May 2011

OCBA  Meeting Minutes-May 12, 2011       7:00 pm

1.       John greeted everyone and called the meeting to order.

2.       Announcements: Lewis announced that the Piedmont Wildlife Center anticipates a possible weather problem for Saturday, but that he and Chris will set up the bee cage.  The link for information and directions are on the website/calendar.  Also this Sunday at the Hillsborough Visitor Center, the Pollinator Garden dedication is scheduled for 2 pm. The mayor will speak and our club president will participate in the ribbon-cutting.  Eva brought an article on Lewis which was in the Carrboro Citizen on 5-11-11.  She reported that News of Orange is interested in doing a feature article on OCBA.  Geneva announced that the Hillsoborough Garden Tour this weekend is in need of volunteers; call the welcome center if interested.  Lewis plans to set up for Magic Wings at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham the following Saturday.  Volunteers to answer questions and man the booth are needed.  Chris Richmond reported on the easiest swarm capture: he got a call from the Coke plant on Hillsborough Road in Durham.  The bees were only about four feet off the ground on the side of the building, and he was given a couple of cases of Coke, too.

3.       ‘Lizabeth called roll, and asked guests, visitors and non-members to sign in.

4.       Dick mentioned that the reason for the picky recordkeeping is qualifying for the Golden Achievement Award.  He also mentioned that the club has ball caps for $3 each and OCBA patches for $2 each.

John turned the program over to State Bee Inspector, Will Hicks, who spoke about managing hives.  He asked what should beekeepers do when the spring flow winds down?  The surprising answer is “Think about winter.”  In order to have your hives healthy and happy going into winter, there are jobs that a beekeeper needs to address before fall.  One is treating mites to reduce the population.  Beekeepers can use organic treatments, such as drone brood removal and sugar dusting, or chemical treatments.  Another task that shouldn’t be put off is checking on the queen to be sure she is healthy.  In other words, is she laying good brood?  You can offer pollen in August, but beware: if the bees don’t eat it, the hive beetles will!  If you take honey, leave enough for the bees to overwinter (the equivalent of a super).  Will reminded us of how lucky we are to have six bee inspectors in the state of NC.  His job falls under the Department of Agriculture and part of the job is to insure that NC bees are clean and safe from disease, especially American Foulbrood.  He also assists beekeepers with classes, presentations, phone calls, or by conducting inspections on site.  In answering questions about transporting bees through the state, Will pointed out that our state law requires migratory bees to be either refrigerated or netted as they travel through our borders.  Another question: When do you add a super? and Will responded, “When the bees are occupying and drawing out a least one half to three/fourths of the super.”

5.        Next meeting will be Thursday, June 9, at 7 pm.

Members enjoyed fellowship and refreshments together.

Respectfully submitted,

‘Lizabeth Collins

Category: Meeting Minutes