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Queen's Castle Beekeepers Assoc.


5th Year, 2nd Minutes for the Queen’s Castle Beekeepers Assoc.

February 28, 2015

21980 U. S. Hwy 29, Andalusia, AL  36420, 334-222-0751/376-9824


February 28, 2015

Executive Committee Meeting

Vicky Barrow has gotten new catalogs from various beekeeping suppliers and they are available for anyone who wants in the front room with the other catalogs and publications.  She expects to receive more from additional suppliers.

Vick has been contacted by a civic group in Opp to see if the club would be interested in participating in a Kid’s Day Camp.  This would occur on Tuesday, June 9, 10 – 1, for Pre K through 4th grade.  We need to bring before the club for discussion.

Karen Brock introduced the topic of review of the club by-laws.  It was decided that we needed to review for possible revision.  Karen will e-mail a copy of the AL Beekeeper by-laws to the committee members for review and suggest possible revisions @ next month’s exec. meeting.

It was determined that the current roster needs to be revised.  Karen identified those names whose e-mail was not valid and a decision was made if they needed to be deleted from the roster.  Lucy Blount will e-mail the current roster Excel file to Karen brock for revision.  Karen will distribute the updated roster to committee members.

Karen asked if it would be possible to publish an agenda for future meetings so that members would know what to expect @ meetings and maybe more interest would be generated if people were aware of the scheduled topic.  The meeting agenda was decided as follows:

1.     Opening prayer

2.     Minutes from previous meeting

3.     Treasure’s report

4.     Old business

5.     New business

6.     Monthly topic or topics

7.     Open discussion

We then had a discussion about possible meeting topics.  The topics are:

1.     Pests and diseases – John Sansom has a new hive beetle deterrent to introduce.

2.     Swarm capture

3.     Honey extracting

4.     Plants for bees

5.     Beginner beekeeping, building hives

6.     Queen rearing

7.     Hive inspection

8.     Having a speaker from the county agricultural agency to discuss cottage food industries. Vicky will contact Covington county for possibilities

9.      Don Helton said that he had heard the county agent from Philip Carter from the Crenshaw county do a talk on beekeeping that was very informative and suggested we try to get him to speak @ one of our meetings.  Karen will try to contact for possible dates.

10.    Pros and cons of top bar and standard frame beekeeping methods

The idea that we could have multiple topics based on beekeeper experienced was discussed.

It was decided that we would have swarms as the March meeting topic.  Gary Barrow will show a U-tube video of JPBeeman catching a swarm.  We will then have discussion and questions.

Meeting was adjourned due to time.  It was decided that we would meet @ 8:45 instead of 9.


Members Meeting

Lucy opened the meeting with prayer.

Gary did introductions of the officers and board members.

Vicky read the minutes from the January meeting.

Treasury report:  As of 2/2/15 bank balance was $721.93.

Old business:

Gary and Karen reported that the Covington County annual tree sale sold out of trees quickly.

Randy Shaffer would look into creating a facebook page for QCBA.

New business:

Check on grant from the Federal ag. available for beginning beekeepers.  It was discussed that this is just a grant and may not be repeated.  We need to keep checking.  Applications were due in January.

We need to submit events and activities for our club to be published in the Stinger.  Need to check deadlines.

Discussed what issues of the Stinger are available to whom and how to access.

OJ talked about planting clover in September.  First bushog in August, then plant clovers.  Plant Vitek on fence rows.

Gary talked about pastures that are cut are like a desert to the bees.

Gary had a sale flier from Mann Lake.  They have the vented bee suit and other things on sale.

Gary said that plastic foundation had a border that was attractive to hive beetles.  The use of the 5/32” mesh and the lime tray help to eliminate mites and beetles.  Trays should be cleaned every 10 days.

Lucy distributed the calendar of events to members who had not already received one.

John Sansom talked about a new Beetle Baffle.  Bees drive the beetles down and they cannot escape lime or a bottle filled with oil.  It is available @ John store in Flomaton, AL.  He also has other supplies and nucs for $150 after 4/1.  They are 5 frame nucs.

