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Buzz Words - October, 2002

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Harvest Fair
4. Mass Beekeepers' Association
5. Medications
6. Got Honey For Sale
7. Claire’s Corner
8. BCBA Clothing
9. EAS 2002 Report
10. Recipe Corner

Next Meeting: 7:30 P.M., on Tuesday, October 8th, at the West Barnstable Community Building, on Route 149.
Program is: Steve Heaslip, star photographer on the Cape Cod Times staff, will share his secrets on taking those great photos. He will have a slide presentation and equipment on hand.

If a few members bring in some honey, we can present him with a nice “Thank You” basket.

From the President
The hive opening on September 15th wasn’t well attended, but we did manage to view Varroa mite in drone cells, witness a little deformed wing and medicate four hives. These hands on events are well worth it. Our new beekeepers will especially benefit, so if you can spare the time, try to attend one in your area.

Fumidil-B will be available at the next meeting. The club offers small pre-measured containers for a nominal amount. The club highly recommends treating with Fumidil-B. Apistan will also be available for those who want to treat for Varroa. Do not treat your hives with any medications until all your honey supers are removed. If treating with Apistan, do not leave the strips in longer than 56 days.

Readers may have an interest in the Topsfield Fair, which takes place October 5-14th. They have a large bee building and four live observation hives, interested?

The gold & red BCBA labels, for the tops of honey jars will be available at the next meeting, we ordered 5,000 of them.

I encourage you all to have mouse guards in your hives before the next meeting. See you with Steve Heaslip from the Cape Cod Times. -- Geoffrey

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Harvest Fair
Thank you to John Beach for his colorful donation of lots of mums for our bee garden at the fairgrounds. Thanks also to Leslie Lichtenstein for all her time spent weeding and adding color. We plan on adding heaths and heathers to the garden in the spring.

Thanks to all the members who helped set up and man the bee booth for the Harvest Fest on the 21st. The selection of honey was impressive; and, of course, Mac Welch’s Cut Comb was in demand. Although we netted only $145, we must keep in mind that our ultimate goal is to provide education and promote beekeeping. We enjoyed a gorgeous day with a great crowd.

Mass Beekeepers’ Association
Mark your calendars for November 8th and 9th, for the Fall Meeting of the Mass Beekeepers’ Assoc. Holiday Inn in Worcester is the locus of this meeting, and we will hear Dr. David Noonan of UMASS Amherst relate the results of his IPM trials in Western Mass. Also on the agenda is Maryann Frazier of Penn State Extension, speaking on the following topics: What’s New Honey: The Good, Bad and Ugly; and Seasonal Management. A registration Form is included with this newsletter. More info available at the B.C.B.A. October meeting.

Fumidil-B has arrived, and will be available to purchase in single doses. We had a supply of baby food jars donated and these will work out well, as you can just add your warm water directly to the dose, and then add it to the syrup. Fumidil-B is placed in a gallon of 2:1 sugar syrup to be fed in the fall. The bees store this thick syrup and consume it over the winter. The Fumidil helps to ward off Nosema, which causes a dysentery-like affliction. The cost is $1 per dose.

If warranted by a high mite count, Apistan is recommended at the rate of 1 strip per five frames of bees. It should be placed in the hive around the first of October (after honey supers are removed) and left in for 6 weeks. They must be removed no later than Thanksgiving. Apistan is priced at $1.50 per strip.

Terramycin patties are not recommended for use in the hive. If there is evidence of Foulbrood, treatment with Terramycin Powder is the recommended therapy. It is thought that the low dose of Terramycin in the patty formulation has helped to foster the resistance that is being displayed.

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Got Honey for Sale?
Got honey? Let us know! As you harvest and process your honey, please call 508-888-2304 if you have excess for sale. We always get calls from folks requesting local honey. We would be happy to pass on your name and phone number.

Had a request for “organic honey” today. Explained to the caller that that term is not really well suited to the close environs of Cape Cod. But she prevailed upon me to give her a name and phone number. The only person I know of that might claim to have non-treated hives is Kristene Keese. Are there any others out there? If so, please let us know.

