February 27 2023 Meeting Minutes


February 27

Club Meeting


Rich Farrier called the meeting to order.  

Attendance was passed around, and bee school surveys were passed around for those that did not already get one.

Rich thanked Terry, Debbie, Helen, Jeremy, Linda, Randy, Nathan, Ruth, Elaine, Joan, Laura  and Anna for helping out.

Bee Day will probably be in April, hopefully at Location between Monmouth and Dallas.

Rich announced Sugar list will be passed out, swarm list will be passed out next month.

He says he is caught up in Mail Chimp.

Rich discussed the difference between Drone layer and laying workers.  Laying workers are not seen as often, having a drone laying queen is not out of the ordinary.  Laying workers occur in a colony that has long been queenless. With lack of pheromones, worker ovaries enlarge, they lay unfertilized eggs.  Eggs will be laid multiple eggs in one cell, oftentimes on the sides of cells.  Drone layer is queen laying eggs but they are unfertilized because the queen has run out of sperm, or possibly diseased.  Will probably be some worker brood present, drone brood is laid in patches, not scattered as in laying workers.  It was asked what is normal pattern for drone brood in a queenright colony, it is usually at the bottom of frames.

Terry asked to discuss why we would not treat without testing.  One reason is to test genetics, another is to provide better information as to which kind of medicine to use and to not use medication unnecessarily, which would perhaps lead to resistance to certain miticides. She recommends testing as long as bees keep flying.

Nathan asked about different products for different times of year. Formic pro is not good in cool weather. Oxalic dribble is used in winter, recently thought not to work as well because bees are tightly clustered.  Vapor may be more effective but there are safety considerations.

Rich said OA can be used with supers in place.  

There was a brief discussion of mite spread through infected neighboring colonies.

Rich first tests mites in June.

Terry is VERY adamant regarding testing and treating as necessary.

There are old-fashioned sticky boards available to take home.

Rich assumes swarms need to be requeened, and keeps swarm segregated from honey production hives.

It was asked what to do when stung.  Stings don’t affect Rich beyond a tiny bit of pain.

Rich recommended having an epipen on hand.  Terry recommended don’t beekeep alone until you know what your reaction is.  Anna recommended keeping your phone with you.

Laura said the first symptoms are feeling hot, eyelids swelling.

Rich passed out ABJ coupons.

Anna demonstrated a powdered sugar shake method of varroa testing and showed a shaker jar.  Instructions can be found athttps://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/HBHC-Guide_Varroa_Interactive_7thEdition_June2018.pdf. Rich offered homemade alcohol wash kits.

Rich said the club will start a photo library, submissions are welcome, please email to anna. Her email address is ashbyah@gmail.com.

Photos of what a hive should look like, what a hive should not look like, pictures of frames to diagnose are requested.  

7:55 Break

8:13 Meeting resumed

Rich said volunteers are needed to help with snacks.

Thadd Starr and  Paul Jellum have nucs available, also Delsey at flying bee ranch. Rich mentioned Hansen’s, and Andy..  

A video was played.  It was  “Landi Simone–reading the frames.”  It is available on youtube at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyYZE7O9dSU.  She say the best beekeepers are good diagnosticians.  They examine a colony tests,and treats.  We need to learn what bees are telling us by observations. 

What are we looking for in inspections; queenright, health, strength, food stores.

The brood frames give you queen and health clues.

A frame of emerging brood is great to introduce a new queen to.

Healthy larvae are glistening pearly white.

Landi recommends knowing the signs of unhealthy colonies.

Queenless bees spread more pheromones by fanning due to absence of queen pheromones.

9:00 video over

There was a prize drawing prizes were Beeswraps, a bee themed jar and a queen marker.

Submitted by Elaine Timm

Secretary, WVBA

February 27, 2023