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.
Still need to work club by-laws.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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