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Monthly Minutes…

June 6, 2017

President Allen Blanton opened the meeting and welcomed all new Beekeepers.

Allen Blanton, President of Haywood County Beekeepers Association, greeted the newcomers to the Bee Club. He announced that this will be his last year as president. We will be appointing a nominating committee to elect members who would be eligible for candidacy for president. Elections will be in November.


Appalachian Lifestyle will be this Saturday on Main Street. We will have a booth and need volunteers to help with the booth. We have 2-hour shifts at 10-12, 12-2, and 2-5 PM. See Beth if you can help.


Raffle

Bill Skelton, County Extension, will send a notice that there will NOT be a meeting in July.

The club has an extractor for use if anyone needs to extract honey. This year is free. Next year there may be a nominal fee. Call Allen or Bill if you want to use the extractor.

July 8 is the Cattleman's beef dinner.

July 27 at 5:30 there will be a classroom session on Queen rearing. There will be eyes on experience afterward.

The County Fair is in August. Honey entry is 3 jars of honey with 14 oz. or more. There are four categories: white honey, dark honey, light comb or chunk honey, and dark comb or chunk honey.


What is blooming? Basswood, poplars, and a variety of others - privet, sumac is starting, clover


Mike Yow is a teacher for At Risk Kids in Sylva. They were teaching about bees and their bee equipment was stolen from the van - ventilated suits and tools. If anyone can help he would appreciate it

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Question and Answer Panel

Rick Queen, Sarah McKinney, Tyree Kaiser, Bill Skelton


Q1. I have three frames with four Queen cells. How do I get the hive to think it swarmed?

Take the frame that the queen is on and put it in another hive or nuc.

o Put a frame of pollen and honey in it. Add frames of foundation.

o You can put capped brood ONLY in it to keep the queen in the hive.

o Take the other frames and shake into hive.

o Nurse bees will stay and field bees will go back to the old hive.

o In the old hive, keep two queen cells and check in a month to make sure the queen is doing her job.

You will not get honey from either hive this year. you can leave them in the apiary or move them far away.

o Field bees will stay when moving the hive and queen cells found on the bottom of the frame are swarm cells.

o If the hive wants to supersede, it will continue to make queen cells.

o You can combine them back together with newspaper.


Q2. How do we know when a hive needs to split?

Look for overcrowding or a tunnel in the middle. If there are suddenly lots of drones, burr comb, or honey in the frames, the bees are moving the queen around by putting her on a "diet and exercise" program.

In WNC, swarms usually occur in April and May.

o To keep from swarming: Ventilate the hive, prevent overcrowding, reduce brood, reduce field force bees, and the queen will not swarm.


Q3. What to do about hive beetles in winter?

Move down in winter into brood chamber.


Q4. I had three strong hives last year and lost the in the fall. All of them took off and took the honey.

Check hives for wax moths. Probably varroa mites - they carry twenty-four different viruses. Be diligent in checking for mites.

Can I capture them? I can hear them nearby somewhere. Yes, you can capture them.

Q5. How much is 60-80 lbs. of honey for over-wintering?

Leave on 1 1/2 - supers of honey.


Q6. When you first use honey supers in winter, do you switch supers?

Move frames down, not a full super. Watch temperatures and disturb very little. Do NOT break the cluster!

Work from the side and put the honey frame next to the cluster.


Q.7 I am using ApiLife Guard. Can it be stressful for the bees?

It disrupts the bees, but do we let them die? These are not hard chemicals. They are soft chemicals. Formic acid can be used with honey in the hives.


Q8. I lost hives last year. I started three hives this year and two hives have superseded within two weeks. Why?

Bees are not happy with the Queen or she could be damaged. Swarms tend to supersede.

If you received packaged bees from GA, LA, etc. you will not know whether you have worker bees, nurse bees, etc.


Q9. For pest management do solid boards have more beetles vs. screen boards with less beetles?

It is good to close the hive up if moving.

