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January 2016

Our new club president Walter Starks opened the meeting at 7:11pm.  36 members were in attendance.

Walter welcomed all members both old and new.  Several new bee school attendees were welcomed as well.

Dave Eckert told us that 8 people applied for the 2016 Apprentice Program.  Two great candidates were chosen.  They will be attending bee school and giving a presentation to the club in the fall about their first season keeping bees.

The need for experienced beekeepers at field day at the end of bee school was brought up tying in the introduction of the First Year Clusters.   This group will create the opportunity  to connect beekeepers that have already successfully over wintered at least one hive in NC with newbees. He emphasized how much everyone ends up learning and how much fun it is.  If there is enough interest a monthly field day schedule may be created.  OCBA members could caravan from apiary to apiary in a specific a region and open hives together.

Randall Austin suggested that the OCBA start a study group for those interested in attaining their Master Beekeeper Certification similar to Person County.  A sign up sheet was sent around and there was much interest.   He shared that mentoring a new beekeeper is a great way to get service credits.

Club Treasurer Mary Leonhardi was in attendance collecting dues and selling $2 OCBA patches.

Cynthia Speed mentioned the club hives that will be at Blackwood Farm.  She and Mary will maintain the top bar hive and Cedric Pearce will monitor the Langstroth at this site.  Walter and John Rintoul continue to tend the hives in Carrboro.

At 7:25pm Jenn Temple, paramedic intern at the Carrboro Fire Station 1 was introduced.  She gave a fantastic presentation that clearly demonstrated her passion to educate the community on all things related to health emergency management.

She shared her thoughts on EPI pens and the proper time to use the same.  She could not emphasize enough how important it is to call 911 if there is ever a breathing issue.  The rule of thumb is to always call if you think you need help.  You are not bothering them – they would rather come out and discover all is well than not be called and a serious problem develops.

Jenn also stressed the importance of everyone becoming CPR certified.  It is an important tool that aids in what is called Meaningful Recovery.  The sooner you do CPR on a person the greater chance they have to recover back to their original state.

She also talked about heart attack signs, stroke, seizure disorder, bleeding, broken bones and heat related emergencies.

Jenn finished her presentation and the meeting was adjourned at 8:05pm

Respectfully submitted,

Jan Rogers


Category: Meeting Minutes  

November 2015 Executive Committee Meeting

The meeting began at 7:10pm. Present were Chris Apple, Cynthia Speed, Mary Leonhardi, Cedric Pearce, Cynthia Woodsong, Randall Austin, Walter Starks, John Rintoul and Jan Rogers. Missing was David Eckert.

Chris shared that the club won $158.00 in prize money from the fair and gave the check to Mary.

She stated that the purpose of the meeting was to inform the incoming club president and vice president on OCBA club protocol as it has been for the past two years. Chris noted that the OCBA Board members try to meet quarterly.

Chris mentioned that the News of Orange is where she has been publishing Bee School ads and other club announcements. The occasional submitting of OCBA pictures and articles to Erin Wiltgen ( was suggested.

Chris discussed the success the club has had with hosting candle making and extractor workshops. The school has an equipment day and a field day. Perhaps now that there will be hives at Blackwood Farm more field days could be scheduled. Chris will look into how many hives they are comfortable having on the property. Walter suggested having a top bar hive on the site. Both Cynthia and Mary currently keep bees in top bar hives. A definitive schedule needs to be created to ensure these hives are properly tended to.

Chris recommended that a member of the Board be present for the first day of bee school to promote the club. Cynthia said there are usually a number of club related questions. Mary suggested that a schedule be created so at least one board member is available at every class that is able to open and close the facility. Bee school begins on Tuesday, January 19th. Cynthia has a flyer for bee school that was used in the past that she can share.

