Archive for the 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  

April 9, 2015 Meeting Minutes

April 9, 2015 Meeting Minutes

OCBA co-President Cynthia Speed started the meeting at 7:06 pm

She thanked Kendall Clark for having his dad Joseph bring refreshments to share. Kendall was the OCBA 4H beekeeper last year and had honey his first year!

Cynthia asked if anybody wanted to share spring beekeeping experiences.

Geneva Green discussed reversing hives for a few days if the queen is up top as she doesn’t typically come back down on her own. She also suggested adding supers at this time, preferably drawn, to give more space to hives that are bustling.

Chris Richmond reminded us about the OCBA Swarm patrol list.

Randy talked about having brood in his super in addition to two deeps. He received some advice from a member to move the super to bottom in hopes that the queen will go up. He was instructed to remove it when it’s empty and be sure the queen isn’t honey bound.  Then finally add a queen excluder and split when it’s all straightened out.

New member, Zach,  recommended the use of the Cloake board method.  This method was mentioned in last month’s meeting minutes.

Cynthia explained that OCBA members John Rintoul and Walter Starks  set up hives at the pollinator garden in Carrboro at Friends School. John said they set up two hives each with one deep. The packages of bees are coming on the 17th. Chris is getting feeders for them.

Dick Merrit said the books we have had for 6 months to be delivered to library recently were dropped off by co-presidents Chris and Cynthia. This will earn the club GAP points if we can redo the action and submit a photo to the local newspaper.

Lucy Wilson said the volunteering for the pollinator garden is full!  Geneva we can have a booth at the tour of the Alexander Dickson House the second Saturday in May. There was some discussion of OCBA having a presence.

Bee school had 70 students this year – field day is at Randall’s house. It will give  new beekeepers the chance to get up close and personal. Seasoned Beekeepers able to help are welcome.

Cynthia informed us that Dave Eckert took and passed the beekeeping certification test at the State Meeting. Congrats to Dave!

Cynthia Woodsong introduced speaker Hongmei Byarlay, PhD. Bee behavioralist. Working at NC State and author of blog.

She studied honey bee aggressive behavior and environmental stress.
She started with flies but the social behavior in bees interested her.

She ended a fabulous presentation with a reminder that we should treat our bees well and in her opinion not use pest controls and herbicides.  She encourages controlling varroa levels and planting more pollinator plants to help keep honey bee stress levels down.

Cynthia W. thanked her for putting these issues on the table for us and explaining what goes on at a deeper more scientific level.

Next month Cedric Pearce is talking about the chemistry of honey and honey bees.
Members were encouraged to enjoy the snacks before departing and the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.

The Franklin County Beekeepers Association has successfully delivered over 300 pre-paid applications for the Honey Bee License Plate to the NC Division of Motor Vehicles, Specialty Plate Division. The next step will be completed by Representative Bobbie Richardson and her staff as they present the bill to the NC House of Representatives for vote. Once the bill is approved, DMV will begin processing the applications. Please continue to check their website for updates.

Respectfully submitted,

Jan Rogers

Category: Meeting Minutes  

March 12 Meeting Minutes

The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by OCBA co-presidents Cynthia Speed and Chris Apple.

Refreshments were available and there was a brief discussion of the past month’s OCBA member’s hive observations.

David Eckert mentioned the Newbee Mentor Program and emphasized the importance of listing your apiary location on the map – or updating an existing entry with 2015 current information. It is such a great resource and thank you to all who took the time to do so this past month. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Lewis Cauble made reference to the NC Grower Survey – just 9 short questions to answer. It was mentioned at the Spring State Meeting. He said that NC is the forerunner in this survey with SC not showing much effort at this point. He can send you the document upon request.

Cynthia & Chris read a heartfelt Thank You note from Lisbeth for the honey bee cuff bracelet the club gave to her for her many years of dedication to the OCBA in the secretary capacity.

The Field Day for the Bee School is coming up on March 28th. There are 70 students enrolled so extra support from experienced Beekeepers is welcome to encourage new beekeepers to get some hands on experience. Email Randall Austin for the start time and directions if you are able to join in as a much needed, seasoned beekeeper.

Dick Merritt informed us that membership renewals are now due. It’s that time of year so please renew so we can keep the books straight and the badges up to date.

Cynthia told us that the State Summer meeting will be held July 9-12 at the Junaluska Conference Center ( near Asheville. She strongly suggests that we sign up soon for hotels. If you haven’t been to a state meeting yet, this will be a good one as the location is beautiful. Lewis Cauble shared with us that Dr. Jim Tew Beekeeping Specialist, Alabama Cooperative (, will be speaking as will Wyatt A. Mangum (Ph.D.) who is an internationally-known, top-bar hive beekeeper, a professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia and has written a monthly column for American Bee Journal for years. And as a bonus, Tom Steeger, US EPA Office of Pesticide Program and David Tarpy secured Peter Rosengrantz for the 2017 meeting. He wrote Lewis’s favorite mite report.

Don Hopkins addressed the recent news that Oxalic Acid has been approved by EPA as a treatment for varroa mites.
He stressed that now that it is registered as a pesticide we need to follow the label closely. The label is the law. A paper is going to be put out on details. Wait for the label to be published as for timing and mixture. You cannot use it with brood in the hive so there is a very, narrow window for use. Please be careful.

At 7:17 Adolphus Leonard, NC Apiary Inspector, was introduced to discuss Small Scale Queen Rearing. His session was both informative and entertaining.

He emphasized that you should:
Make sure queen stock comes from good brood laying patterns
Graft Larvae of the right age
Chose well fed larvae
Provide plenty of nurse bees, pollen & honey
Ensure that Drones come from good stock
And most importantly, Have fun!

He suggested we read up on Sue Cobey’s Cloake Board method of queen rearing.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.

Respectfully submitted by Jan Rogers, OCBA Club Secretary

Category: Meeting Minutes  

February 12 Meeting Minutes

February 12, 2015. Meeting Minutes

OCBA meeting minutes – February 12, 2015

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by co-presidents Chris Apple and Cynthia Speed.

1. All club members with at least one year of beekeeping experience were encouraged to become a part of the OCBA mentor program. Beekeeping offers all of us, both new and experienced beekeepers alike, challenges. If you are just starting out in the craft of beekeeping, having a mentor to call upon from time to time may be all that is needed to build your confidence and expertise. If you are interested in being matched with a mentor, contact Cynthia Speed to sign up.
2. Chris Apple introduced Sandy Carlson of Franklin County Beekeepers. She explained that the Franklin County Beekeepers Association (FCBA) has designed a North Carolina specialty license plate in an effort to bring more awareness to the plight of our state insect, the honey bee. The proposed plate is based on the “First in Flight” plate and a honey bee logo appears on the left hand side of the plate. DMV requires 300 pre-paid applications before it will consider the initial plate application. They have currently have 217 applications and in an effort to make this fourth attempt for this specialty plate a success she is asking for us to get plates for every car in our household. All applications need to be submitted before the end of this month.

Jennifer Keller, NCSU technician and beekeeper extraordinaire was the speaker for the evening offering a presentation on Making Spring Splits.

Following the presentation, Chris Apple asked who had a chance to open their hives during last Sunday’s very warm day. Geneva saw lots of brood and some gray/green pollen. Jamie saw pollen and drone cells right next to brood and John noticed a couple of drones walking around. Members then enjoyed fellowship and refreshments. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Jan Rogers

Category: Meeting Minutes