March 2017

NWA Beekeepers Meeting Minutes for March 13, 2017

Brad Keck opened the meeting

David Berkaw is the club treasurer.

Peter Lester brought the food.

Dennis Counts is our Club coordinator for mentors.

Earl Rowe is our apprenticeship program coordinator.

We have four apprentices this year

Ed Edwards, Naomi Marcia, Jackson Harris & ?

77 members were in attendance.

Brian has resigned as the club VP.

Brian Keck made a motion that Earl Rowe be elected as new VP. Elected by show of hands.

Old business:


New Business:

Be sure to feed the bees during this cold period at the middle of March.

We are going to have a swarm list. We will have two rules. Must be a current club member and 18 years old.

Two lists: A weekend list and Monday through Friday list.

If you are on a list you have come immediately. When bees swarm they need to get them into new hive quickly.

If you are not in good physical condition then you should not be trying to catch a swarm.

When you get the call if you are unable to go you go to the bottom of the list.

The best way to catch a swarm is in a five frame Nuc box. Take a deep body hive in case the swarm is large size.

Swarm season is typically from March 22nd to first week in April.

Earl Rowe is going to speak of installation of packages and Nucs.

Two ways people get started packages and Nucs.

  1. First decide where you want to place your hive(s). Packages come with a screen in cage usually with 3 lbs, sugar can & queen in a cage. Bees are typically not related. Bees sure to order a marked queen. She is worth the few extra dollars.

  2. Tell your post master you have ordered bees.

  3. Don’t put bees in the trunk of a car.

  4. Spray them with a fine mist of water to rehydrate the bee.

  5. Spray them with a little honey water.

  6. Using hive tool take off top of bee package.

  7. Look at queen cage make sure is a live.

  8. Don’t rub outside of package because you can break a bee’s legs.

  9. Take the package over to bee hive

    1. 10) Put queen cage in a frame with candy plug up so Queen can get out dead bees fall down in the hole the Queen can go out top.

  10. Bees orient on smell and they will follow the queen’s pheromone. If queen is not out of the queen cage then poke a hole in candy and let her out.

    1. 12) Take package, hold it over the hive and shake hard so bees fall out and go into hive. Afterwards set the package with wayward bees in front of the hive, Slowly put frames back into the hive.

    2. 13) Three days later check the hive to see if queen is out of the queen cage.

    3. 14) Slowly put the frames together so as not crush the queen or other bees.

    4. 15) Hive stands: You can make them out of metal or cinder blocks to keep away from mice and insects.

    5. 16) If the queen flies away don’t panic, stand still, she will fly away and come back.


  1. Put NUC onto top of hive body so bees orient to it. Three days later transfer.

  2. Established small established colony. Put five frame slowly into middle of new hive.

  3. Once bees are in hive then you are done.

  4. Bee Source, bees for Dummies, Youtube and mentor’s are good resources for beginning beekeepers.

Nucs are better to than packages to start with because they are about a month ahead of packages in development and maturity.

Brad ended meeting by answering questions.