Next Meeting: Tuesday, October 12th, 7:30 P.M. AGAIN at the
West Barnstable Fire Station on Route 149. Barnstable Landscaper,
and BCBA member, Tim Friary will speak to us about native plants that
our honeybees favor, how to propagate some of those favorites, and
of his work with the Cape Cod Conservation District.
Massachusetts Beekeepers' Meeting
The Massachusetts Beekeepers' Association will hold its Fall Meeting and Honey Show at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Fitchburg on Friday and Saturday, October 29th and 30th. Featured speakers are Dr. John Skinner of the University of Tennessee, and Jennifer Berry, University of Georgia Apiary Manager and Dr. Keith Delaplane's Research Co-coordinator. I invite you all to cross over the bridge and come on Saturday for an educational field trip. A registration form is enclosed, and further details and information, as well as honey show rules, can be found at our website: www.massbee.org. -- Paul
As Indian Summer passes, and colder weather settles in, our beekeeping
season is nearing its end. It is certainly not time to put our feet
up and forget our girls until March, however. Our final preparations
now will ensure winter survival and a bountiful spring in 2005.
It is an anxious time, especially after the last few harsh winters.
So, what should we do?
Location has long been established, but heavy winds can take their
toll on a hive, so a wind break is needed if your hive stands out
and alone. And, your hive is the perfect warm environment for all
those cute little field mice looking for a winter nesting site.
Get those mouse guards in if you haven’t already.
The most senseless loss of a hive is due to starvation. It has
been a struggle with many of our hives this year due to lack of
stores. Heft the back of your hive. It should be difficult for most
of us to lift. The top deep super should be nearly full of capped
honey. If not, feeding is in order. Much confusion arises when we
need to mix sugar syrup. It needs to be thick for fall feeding,
therefore a 2:1 syrup is called for. This is easily remembered by
dissolving 5 pounds of sugar in 5 cups of hot water. A batch or
two should include a teaspoonful of Fumagillin-B to ward off spring
Nosema. Keep feeding till they take no more.
As new beekeepers, we felt the need to tighten up the hive so
the girls could huddle and cuddle all winter. Why not, I use an
electric blanket (nearly year-round)! But these girls build up condensation
quickly. Ventilation is critical! Air flow through the hive and
venting out through the notched inner cover will not chill the cluster.
It is amazing how much moisture can accumulate on an insulation
board or under the inner cover. Very little heat is lost from an
adequately ventilated colony. The heat will be maintained in the
An insulation board can be cut from Homasote or fiberboard (not
Styrofoam). It should be the same size as the inner cover. A ten
inch long cut is made from the front edge towards the center and
placed on top of the inner cover. This will help absorb the excess
condensation and provide an upper entrance. Don’t forget the
wooden wedge used all season placed between the outer cover and
the insulation board. We have had success using several layers of
newspaper over our queen excluders which rest on the inner cover.
The vent stick is still used. Another successful approach to hive-top
insulation is to screen the bottom of a shallow super, fill it with
shavings, and place it over the inner cover.
Wrapping a hive is almost as controversial as the use of queen excluders.
A single sheet of tar paper stapled around the two deep supers does
break the wind and provides a little heat absorption on cold, sunny
days. As long as one has access to the inner cover to feed, no harm
will be done. On the other hand, there are those who feel that it
is unnecessary and that wrapping has little effect on survival.
Feeding with syrup can continue till our first killing frost. Beyond
that, it will be difficult for the bees to dispel with the excess
liquid. If feeding continues to be necessary after that , one should
switch to candy over the cluster. That recipe will be printed in
a future newsletter.
One final tip as you ready the hive for winter. Before flipping
the inner cover over to the deep side down, scrape the cover clean
of all burr comb. It is a real bummer to find your candy won’t
fit over the cluster because the cover is so covered with comb and
it is 20 degrees in January. Been there!
Cindy Mesmer won a Blue Ribbon at the Barnstable County Fair this summer with her honey. She then took the honey to the Marshfield Fair, and came away with another Blue Ribbon. Way to go, Cindy!
Health and Beauty Tip
As cold, blustery days move in, remember - "A dab of honey on your lips acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air to your skin, keeping your lips soft, plump, and kissably sweet." Taken from the Sept/Oct issue of Remedy.
The B.C.B.A. will have a glass-moving party at Ed Osmun's, 18 Solomon Pond Rd, E Sandwich on Saturday, October 9th, at 9 A.M.. All members are invited. The more that come, the less glass each has to move. Last year we set up a case brigade and moved the glass from the garage to the attic in about 25 minutes. If you hurry and get your glass before we move it, you will get it at the advertised prices. If you wait until Ed has to go up in the attic to get it for you, the price will be $1.00 more per case.
Andy Morris has a shiny new motorized 18-frame extractor just waiting to be used. If you are one of the fortunate folks who have honey to extract this year, but have no extractor, give Andy a call at 508-362-7448. He will guide you through the process and allow you to use his extractor. Such a deal!!
I picked up a flyer that Robert Lichtenstein made up this summer
while at the Fair which contained some interesting facts. I asked
for permission to use some from time to time. Here are a few concerning
In Roman times, beeswax was a major product of commerce in Europe.
Taxes, rents and tributes were commonly collected in the form of
During World War I, some British beekeepers were exempted from military
service so they could continue to produce beeswax for the war effort.
Beeswax was used to coat the thin fabric making up plane exteriors.
Farm Festival Day
is a celebration of all farms in the Falmouth area. Leslie Lichtenstien will be at the John Parker bogs in East Falmouth on Saturday, October 9th , from 10 AM to 2 PM with a honeybee observation hive and all sorts of information on how our honeybees help the local farmers produce all that delicious local produce.
Tony Andrews Farm and Smithfield Farm will be open to visitors, as will the Cape Cod Winery, and the Coonamesset Farm will have spinners demonstrating their craft, as well as having their animals on display, and enticing goodies at their organic snack bar.
Now that your honey is harvested and you are looking for ways to
use it, try adapting some of your favorite recipes. A favorite of
ours follows having converted it from a chocolate oatmeal cookie
Oatmeal Craisin Drops
Heat oven to 360. Beat
honey, shortening, and sugar till creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and
beat well. Combine flour, soda and salt, mix well. Stir in oats,
craisins and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie
sheets. Bake 9-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool and Remove to
wire rack. Makes 5 dozen.
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 ¾ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup honey
- ½ tsp salt (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ cup quick, uncooked oats
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 6 oz Craisins or raisins
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Hive Equipment for Sale
The widow of a former member has a 3 frame S.S. Extractor for sale. Powered by your 3/8" variable speed drill. Call Toni Gelotte at 508-888-3486.
Andy Morris has a nine-frame hand-powered S.S. extractor for sale
for the bargain price of $350. He can be reached at 508-362-7448.
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 will also again have available Fumagillin-B ($1. per dose) and Apistan strips ($1.50 each). No large bills please!
Ed Osmun has 12 oz Flat Panel Bears- $12. per 24 for sale. You can catch him at the meeting or call him @ 508-833-9696.