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Buzz Words - November, 2005

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Invitation
4. Feeders
5. Andy's Ramblings
6. Claire's Corner
7. Equipment and Bee Orders
8. Recipe Corner
9. Classifieds

7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, November 8th. We will be meeting at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History on Route 6-A in Brewster. Our speaker for the evening will be Mario DeGregorio, a botanist and author of “Cape Cod Wildflowers – A Vanishing Heritage”. Mario will have copies of his latest book, “Wildflowers of Cape Cod – A Vanishing Heritage” available for sale at the meeting.

Directions to the Museum
The Museum is about one mile from the Dennis Brewster line on the left of Rt 6A going east. It is about a quarter mile from the entrance to the Drummer Boy Park, also on the left.

For those people who use Rt.6, again going east, they should take the second Exit 9 (it's probably 9B) to Rt. 134 north. Take 134 N for almost 4 miles to Rt 6A. At the light take a right on 6A east. The Museum is about 2 miles on the left (as above).

The December meeting, on the 13th, will find us back in the large room at the West Barnstable Community Building for our annual Holiday Marketplace. The BCBA store will be open with Tee Shirts, Golf Shirts, BCBA Cookbooks, Ed Weiss’ “The Queen and I”, honey sticks and honey candy. Members will have available their specialty products, honey, and maybe even some creamed honey for sale. Subscriptions are available to Bee Culture and American Bee Journal at reduced rates for club members. One could always leave one hanging about the house as a holiday gift idea.

From the President
Well, here it is November already – monsoon season. Make sure you have your hives tied down and that your levees don’t break. Hopefully y’all have your honey off and processed and put up and away in jars for Christmas presents. Speaking of Christmas, I’m giving you an early heads up for next month’s Holiday Market. Remember to bring your hive products/crafts to the December meeting for the in-house holiday sale.

It’s the time of year to think mouse guards so you won’t have any extra critters wintering over in your hive
But, most of all, its almost time for Thanksgiving! Time for family, time for fun, time to celebrate, and especially time to be thankful for all that life has given to us. Bring some Thanksgiving honey recipes to the meeting to share. Have a sweet Thanksgiving!

— Peter

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For those of you receiving this for the first time, you probably signed up to receive information about bee school while visiting our building at the Fair. Our meetings are always open to the public, and usually pertain to some aspect of beekeeping. You will receive this newsletter until registration time for Bee School 2006. That will be held at the Whelden Memorial Library on Route 149 in West Barnstable on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of January, February and March. Come on down and meet us and see what we are about. We would love to answer your questions and impart some of our love of bees to you.

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Monthly Tip
Heft that hive from the back. If still light, keep feeding that 2:1 sugar syrup. You also want to flip the inner cover over, so that the side with space is down. That allows the bees to crawl over the top bars as they move to stay near the stores. Be sure to scrape off any burr comb so that you may easily slip a slab of candy under it.

Sure hope you’ve put those mouse guards in. If you have not yet done so, you may want to check occupancy first. You don’t want to block their exit if they are already in residence.

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Andy's Ramblings
I was at a yard sale recently, the place where I can afford to buy the books I read, when I overheard the husband of a couple say, “Maybe we can find ‘Practical Beekeeping’ here.”

I mentioned to the wife, “I might have that book at home. If not,” I said, “Our club might have it.”

With a very surprised look, the lady asked, “Are you a beekeeper, too?” She then saw my soft green tee shirt, which sported the arm of Cape Cod over a stylized honeycomb and mentioning the Barnstable County Beekeepers Association, and said, “Oh, I guess so!”

I then asked if she and her husband were members of our club (I have to confess, I do not have the memory for all the faces and names I meet). “No,” she replied, “We live in the Mid-west. We are just here for a visit. I do have to say,” she said, “that your club is responsible for us being beekeepers. We got interested last year after visiting your clubhouse at the Barnstable County Fair.” Our conversation went into when they should take their honey supers off, and other topics.

I write this because what we do can make a tremendous impact in the lives of both young and old. Here we have an example of a middle-aged couple taking up a wonderful hobby, and enjoying it to the level of looking for literature to improve their knowledge even while at an obscure yard sale.
October first, a beautiful Saturday, was the date for the Harvest Festival at the Barnstable County Fair Grounds. It was a chance for the club to educate people as to the beauty and intricacies of beekeeping and, if any were available, sell honey and bee products.

Three people showed up to run the booth at the Fair. Claire Desilets, who lives for this stuff, was there from nine o’clock in the morning, setting up the booth (she even brought her observation hive), until closing at four. Marte showed up for some very important mid-morning time. And I was there for a while. All three of us are on the board of directors. We have a club of over one hundred and fifty members. We need help. If you can spare only an hour, or even just drop in, as did Bruce Mogardo, to give some moral support, it would be great.

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings.


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Claire's Corner
While on the subject of Christmas, and honey, and….. If you are looking for a special gift, a donation of $30.00 to Heifer International supplies a needy family somewhere around the world with a hive of bees. Just imagine that $30.00 can provide a recipient with a package of bees, a hive, and training in beekeeping. You may donate online at, or call 1-800-422-0755

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Equipment and Bee Orders
If you are thinking of expanding next year, or if you want to order some different piece of equipment to try, or maybe you are thinking of buying an extractor; hold off till January. The club will again be placing a bulk order and you will save on freight charges. If the orders are large enough, we also get discounts on some of the items. Just peruse the Walter Kelley, Mann Lake and Brushy Mountain Bee Farm catalogs. You can order anything you wish from those sources.

If your queen is 18 months old or more, you may want to think about re-queening in the spring. If you want to expand, you may need a package or two. We are being told that queens and packages might be in short supply next spring. Plan your package needs now and give Claire a call or drop her an email. We will provide you with prices just as soon as we hear.

The exercises above are a sample given us by our October speaker, Dr. Pamela Latimer, a Chiropractor practicing in Harwichport. Beekeepers are prone to back strains and pains due to the hive weight as the season progresses. A routine of morning stretches hopefully will keep you fit throughout the season.

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Recipe Corner
Here is a seasonal use for some of that honey you harvested, taken from “Putting it up With Honey” by Susan Geiskopk – now out of print.

Cranberry-Orange Jam

• 1 lb cranberries
•3 cups water
•¾ cup orange juice
•¼ cup lemon juice
•2 cups honey

Rinse cranberries well. Put cranberries and water in a kettle and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain, but reserve the liquid. Put the berries in a blender and blend until pureed. Add enough of the reserved liquid to make 4 cups. Return to kettle and stir in the orange juice, lemon juice and honey. Bring to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring constantly. Heat to 9 d F over boiling and cook for 8 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Spoon hot mixture into hot sterilized jars. Complete seals. Process in a boiling-water bath for ten minutes. Yields 3 pints.

Browsing Through A New Addition To Our Home Library
According to “The Complete Guide To Natural Healing”, the name honey comes from ancient Hebrew meaning “enchant”. Its use as a treatment is considered apitherapy. Not just a sweetener, honey’s antibacterial properties lends it usefulness as a dressing for minor cuts and abrasions and speeds healing of sutures.

Taking a teaspoonful of finely chopped fresh thyme mixed with a little honey should help to soothe inflammation caused by coughs and bronchitis.

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If you have anything bee-related to sell, or wish to purchase, this is the place to list it. Call Paul at 888-2304 or email to

back to top Last updated 11/1/05