October 2011

94 folks attended the meeting tonight!

Ken started the meeting at 7pm

Thanks to Toni Morrison for the fantastic cookies and Jimmy Wallis for the drinks! It is greatly appreciated!

Jim Pickett reported on the 2011 Package Bee Survey he did via email. 88 people ordered packages this year from Wolf Creek Apiaries through the club. 53 people responded to the survey (60%) and that's a good sample! 103 colonies were ordered by those 53 people. 82 (80%) of the colonies were still alive as of a few weeks ago. As far as level of satisfaction goes, 86% were generally satisfied and 14% were generally dissatisfied. This is the worst beekeeping year Pickett has seen in his 25 years of beekeeping so it's been a year of severe challenges.

If anyone has a good source of packages or queens, please let us know so that we can shop around. For next year, we'll need money for packages between February and March and then we'll get the bees in April. So keep your ears open at the classes in late January and early February and keep on the lookout for emails and/or postcards announcing when you need to get your money in.

A question was asked about testing for hygienic behaviour in bees and a version of what Marla Spivak published in Bee Culture can be found here.

Ken officially started the meeting and asked for the new folks to introduce themselves. Scott is from Bentonville, Laurie is from Bentonville as well, Bruce is Victor Mathis' neighbor SE of Fayetteville, Tracy is from Springdale, and Shirley is from Springdale. Glad to have the new folks! Hopefully you'll get alot out of the meetings!

Announcements: Next month is our annual potluck and the December meeting is canceled. So Monday November 14th well have our annual potluck at our regular meeting time and date. Plates napkins and stuff will be brought by the club, Ken, Tom, and a few more Board members will bring meat, and the rest of y'all can bring your favorite side dishes! Telita Bakker has made a pot-luck sign up list which was passed around at the meeting. If you didn't get a chance to sign up, please let us know if you want to get on the list to bring something. Telita will be also looking for volunteers to help her. Please email mel@nwabeekeepers.com to get into contact with Telita.

Our website has been recently revamped by Jerry Powell (thanks Jerry!) and we've decided to get rid of the Yahoo Group as it has not really gotten off the ground. The website now has a discussion group attached so that we can ask and answer questions. So you should join our google discussion board. You can use the email that you currently use to get into the Google group, so you don't need to create a new account or anything. Jerry also moved the pictures from the Yahoo Group over so we can still enjoy them!!

Classes: January 30th, February 6th, and February 13th, all consecutive Mondays. February 20th is the make up date. The classes are from 6-9 at the regular place. John Zawislak and Ed Levi will be doing our classes again. We will be charging $5 a head and $10 for a family for all the classes. I (Mel) will need volunteers to help collect money and do new memberships as well as collect dues. YEY Linda Laue already offered to help and I love her and if you want me to love you, too, you'll offer to help!!! Please email me at mel@nwabeekeepers.com if you are willing to help.

Horace Bryant has queen excluders, inner covers that are escape boards, and a 9 frame brand new extractor for sale. Contact him at 756-2909 or email him at beekeepman@dishmail.net.

Our Board has decided to start the NWABA Youth Beekeeping Apprenticeship program. Jerry Harvey is the head of the committee and has come up with an application and a plan! He handed out copies of the draft application which will be available to applicants online. By the end of the week we'll have the final application accessible online for filling out. There are 3 parts. Part 1 introduces the club, the program, and states the qualifications needed to apply to the program. Part 2 is the standard application along with a series of questions that will take the place a big huge essay. Part 3 is the contract where the applicant agrees to the rules of the program. It states what we're going to be responsible for and what they will be responsible for, including their parents as well. If you took a copy home, please feel free to make comments to Jerry VERY SOON (jerry@winslowville.com). Also, do spread the word to kids that you know. He's going to focus on 4H, FFA, Scouts, and he will email the leaders of those groups in the surrounding counties. Due date is 16 December. Jerry will get some of you to assist him in reading through applications. You'll boil it down to 4 and then there will be an interview process to make a decision for 1 or 2 kids for this year's program. George Loucks expressed concern about mentors being background checked since his Master Gardeners' Club does that. Jerry responded by saying that since the parents will be part of the application process and the contract states that the NWABA is not responsible for problems, he thinks that problems will be avoided. Maurice Colpitts stated that the Scouts will require background checks. However, Jerry is using those groups as ways to contact the kids but NWABA will just be working with the kids and their parents, NOT through the Scouts or 4H. So we should be fine.

Ken did a presentation on winterizing your hives. Farmers Almanac says we should do better this winter than in previous years. Anyway, right now, if you need to medicate, you need to have your Fumagilin B for Nosema, Tetra B Mix, Tylan, or Terramycin for Foulbrood, and Apiguard, Apistan, Hivastan, or Mite-away for Varroa. But only do this if necessary. DON'T OVERMEDICATE!!! Read the instructions, some are temperature sensitive and others are time sensitive so follow directions! Check for hive beetles and wax moths. Healthy strong and large colonies should be able to control the beetles and moths, but you can help them along with beetle traps and wax moth traps. Check you honey stores. There are some nectar flows right now, but you need to make sure they go into winter with enough honey to get them through the winter and into the spring before the red maple blooms. Bees in our area need an average of 20-50 pounds of honey for winter (a medium super is about 40 to 50 lbs). If you feed now, feed 2 sugar to 1 water, it needs to be thick. You can use protein patties with sugar water to help them along, too. So if you're feeding 1:1 now, change it to 2:1 because 1:1 stimulates the queen to lay eggs. If you got the hummingbird feed red stuff from that free truckload, you can feed it straight right now as it's 62% sucrose.

Ken showed a youtube video about winterizing. It was pretty amusing so take a look for a good laugh. Ken doesn't think it's totally necessary to wrap our hives and he's used screened bottom boards for 5 years without many problems. We (Mel and Jerry) acutally did wrap our hives during the bad snow this past year but DID unwrap them soon after the weather cleared up. If you wrap, you need to make sure that there is ventilation somehow. Pickett warned about wrapping the hives for fear you'll have cooked bees.

REMOVE YOUR QUEEN EXCLUDERS NOW!!! Make sure your honey is OVER your cluster. Get the queen to the bottom now so that they colony will move up through the winter.

Ken showed a few other youtube videos.

Questions were fielded by Fielding......heh heh.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30.

Washington County Master Gardeners are recruiting and applications need to be in by the end of the month. Classes will be in January. Come to the Extension Office during office hours to get an application and more info.

REMEMBER: Next month is the potluck and no meeting in December NOR in January! Classes at the end of January!