Monthly programs need to be scheduled. In January Kim Woodward of Orange County EMS will come and discuss bee sting awareness and the use of epinephrine. In February Nancy Ruppert will do a presentation on Winter Feeding. Jan handed out a list of other ideas for the year. All are asked to submit an idea for speakers by December 31st so they can be promptly booked and added to the OCBA website calendar. Jan also suggested that an annual itinerary of the monthly speakers be added to the first page of the website. Since a list of ideas was on the same sheet of paper she handed out, she also mentioned that monthly door prizes should be offered at the meetings.

With regard to snacks offered at the meetings, Chris and Cynthia had great success passing a sign up sheet around at the January meeting. Walter thought asking two people to sign up each month would be helpful. It was determined that a Listserv request will be generated.

Chris asked Walter and John to reach out to Lucy Wilson and Chris Richmond to see if they were still interested in maintaining a leadership role in the pollinator garden and swarm patrol. If not, replacements need to be assigned and there needs to be an update to the website,

Pre-meetings have been held at Vinny’s Italian Restaurant in Hillsborough at 5:00pm. Another restaurant can be chosen with the primary requirements being reasonably priced menu items, close proximity to the UU Church, ample parking, no reservations required and flexibility with regard to party size. It is preferred that two board members be present in case one needs to remain with the guest speaker as the other heads over to set up for the meeting. Chris and Cynthia did this as a team for the past two years. Randall made a good point that another way to thank guest presenters would be to offer to reimburse for gas mileage as some speakers have a hard enough time getting to the meeting for 7:00pm let alone a pre-meeting dinner. Walter wants to see the OCBA financials before committing to adding that line item to the budget.

Mary would like to stick to the bylaws and begin exercising the annual club treasurer audit by three current OCBA directors. She has yet to be given the Excel spreadsheet and paperwork from Dick Merritt. In his defense, Chris mentioned that he was not given the same 6 years ago.

She also mentioned that after bee school she plans to close the current Paypal account that is attached to Dick’s personal bank account and activate a new one using the OCBA credit card she opened. She will contact Rev. Patty Hanneman at UUCH for the numbers needed to budget for the use of the church for monthly meetings as well as the 8 weeks of bee school in 2016.

There was a brief discussion of storage space for miscellaneous OCBA equipment and Outreach items. Jan has started a list of said items and their current locations. John will add a few items to that list as he and Walter have some boxes and feeders for the Carrboro hives. Jan will ask Geneva what items she may still have. In lieu of adding another budget item and finding a central location, it may work to keep the items where they are so those who use them most frequently have easy access to the same.

Regarding the OCBA website and Facebook page, Todd Walker has been managing the website but will be transferring the responsibility to Dave Eckert. It was unclear if Geneva Greene or Nerissa Rivera was updating the Facebook page.

Jan and Mary will send monthly personal email reminders to folks whose memberships are about to expire emphasizing the importance of being an active club member.

Chris talked about Carrboro High School Bee Club’s desire to have an OCBA representative. John offered to reach out to them.

It was then pointed out that since the club is not covered under the NCSBA insurance policy, a Farm Bureau general liability policy will be initiated.

Mary suggested there be a policy for making financial decisions such as the treasurer can make purchases up to $50. She is currently in possession of $100 petty cash which is used at meetings as change for people who pay cash for their memberships or purchase OCBA items.

Walter will contact Lewis Cauble about a contact person for OCBA t-shirts. John suggested a new design be created for 2016. There are OCBA patches that can be stitched onto caps as well.

Cynthia shared that Bee Culture Magazine will be sending magazines for the students of our bee school.

Jan will give Randall Bee Supply magazines and donation items for bee school, including a 10 frame single deep hive from Brushy Mountain that he will use on equipment day. Jan will send thank you notes to the suppliers.

Walter asked if we thought the use of Hive Tracks as a club would benefit members. It would be helpful for members to see what is going on in the club hives but the $2.00 per hive monthly fee needs to be addressed. It has been a helpful tool for Walter and John to keep current on the goings on at the Carrboro hives.

