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Buzz Words - November 2004

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Claire’s Corner
4. Bee Hive Candy Recipes
5. Equipment
6. Holiday Marketplace
7. Honey Competition
8. Gardeners Gab
9. Recommended Spending Approvals
10. Hive Equipment for Sale
11. Classified Ads

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 see it?
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

Claire’s Corner
Claire's Corner 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.

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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 2 colonies.

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.

Holiday Marketplace
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 harvest.

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.

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Honey Competition
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.

Gardener's Gab
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.

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Recommended Spending Approvals
At a recent Board of Directors’ meeting, it was decided to again send $500 to the Barnstable County Agricultural Society’s Scholarship Fund.

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 November meeting.

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.

Classified Ads
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 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.

back to top Last updated 12/10/04