Tyree responded - Use screen bottom boards because the Varroa and larvae fall through and leave the bottom open from May to November, then close it for winter.

o Clean solid boards from time to time.

o Strong hives can have more varroa mites and they can take over when the hive decreases in the fall.

o Treat in August.

Rick Queen said, at the State Conference it is 50/50 using either.

Sarah says bees like ventilation.


Q10. Early in the summer the bees swarmed. Another hive tried to swarm. The hive went under the screen board with brood and were laying. Allan responded that he helped with this hive. We shook it into a hive body and they were not doing anything. We got a new queen and they all vanished.

Tyree - I think the Queen crawled under the hive box when the swarm when under it.


Q11. There are a lot of bees in two other hives with many on the outside.

They are hanging out with nothing to do and very aggressive with a bad disposition.

In April and May, they should be docile. In June, they get mean when the honey flow stops. Bees get angry.

Go into hives every 7-10 days in May.


Q12. Ants - is cinnamon a preventive?

Ants are good in a hive at the bottom. They will clean up the larvae.

If the hives are strong they are ok.

For better ventilation, take a small pebble and place it under the inner cover.


Q13. When I have two eight-frame deep hive bodies and the bottom is built out, what do I do?

Move some frames up and keep the same set up with brood in the middle, next pollen, then honey on the outside.

"Chimneying" is when the bees go up the center. Do not put a super on until the 8th and 9th frames are full.


Q14. Is there not enough ventilation if they are bearding? Put pieces of wood in the top. Would the hives benefit from something to block sun on hot days - on the west side?

Bill - There is not a problem if they are bearding. More ventilation is better. Put a Popsicle stick between hives. Afternoon shade is good.

Sarah - Bees usually know what to do. They like to go outside, or they do not have anything to do.


Q14. What size opening should be used this time of the year?

Bill – This depends on the hive strength.

Tyree - If moisture is present inside the top, then there is not enough ventilation.

o In winter use popsicle stick on the inner cover. A ¼” to 1/2" opening is sufficient during honey flow.

o Bees will not rob during honey flow.

Sue - Use a screen in front with 2-3" opening during honey flow.

Rick - Do not use a plastic inner cover, it sweats.


Q15. Bees do not want to draw out foundation?

Do not put Queen excluders between the hive and foundation. Bees will not cross Queen excluder to the foundation.

Plastic excluders do not work very well.

Bees will not go through them sometimes.

Bill said they work for him.

Tyree - New young bees will draw/pull foundation, if it is warm. Young bees will swarm too. The second week of May the bees will draw out a whole deep of foundation,


Q16. How do you preserve drawn comb?

Freeze it. Wrap frames and put wax moth crystals on top. Place the racks outside and put under overhead protection, then stack them with light coming in - moths do not like light.

At next use, air out the frames for three weeks before placing them in the hive.


Q17. How do you know if bees are bringing in pollen?

Sarah responded- Pollen baskets are on their legs and when they fly into the hive you can see the pollen on their legs. It may be different colors. Certain trees have different color pollen and it shows there is brood in the hive. Observe the hive entrance.

Rick added - White pollen is locust.


Q18. On YouTube - Sudo Scorpions. Do they kill mites?

There is no valid research showing they will kill mites.

Q19. I have a bait hive 12' up in a tree. It is an 8 frame deep with drawn comb full of earwigs 3/4" long. How do you keep them out? Why are they there? Bees will not go in the hive.

They are probable attracted to the drawn comb. You just need the scent of comb in the hive. Melt some wax on the side of the foundation.


Q20. What do we do to winterize?

Go to Field Day on August 12th to learn.


Q21. How much sugar do you add to a gallon of water to make sugar water?

Mix a 4-lb. bag of sugar to a gallon of water, using warm water, or a 4 lb. bag to 4 qts. of water, or do half and half mixture.


At the next meeting, Jack Hanel will discuss how to prepare for the upcoming fair.



Meeting adjourned,


Vicki Morrison

Haywood County Beekeepers Secretary

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