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Buzz Words - February, 2003

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Mass Beekeepers' Association
4. Bee School
5. Equipment Orders
6. Bees, Bees, Bees
7. Claire’s Corner
8. Recipe Corner

Next Meeting: 7:30 P.M., on Tuesday, February 14th, at the West Barnstable Community Building, on Route 149.

Program: Our featured speaker this month, David Simser, is a faculty member at Cape Cod Community College, and is on the staff of the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. David will speak on Ticks, Lyme’s and Other Tick-Borne Diseases.

Bee School will continue on Feb. 19th, and the 26th. For more of the Bee School schedule, please click

From the President
I stoked up a hot fire to keep my hands nimble enough to type these words to you this evening. I must say this is one of those ten year winters whereby not only are the most buoyant spring fed ponds completely frozen over, but one can ice skate on certain salt water estuaries too!

Unfortunately as BTU's escape through our windows, doors and rooftops as we try to stay warm, our girls suffer tremendous losses huddled together in the hive. My guess is we're in for high losses of hives this winter due a cold/warm/cold weather pattern that broke some clusters apart before the real deep freeze set in and others simply who can't survive this bitter cold environment. New packages need to be ordered by our next meeting so make your assessments by then.

Bee School has begun and those members who want to audit a class or two are welcome to attend as well.

See you at the meeting! Geoffrey

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Mass Beekeepers’ Association
Mark your calendars for March 28th and 29th, for the Spring Meeting of the Mass Beekeepers’ Association. This meeting will be held at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Fitchburg, at Exit 28 off Route 2. On Friday evening, a workshop will be presented on judging honey for those interested in learning how to do so. Saturday will feature a pot-pourri of speakers covering such topics as harvesting products other than honey from your hives, how to judge your queens. More information will be available at the next BCBA meeting, and registration forms will be included with the next newsletter.

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Bee School
Bee School is underway with a comfortable number of 14 participants. We welcome you to our exciting and fascinating hobby, and we hope that you become as enthralled by these "girls" as we are. It is truly a great way to spend some quality time with nature.

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Equipment Orders
For the procrastinators among us, time is nigh. Ed leaves for Hawaii next Friday, the 6th, and if you haven’t given him your order yet, you may be on your own this year. We do have foundation on hand. Call Ed with your needs at 508-833-9696.

Bees, Bees, Bees
Claire has made arrangements with Peter Wilson again this year to purchase spring packages from Wilbanks Apiaries in Georgia. Price will be $55 for 3 lb. with queen. Expected arrival is Sunday, April 13. 130 packages have been reserved for the B.C.B.A., but they are going fast.

Claire will also have information available at the Feb meeting on nucs from Merrimack Valley Apiaries, in Billerica, if you are leaning in this direction. We have not received word whether nucs from Canada, or Mac Hedgpeth will be available this spring.

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Claire’s Corner
Many of you have cooked up a batch or two of sugar fondant. It appears that this feeding could be our salvation. Many of our hives remain heavy with stores, yet we have noticed consumption of the sugar block. With these cold days, we reason that the bees have not been able to break cluster to feed on honey stores, but were able to reach the candy placed close to the cluster. We have replenished in some hives and will continue to do so as the weather breaks.

To those of you not sure of the viability of your hive, take heed and take a peek. On a 35 to 40 degree day one can swiftly remove the covers and look. Yes, the queen may have begun laying as the days grow longer, but a quick look between frames will do no harm. The orders for package bees are mounting.

There will be a few queens available "northern-raised" come early May if you are hoping to make a split or create a nuc. ‘Tis the best approach for swarm prevention.

I am ecstatic that my observation hive has again made it through the winter. Dave Remsen tells me that he has capped brood in his! This July swarm queen remains clustered with a small group of daughters. All winter the cluster has remained on the bottom frame close to the opening. This week, as the temperature has risen, they have moved up to the second frame. Very little stores remain and they have been fed sugar syrup all winter. To date, I see no brood, but fresh eggs are difficult to see at this point. Perhaps that is why they moved up - a warmer environment for the new brood.

One last peek before I finish this paragraph, and ...Yes! the queen is laying! I just saw her. Spring is less than 6 weeks away!

Fondant Candy
5 lbs sugar
1 pt corn syrup
1 1/3 cup water

Mix all in a large pot. Heat over medium heat to 240 d. on a candy thermometer. Stir only occasionally- it takes a while. At 240 d, place the pot in a sink of cold water. Change the water a few times. Beat with a mixer, cooling the mixture to 190 d. Pour onto greased (Pam) cookie sheets ¼ inch thick. Cool and slice into 4" x 5" cakes. May be stored in the freezer until needed.

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Recipe Corner
So many of you enjoyed the spiced pretzels at the January meeting that we have included the recipe here for you.

Spiced Pretzels
4 cups thin pretzel sticks
3 tbsp. Honey
2 tsp melted butter or stick margarine
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder

Line a 15 in x 10 in x 1 in. baking pan with foil; coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place pretzels in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the honey, butter, onion powder and chili powder. Pour over the pretzels. Toss to coat evenly. Bake at 350 d for 8 minutes, stirring once. Cool on a wire rack, stirring gently several times to separate.

And from B.C.B.A.’S own CAPE COD HONEY RECIPES comes the following mouth-watering recipe, submitted by Phyllis Davis.

Honey Broiled Sea Scallops
1 lb sea scallops
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Combine lime juice, oil, honey, soy sauce and ginger. Add scallops and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove scallops from marinade but reserve marinade. Thread scallops evenly on 4 skewers.

Place skewers on shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with a nonstick coating. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and bast with reserved marinade and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until opaque throughout. Place sesame seeds on wax paper and roll each skewer over seeds to evenly coat scallops. Serve immediately.

back to top Last updated 02/02/03