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Queen's Castle Beekeepers Assoc.


6th Minuets for the Queen Castle Beekeepers Assoc

26 February 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:
Get your equipment ready now; the swarms are coming very soon. A small box with 4 or 5 frames raised 15-20 feet high near your hive will catch many of your swarms especially if you use the lure in the box. Try to find a place behind the hives but not more than 10 yards away.
OJ covered the distances that bees will travel to get what they need for the hive. A bee can go as far as 3 miles one direction, but usually finds what it needs with-in a mile and ½.

Number of frames in a nuke? (Ben) – This depends on the size of the nuke. The temporary nuke to capture swarms or help a weak hive through the winter is the 5 frame type and works best with the full 5 frames. The queen will have a good place to start laying in the center and the hive until you can move to a full 10 frame box. For the weak colonies there is not any wasted space for them to care for, this maximizes the few bees that are in the colony until it can begin to build back up. Some people do use 8 and 5 frame nukes for raising their bees and there are special boxes available to make or buy.
OJ talked about Bee Space – Our honeybee needs it’s space to live healthy and continue having good brood and lots of honey. Ten frames in brood forces the bees to draw out the wax just enough for raising babies. Even when using the TOP BAR frame in a hive (OJ showed us the type of TOP BAR frame he is going try) you need to keep a good bee space. And in the honey suppers use nine frames evenly spaced to get the most honey. A few beekeepers do use as low as eight in a regular supper box.

Comb Honey is attractive, but you force your bees to work twice as hard to build the comb back up. Young beekeepers should generally extract the honey and save the wax to go right back to the bees. Once you build up the apiary then specialize to comb honey so you keep the apiary strong.
Japanese Honeysuckle is doing a great job right now giving the bees a good start. If you need a plant or two to start adding the plant to your overall bee environment ask Marie Williams about how to root some from a friend without hurting their plants. She shared her knowledge with me and I started routing.
How do we rotate suppers? – The lowest is the fullest, once it is full add the next supper on top of the full one, then always harvest honey from the bottom supper. Always keep the supper with the most honey the closest to the bood or they will just move the top honey downward.

Early or first Honey is clearer and late summer or fall honey is darker.

When do you re-queen a hive? - Never using our system. We have provided an ideal place for your queen until nature tells her to start another colony in a different location. She always produces another queen to take her place before she leaves. That is why we call our system Nature’s way to beekeeping.

Millie Bee is taking orders right now for packages and will bring them to our meeting next month.

Never move a hive left or right when you need to relocate it or adjust the apiary. Only move it backwards, so the gathers will find the opening. You only move hives when you first put the swarm in the box. And this is why we plan for the right location prior to capturing the swarm or placing a new package of bees. The entrance of the hive should try to face South in your planning. If you absolutely have to move left or right ask OJ or Keith the proper way to do this and it take at least 40 days to do this.

Don, OJs son-in-law, mentioned Hopguard – new natural medication for mites, looks like a great product that can be used all year round even during honey flow. Mann Lakes is awaiting USDA approval to distribute.

Best lure for the swarms is a frame of brood comb. Not all of us have an extra brood frame available, so you can use a bought lure, either liquid or paste type on the frame. Try to catch the swarm within two days of forming or you will most likely lose the swarm. The resting area is only temporary until the scout bees find a place to live.

OJ still has plans to build a building to house our club and Lucy and he will start with the bathrooms soon.
The meeting was adjourned and we enjoyed an outstanding meal provided by OJ and Lucy. Future meals will be pot lucks, where we will all just share what everyone brings.

Our next meeting will be 26 Mar 2011 at 10:00 am come early so we can start on time.

Present were Lucy Blount, OJ Blount, Keith Robinson, Sharon Campbell and her son, Terry Crawford, Ben Williams, Don and Neranza (Blount) Sobczak, and Scotia and Billy Phillips drove all the way from Warrior, Alabama to be with us and learn how we do beekeeping.
Secretary, Keith Robinson




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