January 12, 2012

NEW RIVER VALLEY BEEKEEPER ASSOCIATION (NRVBA)

Minutes of the Meeting, January 12, 2012
MARK CHORBA, presiding
7:04 p.m.

The meeting was opened by Mark Chorba.

New officers were announced:
President: MARK CHORBA
Vice President: RICHARD REID
Treasurer: JACK PRICE
Recording Secretary: SAM PRICE
Corresponding Secretary: MARK PRIEST

Minutes of the last meeting are not available.

Treasurer’s Report:
Jack Price reports there is $44.00 cash in the bag, $2,629.96 in the bank, for total of $2673.96. We have $1478.00 in receivables — not yet received from recent credit card transactions.

BEE PACKAGES:
The prior discussed availability of bee packages from N. C. did not work out.

150 bee packages have been ordered from Dadant; they are coming from Georgia. Delivery is estimated to be April 17th. If there is need, additional packages may be ordered for delivery at the end of April and on May 11th, also thru Dadant.

NUCS:
Mark Chorba will NOT be selling nucs this year, nor is Dave Knight. Karl Hunter may have nucs available; he was not at the meeting.

QUEEN RAISING COURSE:
Dr. Rick Fell is interested in giving a Queen Raising Course in 2012. No one is raising nucs. There is a limited source of queens in our area at this time. If interested in attending a Queen Course, watch the website for more information on this subject. Mark discussed making queen cells available to members.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A BEEKEEPER SESSIONS AT LOCAL LIBRARIES:
Clem Von Claparede and Sam/Jack Price will present at Floyd Library , 1/14/12, 1:30 p.m.
Dave Knight will make the presentation at Radford Library.
A meeting at Shawsville Library signed up two.
Mark Chorba presented at Hahn Horticultural Gardens, 25 came, a few joined and/or signed up for bees.
Events were held at several additional locations.

HAHN HORTICULTURAL GARDENS invited NRVBA to hold a regular meeting at their facility sometime this year. Mark will follow up in response to this invitation.

EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY: MASTER BEEKEEPING COURSE:
Doctor Rick Fell has generously offered to teach the qualification part of the Master Beekeeping Course on Thursday evening, once a week, 1-2 hours. After the third or fourth week, we can take the test to become qualified. He would like everyone to take the intermediate class, then take the 2nd level, then the more in-depth Master level. Dr. Fell hopes to establish a good well of Certified and Master Beekeepers from Virginia Tech, to be available to the public for advice, etc. A course syllabus is available online from MAAREC.com

Mark Chorba announced that he hopes to begin a monthly newsletter, starting next month (Feb 2012). He welcomes stories, biographies, etc. Send your contributions to: marco@vt.edu. Newsletter contents will include discussion on what you should be doing for/with your bees at appropriate times during the year, as a quick reference to members. Watch for the newsletter and more information on these opportunities on our website: www.nrvba.org

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING NOW:
This is a crucial time for bees. Warm weather causes stores to be used up more quickly. Peek in now to see where the cluster is — and if there is honey nearby. If food is needed, boil sugar syrup at 240 degrees, add vinegar, to make a hard candy. Put the hardened candy over top of bees, resting on frames. This will sustain them all the way into spring – and there will be no sugar water dripping on the the bees!

Temperature should be 55 degrees or higher before you open a hive. Take a look in. If they seem to be starving, throw some powdered sugar or granulated sugar on them – they’ll eat it. Food should be within 1-2 inches of the bees. (This is a good solution in a fix, but you need to get higher protein food in the hive.) Put pollen patties in now and supplemental food – to allow for good buildup of bees, a working queen, good early hives you may be able to split.

Mountain Camp Method: Put sugar in a horseshoe shape, as much as 3/8” deep, flattened out on the telescoping cover. BUT this is far from the bees and they will not come up to get it. Alternative: Put newspaper with sugar on top of bees, or candy board (as above – sugar water w/vinegar).

Q & A: Following are answers to questions asked:
Do NOT move 2nd deep DOWN until the queen starts laying.

If outer frames have honey and frames closer to the queen/cluster do not, move those with honey next to the cluster. DO NOT BREAK UP A CLUSTER!!

Mites: Thymol gel, Api-Life Var will take care of mites. NRVBA has bought Mite-Away Quick Strips (check with Jerry – twoltcols@verizon.net — used it last fall and mite count fell way down in about three weeks.

Mark thought he had EFB (European foul brood). Brian Kreowski (bee inspector) checked for AFB (American foul brood); said it was not AFB, it was EFB. Inattention caused loss of four hives! Treated with Tetracycline [or Terramycin] ?? helped. Brian said once it dies out, it is GONE.

With EFB, bees are erratic, disoriented, spotty brood pattern, larvae have died – brown mess, comes out in a sac.

With AFB – slimey, sticky, stinky mess. This is due to bringing in food from somewhere else that is BAD; also due to stress, lack of food, bad weather, etc.

MOISURE IN HIVES: Jerry Borger built condensation chamers of tin, so condensation will roll down a gutter and drip off a curl at the end. This is placed inside the cover, and used polyester fiber 1” thick . . . . . . ??? Jerry wrapped hive in black cloth used for weed guard in landscaping, with cut out for entrance; provided minimal warming.

Dave Knight: NOTE: Newspaper with sugar on it will also capture moisture; sprinkle newspaper with sugar, spray with water – place over brood cluster (on top of frames). Mark Chorba: Described peaked-roof hive with vent holes. [We need a photo of this.]

Dave Knight: If you are selling honey, it needs to be labeled a certain way if your honey house is not inspected. If you sell without being inspected, every year you have to get a certificate you are in complianc, which says if you sell less than 250 gallons of honey and do NOT sell or produce other products, put a label on that says: “Processed and prepared . . . . . . and honey should not be given to infants less than two (2) years old. Form must be filled out and sent to VCACS. Dave Knight will post a link on Thehive.

RAFFLE: Raffle tickets were sold for $1 each for some great beekeeping items. Five recipients were all smiles!

MEETING ADJOURNED: The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Sam Price

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