FORTY-SEVEN MEMBERS & GUESTS attended the meeting and good fellowship was had by all. Minutes & Treasurer’s Report were approved. Lots of members renewed their dues: David Adams, Nancy Adams, Edna & Otis Baker, John Bowen, Eric Caldwell, George Godby, Avery Hayden, Paul & Rick Howard, Hobart Hundley, Sr., Bob & Jana Huron, Fathers Joseph & Andrew, Sam Kilgore, Rodney & Patty Lewis, Ike & Patty Lake. Bill Maynard, Willis & Eileen McComas, Sean McManus, Tom & Nancy Midkiff, Ed, Ernest & Tom Neace, Dan O’Hanlon, Verland Perry, John Porter, Beverly Spurlock, Russell Stephenson, Mike Stickler, Wade Stiltner, Kathy & Mike Taylor, Tom Terry, Kolten Thompson, Terri & Mike Waldeck, Charles Wellman, Andy & Yolanda Williamson, and Frances Wriston. THANKS to all you renewing members! We also had several NEW MEMBERS join us: Jennings Adkins, Tina Lockwood, Tim Mathis and Mike & Henriella Perry. WELCOME TO EACH & EVERY ONE OF YOU!
John Gibson emailed us to say that his wife, Tara had delivered a daughter. CONGRATULATIONS!
Gabe mentioned that classes would be offered at the Honey Bee Expo in Parkersburg. He also urged all members to attend Ag Day at the State Capitol March 10th. Beekeepers will have a chance to talk with their legislators, and meet with Speaker Rick Thompson & Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin. The Tri-County Beekeepers will again put on their wonderful bee meeting at Wooster, OH on March 6th & 7th. The WV Beekeepers will have their Spring Meeting March 28th in Fairmont. Their Fall Meeting will be at Jackson’s Mill Sept. 24-26. BEE SURE to plan to attend some of these great bee meetings for education and fellowship!
Gabe described the grant for the WV Beekeepers that will allow you to buy a local queen this summer for $10. It will be a great opportunity for you to try summer requeening to have a break in the brood cycle of the mites and go into winter with a vigorous young queen.
Gabe also showed his homemade queen bank to hold 24 queens. You can put it in a queenless hive and the nurse bees can get to both sides of it to feed the queens. Supposedly you could bank queens all winter. It was developed in Canada. It is time to register your hives in WV. You can find the forms at: http://www.wvagriculture.org/images/Marketing/ApplicationforApiaryRegistration2-08.pdf
The bees went into the winter short on stores because of the fall drought. You can pour sugar directly onto the frames over a piece of newspaper. Put a pollen patty in when the weather warms up to get brood rearing started early.
Paul Howard and Tim Mathis brought in their top bar hives to demonstrate this unique method for keeping bees. The boxes were well-made. Paul’s even had a hinged door on the front with an observation window behind it so you could check on the bees without disturbing them. Paul said that, while he was brand-new to beekeeping, he had read a lot about top bar hives online. He said that several users said that it was a natural way to control mites because of the break in the brood cycle when the honey is removed. You have to be careful when you turn the frames over because they can break off since there is no wire or wooden frame support for the honeycomb. You also need to be sure and remove the honey as you go along so they do not get honey bound and swarm on you. It is very a very natural beehive similar to what the bees would build in the wild. Gabe said these hives would be legal in WV because they had moveable frames and could therefore be inspected. Paul said that they were really for the hobbyist and could not be easily used by the commercial honey producer. All-in-all, it was a very interesting demonstration and Paul & Tim did and excellent job with the woodworking in building these hives. Paul’s will be in Ashland, KY; Tim’s will be located near White’s Creek, WV in Wayne County. Thanks to both fellows for their talk to us about top bar hives!
Gabe then showed the movie ‘Pollen Nation’ and had a garden catalog offering ‘bee attractant’. Dan said the bees were already attracted to him when he opened his hives up!
Our next meeting will be on March 9th at 7 pm. Gabe will speak about Spring Management. BEE SURE to make plans to attend.