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Queen's Castle Beekeepers Assoc.


5th Minuets for the Queen Castle Beekeepers Assoc

29 January 2011

1980 U. S. Hwy 29, Andalusia, AL 36420, 334-222-0751/376-9824

The minuets from last month were read and accepted as is.

Old Business:
Still need to work club by-laws.

New Business:
Keith was concerned about finding weak hives when we open them up to put queen excluders and suppers on the brood chamber. What can we do when or if we discover a weak hive? OJ suggested the newspaper trick to take the weak hive bees and introduce them to a stronger hive. The newspaper between the two layers of bees gives them enough time to get use to each other and they are more accepting of the weaker hive.

White sugar is best, but you can use other sweeteners like brown sugar. Fructose is ok but a little more expensive.

Clover needs to be planted in the fall. It does much better because the root system is established before extreme cold. Then the plants will begin blooming the first spring. If you do plant clover in the spring, it will not bloom until the following spring. As mentioned before at club meetings, you can plant three types white Dutch, sweet, and buckwheat. Only buckwheat can be turned back under and it will return up to 5 times in one year. You have to wait until the seeds are mature, and then turn it under. In time the white clovers will kill grasses. Buckwheat makes stronger honey and bees do not get as much from it. OJ highly recommends that everyone plant vitex. There is enough vitex in the club now that those need it can get seed or plants from others, just ask.

Watch for your swarms in March and April. In May they will be working hard, this is what most beekeepers call the “honey flow”. The temptation to look around in the brood chamber is always there for the new beekeeper. But a tight sealed box is like a tree with only one way in, keep bugs out. Using the 5/32 hole metal that we recommended you have the ideal trap for most of the attacking insects. And now powdered lime is the recommended above the use of mineral oil. Lime will kill the pest. Just shake the powder on your metal tray in a thin layer like you did the oil. Your worry today is the mites and wax worms, and beetles. And remember the better the seal of the brood box the less likely of pests taking over. When you put you hive on the 5’ post it keeps many things from attacking the hive. 3-5 feet apart is the recommended distance. If you do not keep the swarming bees in the same area as the older hive, you need to move it at least 3 miles away to prevent robbing.

Remember when you store your suppers or brood boxes in a room; it is best if you use a black light over a “cookie” type pan filled with water and a thin layer of oil. Another way to store equipment is using black trash bags and moth ball flakes. Remember this when time comes to remove the suppers and begin feeding for the winter.

One of our newest members, Ben Williams, built an entire hive to include all the frames. His thinner design of frames gives the bees a lot of room. Thanks Ben for sharing your wood working with us. And He is willing to build and sell some equipment to you.
The meeting was adjourned and we enjoyed another great meal provided by OJ and Lucy.
Our next meeting will be 26 Feb 2011 at 10:00 am.
Present were OJ Blount, Lucy Evans, Keith Robinson, Bobby Baker, Donna Blair and Jason Piland, Joel Martin, and our guests were Emily Piland and William Cross. It is great to have some kids come too, but did not get their names.
Secretary, Keith Robinson




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