Walter will inform Todd that he is the new OCBA contact for NCSBA.

The meeting adjourned at 9:26pm.

Category: Meeting Minutes  

November 2015

Chris Apple and Cynthia Speed opened the meeting at 7:09pm.  A record 51 members were present.

Chris addressed the need to elect new club officers. Walter Stark will act as President, John Rintoul: Vice President, Mary Leonhardi will be club Treasurer, Jan Rogers will remain as club secretary. As for Directors, Dave Eckert has one more year to his term, Cedric Pearce has two. Cynthia Woodsong nominated Randall Austin to serve a three year term, Dick Merritt seconded the motion.

Rex Williams was thanked as he finished his three year term and Dick Merritt was thanked for his many years serving as club Treasurer.

Chris and Cynthia recognized the many awards and mentions the club received at the State Fair including the coveted Sweepstakes Award showing that we tallied more points as a club than any other booth which is a reflection of who we are as a group.  The booth itself made second place.

A big thank you went out to Keith Yow and his students at Cedar Ridge Woodshop whose light box and light posts really completed the look for Beeopolis. A donation of $200 will be made to them via their school by the club as a thank you.

Mary and Dick reminded us that all Memberships are due to be renewed in January. The fee remains only $5.00 and you receive all the benefits of the club.

In lieu of a December meeting we will be having an Open House Holiday Gala focusing on fellowship and fun. The club will provide beverages so please bring a finger food and stories to share to this relaxed gathering.

Dave Eckert updated us on the Apprenticeship Program and how he was reaching out to 4H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Home schoolers and high schoolers. If any OCBA club members know of any 10-18 year olds that you think would be interested please let him know. Applications are due by December 13th.

Chris informed us that the OCBA 8 week Beginner Beekeeping class begins on January 19th.

Chris then invited Andi Bradsher, OCBA’s youngest apprentice, to share a PowerPoint presentation of her first year keeping bees.  She discussed the trials and tribulations she experienced including losing a new hive to a leaky hive top feeder only to have the next hive abscond.  Never the less, she continued on to educate her peers on keeping bees and working with wax.  She even helped with a cut out.  She thanked the club for giving her the opportunity to learn about bees.

Next up was Haylee Borden who also had a fabulous PowerPoint presentation.  She shared with us what she did each month of her first year keeping bees giving much credit to her mentor Dave Eckert.  She shared pictures of her bees and equipment and mentioned some Outreach activities she participated in.

Chris then invited Jeff Lee of Lees Bees up to educate us on migratory beekeeping.  His presentation was both educational and entertaining.  He’s explained why he has two locations (there are not enough bees in Orange County) and that his business is 93% pollination and 7% honey production.  The sheer volume of bees and hives he works with is impressive.  He emphasized the need to keep his bees healthy and fed and that in his case replacing queens at least once a year is important.  Although there are differences between hobbyist and migratory beekeeping, predominately with regard to what is done in the calendar year, Jeff confirmed that we are all on the same team when it comes to caring about the honeybee and appreciating the important role they play in the grand scheme of things.

Jeff finished his presentation at 8:40pm.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Jan Rogers


Category: Meeting Minutes  

October 2015 Executive Committee Meeting

OCBA Quarterly Executive Board meeting minutes, October 21, 2015   7:00 pm

1. Present were  Jan Rogers, Chris Apple, Cynthia Speed, Cedric Pearce, Dave Eckert, Dick Merritt, Mary Leonardi and Rex Williams. Not present was Cynthia Woodsong.

2. In the final transferal of club treasurer responsibilities, Dick gave Mary the check book and reminded her to open a new account by 11/15/15 as OCBA can no longer be a part of the NC State Employee Credit Union.  Paypal account information was also handed over.  Mary will send Dave Eckert an updated email address for the website .  Dick has a cash box, old financials and a box of hats and patches he will give to Mary at the November meeting.  The use of a Paypal Prime account was discussed in lieu of a bank credit card for club purchases as shipping is free and expedited. Mary has been researching the best options for the club and reached out to Wade to see what other clubs are doing.  Its important to be connected to the State Association as far as memberships are concerned.

