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Buzz Words - October, 2003

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Harvest Fair
4. Glassware
5. Mouse Guards
6. Medications
7. Other Items for Sale
8. Claire’s Corner
9. Mark Your Calendar
10. Classifieds

Next Meeting: Tuesday, October 14th, 7:30 P.M. in the small room at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149.

Program: Dr. Herbert Graham, one of the founders of this organization, will discuss his experiences producing comb honey in the bass wood sections. This will be followed by a discussion of how to prepare to over- winter your hives.

From the President
Fall has suddenly dropped in and the temperatures are falling commensurately at night. Cool nights bring deep red color to our cranberry crops, enhance the fall foliage and spur budding in house plants for indoor winter blooms. Cool nights also invite rodents to seek warm shelter, get your mouse guards in soon!

Pennant fever, ghosts and goblins, fall harvests, fresh crisp apples, extracted honey and gorgeous blue skies are all upon us this year. And speaking of Harvests—the Barnstable County Harvest Day at the Fairgrounds last Saturday was successful. Many thanks for those who helped set up, man the bee booth and clean up, especially Connie Novitsky who spent the entire day working for BCBA.

I am pleased to announce our veteran beekeeper, Herbert Graham will be speaking on sectioned honey for part of our next meeting. This technique is similar in concept to Ross Rounds, but unique in wood construction. The second part of the meeting will deal with techniques in preparing your hive for winter.

I would like our December meeting to be more of a craft event. We will set up tables around the room and anyone who makes bee products is welcome to offer items for sale to members. Last year we had members speak on making bee products, but this year we are going to offer discussion as well as the ability to purchase items for Holiday gifts. I mention this now so members can prepare to make wares for the December meeting. It should be a fun evening. See you in the small meeting room on the 14th. —Geoffrey

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Harvest Fair - September 27, 2003
Saturday, September 27th, 2003 was another good day of informing the public about those amazing creatures that we so dearly love. Thanks to Connie, and Geoff, and Richard and Leslie, and those folks who brought honey and wax products to sell. I am amazed that we did so well on such a beautiful day, with so many other things going on all around the cape. We grossed $372 on sales of candles and hand cream and honey stix and honey. After paying the members their 80 percent, the club treasury grew by $145. Thanks to all who participated!

Yes, we still have glass available. If you are just getting around to extracting your honey and want to bottle it up, call Ed (508-833-9696) now. That will make that much less to move on Sunday October 12th. Ed is having a Glass Moving Party at his honey house on that date at 2 PM. A number of hands will make very light work of getting the glass out of the garage and into the storage area. Then the tractor can come out of the garage and go into its place, and Betty’s car can be where it belongs. Please be there to help Ed out of the doghouse.

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Mouse Guards
If you don’t have them in yet, you better do it soon, ‘cause those little suckers are out there looking for a nice hive to foul for the winter and raise their young in.

Apistan and Fumagillin will be available at the October meeting. Apistan should be placed in the ration of 1 strip per 5 frames of bees. Strips are $1.50 each. Fumagillin is administered by diluting in a gallon of 2:1 sugar syrup fed in the fall. Single doses will be available at $1.00 each.

Other Items for Sale
We will have at the next few meetings Ed Weiss’s text "The Queen and I" and the B.C.B.A. Cookbooks will be available. We also have "Bee a Cape Cod Honey" tees and B.C.B.A. polo shirts available. If you would like a shirt, call Paul or Claire at 888-2304 a couple of days prior to the meetings with sizes and we will be sure to have them there for pickup.

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Claire’s Corner
As we prepare our hives for winter (tips available at the October meeting), it will behoove those of us with new spring packages to check our hives thoroughly. Include the bottom board corners especially. One astute beekeeper has discovered what very possibly could be Small Hive Beetle (SHB). Only 2 beetles were seen scurrying around, with a few larvae wriggling on the sticky board. We will have a sample for all to see at the meeting.

(Ed Osmun reported today (10/1/03) that he has SHB in all of those hives started with York packages this spring. If you placed an order with York, check very carefully. If found, the only treatment is with Coumaphos, which can only be applied by a Licensed Pesticide Applicator)

This pest is a new arrival to Barnstable County and will probably not survive the winter here, and probably came up from Georgia in April. The SHB was first discovered in Georgia in 1998, another “import” from Africa. The beetle is dark brown, oval, and approximately ¼ inch long. We have been told that they are fast and like dark corners. Maybe catching them with the infamous duck tape would be effective. The adult beetle actually defecates on the honey comb, sliming it, and causing fermentation.

The larva of the Small Hive Beetle is easily confused with a small wax moth larva. Again, no longer than ¼ inch, creamy in color with an orange to red head. It devours the wax, pollen, honey, bee brood and eggs in the hive.

In Africa, the Cape Bees actually imprison the SHB with walls of propolis and guard the prisoner from escape. With small numbers of SHB, even our European bees have shown the same activity. It is only when the beekeeper opens the hive and breaks the guard bee’s concentration that the beetle scurries away. Strong, active hives will have no problem with this pest. The only effective pesticide available is Coumaphos (CheckMite+) requiring a pesticide applicator’s license to apply, but a few in your strong hives should be of little concern. Just get your honey supers off and extracted quickly.

A refresher on applying Apistan will happen at the October meeting. Bee sure that your hives really need it, including multiple drone infestation, or varroa mite drops of over 150 in 3 days on your sticky boards, before you apply. We will have available a sticky board recently pulled (5 day insertion) after having applied Apistan. Plenty of Varroa to identify, but not a real alarming number. We have since killed the queen (an over-wintered hive), and will re-queen with a newly-made split and an SMR queen.

Observations and Correlations
For the fourth time this month of September, we have had to fill the supplemental feeding jar in the observation hive with a 2:1 sugar syrup. In both July and August we needed to replace the upper frame with a nearly full frame of honey. The queen is very active (Wilbanks Italian), has a great brood pattern, and has laid no drones. Does this correlate with our hives activities? Strong, good laying pattern, but poor stores? Once the goldenrod opened, one would assume the syrup would be neglected and nectar begin to appear in the cells. Not so! At a last glance, small patches of stored nectar are visible, capped honey is visible, and in 24 hours another 2 ounces of syrup has disappeared. The stored glistening liquid, of course, could be sugar syrup. Or would the girls prefer to store the true nectar and consume the syrup daily as the numbers remain large in the hive? More questions than answers at this point.

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Mark you Calendar
The Massachusetts Beekeepers’ Association Annual Meeting, to be held on Saturday, October 25th, at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Fitchburg will feature Jim Higgins, also known as Doctor Sting. His main topic will be Bee Sting Therapy and how it benefits sufferers of arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis. Jim will also detail how the products of the hive (honey, pollen and propolis) can help relieve the maladies of man.

Jim is a beekeeper and on the board of directors of The American Apitherapy Society. He studied under Charles Mraz. Jim administers bee stings at his home, and has trained a number of practicing bee venom therapists. He teaches at the AAS’s annual school and has lectured on Apitherapy throughout the U.S., Canada and Cuba. He has also produced a three-part video on Bee Venom Therapy.

As always, Mass Bee meetings are open to the public. Registration form is included with this newsletter.

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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.
The club purchased 5 gallon bottling pails with a good 1½-inch gate with the last order. These can be had for $20 apiece. See Ed.

Sheila Warren will soon be moving to the milder climes of Florida and is looking to not have to move her beekeeping equipment. Sheila has a stainless, 2-frame extractor, as well as buckets and woodenware to sell. You may reach her by leaving a message on her cell phone at 508-737-7668.

back to top Last updated 10/12/03