Archive for the Category: Meeting Minutes

September 10, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Chris Apple started the meeting at 7:05 pm with a reminder for all to do a mite check and treat your hives if needed.

The Introduction to Beekeeping information session  has been cancelled this year. Bee school will commence on Jan 19th and will run for 9 consecutive Tuesdays starting at 7:00pm. The sign up start date will be November 1st. The timing makes this a great Christmas gift idea.

It was asked if anyone had a count indicating no varroa treatment was needed this time of year. Chris and Cynthia W. had a low count in a few hives.

Chris told us that Todd Walker is replacing Lewis Cauble as our regional director for the NC state beekeeping assoc. He acts as a liaison between local chapters and state organizations.

Todd encouraged all to pursue beekeeping certification. He said congratulations to Chris and Cynthia for passing the journeyman exam.

Chris introduced Geneva Greene and Don Hopkins to discuss why OCBA members should be part of the NC State Fair.

Everyone was encouraged to enter something. This adds to our booth points.
You can enter and just pull a no show if need be. Fair committee members can drop off your entries.

The Meeting adjourned at 8:56pm

Category: Meeting Minutes  

August 13, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Chris and Cynthia opened the meeting at 7:05
• Extractor policy: The extractor policy will be revised for 2016, to address a number of problems that emerged this year.
• State conference: The NC State Beekeepers conference at Lake Junaluska was attended by several OCBA members. Geneva Green was recognized as achieving Master Beekeeper status.
• 2016 conferences: The next state conference will be in New Bern, Feb, 25-27, and the Summer conference will be in Hickory July 7-9.
• 2017 conference: 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the state beekeepers association, and a special conference is planned to be held in Winston Salem. All clubs are encouraged to do something special for this anniversary conference. OCBA will be putting on our thinking caps about this.
• State Fair Booth: The Fair committee’s theme for this year’s booth is “Bees as Super Heroes, ” and includes our past and present young beekeepers as heroes.
• State Fair competition: All members are strongly encouraged to submit products of the hive to the State Fair this year. OCBA earns points for all entries. Next month’s meeting will focus on how to organize and present fair entries. Individuals should register by Sept. 16 for the various categories. Registration is done online.
• At the September OCBA meeting Geneva Green and Don Hopkins will discuss the various State Fair categories of hive products and provide winning tips.
• Apimondia: The United States is planning to bid to host the Apimondia Worldwide Beekeeping Congress in 2019. OCBA donated $100 to this effort. The state association is matching funds.
• Veterans honey drive: A honey drive to benefit veterans is ongoing. Donations are tax deductible and all proceeds go to Veterans.
• NC License plate: The NC honey bee car license plate drive has thus far been successful and is wending its way through the legislature. Final details will be posted on the website.
• Journeyman: Cynthia Speed and Chris Apple have achieved Journeyman status.
• Wax workshop: A wax workshop will be planned and announced at an upcoming meeting and on the website.
• Shannon Baxter, of Baxter’s Bees gave a talk and demonstration on how to work with wax to create useful and beautiful products of the hive. She demonstrated a combination of solar technology to render wax, and an induction hotplate to melt wax to the temperatures needed for candles, cosmetics, etc. Shannon described a range of uses for the funky brown wax-moth hive-beetle stuff that we might otherwise throw away (e.g., lubricating squeaky door hinges, protecting blades on garden tools doors), shared a number of tips (e.g., using pre-waxed hemp wicks, using a blow dryer to remove bubbles from molded products), and promoted the use of silicone products for a range of wax molding needs. In addition to selling candles, cosmetics, and other finished wax products, Shannon noted that artists are a market for plain beeswax, and farriers will buy dirty wax. She encouraged everyone to visit her website ( for more information and tips. Finally, as president of the Five County Beekeeper’s Association, Shannon invited us all to their September 20th pig picking. Details forthcoming on the website.

