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Buzz Words - June, 2005

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. President's Message
3. Proposed By-Law Change
4. Nuc Boxes
5. Empty Bee
6. Annual Pollinator Plant Sale
7. Claire's Corner
8. Hive Logistics Trivia
9. Pollination Power
10. “The Backyard Beekeeper
11. Classifieds
12. Web Sites

Next Meeting: Tuesday, June 14th, 7:30 P.M. at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149. -- Our June meeting will center around queens, re-queening, and making splits. Perhaps the most challenging manipulation in beekeeping, re-queening will be discussed among the membership, what works most of the time under what circumstances. Are you in need of a queen? What race are you looking for? Should we do a club order?
President's Message
Is it Spring yet?? What happened to the sun? Why is it so cold? At this rate it’s going to be July before our girls go out and start foraging. For all with new packages/nucs – pay attention as your bees draw out the frames. When you’ve got about 2 – 2 1/2 empty frames left in your first deep it’s time to put on your second deep so your hive doesn’t swarm. Keep feeding sugar syrup as long as the bees continue to take it.

We had a pretty good day at the plant sale, but I’ll let Jan fill you in on that. Don’t forget that we have work to do on the Bee Booth, so be sure to set aside July 17 so you can come and give us a hand. We especially need gardeners and painters or anyone who’s still breathing and can be propped up with a paintbrush in their hand.

Think Spring!! Think Warm!! Peace.

Peace, Pete.

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Proposed By-Law Change
At a recent meeting of the Board of Directors, it was proposed to change Article IV, Section 2, (c ), which states the number of directors, by striking 7 and replacing it with 18; so that it reads as follows: Up to 18 other members in good standing, but not fewer than 4. This change must be published twice in the monthly news and will be voted on by the general membership at the monthly meeting on June 14th.

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Nuc Boxes
If you wish to return your nuc boxes for credit, bring them back to 186 Old County Rd in East Sandwich. Pallets are in place. Just add to the pile. Please be sure to leave your name on them so that you receive your credit. Any left without a name are considered donated to B.C.B.A... Please Note – DO NOT RETURN THEM TO THE MEETING SITE. THEY WILL BE LEFT BEHIND.

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Empty Bee Packages
Contrary to previous years, we WILL NOT be taking back empty bee packages. Wilbanks now delivers the bees in their own trucks and do not take the packages back. Seems a waste of time and effort to build new packages each year, but…..

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Annual Pollinator Plant Sale
This year’s plant sale, held on a wet Saturday with lots of competition, still netted $442. Now if only we had had 10 or 12 dozen tomato plants, we could really have cleaned up. The word from the folks who worked the sale was that “tons” of people were looking for tomatoes. We’ll have to remember that for next year. Thanks to Jan for spearheading this year’s sale. And thanks too to those who worked the sale, to those folks who donated and purchased plants. It would not have happened without you.

But, we did sorely miss the volume of plants that Karen & Jay Barthelmeus used to bring. Think you guys might want to come up for a weekend next year?

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Claire's Corner
Claire’s Corner Not much more can be said about the weather this May on Cape Cod. We tend to dwell on our local situation, but honeybees are making headlines and TV news nationwide. Winter losses across the country border on 50% and queens from the south are very scarce. Two sources are returning funds on orders placed in February and one will not even return phone messages. Let us hope this is only a passing crisis.

It was suggested we take a survey of member losses in 2004-2005. Will this pinpoint isolated successes? Which queens will appear best for this damp, short-seasoned climate? What is the effective miticide used?

Here is an easy to complete survey. Please take a minute and respond either by email or by bringing it to the June meeting. Let’s find the right direction for Barnstable County Beekeepers.

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Hive Logistics Trivia
Besides the “few” pounds of honey that we hope to garner from that hive in the backyard, consider the quantities necessary to feed that hive throughout the season.

1 lb of honey feeds 1000 bees, so the hive will need to produce 150 to 175# for their consumption.

1 lb of pollen feeds approximately 4,500 bees. 100 lbs are needed per hive per year.

1 quart of water per day is required, in addition to the nectar being brought in. This water is used to thin honey being fed to brood, to provide welcome sips to the workers, and to place on the top bars to aid in cooling the hive.

Keep the grass in front of and around your hives trimmed. Easier for the bees to come and go. Move quickly though because they don’t like those vibrations.

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Pollination Power
The following was taken from the June 05 Essex County Beeline. The speaker at their May meeting was Jaime O’Brien, Farm Manager at the Brooksby Farm and President of the Essex Agriculture Society. Brooksby has 30 acres of farm and includes raspberries, cherries and strawberries. Jaime stated he only needs four hours of good weather when the apples are in bloom to pollinate enough flower for a good crop. He also stated that strawberries are particularly dependent upon bees since they only blossom for three days.

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“The Backyard Beekeeper”
On the subject of swarms, I was looking through Kim Flottum’s new book today and saw the following bit of information useful for those of you who may receive swarm removal calls.

Common questions to ask the caller before you leave:
  • name, exact address, and phone number;
  • are they honey bees and how long have they been there;
  • Where exactly are the bees, how high, and on what;
  • Are they posing a threat to children or traffic;
  • Who might own the bees – is there a nearby beekeeper;
  • How big a bunch of bees – softball, basketball, beachball? Things to tell the caller:
    • Keep a safe distance from the bees or stay indoors;
    • Do not spray them with water or pesticides;
    • Have someone meet you at the location – tell them what you are driving;
    • Tell them the bees may leave soon, as they are just resting.
    The book was written with the novice in mind, but can be appreciated by us all. Lots of good, clear photos. Well organized. Good recipes, be they for foods, hand creams, lip balms, etc.

    Check it out. Available at and

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    Nick Iodice, of Bass River, is downsizing. He has hive bodies, honey supers and frames for sale. Nick can be reached at (508) 394-9441.

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    Web Sites
    Following are some interesting web sites, most dealing with honeybees:

    FYI, check out: a "science-focused search engine that specializes in searches for scientific, technical, scholarly, and medical information on the Internet."
  • back to top Last updated 5/10/05