Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cabell Wayne Beekeepers July 12, 2010 meeting

FIFTY MEMBERS & GUESTS attended the July 12th meeting and good fellowship was had by all. The Minutes & Treasurer’s Report were approved. Billy Black, James Black, Jason & Billy Branham, David Lee Boggs, Dennis Clyde Maynard, Martha Nix &Chad Simmons joined as a new members. Hobart Hundley, Sr., Daniel Lucas, Sherman Smith, Andy & Yolanda Williamson renewed their memberships. THANKS TO EACH & EVERY ONE OF YOU!
We elected officers for the next 2 years: Gabe Blatt, President, Wade Stiltner, Vice President, Dan O’Hanlon, Treasurer & Newsletter Editor, Kathy Taylor, Secretary & Mike Smith, Webmaster. Dan thanked Kathy & Mike for helping him with agreeing to their positions. The club has grown from 27 to almost 80 members & it was a lot for one person to do. Mike has done a terrific job upgrading the webpage. BEE SURE to visit & take a look!
Gabe reported on HAS in Tennessee & mentioned EAS was coming up in Boone, NC along with the WVBA Fall Meeting September 24-25 at Jackson’s Mill. Dr. Nancy Ostergard will be the speaker from Penn State. Wade will be teaching at the Honey Festival in Parkersburg in August. Dan gave a report on the new Beekeeper Immunity Bill & Wade answered questions about the new regulations.
We held the annual honey harvest at Gary Strickland’s place again & helped several members extract their honey [THANKS, GARY!!!].
Wade & Gabe led a discussion about how much honey people got this year — better than last year was the consensus. And we discussed treatments for mites which should be done after the honey supers are off and as soon as the weather cools down a little.
After the break, Gabe talked about “Summer Management” and showed a video from Dr. Keith Delaplane from Georgia. New members were introduced, including several from Sandy Hook, KY, and they were welcomed with a round of applause.
The next meeting will help you figure out how to get your bees ready for this winter.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Honey Harvest 2010

Thanks to the generosity of Gary Strickland the Cabell Wayne Beekeepers Association was able to hold yet another Honey Harvest at his place. This has been a big help to those who do not have the large expensive extracting equipment that makes getting your honey a LOT easier.
This year we helped Sam Kilgore and Dr. Gil Ratcliff with their honey harvest. A good time was had by all. This is especially true of Dr. Ratcliff who showed he had quite a sweet tooth for the comb honey Gabe Blatt was cutting off the frames with a hot knife. Before long, Dr. Gil was doing the cutting while Gabe & Dan did the extracting. We missed Nancy Adams who came by to help last year. Rhonna Blatt joined us this year & took pictures we hope to post here soon.
Gary showed off his backyard hive of Italian bees in the tradition of Jack Dick, whose award Gary won two years ago for hosting the Honey Harvest.
We all had a good rest and enjoyed the fine creme brulee coffee Gary's wife made for us. Hope to see ALL of you next year! - Dan O'Hanlon

Rhonna Blatt, who takes much better pictures with her digital camera than I do, made me a CD of her photos from the Honey Harvest. The proof of her talent can be seen below -- THANKS, RHONNA!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Another day, another bee colony saved!

On June 30th I got an urgent message from my friends at Turman Construction Co. that they had 'a bunch of bees' out behind the workshop. When I arrived expecting to hive a swarm, Darrel told me that the bees had actually been there for about a month! I knew I was in for a bigger job than I'd expected. The swarm of bees had found a PERFECT home inside some concrete forms that were heading to Parkersburg the next day. Darrel fired up the forklift and moved them to their own place. When we unstacked them & got to the one with the bees, we turned it over and found the most BEAUTIFUL comb & calm bees.

I very carefully cut the comb off at the top & put them into the swarm box. When I got home, I tied them into regular brood frames with twine and transferred them to a regular hive. I had just finished when Frank Warner called me & asked if I could bring some bees to his farm in Ohio. So...the bees will soon be at their new home.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monica Brooks, who also lives next door took some photos & movie clips of us working [THANKS, MONICA!!!]