Category: Meeting Minutes  

June 11, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Chris Apple  opened the meting at 7:03 pm and made the following announcements:

1. We are partnering with the NC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill for their Saving our Pollinators Program which will run from June through October. Mary Leonhardi, one of our members, will be presenting a talk during the program. A full listing of the programs offered can be found on the website (

2. Anyone interested in the Apiaria project, please let me know. We already have 3 members who have signed up for this.

3. OCBA will be doing an outreach with kindergartners at Little River Park on Monday July 6th.

4. We will have a booth at the Eno River Festival. You can sell honey there if you would like.

She then introduced List serve responder par excellence, Randall Austin, and his discussion on How to Maximize Your Honey Production.
He started by saying that people say they  want to keep bees but are not interested in honey.   However, beekeeping is a hobby that could pay for itself!  Important things to consider:
#1. Location location location a food location can make up for a lot of bad beekeeping.  It’s all about what’s within ½ mile of where you live.
#2  It takes bees to make honey.  How do you build up the population? Feed in January and February in order to have lots of bees for early season pollination and honey flow.
#3  Be aware of the characteristics of your bees.  You want to keep Superstars and not losers.
#4.  Know whento put supers on. Too late miss out on the flow.  Too early is just stupid.  Keep your eye on the hives.
#5.  Extract: but don’t take off too much honey. Leave some not for winter…but for summer.
Whatever works for you was the message of the evening.
Don Hopkins informed us that North Carolina’s newest hive inspector is our own Lewis Cauble.  Congratulations to him and his new adventures.


Category: Meeting Minutes  

Executive Board Meeting Minutes May 27, 2015

OCBA executive meeting minutes, May  27, 2015   7:00 pm

1. Present were  Jan Rogers, Chris Apple, Cynthia Speed, Cedric Pearce, Dave Eckert, Cynthia Woodsong and Rex Williams. Not present were Dick Merritt and Mary Leonardi.

2. Chris discussed the opportunity to further investigate an offer made by Apiary Hive Technologies’ Hive Health Monitoring program. It was decided that it would be presented to the club to see if someone wants to step up and get more involved.

3. In an effort to encourage local youth to get involved in beekeeping, Dave reported that he will be targeting the home schooler population come fall for participation in the 4H Mentoring Program as this time of year the focus is on summer camps.  It was suggested that an application essay be required as the program offers $500 in equipment and schooling.  He plans to customize an application template given to him by Chris.

4. Dave is in the process of choosing a centralized honey extraction workshop location with ample parking and a closed in space and a date for the same.

5.  Rex informed us that there are two observation hives available for Outreach.  Chris will try to retrieve one of them – Rex has the other.

6.  Cedric will laminate and place the extractor rental equipment list provided to him by Chris with the unit to remind borrowers to return all parts.  Cedric will ask Dick to send him a current member list to be sure that those trying to rent are up to date with their memberships.

7. There was discussion about having a table again at the Eno River Festival during the July 4th weekend.  Members can split the shifts and sell their own honey at the event.

8.  The State Fair Committee will be meeting soon to plan the event.  A theme will be chosen and Outreach participants will be encouraged to participate.

9.  Chris asked if anyone present knew of anyone interested in serving as club president next year.

10.  Jan suggested we offer a door  prize at each monthly meeting.  In addition to being fun and a motivator to get members to the meeting, it could earn us points as a part of the Golden Achievement Program.

11.  Chris discussed the need to update our pictures on the website as we have many from the honey extraction workshop, monthly speakers, the Hillsborough Garden Tour, Field day and more.  Cynthia W. and Dave offered to look into the same.

12.  Cynthia S. suggested that feedback sheets be handed out after each class during Bee School.  Jan offered to create the same.  It was confirmed that the club would benefit across the board with improved communication so efforts will be made in that direction.

13.  Dave mentioned that a map for the newbee/buddy or mentor program could be created pretty easily.

14.  Chris suggested the club purchase a laser pointer.

15.  Chris and Cynthia S. would like the club to host the 2016 summer meeting. Jan will look into a possible venue.  Rex thinks the Friday Center would be an optimal location.

16.  Cynthia W. went over the monthly meeting schedule.  All months have been assigned a presenter with the exception of the December holiday party.

17. There was no financial information to review, so the meeting was adjourned at 8:32 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Jan Rogers

Category: Meeting Minutes  

May 14, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Chris & Cynthia opened the meeting 7:04 pm after many oohs and ahhs over the honeybee donuts they brought

New journeyman Dave Eckert was recognized and congratulations were given to Liz Lyndsey for passing the exam. Chris suggested that we all go the next step. We can take the certification exam after the intro to beekeeping class the take the journeyman test at the state meeting.

Chris introduced the following volunteer opportunities and passed around sign up sheets in an effort to get more members involved:

1. Welcome homeschoolers to your home apiaries to visit. She and Cynthia recently brought Middle schoolers into the demo hives in Carrboro. The students were brave and very enthusiastic. It was a very rewarding experience.

