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Buzz Words - July 2008

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Barnstable County Fair
4. Upcoming Meetings of Interest
5. Claire's Corner
6. Summer Time Tips
7. The Continuing Beekeeping Adventures of Paul ’n Patty
8. Library
9. Honey Ice Cream
10. Web sites of Interest
11. Classifieds

Sunday, July 13th, at 11:00 a.m., replaces the normal day and place for our monthly meeting. We will be meeting at the Bee House on the Barnstable County Fairgrounds, Route 151, Mashpee/Falmouth. It is that time when we prepare the hut and gardens for display. Many hands make light work of sweeping, painting, cleaning windows, weeding the walk and rejuvenating the gardens; and we will hopefully have had 3 new windows installed by that time.

It is also time for us to enjoy a pot-luck lunch made up of all your favorite summer recipes. The club will provide paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, and drinks.

We will also set prices for which YOUR honey, candles, creams and lotions will be sold. So, if you think your product is worth $X, you had better be there!
The club has a hive in the orchard which will be available to anyone wishing a hive opening. Remember to bring your veils!

From the President
We are approaching the highpoint of our season. From July 18 to 26, 2008, the Barnstable County Fair will take place. This is a great opportunity for our members to sell excess honey and a great variety of other bee related products. But even more important is the opportunity to present our club and its purpose to a broader public. While being there, we hear a great number of misconceptions about bees and we can correct them. Many of our first year beekeepers may think that they do not know enough to answer questions about bees and beekeeping. With your knowledge from bee-school and your experience until now, you will surprise yourself about how much you do know. It is my understanding that there are still a number of shifts available. Please call Marthe Ayers at 508-539-1774 or e-mail her at For a complete list of all the shifts, please refer to Paul Desilets e-mail dated June 18, 2008.

Despite the rainy weather the queen-rearing workshop by Dr. Larry Connor was a great success. My special thanks go to Claire and Paul Desilets for their preparations and for letting us use their yard and their home. The Monday night presentation by Dr. Connor at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History was successful too, with more than eighty people attending. This attendance gives the Board confidence, that such special arrangements are appreciated by our membership.

I hope that you and your hives are healthy and are enjoying our great summer weather -- George

Barnstable County Fair
Hi everyone, I still have lots of openings to fill for manning the fair booth. I had a few responses from the special email that was sent out after our last meeting and thank you to those who responded. I try to have at least 3 people per shift so you can have a break. Your ticket is good for the whole day so plan on enjoying the fair before or after your shift. The questions in general are easy to answer but I try to have our "newbees" with someone who has had bees for a year or more just in case someone wants a technical answer. It actually is fun to chat with everyone as well as taking their money for our products.

Don't forget the fair has prizes and ribbons for wax samples, candles, honey in various color grades. Go on line at: for rules and time to bring in samples.

Please contact me at or by phone 508-539-1774 to sign up for a shift at the fair.
The tickets will be handed out at the fair ground at our "workday meeting" Sunday, July 13 At 11:00 a.m. After that date they will be mailed if you cannot attend. A vote for the price of our honey will also take place on this day. Thanks to all who have signed up so far and to those that will be filling the gaps. -- Marte

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Meetings of Interest
August 4-8, 2008
Eastern Apicultural Short Course and Conference, Murray State Univ, Murray, KY

Saturday, October 25, 2008
Massachusetts Beekeepers Assoc. Fall Meeting and Honey Show

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Claire's Corner
Father’s Day 2008 found 22 beekeepers huddled under a tent to escape a heavy rain, but experiencing some very calm bees. Hands-on direction for queen-rearing had to be cut short, but the day did not lack oodles of good information. All attendees had a chance to graft a few cells, which produced 20 capped (but very small) queen cells. A few made it into nucs and we are awaiting the laying of the first eggs.

Where do we go from here? Our hope is that a few (more) members will attempt to produce a few healthy cells using larvae from winter survival queens and share those cells with other members. A list of members needs to be established who would have equipment and bees to make a nucleus colony on relatively short notice. Please contact us at if you would like to participate. Four frame nucleus colonies
are a great way to hedge against a winter loss. One needs only 2 frames of brood, a frame of honey with pollen and an empty frame.

Two-thirds of members purchasing packages this year have completed and returned their survey. That means 40 of you dropped the ball and we are still waiting. We know who you are and are in need of your response to this very simple survey. Snail mail or email, A.S.A.P., please.

It has been an interesting season to date with a good number of swarm calls, a great Black Locust nectar flow, and, as we put this newsletter together, the Linden or Basswood are in full bloom for another great nectar source. Even a few newbees have honey in their shallows. That is one great “high” in our book!

