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Queen's Castle Beekeepers Assoc.


08 January 2013 email from Don and Neranza


I thought I would touch base with you regarding our February visit to OJ's. As it's been in past years, we would come down usually the last week in February to work all the growth in the blueberry rows trying to keep it in check by pulling vines and cutting out trees that sprout up every year.

When we were there last November I talked to J about my getting a couple of queens from his hives so that I can transport them back to Knoxville in order to graft larva to raise Alabama queens in Knoxville.

After discussions with our state apiarist and also the bee guru's at the University of TN I think that J's bees have developed a resistance to mites just by the fact that he basically forced them to adapt due to him not treating. Kind of a survival of the fittest if you will. From what I've learned this basically is the way that bees develop their VSH (varroa sensitive hygiene) traits.

As is his practice, he lets the bees take care of themselves, if they survive great, if not, oh well. It seems that over the years his bees were able to adapt to the varroa mite problem and now he doesn't have to worry about mites. By default he seems to has developed his own VSH strain of bees.

We are planning on coming down on the 20th or 21st so we will be there for your meeting on the 23rd. I thought we could involve your group by having an active participation in locating the queens as well as looking for swarm cells and other things that would be going on in the hive at that time. At the same time we could discuss doing splits and the advantages of doing splits as opposed to chasing swarms. I've been doing splits since my second season and have had excellent results so I do have several years of experience in this procedure.

My plan is to graft as many queens that I'll need to replace the queens I have. At the same time this should satisfy their swarm instinct. Then I can use the old queens and make nucs to sell. Also my honey production should increase significantly.

I'm very involved in two of our local associations and I feel that it's very important for our beekeepers to get as much valuable information as is offered. As you know there so many ways to take care of bees, I think people need to be able to experience everything possible so they can make good decisions based on what they've learned.

My thoughts are that by giving you advanced notice you guys would be able to plan accordingly. This also gives you a chance to notify your members well in advance so that they can plan on being there. This would be a very informative session especially for the newer beekeepers.

While talking to you last November you seemed to be very interested in trying this method so if you want I could also help you do your splits, just let me know so we can plan accordingly.

If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me via email or telephone, my cell is 865 806 0484.

Looking forward to seeing you come February,

Don and Neranza


--------------------------------------------------------Lucy Blount (President)--------------------------------------------------------------


07 December 2013

Hello everyone, It seems like it has been a long time since we last met. Hope ya'll all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and got through the new year.
It is time to get busy with our bee equipment, so that we will be ready for the swarm season beginning in early March for most of us. Just a reminder that we will be meeting on the last Saturday this month, which is the 26th at 10:00. Our lunches has been so good, thanks for everyone bringing just a little something to add to the spread. OJ will be running the meeting this month because of a conflict in my personal calendar, so I will see ya'll on February 23d. We need you there to pick our new officers or to confirm the old ones we have.
I wanted to forward this email from Dr. Tew to all of ya'll because it is the Bee Symposium that is at Auburn University. It is such a wonderful opportunity to learn so many things from some of our country's and state's authorities in beekeeping. I want to draw your attention to the per-registration deadline of January 21st. The cost for the symposium and lunch is only $20.00 before that date and afterwards it is $30.00. The $10.00 you save will come in handy with gas to get there. There will be special classes just for the beginning beekeepers throughout the day. So there is something for everyone. And if you want to go but don't want to go alone, please let me or the Blounts know and we can work out a ride for you with someone else that is going. There should be 300 or more beekeepers there for this gathering. It is so good!
If you use the link below and a credit card you can do all the registration online to save a stamp and writing a check. Or print out the registration and mail it in.

I want to let you know that Elmer Herman with Millie Bee Supply with be coming to our club meeting in March. He will be bring packaged bees (5 frames with comb and bees) for you if you order them soon. Most packages have to be ordered ahead of time so that he can make sure he has enough set aside for you too. His phone numbers are (850)762-2255, (850)557-3409 or (334)596-7099. I am not sure of this year's cost of the package, but just ask him when you call.

