Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cabell Wayne Beekeepers Meeting March 9th, 2009

FIFTY-SIX MEMBERS & GUESTS attended the meeting and good fellowship was had by all. Minutes & Treasurer’s Report were approved. Lots of members renewed their dues: Dwight Coburn, Terry Cremeans, Ashby Leach, Bill & Sandy Lincoln, Bill Maynard, Dr. David Nicholas, Jeff & Anna Patton, Dale Poston, Bill & Margaret Reid. THANKS to all you renewing members!
We also had several NEW MEMBERS join us: James Black, Kim Carico, Barbara Greer, Kari Kirschbaum, Herman Maynard, Pete Meadows, Ken Miller, Kenneth Miller, Renee Ratcliff, Taylor Reed, Cynthia Morrison-Skidmore, Sherman Smith & Chris Strow. WELCOME TO EACH & EVERY ONE OF YOU!

Gabe reported that Dan O’Hanlon has been appointed as the Legislative Chair of the WV State Beekeepers. Dan arranged for the beekeepers to meet with BOTH Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin & House Speaker Richard Thompson on Ag Day. He also announced that the WVBA Spring Meeting would be in Fairmont on Saturday, March 28th. The CWBA will be putting on a Beginners Bee School at Heritage Farm on March 21st from 9 am—3 pm.
It is time to put out traps for the European Hornet...these also catch wax moths, horse flies & yellow jackets. The formula is in an old newsletter and on our website.
Dan discussed the WV Queen Producers and urged all members to send in their order for a $10 queen using the order form in the State Newsletter. BEE SURE and get those hygienic genetics in your local Drone Congregation Area.
David Adams asked about bears and Wade told him electric wire is best. We also discussed moving hives. You can move them a little bit every day or move them 2 miles away for 30 days, then move them back to your beeyard in the new location. Wade thought the best way was to make a split & move it to the new location. Many people said that their State bees have died. We got them late and they didn’t get a good chance to build up due to the drought. Other than the State bees, the average loss is around 10% which is terrific. Joe Latshaw of the Ohio Queen Program says anything under 20% is excellent beekeeping. David Nicholas has gotten all 4 of his hives to survive in his 1st year of beekeeping [WAY TO GO, DAVID!!!]. Dan believes the low loss level has to do with the good genetics we have brought into this area. Studies show that once you get 50% hygienic genes into the area, your pest problems go way down.
Spring is starting late this year, winter is hanging on. This is the most dangerous time for bees because they have started rearing brood and will starve in an extended cold spell, even with honey just a few inches away.
Paul Meade says he has lost ALL his bees & was awarded the 1st ‘WADE STILTNER DOOM & GLOOM AWARD’!
Gabe demonstrated hive top feeders. Use 1-1 sugar syrup. BEE SURE there are no cracks in the cover where bees can crawl in & drown in the syrup. Watch your bees & stop feeding when they are past the danger of starvation or you may have swarms hanging from your trees. Swarming is not all bad IF you can catch them. You get a new young queen for your hive but probably not no honey that year. We discussed pollen patties: Wade does not use them but Gabe does. Bill Reid said it helps nurse bees make royal jelly for brood rearing.
Finally, Gabe discussed SWARM CONTROL. Congestion in the brood chamber is the major reason bees swarm so BEE SURE to give her plenty of room UPWARDS to expand the brood nest. Don’t split the brood nest apart this time of year. If you run double deeps or deep & medium, you might want tor reverse the boxes now to put the one with brood on the bottom. The queen will move UP. If you find queen cells cut them out if you want honey that year, pull them into a nuc box if you want to increase your hives that year. Leave the old queen in the original hive until you are sure you have a good laying queen in the nuc box, then replace the old queen with her. Just don’t shake queen cells as the developing queen in fragile.
Raising a new queen this way also helps to break the mites breeding cycle and is one of the ways to control varroa mites.
The RULE OF THUMB around here is put your honey supers on when the Redbud trees are in bloom. And stay ahead of the flow with several boxes.
Our next meeting will be on May 11th at 6 pm. This is our annual DINNER MEETING. It will be held at the South Point Ponderosa [map on next page]. We will elect officers and Gabe will speak about Books, Magazines & Online Resources for beekeepers. BEE SURE to make plans to attend.

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