April 2016

WVBA Meeting Minutes:   April 25, 2016

  1. General
    1. Just finished Ag Fest – as usual, tens of thousands of kids.  Thanks to Fred Mann for all his wonderful help!  Thanks also to Nathan Richards and Jan Petree for donating their time and help.  
      1. Any help is useful at these events even if you are a newbie!  You know more than the general public!
    2. OSBA is looking for a volunteer for the chair for the State Fair
    3. If you aren’t getting MailChimp notifications, please check your junk/spam mail.
    4. Registration fees for apiaries:  if you have 5+ colonies during the previous year, you must pay initial sum of $10 plus $0.50 per colony.
      1. If you do not register by July 1, the initial price goes up to $20.
      2. USDA cannot enforce this, but if you were ever taken to court for it, you would be in violation of a state law.
      3. You also get mailing of beekeeping news.
      4. More Details:  https://apps.oregon.gov/SOS/LicenseDirectory/LicenseDetail/606
      5. Registration Form:  https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/shared/Documents/Publications/IPPM/ApiaryRegistration.pdf
    5. Random Fact:  80% of honey consumed in the U.S. is imported from other countries.
    6. Questions?
      1. “I got my nuc on Friday [April 22], how soon should I test for mites?”
        1. Shouldn’t worry about it until July or August.
    7. New Mite Testing Method – Carbon Dioxide Method:
      1. Put about 200 or 300 bees in a jar and fill it with CO₂.  This will knock the bees out and will kill the mites.  You can count the mites and the bees recover within about 10 minutes.  
      2. Commercial kit for about $80 or you can make it yourself.
      3. Specifics are not worked out yet, but there is a study in progress.
    8. Allergic Reactions
      1. Allergies can arise at anytime!  Even if you have been stung before, you can still develop a reaction.  
      2. After administering an epipen, you must still go to the hospital!  It is only a temporary help.
    9. Swarms:  If you have a big swarm (basketball or volleyball), install in two deeps instead of just one.  It is also good to give swarms foundation because when they swarm, their wax glands go into overdrive.  After catching a swarm, wait a few days before treating with oxalic acid.
    10. Library:  Books from the library need to be brought back!  See Erma if there are questions.
    11. Meeting in May:  4th Monday of the Month, because Memorial Day is the fifth Monday.
    12. Hive Inspection – Looking for Queens:
      1. When looking for queens, there is really no preference between starting in the first versus the second box.  In early spring, she will most often be found in the second box.
      2. Begin in one end of the box and work your way across.
      3. Do not stand in front of the entrance.
      4. If you have an in-hive feeder, remove this first.
      5. As you pull a frame out, check the next frame that is still in the box, in case you can see her there.  If there is no queen on that frame, check the one that you are holding.
    13. Splits:
      1. When making splits, wait a few hours to add the queen (split in the morning, add queen in the evening). The bees tend to be more accepting later.
      2. To make a split:
        1. You will need a deep box (or whatever type you work with) and a queen excluder.
        2. Remove 3-4 frames from the mother colony.  Some with honey, some with uncapped and capped brood.
        3. Shake the bees off the frame (then check for the queen, she tends to hang on) until it is almost completely empty.
        4. Place the frames in the empty box
        5. Fill the gaps with new frames.
        6. Put the excluder on top of the mother colony, then place the box with your frames on top.
        7. Cover with a lid.
        8. Wait at least one hour.
        9. Bees will come up and cover the brood (they will never abandon brood, even if it is not even their own).
        10. Later, come back and remove the top box.
        11. This split would need a queen that you buy.  
        12. You can also use swarm cells, but you cannot shake as violently.  You can also take the old queen from the mother colony and leave the swarm cells in the original colony.  
        13. If you want to brush the bees off of a frame, use a feather instead of a bee brush.  Much more gentle!!