Spring Increase Workshop – Splitting Your Hives

Spring Splits

Spring Splits
If your hives overwintered well and are busting the box with bees you may want to consider a spring split. OCBA has two demonstration hives at Carrboro High School. Both overwintered (as of February 15th) and one is busting at the seams with bees – 16 of the 20 frames in are covered edge-to-edge with bees. There is very little drone brood yet so there is time to plan one or more splits before the bees will be ready to swarm.

Spring splits can help you increase your colonies.

To help our second and third year beekeepers understand hive increase basics, OCBA is planning a Spring Split Workshop at the Carrboro High School demonstration hives. Randall Austin (OCBA Master Beekeeper and Director of Education) will demonstrate hive splitting techniques. 

Depending on weather the workshop will be held March 11th at 3:00 pm.

If the weather or other circumstances interfere on the 11th, we will try to re-schedule the field day during the weekend of  March 17-18. Stay tuned to OCBA’s website for updates and details.

Category: Events  

OCBA is going for the Gold!

OCBA is going for the Gold!
NCSBA’s Golden Achievement Program Award that is. The 2018 GAP Award will be awarded to the beekeeping chapter that earns the highest number of points in 2018 under the 37 GAP criteria defined by NCSBA.

Points are awarded based on chapter activities across several different domains. Individual members can help OCBA earn points by: volunteering to staff information tables at community events; attending an NCSBA State Conference; becoming a Certified, Journeyman or Master Beekeeper; donating honey or honey proceeds to a non-profit organization; or helping with OCBA’s State Fair Exhibit. Other ideas to help OCBA earn points may occur to you as you read through the GAP program guidelines. 

As you participate in GAP related activities, you may be asked to fill out an Individual GAP Form. The form is available here. The Individual GAP Form is interactive, so you should be able to fill it out on your computer. If not, handwritten is fine. Completed forms should be returned to Cynthia Speed or John Rintoul, the GAP Committee Co-Chairs.

Category: Events  

February 8, 2018 Membership Meeting

Come and learn to dance with your bees!

This month’s educational topic is “Honey Bee Communication.” It will be presented by Chris Apple, past OCBA President and current OCBA Community Outreach Director. Chris will discuss the key honey bee pheromones that facilitate intra-hive communication. These pheromones allow the colony to function as a superorganism. She will also explain the navigational mysteries of the Nobel Prize winning waggle dance. These are important topics for all beekeepers who want to know what’s going on in the hive. 

Category: Club Meetings  

Bee School Begins – 2018

Orange County Beekeepers Association’s 2018 Bee School started January 16th. Once again the class was fully enrolled with 75 new and prospective beekeepers, including OCBA’s two apprentices, Catherine Trusky and Megan Talikoff. Randall Austin, OCBA’s Director of Education welcomed the new beekeepers and walked them through an overview of beekeeping as he introduced them to the syllabus for the 10 week session. This year’s class boasts a number of friends/family members of existing OCBA beekeepers, as well as a higher than usual number of students who are taking the class with a spouse, partner or other family member. 

Category: Events  

January 11, 2018 Membership Meeting

The cleaning behavior of hygienic bees help reduce the varroa load in our hives. This month Nancy Ruppert, NC State Bee Inspector for the Sandhills Region, will help us understand “The Value of Having/Raising Hygienic Queens in Your Apiary.” She will provide an overview of hygienic bee stocks and teach us how to identify hygienic behavior in our hives. She will also discuss the basics of raising hygienic queens.

Category: Club Meetings