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Buzz Words - June, 2004

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Claire’s Corner
4. Pollinator Plant Sale
5. Heritage Garden
6. Please Return All Books and Videos
7. Empty Package & Nuc Box Return
8. EAS Annual Conference and Short Course
9. Mass Ag In The Classroom
10. Pollen Query
11. Plant Query
13. Club Rates for Bee Journals
14. Other Items for Sale
15. Classified Ads

Next Meeting: Tuesday, June 8th, 7:30 P.M. at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149. Varietal Honey will be the topic of discussion. New member Frank Mand will offer a dozen or so honeys to sample. If you have some of last year’s crop, or some special purchase, bring it along for members to compare. To complete the evening on honey, the proper preparation for compettion will be reviewed, and a refractometer and polarimeter will be available to check your samples.

As an added thought, an article in a prior issue of Prevention magazine stated that a teaspoonful of honey could give your body an extra edge against cancer and heart disease. Gram for gram, honey is as rich in antioxidants as some fruits and veggies. Research has shown that Buckwheat honey has 8 times the level of antioxidants as clover, Sunflower honey 3X, Tupelo 2X, that of supermarket honeys.

From the President
A call to action: Just a brief reminder that we have a few events coming up shortly for which we need your help. The Pollinator Plant Sale is one of our biggest fundraisers. The more hands we have on Friday night June 4th the quicker we can get everything priced and ready to go for Saturday morning. Saturday we need people to help with sales, plant info and carrying plants to peoples’ cars.

Simultaneously on Saturday, Claire and I will be at Heritage Plantation for an informational day event there. We could also use a couple of volunteers to help out there.

Lastly, but most importantly, we need people to sign up for working at the Barnstable County Fair. Fair dates are: Friday, July 23rd to Saturday the 31st. Please contact Connie Novitsky (508-548-9539) for this. If you want to sell honey or other hive products at the Fair you MUST sign up to work a shift. Working at the Fair is quite a lot of fun. This is a really great time to meet people and talk about bees and beekeeping. Even if this is your first year you already have an amazing amount of knowledge hidden away just waiting to be extracted.

This is your chance to give a few hours back to the Association to help us accomplish our mission of education and awareness. Please help out. -- Pete

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Claire’s Corner
This is a dangerous time of year for me to be driving. My eyes are not on the road, but scouting the appearance of the Black Locust. Any day now, the white fragrant blossoms should pop. Reviewing my diary – in 2003, we saw the first blossoms on June 11th here in East Sandwich. In 1992 and 1997 it was the same date. All other years, the blossoms appeared consistently on the first weekend in June. Unfortunately, the nectar yield has been poor most years due to rainy weather and a short bloom period. We are overdue for a good 7 to 9 day show! 1997 is the year to beat. By late June we had harvested 24 shallows of honey thanks to a full week of blossoms with no precipitation.

The strength of the hive, of course, weighs heavily on a successful harvest. It appears that many of our over-wintered hives are still waiting for the good weather and are rather lackluster. Less than half of our hives are now supered. The new packages are building well as are the few nucs we purchased.

The big concern is the appearance of varroa so early in the season. Also seen is the virus-caused deformed wing syndrome. Early intervention will be necessary to save these hives. Russian queens have been added to nucs made from these problem hives. Breaking of the brood cycle, Russian resistance, and IPM bottom boards are the current treatment.


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Pollinator Plant Sale
Mark Saturday, June 5th on your calendar. This will be our annual pollinator plant sale, to be held at the West Barnstable Community Building. To borrow Geoff’s wording from last year’s notice –“ Please bring (donate) some plants for the club to sell at this event. Surplus perennials overflowing your gardens, small saplings, favorite fun blooming plants, annuals started from seed…. Whatever suits you best. We get a nice turnout for this event so everything usually goes over well. We can use help the Friday evening before hand to set up and price items as well as hands on deck Saturday to assist in sales, carrying items to cars, etc. Please mark what you bring so the public knows what they’re purchasing, and if special instructions are necessary, please bring them along.” Friday setup begins at 8 PM

Sale hours are 10 AM to 1 PM. Even if you have nothing to contribute, you can always come out and find a new plant or two for your gardens.

