August 2011

OCBA meeting Minutes- August 11, 2011  7:00 pm

  1. In the absence of both John Harrell and Todd Walker, Geneva greeted members and guests so that ‘Lizabeth could take minutes.  She thanked the Fesels and Don Hopkins for the very successful and fun workshop held last weekend at the Fesels’.
  2. Geneva announced that the preparations for the “Introduction to Beekeeping” course are on track.  She offered a few flyers and pointed out that the information is now on the OCBA website, with early registration to begin on September 5.
  3. She also pointed out that there needs to be an Orange County Bee School in January.  Geneva mentioned that many bee schools match up newbees to more experienced beekeepers during the school, and she hoped that OCBA would volunteer as mentors for bee school participants next year.  Volunteers to help prepare for Bee School should contact Geneva.
  4. Sandra reported that the State Fair Booth committee had just meet and decided on a theme.  She asked if anyone had or knew of the location of a bee skep, and Eva Hoke responded that she had one.
  5. ‘Lizabeth called roll.  We have 96 members!
  6. Dick pointed out the membership cards for folks who joined recently.  Also he mentioned the hats and patches that are for sale.
  7. Lewis mentioned this is the time for sampling for varroa mites using the sugar shake method.  Although he was born in South Carolina, Lewis is pleased to be keeping bees in North Carolina because there is a big difference between the two states in the amount and kind of support offered beekeepers.  Three of NC’s six bee inspectors were present at the OCBA meeting.

Lewis also introduced the speaker, Adolphus Leonard, NC bee inspector in the coastal region, who presented a slide show and discussion on “Fall and Winter Management.”  The most obvious things to look for are a queen, brood, an adequate supply of stored food, and the absence of disease.  Treat for diseases in the fall so that your colony will be at optimal strength in the spring.  Every colony will have some mites, so test for the threshold number and treat these pests.  He mentioned many kinds of treatment: Apistan, CheckMite-Plus, Formic Acid, Apiguard, ApiLifeVar, Hivastan, and even powdered sugar.  Check for foulbrood and small hive beetle infestations.

Each colony needs food stores equal to at least 30 lbs. of honey.  Feed the colony before cold weather begins, as it is less stressful on the bees.  Feed thick or heavy syrup (ratio of 60/40 or 70/30 sugar to water).  Beekeepers should not be splitting hives after July as this weakens both hives.  It is important to have enough bees to make a large cluster for warmth in order to get them through the winter successfully.  Instead, combine weak colonies in the fall.

Other tasks for fall include storing hive bodies and supers so that wax moths do not find them, taking off the queen excluder if you used one, reducing the entrance to the hive, and making sure the top cover is ventilated.  An interested fact is that winter bees are actually different from the summer bees.  Winter bees can live as long as six months, have higher fat and protein in their bodies, and need high quality food such as pollen.  Adolphus  suggests that you feed dry pollen as small hive beetles love pollen patties.  He also stated that it is easier to re-queen in the spring than in the fall due to supply of queens and abundance of food for expansion.

  1. Ken Medlin announced that he had several bags of bee mix for sale at $3.50/bag.
  2. Fred Fezel offered two treatments of Miteaway for sale.
  3. Lewis offered free hardware cloth patches to be used to check for mites with the sugar shake method.
  4. Eva Hoke brought Bee Culture magazines, if anyone wants one.
  5. Toni Fezel brought a few items that were left at her house from the workshop last weekend.
  6. Chris Richmond announced that he heeded a volunteer to help with a smarm up a tree.
  7. The next meeting will be September 8, 2011, at 7 pm.  A volunteer is needed to provide refreshments.  Please email ‘Lizabeth (

Members enjoyed refreshments and fellowship following the meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes