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.