March 2013

OCBA meeting minutes-March 14, 2013  7:00 pm

  1. Geneva welcomed members and guests  She announced that Todd has signed up four new 4-Hers
  2. The club voted to establish two demo hives at UUC which will be conveniently located for bee school and other demos.
  3. Next the club voted to amend the by-laws to state that state membership is not required for OBCA membership, but is encouraged.
  4. Geneva thanked Sherry for taking notes on screen at the last meeting.  She mentioned that Fred and Sherry might be possible State Fair czars.
  5. Next she called on several folks who had attended the spring meeting to relate their experience.  She gave a mention to the summer meeting in Pinehurst.
  6. Watty brought a draft of the club extractor policy which he shared on line and summarized for the group.   The extractor needs a home in a central location for the club, and someone to monitor its use and be willing to schedule folks who need to borrow it.  Volker Mittendorf volunteered to be that person, and he lived on the southern side of Hillsborough.  Watty will complete the details of the policy and it will be voted on at the next meeting.  He and Rex mentioned several upcoming dates where volunteers will be needed.
  7. Bee Schol will have its field day on Saturday, March 16.
  8. Bailey’s Bee Supply will deliver bee packages on two dates in April, and will have its official grand opening on Wednesday March 20.
  9. Chestnut Ridge’s garden coordinator appealed to the club for help installing garden plants for a pollinator garden on Saturday, April 13, between 9 and noon.  The club agreed to help.
  10. Lewis proposed a partnership with Chatham County beekeepers to make sugar shake jars.  Chatham has purchased enough hardware cloth to make 400 jars.  Lewis’s suggestion is that Orange purchase 400 plastic jars for $280.  The 400 jars would be divided equally between Chatham and Orange with a pamphlet on how to use them.  The motion was seconded and passed.
  11. Dick pointed out the rosters for attendance and reminded all that attendance is one part of the Golden Achievement qualification.  Pay your dues and sign in.
  12. There was brief discussion on an article alleging that bee venom attacks and breaks down HIV.
  13. Lucy pointed out the sign-up sheet for volunteering to maintain the garden at the Hillsborough Visitor Center.


Geneva introduced Adophus Leonard, state bee inspector from the coastal part of the state.  His topic is “Swarm Prevention and Control.”  He stated that average loss over a period of time in the US is 30% of the colonies.   Quite a few of the hives that disappear die of starvation.  Most swarming occurs in the spring as a way for the colony to reproduce at a time when the bee population is exploding.   One of Adophus’s tips: Think like a bee.   He discussed conditions for swarming (older queen; overcrowding, i.e.) and how to reduce swarming (provide space to expand the colony by reversing hive bodies; add supers; re-queen; make splits).  Prevention is key to controlling swarms.

Adolphus also addressed the problems that varroa mites cause bees.  Again prevention is important.  Monitor bees to figure out the levels of varroa infestation by drone brood inspection, sugar shake or sticky board.


The meeting was adjourned.  Members enjoyed refreshments and conversations.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth B. Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes