7.12.16 Sugar Creek Bee Club Minutes

Steve called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. There were no additions or corrections to the June meeting minutes. Steve has the information about working the honey both at the state fair; if you are interested contact him to sign up. Steve had received an email from a new beekeeper looking for a mentor and passed the contact info to a willing club member. 
The Parke County 4-H fair has an open class for honey. Drop off is July 25th from 8:30-11:30 am. Categories include liquid honey, chunk honey, comb honey, and beeswax. Contact Steve or the Parke County Extension office for exact entry requirements. 
Bruce Dodd has been contacted by a landowner in Parke county looking for 4-H kids to put hives on his property. If you know anyone who might be interested, contact Bruce.
The Newport Bee Club will be holding their second meeting July 19th, 6pm at the Newport Library. Steve will be attending to talk with new beekeepers about getting started. 
Members report continued queen losses, low honey stores, and poor honey harvest due to rain. Sweet clover and buckwheat are blooming now and the bees have been working it hard. 
Terry Wright brought in his hive scale and demonstrated how to lift and measure a hive. To get the weight of honey on the hive, the scale reading is multiplied by two, then the weight of the woodenware is subtracted. From records of his own hives, Terry stated that hives use approximately 40% of their honey between January and March. He also demonstrated how to use a two man hive carrier, reversible inner cover, and sticky board for mite counts. 
There was a short discussion of more treatments for this time of year. Because oxalic acid vaporization does not kill mites in capped brood, Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) are the preferred treatment when there is brood. If used in temps greater than 85 degrees there is a risk of damage to the bees and queens. Wait to use the strips until the max temperature over the next week is 80-85 degrees. 
Door Prize Winners: Jessie King won a sour cherry jelly donated by Sara Morgan. Warren Whitesell won a blackberry jam donated by Cindy Rothrock. John Roehm donated 4 bottles of honey which were won by Terry Wright, Bruce Dodd, Tom Baggett, and Raplh Searing. The 50/50 drawing was won by Gordon Porter. 
At our next meeting on August 9th, 6:30 pm, Terry Wright will demonstrate his OAV device. Steve will inspect samples of 50 freshly dead (or frozen) bees for nosema counts. Label your bags with your name and the hive they came from. 
Submitted by Cheryl Russell, Club Secretary 

Sent from my iPhone

Today in the Apiary June 30

Busy beekeeping day today. I spent the entire day getting ready for honey harvest and checking bees. I have my extractor, bottling tank, and wax melter sealed and ready to go. If you pick up older galvanized equipment, be sure to coat it well with food grade epoxy. You can buy it from the bee supply companies under the trade name camcote. The reason you must do this is because galvanized metal can leach lead into your honey if it isn’t properly sealed. You don’t want to feed lead to your family or your customers.

I am building commercial pallets for the hives to sit on. This will make moving them from place to place for pollination much easier. Today I build and painted 3, which will hold 12 hives total. Many, many more to go!

I stopped by the local carpet store and picked up some free leftover carpet scraps. I’m going to try strips of them in front of the hive entrances to keep the weeds out of the bees’ flight path.

I built two double bucket strainers so my harvest isn’t slowed down by draining honey. 

At the end of the day I finally got a 5 gallon bucket of 1:1 syrup made and fed to the bees. I have several small nucs that need help so they can draw the maximum amount of comb before winter. None of my larger or honey production hives are being fed.

I discovered a robbed out mating nuc today. I’m a little puzzled as to why this one got picked on. It had the same size entrance and strength in bees as the other mating nucs. The grafted cell I had introduced had hatched and everything was fine just a couple days ago. I marked that one off as a total loss and gave the box of empty comb to a hive that was ready for some space. 

I did find three new laying queens in some singles I was allowing to requeen themselves. Well, I found one and marked her, the other two queens were elusive but there were eggs from wall to wall. 

The worst part of today was finding out (after I got into the bee yard and started sweating) that the cat had peed on my bee suit. Nice. Guess it’s time to wash it again!


Sugar Creek Bee Club Minutes 14Jun16

Steve called the meeting to order with 17 members in attendance at 6:30. Hive situation reports from members:

-low mite counts with alcohol wash and sticky board counts in hives that have been treated with oxalic acid vaporization. 