2. Volunteer for a shift to man the OCBA table at the Hillsborough Garden Club Garden Tour this weekend. This event will give the club some credits for community involvement in the Golden Achievement Program as well as open the door for people interested in beekeeping.

3. Join the Planning Committee for the State Fair. It’s not a huge commitment but it is a lot of fun. We placed 2nd last year and look forward to another successful go around.

Our Outreach program has been busy with the Grady farm kindergarteners, a visit by Chris to the Durham Kiwanis Club, there was involvement with Earth Evening in Hillsborough. One of our youngest and newest members Andi told us her 2 hives have pollen and nectar and brood. They are doing well and she has been feeding them. She and her friend Haley went to Chestnut Ridge and manned a bee booth and talked all about pollination. She spoke to another group about candles and had fun!

Cynthia gave Shari of the Master Gardeners of Orange County a shout out for speaking to a few elementary school classes about pollination and where we would be with no bees. Thank you to John Rintoul for reaching out to her.

Walter and John have been generously donating their time to the maintenance of the Carborro hives. They started two hives a month ago and they are doing well with brood in all stages despite the location being a bit shady and has some ants. Chris suggests we use these hives for outreach but asks that members contact her first so they are not overused. Outreach is hot right now due to the plight of the bees.

The Making of a Split field day was a great success thanks to “Master of Bee Affairs” Lewis Cauble, who discussed the science of making splits. He did a side by side split for everyone to see at his home apiary. Geneva found a queen that was a frame that was passed around and was laying egg after egg. She measured the cell then backed into it. Nice to see it happening live!

There is new extractor protocol. There is a check off sheet that you initial upon receiving the extractor. The borrower confirms that all parts are present before taking the unit. An equipment list will be attached to the extractor to make this process even more simple. A new extractor policy helps us all be responsible for keeping everything in order.

Cedric Pearce was introduced to discuss the Chemistry of the Hive and Honeybees.
He has been a chemist 1970 and started keeping bees in 1984. We learned that
the chemistry of honey is very complicated. There’s a lot more to it than a couple of sugars. In fact, all of the following are quite complex within the hive as Cedric explained in his presentation:
Beeswax. Also very complicated and has a number of jobs. Structure, elasticity, aroma 200+ compounds. Absorb pesticide, fungicides, poisons. Be sure to replace dark wax
Pheromones. Chemical communication: Alarm signals, signal presence health of Queen. They are spread around the hive via bees touching. Queen pheromones differ.
Bee venom: is chemically complicated. Good thing the bee is small. Peptides: mellifin, apamin, and peptide 401.
Royal jelly. A product of worker bees from pollen. All larvae get some. Developing queens are fed this exclusively. Lots of protein. Transforms regular larvae into a queen through nutrition.
Pollen: Bees ferment it in their honey stomachs making lactic acid preserving the pollen.
Propolis. A plant product poplars and pines. Used to fill gaps in hive. Chemistry is complex. Also absorbs poisons same chemical properties as wax but we usually scrape it off and bees don’t come into daily contact with it. It varies with the area plants available.
Honey. Product of Honey sacs. Flavor determined by nectar source. Sucrose converted to glucose and fructose using invertase. Glucose oxidase produces hydrogen peroxide. Manuka honey has a lot of this gluconic acid.

We also learned that sugars themselves are colorless. The honey color is dependent upon the plants that nectar is from. Isoflavinoids help you identify nectar source such as sunflowers. Usually honey is identified by pollen via microscope.

Let it be noted that Cedric Impressed us with his Composition of Honey pie chart.

Cynthia took a moment to congratulate co-president Chris Apple for becoming a Master Gardener.

At the close of the meeting Sarah, a former 4H sponsor recipient 9 years ago, when she was 9 years old, informed us that she is now Involved with UNC Charlotte Community garden honors program installing hives on campus. She is the beek on campus and has three hives in the basement of biology program. She said beekeeping has given her opportunities over the years.

Haley, a current youth beekeeper closed the meeting with an update on her two packages. She tried to hive them by not shaking but ended up doing so anyways. She did a reverse when she saw they were putting all efforts into the top box and they are doing well. She recently added a third box and is having a great time.

It was suggested that a listserve invite be sent out for those who want to extract together as a group.

The meeting ended at 8:27 pm.

Category: Meeting Minutes