Volunteers are still needed to man this event. Call Geoff at 888-1326 (H) or 428-1645 (W)

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Heritage Gardens – Rhode-O Weekend
Not into plant sales? Like to talk about bees? Then we have just the thing for you! Also on Saturday, June 5th, from 10 to 3, we have been asked to return, with our bee display, to Heritage Gardens in Sandwich. Peter and Claire will be there talking themselves hoarse, and could use some additional input from members.

Please Return All Books and Videos
We do not meet at the West Barnstable site during the months of July and August, and we must ask that you return all books and videos to the library by the next meeting on June 8th. Once we return to our regular spot in September, library resources will once again be available at monthly meetings. In the meantime, we will be scouring vendors and publications for additions to our library.

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Empty Package & Nuc Box Return
Please return those nuc boxes as soon as possible. I want to return them and make room in my shed for me and my stuff. I will be at the plant sale, so you can bring them to me there, or bring them to the meeting, or drop them off out front of my shed, right where you picked up your nucs. Wilbanks packages go to the same location. Thanks -- Paul

EAS Annual Conference and Short Course
The spring issue of the E.A.S. Journal just arrived, with the whole program spelled out. Too lengthy to reproduce here, but be sure to check it out at their website We highly recommend the annual event as probably the "best bang for your buck" that you will ever get in beekeeping education. You get to rub elbows with the top educators and researchers in the American beekeeping industry (Dewey Caron, John Skinner, Jennifer Berry, Marla Spivak, Jeff Pettis, Maryann Frazier, to name but a few.)

Not only do you get to listen to them in a classroom setting, but you also get to stick your head into hives with them and learn as much as your brain can absorb about bee behavior, diseases, etc. Then, you get to sit with them at lunch, or breakfast, or dinner, and pick their brains some more. The website outlines the 2 & ˝ day short-course schedule, and the 2 & ˝ day conference and workshop schedule. If you can find the time, venture to Seven Springs, PA this August and learn, learn, learn!

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Mass Ag In The Classroom
We recently received their spring newsletter. The featured topic is pollination. It lists many resources for further information, lists methods of pollination, and of course, gives major importance to our hardworking honeybees. Also lists some really interesting workshops, as well as educational resources for elementary school teachers. To view the newsletter go to:

Pollen Query
Last Sunday, while working our hives out at Crow Farm in Sandwich, we noticed one hive (out of 9 at this location) bringing in red pollen. All the other hives were bringing in various shades of yellow, from almost white to almost orange, to pale green. In one other hive, we saw one cell, smack dab in the center of a frame, filled with red pollen. The farmer had no idea what the source could be. Do any of you have an idea? We'd love to know.

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Plant Corner
(Andy Morris sent this in for last month’s issue, but missed my deadline - so we will let Andy lead off with his favorite tree.)
Basswood, also referred to as linden or bee tree, is a large tree, reaching heights of 60-90 feet. The trunk is clear (free of hanging branches), cylindrical, and up to two feet in diameter. The crown is broadly rounded and the tree is typically nicely shaped and therefore planted as a shade tree in many places. Basswood grows best in mesic forests on finer soils, although it also grows on the coarser, sandier soils of the Lake Michigan sand dunes in Illinois, for example, and infrequently even on exposed ridges in the far northern part of its range in Canada. It is a component of mesic upland forests in Illinois.

Interesting Facts
Basswood has thin bark and is sensitive to fire. At the western part of its range (eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas to northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas) it often grows along firebreaks such as streams or around ponds.

It is a prolific root sprouter when the main trunk is cut, damaged, or destroyed by fire. It is quite common to see numerous root sprouts at the stump. Whereas basswood is somewhat shade tolerant, it is less so than sugar maple, with which it occurs in mesic upland forests. Basswood is sensitive to fire, but it is one of the least susceptible of the eastern hardwoods to late spring frosts.

