Author Archive

June 2014


OCBA meeting minutes, June 12, 2014   7:00  pm

1.      Co-president Chris Apple welcomed members and guests.  Cynthia is out of town, and Todd wasn’t able to present tonight.  She reminded all that the Summer Meeting will be in July and that there will be no OCBA club meeting in July.  She encouraged all to attend the Summer Meeting, mentioning honey contests: mead, extracted honey, photos and cooking with honey.  See info on listserv.

2.      Chris A.  gave us Cynthia’s recommendation for a fiction book called The Bees by Lillen Paull, which is in the local library.  The POV is from a worker bee’s perspective.

3.      There will be a Honey Extraction workshop led by Dave Ekhard on July 19 near Hillsborough (3900 Bivins Road off St. Mary’s towards Durham). More info will be posted on the website.

4.      There will be a Joint Field Day with Durham’s club on July 26 at Duke Gardens. More info on that to come.

5.      November elections will be here before you know if. Chris A. passed around a clipboard with a sign up sheet for anyone interested in serving on the Nominating Com. or as an elected officer.  Information will also be posted on the web.

6.      Lucy and Chris A. have met and discussed up dating the sign at the Pollinator Garden in Hillsborough at the Visitor’s Center.  Chris asked if there was any interest in establishing a real hive of bees there, and will bring this up for discussion at another meeting since it isn’t likely to happen before next spring.

7.      She announced that there is a new home for the club’s extractor.  It will be stored at Cedric’s office in the Meadowlands in Hillsborough.  You can request the use of the extractor by emailing Cedric Pearce.

8.      Lewis (Master Beekeeper) has been whittling down the list of people who need the practical field test in order to complete their initial beekeeping certification.  Contact him if you want to be added to his list.  Also Gail Young will be administering the written exam on July 26 during the joint Durham/Orange field day at Duke Gardens.  Contact her if you would like to take this test.

9.      Woman Craft in Carrboro has an exhibit about honey bees from June 12-26.

10.   Orange County Master Gardeners have just established a new pollinator garden at Gold Park in Hillsborough and  would welcome additional plants that bees are interested in.  It is a sunny garden.

11.   Rex announced that he needs volunteers for Festival on the Eno, July 4 weekend.  He sent a link for on-line sign-up in his last email, but contact him if you are interested and need the link.  Volunteers are admitted to the Festival free.

12.   Old Business:  Chris A. reminded the group of the proposal from Lewis to donate club money to Dr. Tarpy’s program at NCSU and gave the Exec. Com.’s recommendation that the club donate $1000 this year with the intent to sustain the gift annually as long as funding permits, and that we use all means to publicize and promote the donation with the intent of encouraging matching gifts from other clubs. ‘Lizabeth restated the recommendation in the form of a motion, and it was seconded.  Discussion ensued.  Someone asked what the money would be used for; Chris read from the NCSU website about the programs and research projects Dr. Tarpy heads.  Someone asked about using club funds for obtaining a storage site for club materials; that will be investigated as well as conducting an audit of the club’s finances to see patterns in income and outgo.  Someone asked how much does the club currently have in the bank; Dick estimated $10,00.  Lewis argued that he would like to see a leadership gift of at least $2500, and Don agreed that the higher amount as seed money would challenge other clubs.  Someone asked about members donating on line and linking that donation to the clulb; Lewis demonstrated how simple an online donation could be, including identifying the individual as a member of Orange County Beekeepers.  Someone suggested that instead of attempting to sustain the gift annually that the club consider a larger one-time gift.  Dick cautioned against assuming that the club would continue to have such a plump account in the future.  Wattie asked to amend the motion to state that the club donate a substantial gift of $2500 or more to NCSU’s Apiary Research and Educational Programs under Dr. David Tarpy.  ‘Lizabeth rejected the amendment; question was called and the motion was defeated.  Wattie then made his amendment into a motion which was seconded.  Further discussion deleted the words “or more” and added the phrase from the original motion about promoting and publicizing the donation in order to challenge other clubs to match or exceed our donation.  Motion passed with a majority vote; one dissenting.

13.   Lewis passed proverbial “hat” for a gift for Todd Walker and Inge Katzman who are expecting their first child in August.  He will be responsible for purchasing a gift card etc.

14.   A donated sugar shake jar was given as a door prize to one person who admitted he didn’t yet have one.

               Don Hopkins, State Bee Inspector, discussed preparing bees for the winter which begins now.  He answered numerous questions, using his extensive collection of              photographs to illustrate key points.