3. Cedric informed us that 15 people have used the extractor this season.  It is in fairly good condition although a new honey gate would be suggested as the handle on the current one is missing.  Dave will arrange for a replacement.  Chris discussed the new extractor protocol which names Fred Fesel  and Jan as being responsible for managing the extractor rentals in 2016.  Members should be in good standing as of  May 1st of each year in order to rent the unit, with exceptions being made for first time beekeepers that join the club past that date.  The new policy will be introduced to the club right before the 2016 honey harvest season.  Mary will provide  Jan and Fred monthly member lists during the season.

4.  Mary suggested that monthly membership renewal reminders are sent out via Listserv.

5.  Chris was pleased with this year’s State Fair Results.  Preparations for the same will begin much sooner in 2016 in an effort to get more members to enter items.  Mary suggested that the revenue from the OCBA wins be donated to David Tarpy’s NCSU Apiculture Program if we have not already donated this year.  The winning items will be put on display at the November meeting.  Chris reminded us to get our expenses in for that event.

6.  It was voted that a $200 donation will be made to Cedar Ridge High School carpentry program  for the light box and lamp posts that Keith Yow’s students built for the fair. We will ask Keith to make a sturdier extractor stand at the next meeting.  A picture of the State Fair Committee will be included in the thank you note with the donation as soon as the bank account is created.

7. Chris confirmed that Walter Starks will be club president in 2016 and John Rintoul will be vice president.  The roles will reverse in 2017.  Mary will be Treasurer, Cedric & David will continue as directors with Chris and Cynthia as co-directors with a focus on Outreach unless another member chooses to step up and assume the role.  We thank and greatly appreciate Rex and Dick for their service.

8.  Jan asked all board members to send her a list of OCBA related items they have in their possession so she can have a master list of the same.  Chris has some clothing items that Todd returned that can go with the Outreach supplies. Jan will also arrange the purchase of a back up laser pointer.

9.  Dave handed out a draft of the Apprenticeship Application.  He sent some information to home school and 4H groups and received a positive response.   He asked the Board to help him choose the 2 apprentices shortly after the December 13th application deadline perhaps being able to announce the same at the January  14, 2016, member meeting.  It was suggested that the top 3 or 4 candidates meet with the board prior to selection.  Jan offered to host the Board members in her home for the purpose of said meeting.

10.  Jan asked about the online sign up procedure for outreach as far as GAP is concerned. All 2016 activities will be put into the GAP binder by Jan. Dave will ask Todd Walkerwhere the online info is going.

11.  Mary addressed the cost of Beginner Beekeeping school.  She was told that since Randall Austin is running the program and is very involved in the programs of neighboring chapters, he should determine the cost of the course.  It was confirmed that Randall needs to keep Mary informed of the number of books he will need purchased for the class.

12.  Dave mentioned the need for more members to step up as bee buddies and mentors.  The Google Doc for the same has not been properly utilized.  Jan thought hosting a twice monthly field day in the summer might create some interest in the program as well as help develop confidence.

13.  Chris asked if the club could pay for the beverages for the December Holiday Cocktail Party with club members providing hors d’oeuvres.  Dick will research the same and provide a recommendation based on his findings.

14.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:12 pm.

Jan Rogers

Category: Meeting Minutes  

October 2015

The meeting began at 7:00pm.

The State Fair Committee created a successful mock set up of the State Fair booth just prior to the member meeting.

Chris Apple and Cynthia Speed encouraged all members to contribute something they have made to the State Fair as we have signed up OCBA for something in all categories.

The Blackwood Farm Farm to Table outreach event has been moved to November 4th and 5th.

David Bailey presented his thoughts on feeding bees over the winter.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Refreshments were provided by Chris Apple.

Category: Meeting Minutes