Gary mentioned that Kelly has pricing by pallet and is trying to be more competitive.

South AL Beekeepers Association workshop and Field Day is March 21.  Don Helton has applications if anyone is interested.

Vicky will call the Covington County Extension office and talk to Chuck Simon about what is available for beekeepers.

Mr. Paul Watson from central Mississippi presented a slide show about catching a wild colony of bees from a tree.  Paul has been a beekeeper since 1963.  Paul explained that he attached a bar above the branch that the colony was on, cut the branch and lowered the whole colony into empty brood and supers boxes.  He then waited until dark to move the boxes to a new location.  He talked about how every removal is unique and he has developed different tools and methods for different removals.  He said that wild hives are usually in sunny spots and on the south side of trees.

Don Sobczak, a bee inspector from Knoxville, TN discussed hive inspection outside in the yard.  He said that the local club had an extractor for members use but that their hives must first pass inspection.  He has the beekeeper do the actual inspection while he supervises. This way he can do education while doing the inspection. He has them start with lighting a smoker to ensure that they do it properly.  They are looking for the queen throughout the whole process.  He checks the front of the hive for Nosema spots. A frame is removed from one end of the box and placed nearby.  The frames are then inspected, working in order from the end.  He is checking for foulbrood, diseases and pests.  He is also looking at the brood pattern and amount of drone cells.  Depending on pattern, queen may need to be replaced. The characteristics of a queen were discussed.  If foulbrood is found the hive and boxes must be destroyed.  He has found foulbrood to be essentially non-existent.  He recommends nucs instead of packaged bees.  Frames must be put back in the box in the order they were removed. Some techniques for attracting swarms were discussed – drawn comb, essential oils and even banging on pans. He recommends only treating if required for diseases or pests.  Do not treat during a honey flow.  Essential oil is good for varroa mites.  Changing products from treatment to treatment is also recommended.

Neranza Blount gave a demonstration of encaustics. This is an ancient art that uses fusing of the medium.  The medium she uses is 8 parts bees wax and 1 part damar, a resin.  Temperature of 150’, a natural bristle brush and an absorbent and rigid painting surface are critical.  If painting with an existing photo the paper must be absorbent paper. Apply wax medium to photo and apply to painting surface.  Use a heat gun to fuse the photo to the surface. Apply 2 coats of wax to surface and fuse again.  Scribing can be done if wished to add dimension. A painting can be done with colored wax.  The wax painting will repel dust and can be polished to add shine.  Care must be taken as the painting can be dented and scratched.  Neranza also talked about dipping water balloons in melted wax to make bowls which can also be painted.

Daniel Schellenberger discussed triangulating a wide colony by attracting the bees with sugar water and then marking them with water colored paint to determine the approx. distance of the hive and the beeline.  He repeated this along the beeline to reduce the distance to the hive and to help determine the hive direction.  By doing this from different directions he was able to approximate the location of the wild colony.  He found this method on the web from a CA eradication process.  Swarm traps need to be placed between 400 & 500 yards from the colony.  In this area bees usually swarm between March 21 and Easter.

We then had a meal of fried fish, hush puppies, deep fried onion rings and various side dishes and desert.  The meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Some members then went with OJ to inspect lime trays.

Those present were: OJ and Lucy Blount, Gary and Vicky Barrow, Karen Brock, Sharon Campbell, Joe Blount, Don Helton, John Kilmer, Jimmie Palmer, John Sansom, Daniel, Allison and Nathan Schellenberger, Neranza Blount, Don Sobczak, Jimmie Winters, Don and Carole Hamilton, Wayne Miller, Paul Watson, Bill and Kathy Blankenship, Leslie Watson, Jimmy Palmer, Tammy Chaffee, Gary Smith, Charles and Jacque Stone, Roy & Joy Wiggins, Jay Wigiam, Randy Shaffer and Herb Jasper.

Our next meeting will be 3/28.






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