               Following the presentation, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth B. Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes  

May 2014


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. 

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth B. Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes  

April 2014


OCBA meeting minutes, April 9, 2014   7:00  pm

1.      Co-presidents Chris Apple and Cynthia Steed welcomed members and guests.  She announced that the speaker for tonight would be delayed due to a fender-bender. Meanwhile Cynthia handed out raffle tickets for a door prize.

2.      Chris A. reported that Chris Richmond, who was assisting the speaker, has received calls about swarms including one at dinner.

3.      Rex reported that Outreach has received no new requests since March.

4.      Cynthia invited members to share stories about installing packages this spring.

5.      Lewis arrived to deliver OCBA t shirts in the lobby.

6.      Next, Mary, head of the OCBA State Fair committee, invited members to think how we can educate the public about bees at the booth.  She welcomes your ideas for the booth or activities.  One thing she’d like to see is live plants that bees love.  Contact her; she’s looking for ideas and volunteers.

7.      Chris A. reminded members that a Facebook account had been set up for the club, but a volunteer is needed to update the account.  Rissa volunteered to do that.

8.      Becky from Starrlight Mead was introduced and thanked for handing out samples of mead.

9.      Dick has State membership cards to hand out, and the attendance roster needs to be checked off as you leave tonight.  If you haven’t joined, it isn’t too late.

10.   Chris A.  asked the club if there was any interest in making donations of books about bees to the local library.  Interest was high.

11.   She announced that the State meeting would be in July and that the club will not meet in July.  She encouraged members to attend the State meeting instead.

12.   Todd introduced the newest 4-H partner, Kendall Clark, and checked with other 4-H members present about activity in their hives.

13.   David Bailey announced that his store will help to sponsor National Honey Day, August 16th,  with special activities.  He invited OCBA to become involved.

Cynthia introduced Zander Kent, a young man with no prior beekeeping experience, whose job was to teach Gambians how to keep top bar hives with African bees.  Zander, an enthusiastic speaker, presented “Beekeeping in the Gambia”, an intriguing slideshow. Following the presentation, club members enjoyed refreshments and fellowship.  Then the meeting was adjourned. 

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth B. Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes  

March 2014


OCBA meeting minutes-, March 13, 2014  7:00  pm

1.      Co-presidents Chris Apple and Cynthia Steed welcomed members and guests.  Chris was enthusiastic as the February meeting was cancelled due to wintry weather.  She also mentioned the spring meeting in Wilmington.  Tuesday, March 18, members can take the written test for certification here at 7:00 pm.  In order to be certified, one must also be put through the paces in a field test.  Bee School field day will be March 15 and volunteers are needed to help.

2.      Chris Apple called on Lewis who showed us pictures of two designs for an Orange County Bee Association t-shirt.  After members agreed on the design, Lewis offered to post ordering information and send it to the list serve.

3.      Chris Richmond reported that ten folks had responded to his call for swarm patrol members.  If you are interested, please respond to him.

4.      Lucy pointed out that there is a sign-up sheet for volunteers to maintain the Pollinator Garden.  She will also send an email request.

5.      Rex reported that he had presented at Counter Culture Coffee recently, and introduced Brian from that business.  In the next month or so, Chris Richmond will give a presentation at Durham Tech and Molly (4-H beekeeper) will present in April.

6.      Dick has State membership cards to hand out, and the attendance roster needs to be checked off as you leave tonight.  If you haven’t joined, it isn’t too late.

7.      David Bailey announced that bee packages are scheduled to arrive April 19 at his Hillsborough store.  There are a few packages left, if you need to order.

8.      Chris Apple mentioned upcoming speakers for May (bee inspector) and June (Todd Walker, photographing bees.  She encouraged members to think about the State Fair Booth design for this year, and to contact Mary Leonarde.

9.      Lewis fielded a question about when to make a split from a member new to the South (during the honey flow, about two weeks before April 25 when tulip poplars are expected to begin blooming).

10.   Cynthia introduced Dr. John Ambrose, professor at NCSU, who created the Master Beekeeping program in NC.  He presented “Insects and People”, a very entertaining talk with slideshow about how bees created civilization. 

11.   Club members enjoyed refreshments and fellowship.  Then the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth B. Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes  

January 2014

Category: Meeting Minutes