February 2011

OCBA  Meeting Minutes-February 9, 2011       7:00 pm

John called the meeting to order and invited members to talk about what they have observed in their beeyards this month.  Elisabeth Curtis asked what to do if she finds an empty hive where bees have died out.  (Have a bee inspector come to make sure there were no diseases, then clean out the hive to use with a package or, later, with a split.)  Lewis cautioned that we should be checking to see if the bees have enough to eat.  John Harrell asked at what point should he reverse hive bodies or take other steps to prevent swarms.  (Weather needs to be warm enough; could do now.  You want to keep food above the bees.)  If you see bees coming and going from your hives, it doesn’t necessarily mean all is well—they could be robbing the hive.  A clue that your hive is active and well is to watch for pollen coming in.

1.       ‘Lizabeth called roll of members and asked guests, visitors and non-members to sign in.

2.       John Harrell reported that the workshop on framing at Bee Works in Cedar Grove in January was a good one.

3.       Next John called on Watty , who reported on the upcoming events:

a.       Plants for the Beekeeper (TBA) at Southern States/Carrboro

b.      Hiving Packaged Bees , Saturday, April 9, at Jim And Eva Hoke’s bee yard (102 Stornridge Drive, Chapel Hill)

c.       Using Nucs and Making Splits, Saturday, May 7 (TBA)

d.      Piedmont Wildlife Festival , Saturday, May 14, from 11 am to 6 pm (364 Leigh Farm Road, Durham  (volunteers needed in shifts to man OCBA’s booth)

e.      Dedication of Pollinator Garden, Sunday, May 15, Dickson House on Churton Street, Hillsborough

f.         Magic Wings at Museum of Life and Science, Saturday, May 21 (433 West Murry Avenue, Durham (volunteers needed in shifts to man OCBA’s booth)

g.       Hillsborough Garden Tour, Saturday, May 21

h.      Hive Assessment (TBA) Don Hopkins

4.       Elisabeth Curtis reported that Southern States isn’t as motivated to schedule the Plants for Beekeepers workshop as she would like them to be.

5.       Spring meeting of beekeepers will be held March 4-5 at Gaston College in Dallas, NC.  Registration is only $20.  This is the joint meeting with South Carolina beekeepers.  John counted 7-8 local members who planned to attend.

John turned the program over to Randall Austin, Master Beekeeper, who gave information about the Master Beekeeping program in North Carolina.  The first level is “certified” for which no course work is required; however a beekeeper must pass a written test.  The second level is “journeyman.”  Again no course work is required.  However the beekeeper must pass the written test  and a practicum (hands-on test), have kept bees for 2 or more years, and must complete /document 5 or more units of public service.  The third level is “master” beekeeper.  At this level, the beekeeper must pass the test and practicum, have kept bees for 3 years and must complete/document 10 or more unite of public service.  Once you reach this level, you can rest on your laurels.  But there is one more level: Master Craftsman.  This level requires renewal after 5 years and the beekeeper must complete all of the requirements for Master Beekeeper  with 15 or more units of public service and participate in a quality research program.  North Carolina has only 7 of these.

Public service credits are broad and varied: presentations to clubs or schools; serving as club officers; creating information brochures/posters; mentoring another beekeeper; hosting a workshop; manning the bee booth at the State Fair or other such; working on the pollinator garden; etc.

6.        Applications for membership are at theocba.org .

7.       Lewis offered free bee company catalogs on the back table.

8.       Next meeting will be Thursday, March 10, at 7 pm.

Members enjoyed fellowship and refreshments together.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes