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Buzz Words - September, 2003

Table of Contents
1. Announcements
2. From the President
3. Harvest Fair
4. Glassware
5. Mark Your Calendars
6. Medications
7. Other Items for Sale
6. Claire’s Corner
7. Hydienic Bees
8. Sugar Alert
10. Mouse Guards
11. American Foulbrood
12. Classifieds

Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 9th, 7:30 P.M. at the West Barnstable Community Building on Route 149.

Program: This meeting will highlight methods of removal of honey from the hive, and methods of extracting that honey from the comb.

From the President
Cheers to our members who traveled to Maine for the Eastern Apicultural Society 2003 Conference. I hope we can all learn something from the participants over the course of the year at our monthly meetings.

Personally, I've had a busy summer and the girls have taken a back burner to the other ones in my family. However, at the recent hive opening at the Armstrong-Kelley Park we discovered some interesting things. The honey was rather mixed, from two capped to no capped shallows per hive, ranging over five hives. We found a nice white marked queen, watched several girls hatch out of their cells and witnessed one hive just loaded with an excellent brood pattern. The screened bottom boards showed very little signs of Varroa mite, and the drone brood we tested came up clean too. All in all, these hive openings are very good because you get extra sets of eyes and the ability to share ideas and experiences.

We will demonstrate extracting honey at the next meeting and those who have never extracted should attend. It is an experience.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend and we'll see you on the 9th. - Geoffrey

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Harvest Fair - September 27, 2003
Saturday, September 27, 2003 will be another chance to sell your honey at the Bee Booth. The Barnstable County Agricultural Society will sponsor their annual farmers' market with hayrides and the like from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Extra sets of hands are needed for a few hours.

Ed decided to go big time this year and ordered 3+ pallets of glass. By doing so, we got a really good price and delivery to a local loading dock. That made for a lot less handling, since forklifts don't get aching backs. If you have not yet placed a glass order, call Ed at 508-833-9696 for pickup, at his convenience. We have 3 sizes in stock, 8 oz (24 per case) 16 oz (24 per case) 32 oz (12 per case).

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Mark Your Calendars
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.

As always, Mass Bee meetings are open to the public. Registration forms will be available from Paul or Claire. Cost for non-members is $15 for the meeting.

Apistan and Fumagillin will be available at the September and October meetings. 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.

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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.

Claire’s Corner
In our travels this month we have drooled over vast wetlands covered with purple loosestrife in Massachusetts, acres of goldenrod in Maine and huge patches of Japanese Knotweed in upstate New York. That rainy spring seems to have finally paid off. Coming home to the Cape, we find the goldenrod is beginning to bloom as the clethera dries up. Overall, it appears as though the wet summer and humid air has kept the honey crop to an all-time low. Locations differ as to harvest and there always seems to be one hive that outdoes itself. Much of our take, when it finally becomes capped, will be partial shallows. It appears the humid weather has prolonged the capping process as the "girls" struggle to reduce the moisture content in the nectar.

Have the Drone Sinks been useful, or have they been a nuisance? Most of ours worked well. We did miss a few "crops" and some had 2 cycles removed. Very little varroa has been seen to date. Interestingly, when skewering drone pupa, only single mites were seen, and in very low numbers. Usually, the female lays in the capped pupa, hatching up to 5-6 additional females and one male. When a female mite lays eggs in the worker pupa, the 2nd egg laid has a 94% survival rate. The 3rd egg's survival rate drops to 38%, and the 4th egg has only a 13% chance to adulthood. Now, in drone brood, which takes 4 more days to maturity, those rates increase to 98%, 94%, 84%, plus we can now get a 5th with a 76% chance, and a 6th egg with a 63% chance of attaining adulthood. From this you can see why the removal of drone comb alone can be an effective method of varroa reduction.

Check your hives for stores as the season wanes. We have found many with honey in the shallows, but no nectar stored with the brood. This is not healthy for winter survival. Some hives might need to be combined to ensure viability through the winter. As the goldenrod and asters bloom, you might consider re-queening. And let us hope the winter is nowhere near as "seasonal" as the one just past.

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Hygienic Bees
The race to produce the hygienic bee is on. Many breeders currently advertise this trait, but is it advanced enough to rid the hive of mites? Not too many can claim this just yet. You can test the hygienic behavior of your hive. Take a frame of brood and prick seven capped cells in a circle with a nail. Go back in 24 hours and see if the damaged brood has been removed. Ideally, the cells should be cleaned out and ready for fresh eggs.

Sugar Alerts
For those of you on the email list, watch for upcoming sugar alerts as we notify you of upcoming sale prices at area supermarkets.

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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.

American FoulBrood
We recently received the newsletter of the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association and learned that American Foulbrood has reared its ugly head in Rhode Island. We have been hearing reports over the past year that Terramycin-resistant AFB was cropping up across the country, but till just recently, southern New England had seen none. If you don't know what it is, just check either of Dick Bonney's texts, Dewey Caron's "Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping", Diana Sammataro's "Beekeepers Handbook", or "Beekeeping for Dummies" to find how to identify it. If you still have questions or doubts call one of your officers or board members.

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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 1-inch gate with the last order. These can be had for $20 apiece. See Ed.
back to top Last updated 09/05/03