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Claire’s Corner
As the honey shallows come off and we inspect the colonies in preparation for winter, new concerns are popping up. The Italian packages of 2002 appear strong, and it has been a good year for honey in first year hives despite the drought. Those that survived the winter, producing honey, now appear to be harboring larger numbers of varroa destructor. Though sticky board counts have been below the threshold of 50 per day, brood appears to be not normal. Patterns are solid, but some healthy larvae are not capped and fully formed adults are not emerging, but are dead in the cells. A few adults with deformed wing syndrome have been seen. Apistan is in, but is it too little too late? Is this PMS (parasitic mite syndrome) combined with chilled brood?

Did the workers get caught off-guard these chilly 50 d. nights and not incubate the pupa? Or maybe the cell has been opened due to a varroa’s infestation and the workers will begin to pull and clean the cells, a much-desired hygienic trait.

Varroa has been seen riding on workers’ backs, but even the count on the drone pupa has been low, except, ironically in the Russian hives. Disappointingly, the Russians are harboring the highest mite counts.

Please email us with your comments/observations.

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BCBA Clothing
We would like to remind you that we do have attractive BCBA tee shirts ($10) and golf shirts ($23) that you may proudly wear to any gathering and start an instant conversation. They will be available to purchase at the October meeting. And, it’s not too early to start thinking about holiday presents. That brings us to BCBA cookbooks. Plan on giving honey this year to family and friends? Why not complement that gift with a cookbook; available for $5.

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EAS 2002 Report
Gard Otis and Cynthia Scott-Dupree, of the University of Guelph, and Orly “Chip” Taylor of the University of Kansas, presented the most informative and most exciting workshop this August at Cornell University. The STUD, formerly known as drone, was the subject of conversation. Knowing that drones convene at mid-afternoon (2:30 to 4:30) daily waiting for the arrival of a virgin queen, the instructors tethered a helium balloon from a fishing pole. Attached just below the balloon were a blackened cork and a pheromone lure. The cork was there simply as an object that the studs could zero in on. This experiment took place midway of three individual apiaries set up at the Dyce Lab and included at least 30 hives.

We let the balloon out and the class started walking the paths in the field. Perhaps 50 feet along, we looked up and found the balloon (approximately 25 feet in the air) under “attack”. Studs were darting back and forth at the cork. The balloon was lowered and a net was suspended below it, but over the lure, and again released skyward. Incredible! 20, 30, maybe 40 specs appeared in the sky and were caught in the net. Upon lowering the net, the class was able to handle and identify the important anatomical parts of the stud.

Discovering this specific drone congregating area was certainly neat! There appeared to be a difference of opinion of several of the researchers throughout the week as to how the drones traveled for congregating. One school of thought was that they never mate with virgin queens from their same apiary, while others claimed that they would. Interestingly though, is that they establish their surroundings on first flights and usually follow paths, streams, tree lines, and the like, traveling up to 2 to 3 miles. Virgin queens will travel 5 to 6 miles in search of these areas.

After mating, the studs die due to the loss of their appendage. Up to 17 studs will mate and die for one queen. The more successful the mating numbers are, the better our queens will be able to carry out their egg-laying function.

We know that studs first appear in our hives in April and hang around till September here on Cape Cod, when they are starved. In this weakened condition, it is easier for the worker bees to drag them out of the hive and push them off the edge of the landing board. Their normal life span is a mere 16 to 30 days.

Drone congregation areas are not as important to the hobby beekeeper as to those raising their own queens. Some with a number of apiaries in an 8 to 10 mile radius could use this information and saturate certain apiaries with a specific race or trait of bees. Supercedure queens would most likely find these studs and mate, ensuring the desired traits to be carried back to the neighboring hives.

It certainly would be fun to duplicate this workshop and discover congregating areas!

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Recipe Corner
(Thanks to an article by Elizabeth Cole in a recent issue of Bee Culture)

Honey Spiced Nuts - In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 3 tbsp of butter or margarine and ½ cup of honey. Add 3 cups of any nuts, 2 tsp grated orange peel zest and ½ tsp cinnamon. Stir over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, spread in a single layer on foil to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Glazed Bananas - Peel and slice lengthwise 2 bananas. Place flat side down on greased cookie sheet. Brush with warmed honey, bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

Sweet Honey Butters - These are great on toast, waffles, pancakes, etc. With an electric mixer, beat together ½ cup honey and ½ cup butter until creamy. Beat in one of the following ingredients, or dream up your own variation.
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon and ¼ cup applesauce or apple pie filling
  • 1/2 cup mashed strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
back to top Last updated 09/05/02