Archive for the Category: Meeting Minutes

November 12, Meeting Minutes

Chris Apple and Cynthia Speed opened the meeting at 7:09pm.  A record 51 members were present.

Chris addressed the need to elect new club officers. Walter Stark will act as President, John Rintoul: Vice President, Mary Leonhardi will be club Treasurer, Jan Rogers will remain as club secretary. As for Directors, Dave Eckert has one more year to his term, Cedric Pearce has two. Cynthia Woodsong nominated Randall Austin to serve a three year term, Dick Merritt seconded the motion.

Rex Williams was thanked as he finished his three year term and Dick Merritt was thanked for his many years serving as club Treasurer.

Chris and Cynthia recognized the many awards and mentions the club received at the State Fair including the coveted Sweepstakes Award showing that we tallied more points as a club than any other booth which is a reflection of who we are as a group.  The booth itself made second place.

A big thank you went out to Keith Yow and his students at Cedar Ridge Woodshop whose light box and light posts really completed the look for Beeopolis. A donation of $200 will be made to them via their school by the club as a thank you.

Mary and Dick reminded us that all Memberships are due to be renewed in January. The fee remains only $5.00 and you receive all the benefits of the club.

In lieu of a December meeting we will be having an Open House Holiday Gala focusing on fellowship and fun. The club will provide beverages so please bring a finger food and stories to share to this relaxed gathering.

Dave Eckert updated us on the Apprenticeship Program and how he was reaching out to 4H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Home schoolers and high schoolers. If any OCBA club members know of any 10-18 year olds that you think would be interested please let him know. Applications are due by December 13th.

Chris informed us that the OCBA 8 week Beginner Beekeeping class begins on January 19th.

Chris then invited Andi Bradsher, OCBA’s youngest apprentice, to share a PowerPoint presentation of her first year keeping bees.  She discussed the trials and tribulations she experienced including losing a new hive to a leaky hive top feeder only to have the next hive abscond.  Never the less, she continued on to educate her peers on keeping bees and working with wax.  She even helped with a cut out.  She thanked the club for giving her the opportunity to learn about bees.

Next up was Haylee Borden who also had a fabulous PowerPoint presentation.  She shared with us what she did each month of her first year keeping bees giving much credit to her mentor Dave Eckert.  She shared pictures of her bees and equipment and mentioned some Outreach activities she participated in.

Chris then invited Jeff Lee of Lees Bees up to educate us on migratory beekeeping.  His presentation was both educational and entertaining.  He’s explained why he has two locations (there are not enough bees in Orange County) and that his business is 93% pollination and 7% honey production.  The sheer volume of bees and hives he works with is impressive.  He emphasized the need to keep his bees healthy and fed and that in his case replacing queens at least once a year is important.  Although there are differences between hobbyist and migratory beekeeping, predominately with regard to what is done in the calendar year, Jeff confirmed that we are all on the same team when it comes to caring about the honeybee and appreciating the important role they play in the grand scheme of things.

Jeff finished his presentation at 8:40pm.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Jan Rogers


Category: Meeting Minutes  

October 8, 2015 Meeting Minutes

The meeting began at 7:00pm.

The State Fair Committee created a successful mock set up of the State Fair booth just prior to the member meeting.

Chris Apple and Cynthia Speed encouraged all members to contribute something they have made to the State Fair as we have signed up OCBA for something in all categories.

The Blackwood Farm Farm to Table outreach event has been moved to November 4th and 5th.

David Bailey presented his thoughts on feeding bees over the winter.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Refreshments were provided by Chris Apple.

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.

There will be no meeting in July.

Category: Meeting Minutes