Mass Bee offered their third annual Field Day last week. Hands-on events were experienced by 176 RI, CT and MA beekeepers. Emphasis on disease/mite prevention, “reading” a hive, management, and queen rearing were just a few of the workshops. How many of you have used the IPM method of treating your hives with confectioners’ sugar? One healthy tidbit garnered from a workshop was if you use an open hive stand, place a disposable paint tray liner under the hive to collect the confectioners sugar and then dump it into a pail of water. This carries the mites away from the hive and rids the area of sugar, which will attract ants. Using this treatment once a month (1 cup powdered sugar per deep hive body, brushed between the frames to coat the bees) is proven to be an effective miticide, and harmless to all parties involved.

Hope that everyone gets a chance to work a shift at the fair. The observation hive has a great pattern and a luscious band of honey. Now, if we can just find the queen to mark her – AGAIN. It is a fun few hours to show your enthusiasm for beekeeping, meet and chat with members and continue to be amazed as to how many honey sticks fly out of the building. Our theme this year will feature current thoughts on Colony Collapse Disorder.

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Summer Time 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

It had been two weeks and the next class was upon them. Paul had devoured the information in the binder. Patty, on the other hand did not have to exert as much energy. The reason that was so was because Paul had the habit of reading aloud to her anything he found interesting or thought was important. She did, however, decide to take notes, and pose in writing questions of confusing things she found either from what Paul read in the binder or on the Internet. Together they were feeling rather comfortable about their familiarity with the material.

They left their house at 6:30. They had their binder, their notes and questions, their checkbook, and a platter of goodies Patty had baked. The recipe called for honey. In looking for some, she found that hers was all hard and crystallized. She threw that out and bought some fresh honey at the grocery store. The car smelled wonderful on the way to the class, and they knew that this was a good thing they were doing. At least it smelled good.

The registration table was in the same place, and Sandy and Rocky were in their previous places. Again, Paul ‘n Patty were asked to sign in, but this time they were also asked to fill out and wear name tags, so the instructors and other students would know what their names were.

Paul noted to Patty how he found it interesting that most people, when returning to a situation, will frequently take the same seat they occupied the previous time. It turned out they had done the same thing.

“I see that a few folks got scared off,” said Eileen. Indeed, the number of students was less by about four. “No matter. The smaller, the more manageable. Let’s get started, we have a lot of stuff to accomplish tonight.

“We will first have a brief discussion of the equipment we recommend you buy to get started, led by Anna Bollick and Sal Monella. Then we will break out into four stations: two will be taking your orders and your checks, and two will be giving workshops on how to assemble your new equipment when it comes. By the way, you will be notified by Email or phone call when the equipment is in. The workshops will be run by the two Phil’s, Phil Adelphia and Phil Anthropic.”

Patty had been digging in her pocketbook and, looking Paul in the eye, mouthed an, ‘Oh, my goodness!’ hinting that she didn’t have the checkbook. Paul groaned and dropped his head into his hands. Patty lifted his chin, smiled at him and said, “Gotcha!” She held up the checkbook, triumphantly.

They were in the first group to purchase equipment. The club had designed a printed sheet and so Paul ‘n Patty followed Anna’s recommendations. They ordered two suits, with zippered veils; two pair of gloves (there were samples at the sign-in table so they could get the correct sizes); two hive tools; and enough woodenware (they were proud they were getting the jargon down) and foundation for two hives. The logic for having two hives is that with only one there can be no comparing, so there would be no knowing if the one hive is performing normally or not.

Their order had been placed and the check written. Paul was a bit concerned about the cost, but Patty, who, by the way, has very sharp elbows, reminded him that this equipment should last for many years if they take care of it. She also pointed out that they are trying to save the planet.

They next went toward the tables where the lessons on assembling were happening. On Patty’s suggestion, they went to different tables. Patty’s logic made some sense…this way they would be getting lessons from more instructors and, where one might forget some point or other, the other instructor might focus on that point. Paul felt the truth might be that Patty didn’t want to be seen with him as he tried to use tools. In fact, he was rather proud of his efforts, only hitting his thumb four or five times, trying to nail the frames together. One of the instructors commented that he might try using a rubber hammer. Paul thought this made good sense.

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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Honey Ice Cream
Leslie Lichtenstein sent in this easy summer recipe for us to try:

6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, 1 & 1/2 cups whole milk heated, 1 cup whole milk or cream cold

Using a wisk, mix egg yolks and honey, till well blended Warm 1 & 1/2 cups milk (don't boil)
Add the warm milk to the egg & honey mixture & then heat the mixture on low, stirring until it starts to thicken. Be sure not to get the mixture too hot or the eggs will harden & the lumps will need to be strained out.
Cool, then add the last cup of milk or cream
Chill over night & then place in your freezer

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Web sites 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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Ed Osmun has division board feeders for sale at 50 cents each. He also has Kona Queens available. Call Ed at 508-833-9696 if interested.

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 07/09/08