-one reported losing a swarm 

-poor local bloom for locust this year.

-Good flows from poplar and catalpa

-Duragilt foundation company reportedly going out of business. Mann Lake still has some in stock.

The door prize of a Chik-Fil-A cow with free sandwich coupons was donated by Pam Jones and won by Nate Blair. The 50/50 drawing was won by Gordon Porter.
A group discussion of what to do if your hive has swarmed was held. If your hive has swarmed, monitor for eggs to make sure the queen was properly mated. If you are unsure if they have a queen, either mated or still a virgin, add a frame of eggs. If they do not make a queen cell, leave them alone and recheck for eggs in another week. 
One member brought in samples of 50 bees each from 3 different hives for a nosema check. Nosema is a spore forming Protozoa that attacks the mid guts of the bees, and can lead to colony dwindling and death. To check your hives for nosema, you will need a 400 micron microscope, a sample of 50 bees in a ziplock bag, and 50ml of distilled water. Add the water to the bag of bees, then crush until you have made a slurry. Use an eyedropper to suck up some of the liquid in the bag. Purge one drop from the eyedropper, then place a single drops to a clean microscope slide. Cover with a second clean slide and examine under your microscope. Nosema apis will appear as small round dots. N. apis often causes diarrhea in your colony. Nosema ceranae has an oblong shape and no overt symptoms, other than dwindling colonies. Count the number of spores that you see and divide by 5. This will tell you how many millions of spores are present in your bees. The results from the tests were:
Sample 1-collected from a dead out on 12/10/15, minimal spores, nosema was not the cause of death 

Sample 2-collected from a package on 4/17/16, high counts, needs treated

Sample 3-approximately 24 million spores, also needs treated

Treatment for nosema is an antibiotic called fumagillin-B. The honey supers must be removed before treating, and fumagillin-B needs to be kept in the dark, since sunlight causes it to break down. 
Alternative treatments for nosema include supporting the hive with 1:1 syrup and pollen supplements as needed, and requeening if possible. 
Our next meeting will be on July 12th at 6:30 pm at Collom’s General Store in Bridgeton, IN. Terry Wright will be doing an educational presentation. 


Not a Good Morning!

I worked last night (I’m a nurse) and got a call from my husband that a storm had rolled through and we had some serious straight line wind at our house. After the worst of it passed he checked on my hives and they were a mess!  That was the longest shift of my life waiting for morning to roll around so I could head to the bee yard and start cleaning up the mess. Thank you so much to my not-so-crazy-about-bees husband for running out in the dark and rain to cover as many hives up as possible!

And what a mess! Around midnight Daniel was standing on the porch when a gust of wind came at the house so hard it almost knocked him down. It did blow my stack of extra equipment I had been working on off into the yard. No harm done there, other than I’ll have some cleanup to do this afternoon. The real mess was out in the apiary. 

The wind picked hives off their bottom boards and tossed them around. The lid for this hive flew off, over the house, and across the entire backyard. 

This one had a heavy migratory lid made of treated wood that got picked up, thrown across the road, and broken. 

The wind gust was strong enough to tip over the concrete blocks the hives were sitting on. 

This hive is the only one I might lose. It was shoved off its base and the boxes were thrown in different directions. The frames of bees were sucked out of the hive and scattered about the yard. 

The strange thing is-all these mating nucs are sitting just across the apple trees from my regular hives. None of them had budged an inch. 

I don’t think there was really any good way to prevent this. They were all sitting on single concrete blocks, so they had a low center of gravity. The lids were bricked down. Strapping each hive down would be an expensive time sink. The fact that concrete blocks were moved around makes me glad I have insurance on this equipment. Fortunatly I’m only out a single lid this time, and that lid flew away from the house instead of through a window. 
I drove around and checked on my other hives and they weathered the wind fine. One yard is ready for another round of supers! 24 hours after getting out of bed I finally got to crawl back into it 🙂

Knowing that my hives are in need of immediate attention and having to sit at work for another 6 1/2 hours before I could get to them has really drivin home the fact that I need to get the beekeeping business up to full-time as soon as possible.