Blog Archives

Varroa Management Field Day

The scene

Saturday, June 16, varroa conscious OCBA members met at Randall Austin’s apiary to participate in a live demonstration of mite assessment in the colony. Upon inspection the mite count warranted attention. This allowed for a broad discussion of treatment options based on hive status (honey supers were still on) and temperature variables during treatment.

Category: Events  

June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting

Varroa mite (phoretic stage)

Randall Austin, will present “Some Honey Bee Pests and Treatments.” This is a timely discussion of varroa mite and small hive beetle management. We are entering critical months for these problems. All beekeepers need to be vigilant with testing and effective treatment to assure the health and viability of their colonies throughout the summer and as the colonies move into the fall build-up stage. Strong, healthy colonies full of bees are essential to successfully overwintering your hives.

Next Saturday, June 16th, at 1:00 o’clock, Randall will demonstrate the practical hands-on skills of varroa monitoring and treatment at his apiary. Plan to attend the Varroa Assessment Field Day. Contact Randall via email to get directions to his apiary. All OCBA members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Category: Club Meetings  

From Comb to Home™ – The Essentials of Honey Extraction

On Saturday, June 9th at 9:30 Mark Powers and Brad Kosiba will lead an open workshop to familiarize new beekeepers with the basics of honey extraction. This annual extraction workshop will be presented at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough. This year OCBA will be joined by Durham County Beekeepers who will also partici­pate.

You’ve worked hard for your honey. Learn how to collect your reward.

 

Category: Events  

May 10, 2018 Membership Meeting

A representative of Bee Downtown will share information about their mission – building healthy, sustainable, honey bee communities in urban environments. Bee Downtown has a strong history of promoting beekeeping in urban business districts. They will discuss the challenges associated with beekeeping in cities and their success in doing so.

The Urban Beekeeper

Category: Club Meetings  

Confetti Bees

On Monday, April 15, three OCBA beekeepers joined five beekeepers from 5 County Beekeepers and one from Caldwell County to tag newly hatched worker bees. The numbered tags are coupled with a painted abdomen to allow researchers to identify the age cohort of the bees. The research study is headed by Dan Charbonneau, a post doc at NCSU’s Apiculture Research Center. The study is investigating the role of worker bees in the selection and rearing of queen larvae.

900 newly emerged bees were tagged and painted by OCBA members Dawn Rogers, Tim Struttmann and John Rintoul. As the study progresses, several other OCBA beekeepers will participate in the study to help tag and paint bees. 

Category: Events  

Spring Increase Workshop – Splitting Your Hives

Spring Splits Workshop 

If your hives overwintered well and are busting the box with bees you may want to consider a spring split. OCBA has two demonstration hives at Carrboro High School. Both overwintered (as of February 15th) and one is busting at the seams with bees – 16 of the 20 frames in are covered edge-to-edge with bees. There is very little drone brood yet so there is time to plan one or more splits before the bees will be ready to swarm.

Spring splits can help you increase your colonies.

To help our second and third year beekeepers understand hive increase basics, OCBA is planning a Spring Split Workshop at the Carrboro High School demonstration hives. Randall Austin (OCBA Master Beekeeper and Director of Education) will demonstrate hive splitting techniques.

After several weather related delays for our weekend dates we will finally have good weather. Unfortunately the good weather is coming mid-week rather than on a weekend. But 19 members have indicated that they can be available even mid-week. So we are moving forward. The workshop will take place Thursday, March 29 at 1:00p at Carrboro High School. The hives are located to the left of the traffic circle. Parking is available in the parking lot south of the hives. 

Category: Events  

OCBA is going for the Gold!

OCBA is going for the Gold!
NCSBA’s Golden Achievement Program Award that is. The 2018 GAP Award will be awarded to the beekeeping chapter that earns the highest number of points in 2018 under the 37 GAP criteria defined by NCSBA.

Points are awarded based on chapter activities across several different domains. Individual members can help OCBA earn points by: volunteering to staff information tables at community events; attending an NCSBA State Conference; becoming a Certified, Journeyman or Master Beekeeper; donating honey or honey proceeds to a non-profit organization; or helping with OCBA’s State Fair Exhibit. Other ideas to help OCBA earn points may occur to you as you read through the GAP program guidelines. 

As you participate in GAP related activities, you may be asked to fill out an Individual GAP Form. The form is available here. The Individual GAP Form is interactive, so you should be able to fill it out on your computer. If not, handwritten is fine. Completed forms should be returned to Cynthia Speed or John Rintoul, the GAP Committee Co-Chairs.

Category: Events  

February 8, 2018 Membership Meeting

Come and learn to dance with your bees!

This month’s educational topic is “Honey Bee Communication.” It will be presented by Chris Apple, past OCBA President and current OCBA Community Outreach Director. Chris will discuss the key honey bee pheromones that facilitate intra-hive communication. These pheromones allow the colony to function as a superorganism. She will also explain the navigational mysteries of the Nobel Prize winning waggle dance. These are important topics for all beekeepers who want to know what’s going on in the hive. 

Category: Club Meetings  

Bee School Begins – 2018

Orange County Beekeepers Association’s 2018 Bee School started January 16th. Once again the class was fully enrolled with 75 new and prospective beekeepers, including OCBA’s two apprentices, Catherine Trusky and Megan Talikoff. Randall Austin, OCBA’s Director of Education welcomed the new beekeepers and walked them through an overview of beekeeping as he introduced them to the syllabus for the 10 week session. This year’s class boasts a number of friends/family members of existing OCBA beekeepers, as well as a higher than usual number of students who are taking the class with a spouse, partner or other family member. 

Category: Events  

January 11, 2018 Membership Meeting

The cleaning behavior of hygienic bees help reduce the varroa load in our hives. This month Nancy Ruppert, NC State Bee Inspector for the Sandhills Region, will help us understand “The Value of Having/Raising Hygienic Queens in Your Apiary.” She will provide an overview of hygienic bee stocks and teach us how to identify hygienic behavior in our hives. She will also discuss the basics of raising hygienic queens.

Category: Club Meetings