Basswood leaves contribute significantly to the nutritional quality of the forest soils. They contain high levels of important mineral nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are not withdrawn from the leaves at leaf fall, so they are released to the soil when the leaves decompose, becoming available to the vegetation once again.

Identifying Features
Basswood bark is light gray brown and thin when the tree is young, becoming dark gray or brown with deep furrows and often scaly, flattened ridges when the tree grows older.
Twigs are slender and turn from green or deep red in the first year to a grayish, light brown color as they grow older. The buds are small (up to 1/4 inch) oval, smooth, and green to dark red. There are no terminal buds, only lateral.

The leaves are alternate and simple. They are distinctive because of their large size (up to 8 inches long and up to 5 or 6 inches broad) and their heart shape. They are pointed at the tip with an asymmetrical base and are coarsely toothed along the edges. The leaf stalk is up to two inches long. The surface of the leaf is dark green and smooth, the underside paler, occasionally with tufts of hair, but mostly smooth.

The flowers appear in June and July and are extremely fragrant. They are borne in clusters on a stalk that is attached to a leaf blade-like structure (a bract). They are pale yellow and an excellent source of nectar for honey, hence the common name "bee tree." Bees and flies visit them during the day, and moths at night.

The fruits are hard, round, and hairy. They usually contain one seed, but can contain two or even three seeds. Fruits are borne in clusters or singly on a stalk attached to the leaf like structure.

Tilia americana wood is light-weight and extremely close grained. It is used for furniture, children's toys, and paper pulp. It is a favorite choice for hand carving because it is relatively soft and easy to work with. The long fibers of the inner bark were utilized by Native Americans to make strong, tangle-free rope. These fibers have also been used to weave baskets and mats.

A very high quality honey is made from Basswood flower nectar, and in some parts of its range, the basswood is referred to as the bee tree.

Because of its beautiful shape and large leaves, basswood is commonly planted as an ornamental.

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Put the power of the Internet to work for you, for free! The Mass Bee web site has a new section available now for Mass Bee members to advertise their beekeeping related services. They have separate areas for listings of honey, beeswax and other hive products for retail sale; honey, beeswax and other hive products for wholesale; Bee Removals and Swarm calls; Pollination Services; Public Speaking and Beekeeping Equipment Suppliers. All of this (and more!) can be found at the Mass Bee web site at, select the "Services" link, and follow the instructions to add your own listings to the system.

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Club Rates for Bee Journals
Make your check out to the appropriate vendor and give, or send, it to Paul

  • Bee Culture - 1yr - $17.00, 2 yr - $32.00
  • American Bee Journal - 1 yr - $17.20, 2 yr - $32.75, 3 yr - $46.05

Other Items for Sale
We will have at the next few meetings Ed Weiss’s text "The Queen and I" and the B.C.B.A. Cookbooks will be available. We also have "Bee a Cape Cod Honey" tees and B.C.B.A. polo shirts available. If you would like a shirt, call Paul or Claire at 888-2304 a couple of days prior to the meetings with sizes and we will be sure to have them there for pickup.

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Classified Ads
Ed Osmun says he will have extra Kona Queens available. Cost is $16. These girls do the waggle dance to a hula beat. He also has Type S Pollen Traps for $59. and 12 oz flat-panel bears at $12 per 24.

Andy Reseska has a 16 Gal Maxant Honey Clarifier, used one season, asking $500. 508-429-6872
New Assembled Woodenware, Pierco frames, HFCS, etc. Save time and money. Reasonably priced. Call for price list. Reseska Apiaries,Inc. (508) 429-6872

Member Frank Smith has a hand-crank 4-frame plastic extractor for sale. Frank is asking $80. 508-291-2911.

Mary Alexander also has a 4-frame extractor, but hers is powered. Asking $100. Mary is at 508-775-7989.

Claire has taken on a dealership for Honey B Healthy. A feeding stimulant made up of spearmint and lemongrass oils, it promotes healthy, vigorous bees, aids in requeening, and calms bees when used as a spray. 8 oz./$13.00

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