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cut-out 6-3-09

Well another day -- another lost colony of honeybees saved -- this was was in the window of an abandoned building near the town dump. I did this one with two good friends, Gabe Blatt & Gary Strickland. Gary took the bees home in a brand new hive. Mother Nature smiles again!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cut-out 5-30-09

My friend, Gabe Blatt, called & told me there were bees under the eaves in an old house in West Huntington. We met up with new beekeeper, Pete Meadows, to do the cut out & try and save these bees. We met the owner's neighbor, Kathy Seelinger, who told us that this was the third oldest house in Huntington.
When we looked up, we saw lots of honeycomb & bees.

Up we all went onto the scaffolding to begin the job of cutting the honeycomb out without harming the bees. As I cut out the combs, I handed them to Gabe who cut them down to fit into special frames that will hold them in place until the bees can fix them up right. What didn't fit into the frames, Gabe put into a large plastic bucket to feed back to the bees later. You can see the bees begin to gather at the very top of their new home to signal to the others that 'this is now the place to land'!

Gabe headed down to the ground and we handed down the large plastic bucket filled with honeycomb that didn't fit into the hive. Pete & I put the siding back onto the house & Pete used a very low powered bee vac to suck the remaining bees into a wire mesh cage without harming them. When we were done, we lowered the new hive of bees down & cut of a nice piece of wild honeycomb for Kathy to eat....YUMMY!
Gabe called Gary Strickland to tell him of our success & set up our next cut-out in Altizer on Wednesday. Thanks to the Ferguson family for calling us to save the bees instead of an exterminator to spray them. Thanks to Kathy Seelinger for giving us the history of the house & the bees. And thanks to Pete & Gabe for a real fun time...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pollinating the Cashew Tree at the Huntington Museum of Art

Recently, my friend, Carolyn Bagby contacted me. She wrote, "Our conservatory director, Mike Beck, has a cashew tree that is budding that will be in need of pollination in a week or two. We were talking about this at lunch today and I told him you might be willing to help him with this problem."
I contacted Mike who is the Director of the very beautiful Consrevatory at the Huntington Museum of Art. He told me they have a cashew tree starting to bloom & he had always wanted to try to get it pollinated to have actual cashews growing in it. I toured the Conservatory with Mike and there were several things I noticed. First, there were huge windows all around to let in light. Bees orient, in part, by polarized light. I was concerned that the bees would simply fly toward the windows and get stuck there trying to get out. To overcome this, I rubbed lemongrass oil on the opening of their hive, since bees also locate their hive by its unique smell.
The second concern was that there were several other wonderful smelling flowers in bloom. The vanilla vine, along with a few other trees and orchids were blooming profusely. Bees will always choose the flower which has the highest percentage of sugar in its nectar.
I researched cashew pollination on the internet and discovered that the flowers are very attractive to bees, which are used to pollinate the trees in the tropics. I shared this with Mike & we agreed to give it a try.
The trickiest part of the operation is that we obviously couldn't have an open beehive in the Conservatory while people were there. Since the Museum is closed on Monmdays, we agreed that I would bring a small observation beehive to the tree at closing time on Sunday, March 29th and return to pick them up the next evening.

Mike met me at the door and the we opened the hive directly under the cashew tree. As predicted, many bees flew directly to the large windows and spent their time trying to find a way out. But Mike came back on Monday and saw several bees around the cashew flowers. He even rigged up a small plastic flower pot on a long handle and scooped a few bees off the windows. He then poured those over the cashew flowers to try & give them the idea. All he got for his efforts was a stinger in the ear!
The next day, I brought a small bee vac which scoops up the bees into a chamber from which they were released near their hive after they returned to my beeyard.
Time will tell whether the project was successful & the Museum will have its own cashews. But Mike & I had a lot of fun & learned many new things about bees & trees!