Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 9th, 7:30 P.M. back at the
West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149. - Join us to discuss
wintering, queen viability, proper equipment use, etc.
From the President
November greetings. Sure feels like it’s trying to be winter
these days. I’m passing on a request from the people that
administer Barnstable County Fairgrounds. It seems that this year
they, in conjunction with some other people, are putting on a Christmas
Season light show of some sort. That’s all very nice you may
say, but how does that affect me, other than I might want to go
Phil, from the fairgrounds has asked BCBA for a few things. First
he/they would be appreciative of any folks who might be able to
volunteer some time to help them out. Secondly, he was asking if
any of our members would be willing to do some hands-on workshop
type things, I think especially geared to kids, like candle-making
or anything else you can think of that might involve hive products
and be interesting and fun – preferably both. They are going
to have one (or perhaps both) building open and HEATED for these
kinds of activities. We are also able to have the Bee Booth open
if we deem this to be feasible. Evidently Santa sets up right outside
the Bee Booth since it’s the central spot at the Fairgrounds.
The time frame for this is weekends (Thursday – Sunday) from
Thanksgiving weekend until New Years. Think about it. I’m
supposed to be getting more info on this. We’ll talk about
it at the meeting. Think warm - Pete
A daytrip to Connecticut last weekend really fulfilled the change of seasons for us. Along Route 6A, the marshes are always full of color; but, traveling down I-84 and I-90 had to be the most brilliant array we have appreciated in years. Thus the first hard frost is not far off, along with the final syrup feedings of our bees. The candy recipe is elsewhere in this newsletter for your hungry girls.
A really big "Thank You" is extended to our most versatile beekeeper, George Muhlebach. George gave us (at a moment's notice) an informative summary on propagating and grafting of shrubs and trees.
We have used very little smoke this season. That's not because our bees are overly gentle, but rather that we have found Honey Bee Healthy in Sugar Syrup to work just as well, and taking no time to light up the smoker. Would this help with mite drop as the bees clean and groom each other? Subject for more thought is the article in the September edition of Bee Culture on Sumac smoke. The author reports a considerable varroa mite drop using sumac heads in his smoker. Interesting! I guess we shouldn't mothball the smoker just yet, but collect sumac heads to dry for next season's smoker fuel.
Bee Hive Candy Recipes
I hate to say it folks, but winter is coming. Word is that Ed Osmun
has already started putting candy into his hives, to help insure survivability.
Following are two recipes submitted by Andy Morris for feeding 1 or
Microwave Recipe – 1- In a 1-quart or larger
microwave dish, mix thoroughly 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
and ½ cup light corn syrup. 2- Microwave on high, stirring
every few minutes until the mixture is clear and bubbles become
thumbnail sized (about 10 minutes). STOP immediately if the mixture
begins to brown. A wooden spoon is very effective for stirring,
as it can be left in the dish while heating. 3- Pour into a shallow
mold made of cardboard, or a container lined with paper to cool.
The candy will become brittle and can be slipped on top of the frames
where the bees can consume it.
Stovetop Recipe – 1- Heat 1 pint of water
to boiling in a large pot on the stove. 2- Stir in as much sugar
as can be dissolved. This will be about 5 pounds. 3- Boil, uncovered,
stirring almost constantly, until the temperature reaches 234 degrees.
This will take a while. 4- Pour into shallow molds of cardboard
or containers lined with waxed paper or butcher paper. The candy
will harden as it cools.
Ed would like to remind us that it is not too early to start thinking about placing an equipment order. We will be ordering from Brushy Mountain, Walter Kelley and Mann Lake this coming January. Bee school members will be given a list of recommended items. The rest of the club membership can order anything from any of those 3 catalogs. The freight savings alone will make your order worthwhile, not to mention the discounts that we receive on many items ordered in bulk. When these fool baseball games end, you might want to peruse those catalogs. Don't forget, most prices go up in February when the new catalogs come out. We try to beat those increases.
The club’s second annual Holiday Marketplace will be held at
the December meeting. All members will have a chance to sell their
wares, and yes, we look forward to honey, as not everyone had a great
The club will be selling tee shirts, cookbooks, text books, honeystix
and honey candy. Members’ hand lotions, lip balms, soaps,
soothing salves, beeswax candles and ornaments will be displayed
for Christmas shopping and stocking stuffing.
I have been informed that many delicious holiday treats will be
there to sate our sweet tooth’s as well.
After much discussion at the last Board of Directors’ meeting,
we have realized that one of BCBA’s shortcomings is instruction
in the proper preparation of honey for retail sales. In conjunction
with our holiday market, we will also sponsor a honey competition,
with prizes to be awarded. Proper judging forms and equipment will
be used. Criteria will be announced in the December newsletter. Meanwhile,
save two of your best 1 pound jars of honey. Yes, the jars need to
be glass, they need to match, and they should be either Gamber or
Classic. The club will provide you with 2 jars if needed. They will
be available at the November meeting.
Andy Morris submitted this month’s plant favorite (Ilex verticillata
“Winter Red”). Too bad we can’t give you the gorgeous
color photo that came with it.
A beautiful, deciduous shrub, the Winter Red Holly sets more fruit
and lasts longer than other Holly species.
The Winter Red produces an abundance of berries when young and is
nicely covered at maturity. The bright red fruit, approximately
one-quarter inch in diameter, begins to ripen in August and persist
until spring. Birds love the berries and will continue to visit
the tree all winter long. Dark green leaves take on a bronze appearance
in the fall. It has small, pale green, insignificant flower clusters.
Males are much heavier than females, with clusters of six or more.
This well rounded shrub will grow to six or eight feet in height
and up to ten feet wide. They are a rounded shrub that can sucker
from the crown and thicken the overall shape. It does well in a
variety of soil types, but prefers moist, acidic soil with a high
organic content, and grows faster with a good fertilizer program.
Recommended Spending Approvals
At a recent Board of Directors’ meeting, it was decided to
again send $500 to the Barnstable County Agricultural Society’s
It was also recommended that we increase the spending limit of
the board, from the present $100 without member approval, to a more
comfortable limit, in today’s economy, of $500. This was to
be presented to the general membership for a vote at the last meeting,
but was challenged as being an amendment to the bylaws. Board spending
is not discussed in the bylaws, but the spending limit is just a
course of normal business functions.
Your favorable votes on these two items will be sought at the
Hive Equipment for Sale
Toni Gelotte of East Sandwich has a stainless steel extractor, powered
by variable-speed drill. Details available at 508-888-3486.
Andy Morris has pieces of bubble wrap insulation that may be used
to wrap hives. Apparently not large sheets, but large enough to
piece-meal. Contact Andy at 508-362-7448 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Ed Osmun has the following items for sale. You can catch him at
the meeting or call him @ 508-833-9696.
- 12 oz Flat Panel Bears- $12. per 24.
- Type S Pollen Traps- Built by Amish craftsmen $59. Gather some of that goldenrod pollen to feed to your bees in the spring.