May 2011

About 80 people attended tonight's meeting. We're dwindling!!!

Quick announcements:
-Thanks for Nicole Tilton for bringing treats and Janice Cook for bringing drinks tonight. It's very much appreciated.
-Horace Bryant still has some nucs for sale so email him at beekeepman@dishmail.net or call 479-756-2909 for prices.
-We need volunteers to help out with club stuff like speaking at schools and for other groups, please let us know if you want to help.
-About 5 new folks at the meeting tonight: WELCOME!
-Mark Eaton brought his equipment to sell tonight: 479-789-5575, ozarkmountainman@aol.com
-Mollie Hendricks

We apologize for starting the meeting late, we had planned to be on Skype with Mark Henson, on of the developers of "Hive Tracks" from North Carolina, but our connection didn't work so Jim Pickett heroically took it upon himself to present Hive Tracks for us.

Hive tracks was created less than a year ago and they already have over 1,000 users in North America and Canada.  This is free software (they'll obviously take donations).  You don't need special software on YOUR computer. It's on the 'cloud', which lives on their servers. You don't have to share your personal data but you can see others' anonymous data if they decide to share it with the public. We'd like to, as a club, be able to gather data from our area about the successes and failures with packages purchased through the club and other info like that. It helps us make decisions on where to order each year and to get a better idea of the beekeepers' demography in the area.

Tonight we looked at Jim's info that he's already loaded onto Hive Tracks.  In your browser, go to Hive Tracks  and create an account and just start adding your colonies in!

Each bee yard can have information entered and each colony in each bee yard can have information attached. You can add as much or as little info as you want/have time for. If don't want to get your computer or iPad gummy with honey and/or propolis out in the bee yard, you can keep notes in a notebook or talk into a microrecorder (come on, it'll be fun, you'll feel like a Medical Examiner in the autopsy room!) and enter the information once you get your hands clean and are inside comfy at your desk.

You can name each hive, make weather notes or have Hive Tracks enter it automatically, you can classify the strength of each hive, make a visual picture of the components of each hive, keep stats on brood and the queen herself. You can map your hives and share them so that other beekeepers in the area can see your hives and you can see theirs. You can add photos of your apiary. There are tons of types of information that you can put on here.

Jim went through the program and set up a 'test' hive just to show all the options and it's really impressive. Jim says that he developers are extremely responsive and are constantly improving the program so that it is more user friendly and can represent all the different kinds of components that beekeepers use. There's a 'contact us' button to email them and Jim says the even sometimes will call you to discuss your suggestions. 

Thanks to Jim for introducing this cool software to us!

Random stuff:
-It's swarm season! Jim's already helped catch 26 swarms and many of our members have caught their own or helped repopulate the wild bee populations! Thanks!
-Swarms will continue for another 4-5 weeks into mid-June but then the numbers will slow down but swarms can go until October.
-If you are a club member, have taken classes, attend regular meetings, have equipment NOW, and really want bees: email Jim (nopcme@att.net) and he might be able to help you get some bees depending on how many more swarms he comes across.

Various questions were entertained ranging from beetle traps (Sonny Mel and Freeman traps) to fruit tree sprays and from moving bees and inspecting them.  Did you know that there's supposedly a law prohibiting exterminators to spray bees?  Did you know that you will still have to cut a structure open to get rid of comb and honey and robbing insects if you kill a colony of bees? Might as well cut them out alive then cut them out dead! Ask Jim Pickett about his cut-out experiences, he's got lots!!! Sorry I didn't get a chance to type it all out! Lots of info being shared at these meetings so if you miss them, try to come to the next!

Disclaimer: These notes are Mel's interpretation. If I in any way misrepresented anyone tonight, please let me know and I apologize!





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