OCBA meeting minutes, May 8, 2014 7:00 pm
1. Co-presidents Chris Apple and Cynthia Steed welcomed members and guests. She announced that the speaker for the next meeting, Todd Walker, former OCBA President, would present on the topic of photographing bees without expensive camera equipment.
2. Chris A. invited Molly, a 4-H mentee, to speak. Molly announced that she would be working on Pollinator Day at the Farmer’s Market in Chatham to earn a Girl Scout award.
3. Next Chris A. reported announced a club Honey Extraction Workshop on July 19, led by Dave Ekhert. The place will be on the website soon. Also in the works is a joint field day with the Durham club. It will incorporate the practicals for those who completed bee school and took the written test—the practical is an inspection of a bee colony under the supervision of a Master Beekeeper. Please let Chris or Cynthia know if you would like to be in the list for the practicals.
4. Lewis Cauble, former OCBA president, presented information about David Tarpy and NCSU’s Apiary program as part of a proposal to donate a significant amount of money to the NCSU apiculture program. He had originally suggested a donation of $5,000; the Executive Committee leans toward $2500. He mentioned that the donation to NC Agricultural Foundation, designated for apicultural science would pay $.95 of each dollar donated to research. Lewis also mentioned his hope that other club would also become involved in donating money to this cause. He hopes that publicity about the donation and information we could provide to these clubs would help convince them to become donors. Lewis pointed out that he is asking for a club donation, not that individuals couldn’t also donate. Dick mentioned that there are on-going budget needs, such as start up costs for Bee School and the books that the club has already approved be donated to the Orange County library, but that the club has about $1100 at present. This donation would not be a hardship on the club. A suggestion was made that our club offer the donation of $2500 as matching funds from other donations. Don Hopkins, state bee inspector, offered his opinion that the donation to the apiculture research was a good idea and that other clubs would follow our club’s example. As time for discussion of this item ended, Chris announced that the members should be prepared to vote on the idea at the next meeting.
5. Lewis was asked about placing another t shirt order. He asked for interest, and agreed to send another offer to members.
Cynthia introduced Nancy Ruppert, a state bee inspector in the south central & south eastern NC, who presented on “The Sweet Return”. She touched on the state’s honey standard, which defines honey and how to label honey in NC. She mentioned resources to beekeepers including some on line and local and regional organizations. What you need to make honey is a lot of healthy bees, so the time to begin is the previous summer by making sure you have a healthy productive queen and getting pests under control. Feed as needed over the winter, prevent swarms in the spring, and add supers before it’s too late to store additional honey—these are also steps to getting honey. Three methods of robbing the bees were mentioned: brushing bees off a few frames with a soft brush, blowing bees from frames, and using a fume board. She pointed out the importance of making sure 75-80% of each frame has capped honey. Bees cap their honey when the moisture content is right; it there is too much moisture, the honey will ferment. Nancy discussed and demonstrated much of the equipment needed for extraction: bee brush, cappings scratcher, electric capping knife, basin for catching cappings & honey, extractor or simple nylon mesh bag, bucket or collection tank with a spout that locks, bottles & labels, filters. She also mentioned that she freezes her honey for 48 hours in case there are wax moth eggs in the honey.
Following the presentation, club members enjoyed refreshments, honey tasting and fellowship. Then the meeting was adjourned.
‘Lizabeth B. Collins