Save this date: Saturday, March 26th. Massachusetts Beekeepers Association Spring Meeting, to be held at the Topsfield Fairgrounds. Registered Bee School members receive free admission. Watch this space for more information.

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Nuc Boxes
Santa Richard is busy constructing 20 more nucleus boxes for the 2011 season. We will have some for sale on December 14th. If you ordered one, we will have it. If one is on your Christmas list, let your family member know where they are available (186 Old County Road, E Sandwich) and we will gladly add a bow for them when they pick it up.

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Tips on Wintering

  • Place a block on T-cover to prevent wind damage
  • Add mouse guards if not already done – Remove monthly to remove dead bees (natural occurrence) blocking entrance
  • Remove snow at entrance for proper ventilation
  • Monitor weight and cluster location for feeding
  • Feed fondant or dry sugar (mountain camp method) adjacent to cluster & directly on top frames
  • Yes! You can safely open the hive for a few seconds while feeding. A second set of hands make easy work.

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Controversial Winter Beekeeping
Some of us insert the white sticky board til March, others do not. We cover ours with plastic wrap as we HATE to clean these boards. Some of ours are already in due to excess wind and low elevations.

Wrapping with roofing felt will be done before Christmas. Just one wrap around blocks the wind. Do a slight overlap on one side in order to staple the wrap, or tie if you have more than one set of hands. Place newspaper between inner cover (& queen excluder) and the telescoping cover to help absorb condensation.

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From Leslie
Now it's time to put the garden to bed. Remember to cut some extra herbs (sage, rosemary & thyme) to dry & infuse in some honey. This makes a great glaze for meat. And since it's getting colder & we spend less time outside & have more time inside to bake I thought some of our new bees might want to try baking with honey. Things baked with honey are moist & dense & tend to brown faster than those made with regular white sugar. When converting a recipe that calls for regular sugar, substitute 3/4 cup plus one tablespoon of honey for each cup of sugar, & reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tablespoons. For every cup of honey that you use add  ~ 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to any recipe that doesn't have sour cream or buttermilk in it. You will also want to lower the called for oven temp by 25 degrees so things don't over brown. If you want a recipe to start out with try these honey bran muffins, make the batter in the evening & refrigerate overnight & just pop in the oven in the morning for a sweet warm way to start the day!

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 eggs-beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups whole bran cereal

In one bowl combine pineapple juice & raisins
In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt & bran
In a large bowl combine brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs, mix until blended. Then add the flour/bran mixture.
Fold in the raisin mixture, cover & refrigerate for at least 3 hours (overnight is fine). Batter is thin but will thicken in the cold.
Give the cold batter a last stir & fill muffin tins 3/4 full.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 mins.
Cool at least 10 min before removing from muffin tin.

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Claire's Corner
Sharing my two favorite holiday recipes:

Holiday Honey Crunch

  • 1/3 c butter
  • ¾ c packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 c cereal (Cheerios, Chex, Crispex)
  • 1 c mixed nuts
  • 1 c mini pretzels

Coat a 13 x 9 pan with vegetable spray and combine cereal, nuts and pretzels in it and set aside.

In medium saucepan combine butter, honey and brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and continue to boil over medium heat for 5 minutes, but DO NOT stir. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour syrup over cereal mixture and stir until well coated.

Bake at 250 deg for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool in pan. Break up and store in air tight container. Yields 9 cups.

Honey MW Peanut Brittle

  • 1 c sugar
  • ¼ c light corn syrup
  • ¼ c honey
  • 1 & 1/2 c raw or cocktail peanuts
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoonfuls baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Grease baking sheet heavily. Combine sugar, peanuts and corn syrup in 3 qt casserole. Stir together. Microwave on high (100%) Until light brown 8 to 10 minutes. Stop and stir twice.

Working quickly stir in butter, baking soda and vanilla until light and foamy. Quickly spread on greased cookie sheet spreading as thin as possible.

Cool and break into pieces. Makes about a pound.

Samples of above available at the Holiday Market nibble table.

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Fondant Candy Recipes

Microwave Recipe (feeds 1 or 2 colonies)

  1. In a 1 quart or larger microwave dish, thoroughly mix 1 & ½ cups granulated sugar and ½ cup light corn syrup. No water.
  2. Microwave on high, stirring every few minutes until the mixture is clear and bubbles become thumbnail size (about 10 minutes). Stop immediately if the mixture starts to brown. A wooden spoon is very effective for stirring, as it can be left in the dish during cooking.
  3. Pour into a mold made from cardboard or a container lined with paper to cool. The candy will become brittle and can be slipped on top of frames where the bees will consume it.

Stovetop Recipe (makes nine 5” x 6” pieces)

  1. Mix 5# granulated sugar, 1 pint corn syrup, 1 & 1/3 cups of water in a large pot.
  2. Hold over medium heat to 240 d on a candy thermometer. VERY IMPORTANT TO HOLD THE 240° F.
  3. Stir only occasionally, it takes a while.
  4. At 240, place the pot in a sink of cold water.
  5. Change the water a few times.
  6. Beat with a mixer, cooling the mixture to 190.
  7. Pour onto greased (Pam) cookie sheets to ¼ inch thick.
  8. Cool and slice into patties.

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Member Carl Johanssen has a completely built and painted hive that he finds he will no longer need. This would be a great buy if we have a new member that has no construction skills and/or has no wish to construct a hive. If interested, call Carl at 508-888-8401.

back to top Last updated 12/08/10