April 2010

Ken Fielding (President) opened meeting at 7:05 pm

About 105 people in attendance. Now, if each of us had 10 beehives, we’d take over the commercial beekeepers!!!!! Come on, let’s go!!!!

Queens and packages just came and were installed this week. 42 queens and 85 packages were brought into NWA this week and no deaths in the packages for the queens, which is great!

Tom Nichols in Prairie Grove area says that there are two individuals with 65 and 35 acres each that are going to be growing squash for Wal-Mart that may need pollinated. If you have interest and are in the area, get in touch with Tom and he will see about getting you get paid to pollinate. Warning about pollination, YOU NEED TO DO A POLLINATION CONTRACT. Sample contracts in the “forms” link of our website: www.nwabeekeepers.com.

Mark Eaton is available to make equipment, his equipment is well-made and affordable, plus it saves on shipping. Get in touch with him if you need anything made.

Ken urged each of us to keep journals. It’s important to keep track of stuff because you won’t always remember everything that you’ve done. Queen history is very important and queens often loose their marks….

Beware of Missouri bees, they’re supposedly carrying American Foulbrood. Ed Levi is email-able on this subject.

Mel made announcement about a Boy Scout who is working to get the Beekeeping Merit Badge reinstated (http://www.experienceproject.com/beepetition) and our club has now pledged to mentor any local Boy Scouts if the Beekeeping Merit Badge is reinstated. Please go to that link and sign an individual petition, though.

Ken reminded everyone that there’s an extractor available and some other tools when the time comes. David Cheek is the holder of these.

Ken reminded people to speak well of our club if asked as we have a voice in the State. Take surveys if available!!

Anyone interested in media service for the club, get in touch with Ken.

Member asked for a calendar of what to do every month. We will try, but there are calendars online that you can go by, and books as well.

Jim Pickett suggested we look to Walt Wright on Beesource “Point of view section” for advice because he’s followed this and increased his hives many-fold over the years.

Fielded questions about hived packages and/or queen installation. Sundance Trosper asked if the new packages need to be inspected this year in Arkansas. No, they don’t because they came with a certificate of inspection from Georgia where they came from and Jim has the inspection report.

Paul Vella wanted to know what variety the bees were. They’re called ‘Survivor Bees’ and they don’t have a particular race, they are chosen for surviving (ya know, like natural selection!!!) but they are probably Italian/Russian/Carniolan mix.

Caveat: don’t go digging through that hive right away. Leave them alone for 3-5 days before even looking in and when looking, just check that the queen has been released, take the queen cage out and close it back up and wait another week. Before releasing queen, if not released yet, check to see that there’s no other queen in there laying eggs! It’s not unheard of to have a loose queen in there. If no other queen, and girl still not released after a week, pull screen off queen cage but make sure she doesn’t fly away. Make sure you’re feeding sugar water.

Registration: No charge, but it’s the law so that they can track disease and try to keep problems limited to certain areas. If the bees are on your own property, there’s no question that you’ll be approved. If they’re on someone else’s property, they will have to check 3 mile radius and ask anyone with bees in that area if it’s okay with them for you to keep bees close. Forms are linked on our website as well as the Plant Board website.

Pickett had presentation on swarm control. Swarms: good news, you get more hives. Bad news, you get no honey. Prevention is best because you have stronger hives and more honey. Anthropomorphism: attributing human characteristics to animals that they don’t have. We like to think that bees think and feel the way we do. But they don’t - they’re like one big robot reacting to chemical stimuli (like queen pheromones or fear pheromones), not really individually. But no one knows why bees swarm. Some may be more apt to swarm because of their variety. AHB (Africanized Honey Bees) swarm at much higher rates than Europeans. It’s up to the beekeeper to keep up with swarm prevention. May be due to crowding. Others think it could be reduced queen pheromone. Showed how frames should be organized for swarm prevention. Either switch the boxes or checkerboard them.

One member hived a swarm and it left! Sometimes swarms don’t like the box. They go back to the same bush. The trick to keep them there is to put a frame of brood from other box and shake the swarm into the box with thebrood and they won’t leave.

www.southeasterninsectaries.com has the nematodes you need! They help with keeping beetles away from the hives.

Answered some questions on how to do a split and other questions.

Ed Levi should be inspecting Horace’s bees on the 19th of April, Monday, at noon. Everyone is welcome to come and watch. Pickett will send out directions to Horace and Dolores’ house via email.

Next month we may have someone in to explain raising queens.

Tom Roe will be hiving a bee tree next week. Get in touch with Jim if you’re interested in watching.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Melissa Z. Harvey,


Disclaimer: Some subjective comments made in these minutes do not necessarily represent the opinions of the entire group. Since I’m the only sucker to take this position, I feel that I’m at least entitled to a little artistic license.

Bee Good! Enjoy.