Looking forward to seeing all of you very soon, hopefully at the Symposium,
Training Beekeepers to be Successful


29 November 2012

I wanted to let all of you know that the club is going to the "Plow Days" in Jay, Florida Saturday and we ask that you join us there. This will be an open air display of honey and beekeeping education for the public. We need your help to set up and to tear down our display out of our new club trailer. It looks really great when it is set up. We can do more in less space with the trailer. If you have not seen it yet then you should come just for that. We can use your help throughout the day to man the booth also. We decided to support this last Saturday at our club meeting. Gary Barrow brought it to our attention. Hope you can come and have a great day with other club folks. And you can enjoy the "Plow Days" activities as well.
There will be room in our booth to sell any bee related items you wish to bring. Candles, Wax, Pollen, Photos, Cream Honey, and of course Honey, but you can also bring anything else you want to sell or show off to the public. We expect a lot of people there to walk by our booth. Should be a good day for our club.
And a reminder that our next club meeting will be the last Saturday in Janruary and we will have a work day at the Blounts with lots of fellowship on the 8th of December. It will be work and a holiday meal together.
Hope you can make it to one or both of these events,

Directions to "Plow Days": Go South on Hwy 29 from Flomington, thru Century, Florida. Just South of Century take a Left on Hwy 4 and you will be going east to Jay. Go through Jay on Hwy 4 and about 2.2 miles from the east side of Jay you will turn right on Hwy 399, which is Country Mill Rd. You will go about another 2.2 miles South on Country Mill road and you will see "Plow Days" on the right side of the road. The address is 4463 Country Mill Road.
We will be meeting there about 8:00am to set up, not sure of the tear down time, sometime in the afternoon.


05 October 2012

 Subject: Alabama Beekeepers Meeting
 Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 09:06:41 -0500
 Dear Keith,
 The Alabama Beekeepers Meeting is next week. The time has flown. We will be taking registrations at the door if you do not have yours in yet.
 This year we have FIVE major vendors plus several smaller vendors. Lets try to make their trips worthwhile.
 The five major vendors are: Earl King of the Walter T. Kelley Company in Kentucky, Fred Rossman of Rossman Apiaries in Georgia, Jerry Latner of Dadant in High Springs, FL., Brushy Mountain from North Carolina, and Ed Waggoner of Mann Lake Ltd. in Minnesota.
 As you can see these people are traveling long distances for us.
This will be Mann Lakes first time with us, at least since I have been a part of things. I have asked them to bring some candle making supplies, since their molds are the Best. We have not had anyone bringing those items before. So be sure to shop with them if you are need of these items.

 I have seen some on these vendors pull in with one or two trailer loads of equipment with them. Lets make it happen again.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

 Bonnie (funder@otelco.net)


23 August 2012

I know a lot of you are not members at the state level, but wanted you to know what you get when you join monthly. Good information here and also how you can register for the conference in October. It is going to be a great opportunity to learn a lot from experienced beekeepers.
Happy Beekeeping!, Keith


Dear Keith :  Here is the link to the August 2012 Stinger

It takes several seconds for it to download.
 I hope to see all of you at the annual meeting in October.
Bonnie Funderburg


19 August 2012

Hope all is going well with you, your families and your bees,

On the 8th of September we will be having a smaller booth (16x8) to sell our honey and talk about bees and our club to the people of McKenzie and Butler County area. It is a one day benefit called, Kenny Seales 5k Run Walk. There will be a run, small concert, several kinds of booths to include food booths and several things for the kids too. It is to raise money for a place that families stay when their loved ones are undergoing cancer treatment. We will have to be there at 7:00am to set up because everything starts at 8:30. It will not be near as many people there as was at the Andalusia EXPO, but you never know what something like this could mean to our club. So if you want to show up and show your honey be there at 7:00 and help OJ, Lucy and I set up. OJ now has a nice trailer to haul all our display equipment, so it will be much easier to be ready for opportunities like these in our future. the place is not hard to find, and will provide a map later. It is at Sweet Home Baptist Church just south of McKenzie proper.

