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Buzz Words - November, 2002

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Classified Ads
4. The Foundation is in!
5. Claire’s Corner
6. Books and Videos
7. Holiday Shopping

Next Meeting: Meeting 7:30 P.M., on Tuesday, November 12th, at the West Barnstable Community Building, on Route 149.

Program: James J. A. Cavanaugh, M.D. will speak on Bee Stings and Allergic Reactions. Come and listen to what happens when our “girls” attempt to protect their hive.

From the President
Those of us who spent time sitting near our hives and observing the girls foraging, guarding and working so diligently are succumbing to sitting in front of the fireplace to dwell on the past season. We should have the hives tucked in with medications, if you choose to, and ready to winter over in cluster. It is only necessary to crack open the hives now to remove the Apistan strips and/or add more sugar syrup. As long as the girls take in the syrup, keep feeding them. By the end of November it is unlikely they will consume much more unless there is none stored inside. Keep hefting the hives on occasion throughout the winter to see if they have enough food. If your hive is weak and has little stored, simply keep feeding and hope they make it through the winter.

Now is the time to give thought to the condition of your equipment. See Ed Osmun’s note… ordering early makes everyone’s role a little easier.

Our speaker this month is Dr. Cavanaugh regarding allergic reactions. I think you will find this presentation quite interesting.

Looking forward to seeing you then. -- Geoffrey

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Classified Ads
Ed Osmun has a new heated uncapping plane (still in the box) for sale. Ed is asking $50. 508-833-9696

Geoff Lenk has a 2-frame manual extractor to lend (888-1326) as do Deb and Steve Binder (428-5136)

Ed Osmun bought a large amount of 12 ounce plastic bears and will sell to members at 60 cents each, in lots of 12.

Peter Doyle has a hive that he can no longer keep. Right now, it is at 186 Old County Rd, in East Sandwich. We just moved it here until it has a new owner. Nice hive, lots of bees, and lots of stores. The first $65 claims it; and we’ll even help you move it to its new home. Call Claire or Paul at 508-888-2304.

Bill Peters has given up beekeeping and has a whole package to sell. He would prefer to sell all to one person, if possible. 1 Kelley 2-frame reversible extractor, 2 Hive bodies w/ frames, 1 Plastic Bottom Board, 1 Plastic Outer Cover, 1 Wood Inner Cover, 5 Medium (Illinois) Supers w/frames, 1 Hive Tool, 1 Smoker, 1 Hat and Veil, 1 pr Gloves, 1 Bee Brush, 1 Electric Uncapping Knife, 1 Hackler Honey Punch, 1 Cappings Scratcher. He is asking $365 for the lot. Bill can be reached at 508-394-9814.

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The Foundation is in! The Foundation is in!
We recently received 10 cases of foundation in anticipation of our spring order. It is usually too cold for the vendors to ship wax in February with the rest of our club order, so we bought it ahead of time. Is it time (next year) for you to change out some of your drawn comb in your brood chamber? If your drawn comb is 4 years old or older you should be thinking about some change. I opened 3 books and looked up cell size and got 4 different answers on whether the cell size shrinks with use in the brood chamber.

Smaller cell size does produce smaller bees, and according to The Hive and the Honey Bee (Dadant Publication) "There is evidence to suggest that bees reared from the larger cells will carry larger loads of nectar and produce more honey as a result." There is evidence that some medications can create a build up of residues in the wax. This could affect your Queens.

The best way to change out your frames is to pick two that are the worst and move them out to the outside if they are beeing used. If not used, just remove them. Put your new foundation in on the outside and move the others in. If you mark your frames with a colored thumbtack or a dot of paint for each year then you will know when they were changed.

We will be placing our club order in January and that is a great time to pick up some extra frames along with any other item that you might need for your beekeeping. It is a great time of year to work next to the fireplace with your honey so your bees can make more honey next year. - Ed

(Editor’s note- there is an international agreement as to the colors used in marking queens, as follows. These same colors could be used in marking frames. For years ending in 0 and 5 - Blue; for years ending in 1 and 6 - White; for years ending in 2 and 7 - Yellow; for years ending in 3 and 8 - Red; For years ending in 4 and 9 - Green )

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Claire’s Corner
The club’s new Tew Traveling Observation Hive works like a charm. It is easy to load and light to carry. It is getting too cold to use, but keep it in mind for school presentations in the spring. Our bees traveled to church and were included in the Blessing of the Animals recently. We included all bees on Cape Cod, so plan on divine intervention in the 2003 season.

Thought I would finish the season with a little summary of the activity from our nine " test" hives in Sandwich. Keep in mind, they all started with brand new equipment and new spring packages of Wilbanks Italians. Other than grease patties, menthol shop towels, and Fumidil-B, no pesticides have been used. Except for sugar syrup, the final application this fall might include a spraying of Oxalic acid solution as a contact miticides for varroa. Varroa is present, but in low counts, although I have seen deformed wing syndrome in one hive - actually the strongest and most productive to date.

Two hives were requeened due to failure and both did poorly thereafter. Down to 7 hives going in to winter. Of the remaining, 6 produced a total of 210 pounds of surplus honey. One hive plastic foundation had a very slow building process, produced no excess honey, but is a very strong hive with heavy stores going into winter. Recalling that 6 of the hives have screened bottom boards, and 3 have solid, there are no conclusions to be drawn as yet. In January, I will replace the sticky boards as the queens begin to lay.

I had assumed that the use of I.P.M. would mean more visits to the hives, however, looking through my log book, I find that is not so. We visited our hives an average of 20 times, whether new or established, beginning in early April and ending last week.

It would not be realistic to compare these hives at this time with their sister set of 9 over-wintered hives, with similar equipment, but with northern queens. But the East Sandwich nine produced 450 pounds of honey. Due to the amount of deformed wing seen, I elected to use Apistan in all hives, realizing that it was chancy to wait till late fall and spray with oxalic acid.

So the project continues for another year in hopes of implementing other non-pesticide measures to combat varroa and trachea mites. Our own Dave Noonan of UMASS/Amherst will relate his successes with natural products at the Mass Beekeepers meeting on November 9th. Perhaps Dave’s methods will enhance our IPM next season, as Apilife-Var remains unavailable.

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Books and Videos
Shelley reports that there are still many delinquent books and videos. Please search your storage areas and get those items back in so that other members may benefit from them as well.

Holiday Shopping
We will still have tees, polos, and cook books available at the November and December meetings.
back to top Last updated 12/02/02