Orange County Beekeepers Association – June 12, 2013 meeting – 7 pm
Geneva welcomed the group and called for a few business items.
1. First she reported on the demo hives located on UUC grounds. One has superceded and has almost recovered; the other seems to be very busy. Geneva thanked Catherine and her daughter Jennifer who have been taking regular care of the hives. If OCBA members would like to open either of these hives, check with Catherine first, please.
2. The State meeting in Pinehurst in July will take the place of our July meeting. Registration is available on line. Person County hopes to be named Chapter of the Year. NO JULY OCBA Meeting Here.
3. There will be a field day in late July/August to create jars for sugar shake testing. Date to be announced.
4. Honey extraction demo will be held at Lewis’s shop in Cedar Grove by Dave Eckard. Date to be announced.
5. The club Honey Extractor Policy was emailed to members for suggestions, and the only change is in regards to cleaning the extractor at a car wash: be sure the water is potable. Todd made the motion to accept the policy as corrected; there was a second; the motion passed. Inge will post the policy on the web site under “resources”.
6. Bailey Bee Supply also has an extractor. That one costs $15 to rent overnight.
7. A suggestion had been made that OCBA have a Facebook page, so Geneva created one. However she is discouraged that no one else has posted. She encouraged the group to share beekeeping photos and comments on the page.
8. Todd reported on the 4-H outreach project, mentioning Colin, Brendan, and Molly, and inviting Logan and Edward, who were present, to give updates of their hives.
9. Rex reported three recent events and thanked volunteers who represented OCBA during the Hillsborough Garden Tour, at Mike Stanley’s homeschool group and in Amy Porter’s second grade classroom. Upcoming events for volunteers are The Festival on the Eno (July 4 & 6), Durham Lions Club lunch speaker (June 26), Nat’l Honey Day August 17 at Durham Public Library, and Durham Center for Senior Life (in July or August).
Then Geneva introduced NC State Bee Inspector for the South-Central Region, Nancy Ruppret. Nancy’s presentation was “Put Your Bees on a Diet-Not to Lose Weight”. She recommended that beekeepers see AgNote “Honey Bee Nutrition & Supplementary Feeding” by Doug Somerville. Timing is important when feeding honey bees. Nutrition can be added by using supplements or by adding plantings of flowering trees, shrubs or plants. Nutrition matters because it can make the difference in your colonies’ survival. It improves bees’ lifespans. It helps produce better quality queens. It supports a healthier immune system.
Bees need carbohydrates (from nectars and other sugars), proteins (from pollen or pollen substitutes), lipids (fatty acids & sterols), vitamins, minerals (salts), and water. An average colony needs 700 pounds of carbohydrates a year, and the best source of that is nectar. Nectar sources are not as available as several years ago. So beekeepers should be prepared to feed carbohydrates during nectar shortages—especially during winter—any time of year. Feed in early fall to build up hives for winter so bees will survive. Feed when bees need to draw out wax foundation, typically in February. Feed to stimulate a queen to lay in early spring and in late autumn. Feed for brood rearing.
How do you feed carbs? You can use plantings (think acres), entrance feeders, in-hive feeders, fondant, and cane sugar in an emergency. There is a YouTube recipe for fondant.
Pollen should be available during carb feeding. Pollen is needed for healthier queens and brood, healthier and more productive workers, healthier immune systems, and better survival over winter. Best pollen contains about 25% protein. An average hive collects 5-120 pounds of pollen and uses approximately 40-100 pounds a year. In NC, sources of natural pollen are available 9-12 months a year.
Bees require ten different amino acids for optimal health. Best sources of pollen for protein are dandelion, canola, apple, turnip, mustard; poor sources are pine, sunflower, ragweed. Look for a rainbow in the hive; better to have a lot of different colors. Feed pollen in winter (esp. early January). Feed pollen before the bees become stresses (i.e. before brood rearing, pollination, making splits, raising queens, nectar flow).
How to feed pollen? Add in patty form above the brood box. An average hive will need 2-3 pounds a week. (Mega Bee; Global Patties; Honey B Healthy; Pro Health; Amino B Booster)
Nancy took a few questions following the prosentation.
Geneva announced that Lewis will be discussing varroa mites at the August meeting. Members enjoyed fellowship and refreshments. The meeting was adjourned.