Hope you can join us with this effort or swing by to see what is going on with a benefit like this for others in need.

Anyway, A wonderful opportunity for the club, bees and honey,



05 July 2012

I also want to thank everyone for all the great work you have done on the effort to educate kids! It will be something we will continue to do as the doors open up for us to take our beekeeping knowledge to schools, kids clubs and other places. They are the next generation of beekeepers if we do our part to help them understand our precious bee.
I do apologize that I was not able to be with you and hope my back will be better by the July meeting at the EXPO.
You might get a second copy of this, because I want to send this good news to my Queen Castel list too. So if you get this twice from me just delete it.
And for those that do not know, our club meeting is the EXPO. All of our efforts will be in learning how to market our honey in this type of venue. What a great opportunity, OJ and Lucy has given us to take part in the booth and with the public. And if you help him out he wants you to bring your quarts of honey you have not sold to this. We will be selling the quarts for around $17.00 with the final amount determined at the beginning of the EXPO. this is $5.00 more than I am getting now, so I hope I can squeeze a little more out of the suppers to carry a couple of cases to this event. And having Rossman there is the icing on the cake!! Free shipping cannot be beat in our business now-a-days. Please take advantage of them beeing there and buy everything you need for next spring now.
And remember we will not meet in August, but pick up again in September just before the state beekeeper's convention. What a great time to be a beekeeper in Alabama!!
Take care and as Donna would say Bee Happy!,


27 June 2012

Hey Everyone, just incase a few of you do not know what is happening this Saturday in our club, I wanted to let you know.
This is our first Kid's Day and we will be educating kids of all ages on beekeeping. There will be classes about the bees, hands on demonstrations, honey extraction, live bees to view on a frame in an observation case, and best of all sweet honey comb to taste. Lunch will be provided for everyone too. This will be our first annual Kid's Day so we can educate kids and let them experience the wonderful hobby we have. We look forward to a great day to share "our bees" with others. Donna, Vickie, Sharon and others have put a lot of work into this and hope it is well supported by all. If you can make it please call Donna at 334-764-2816, OJ at 334-222-0751, or myself at 334-376-9824 and let us know how many are coming so we have enough food, thanks.

Now for July:

We are participating in the big EXPO in Andalusia in a big way! We will have a booth that is 10' x 40'! Three days of honey sales, educating the public and extracting honey for the public. We are expecting more than 5,000 people to walk by our booth. To help to advertise the club, I am preparing a 8 x 10 page for each paying member of the club to say anything you want about your beekeeping. So for those that have not given me the information to make your poster, please let me know what you want on the poster. Some are making their own poster and that is fine, but please let me know and email me the poster so I can print it out for our display board. Or you can take it by OJ's so it can be put on the board. We want to make sure all of this year's members are well represented for the public. And if you have not joined yet it is not too late, just send in your $10 for individual or $15 for family and send me your information to display. We will also be listing all those that have visited our club as well. We might even have one of our suppliers there selling bee supplies, but that is not for certain yet. There will be lots of honey for sale and hive parts also for sale so you can make your own Queen's Castel hives. It sould be an outstanding experience for us all to be a part of.

Excited about these next two months, then we will take a break in August and meet again in September. If you have not been in a while this will be a great way to get back into the action.

Training beekeepers to be successful, Keith


24 May 2012

Hey Everyone,
Saturday is almost here, it snuck up on me. But we are going to have a great meeting! We will be doing the detailed planning for the June Kids Day and also for the July Convention in Andalusia. We need everyone to help to make both events a great experience for others. It will not be much work at all if we have everyone to do a little. Griffin, I hope you can be there to tell us what you think Hunter can do to show the kids beekeeping.
I do appreciate those that were there helping OJ with the sewer line work. I just wish this back of mine would have let me join you there too. But that is the great club we have to fill in when someone cannot be there.
For those that were there last month and for the membership: I need to get the information you want me to put on your 8 x10 section of board that will be your advertisement during the July Convention. For everyone else that are paid members and have not been here in a while, we need your ideas as to how you want to tell others that you are a beekeeper in their area. This will be a wonderful opportunity for thousands of people to see that you are a beekeeper too as well as learn a lot about beekeeping.
Well, See you Saturday guys, Keith


06 May 2012

Hey Everyone, For those that were at our last club meeting, I just want to send you a reminder about helping OJ and Lucy this Saturday. We will all be helping to dig and complete the septic tank and plumbing work for our new bathrooms. It will be a great day of fellowship and doing something great for our group. For those that could not make the last meeting, I hope you are free Saturday and can join us.  Things to bring: a hammer, digging tools and a dish to add to our lunch meal that Lucy is planning for us. And if you can't bring food, do not worry there will be plenty. We mostly need willing hearts to move this project along. Willing to dig where someone tells us to dig, that's all. Those with some plumbing skills will be putting the pipes in for the bathrooms.
If it does rain, our rain out date is the 19th, so call the Blounts if the weather looks bad and they can tell you if we are still on for the work this Saturday.
It will be so great to have this facility out there among the "Garden of Eden" area. Great future things to make our club even better.

On another subject, I will be forwarding information about the state association picnic to you right behind this one. It is a relaxed opportunity to be around a lot of experience beekeepers and pick up supplies from some of beekeeping companies with no freight charges too. Maybe you can fit that into your schedule, it is only once a year. The other meeting is in Oct/Nov time frame.

Training Beekeepers for Success, Keith


06 May 2012

Dear Keith Robinson,  Just a reminder of the Alabama Beekeepers Picnic on Saturday, May 19 at the Cullman Fair Grounds. We hope to see you there. Be sure to bring your chairs to sit in and a covered dish.  Let me know if you are coming to make sure we have enough drinks, meat and paper products on hand.  Some of you have already let me know, but if you have not call me at 205-625-3464 or e-mail me at funder@otelco.net.
Don't forget that Earl King of the Walter T. Kelley Company will be there and Fred Rossman of Rossman Apiaries will be there and bringing your orders with no shipping costs.
 We have some nice door prizes.  Come and have fun with all of your beekeeper friends.
 Thanks  Bonnie Funderburg


24 April 2012

Hey to all my friends and fellow Beekeepers, It has been a pleasure to be chosen as your club president this year. We are going to have a great year as Queen’s Castle Beekeepers. The lessons we have covered so far this year has prepared our bees to make many large swarms and last month’s talk about swarms should have helped several of you add a few more hives. Now it will soon be time to gather our first honey for the year. And this Saturday’s meeting will help with just that. OJ is expecting to have plenty of honey suppers loaded with honey. So everyone that comes will be able to get their bee gloves good and sticky while you see how it is done. The best way to learn is by doing it. And we will then be extracting honey so you can learn the entire process. This is how OJ began teaching me about 6 years ago. So don’t forget your glove sand veil! We are also expecting some guests to come down from a Prattville beekeepers club, so there should be a good crowd to learn together. They want to see how the Queen’s Castle Hive work sand how it is helping to stop many pests from destroying it. Remember, we are some of the few beekeepers that are gaining hives every year, so we must be doing something right. And OJ has some new ideas he wants to share with us about watering our bees right now. So I hope you will be at our meeting Saturday at 10:00 am, come a little earlier to sign in and fellowship with others you may not have seen for a while. Remember to bring some covered dish of food for lunch, we have enjoyed all the pot luck meals that everyone has brings. For those that do not know our dues are cheaper this year. Now it is $10.00 for an individual and $15.00 for a family, so that might help a few more join this year. We are planning to have several additions to this year’s calendar; in June’s meeting will want everyone to bring the kids (and invite their friends) to learn about bees, in July we will be going to the big convention in Andalusia to see how to market our honey in a convention/fair and teach the general public about beekeeping. It is going to be a great spring and summer in our growing club. We want to keep helping new beekeepers and keep older ones doing well. You can always learn something to improve what you are doing with your bees. Hope to see all of ya’ll there!


--------------------------------------------------------Keith Robinson (President)--------------------------------------------------------------



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