OCBA meeting minutes-August 4, 2012 7:00 pm
- Todd welcomed the group and called the meeting to order.
- Dick reported 187 paid members and about $3,500 in the bank.
- Todd welcomed visitors and encouraged them to sign up for Introduction to Beekeeping, a one-day course offered in early November, or for ten week Bee School in January. Check on our website for more info.
- Watty reported the club’s most recent outreach to the community with a colorful slideshow showing club representatives at the Festival for the Eno, Honeybee Awareness Day, and LEAP Summer Program in July, and at the Green Club of SRA International and University Childcare Victory Village Day School in August. He reminded us that there is a form on the website to request a presentation by OCBA.
- Next Todd brought the group up-to-date on the State Golden Achievement Award. The good news is that our club won first place and we that we share first place with Chatham and Crystal Coast clubs. Four clubs participated this year. Our club will receive $300, a banner “Chapter of the Year,” $100 in coupons from Brushy Mountain, and an opportunity to apply for an additional $700 grant. Todd reported that the exec.committee decided to write a grant that focuses on using the funds for our 4-H youth beekeepers and the educational materials.
- Next the State Fair will be here before we know it. Lewis, Blair Christian and Rex Williams have volunteered to put together the bee exhibit this year, using the theme “It’s Great to Bee in NC.” Lewis plans to use the Google Map of Orange County beekeepers hives to show how our bees forage over 90% of the county. There will be info on our state’s six bee inspectors and the relationship NCSU has with beekeeping. The State Fair team will need exhibits of honey, wax, a gift basket, and other products for the booth. This is a great chance to win prizes and money and earn points for certification. Lewis reminded all of the up-coming wax workshop—bring your wax. Dick pointed out that the State Fair premium catalog is on-line. Don Hopkins will try to remember to bring the sign-up book for volunteers to man the bee education booth to the next meeting. Sign-up for 4 hour shifts during the fair and get your entrance to the fair for free.
- Todd sounded out the group for any volunteers to serve on the Bee School committee.
Todd’s program was entitled “Preparing for Winter,” and it’s not too early to start planning. A beekeeper should check out the health of the colony, the amount of resources, and the health of the queen at the end of summer. The beginning of fall is the time to check for mites and to treat for them in cooler weather as the percentage of mite-infested brood increases as brood-rearing decreases. Use a sticky board or a sugar shake test. Winter bees are different from warm weather bees and need adequate food stores (60-70 lbs of honey per colony & pollen). There must be enough bees to cluster efficiently ; combine smaller hives. Fall is the time to evaluate the queen. Advantages of fall re-queening are: a reduced chance of fall swarming, a break in the brood cycle, and a vigorous young queen in the spring. Disadvantages of fall re-queening are: bees are grumpy during fall’s smaller honey flow, a young queen can be difficult to find in the hive, and there’s less time to assess her performance.
Following the meeting, members and guests enjoyed refreshments and discussions together.
‘Lizabeth B. Collins