Monthly newsletter of the Georgia Beekeepers Association
Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman, Editors
Saturday, July 11, 2015
GBA Monthly Newsletter
Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman, Editors
Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman, Editors
Drone Congregation Area at Young Harris!
Taken by Janet Poe during Journeyman Prep Class. Young Harris, May 14, 2015
The President’s Message
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) honey production in the United States jumped up by 19% last year. These numbers are from honey producers with 5 or more colonies who actually participate in the reporting process. That equates to a total of 178 million pounds from 2.74 million colonies of bees. The average yield per colony was 65.1 pounds which is also up by 15% from 2013. Bulk honey prices rose as well in 2014 by 1% to 216.1 cents per pound.
These are really some “gee-whizz” numbers to mull about, but I know for a fact that not every beekeeper reports his/her production numbers. After reading the article with those numbers, I decided to call the office collecting the data to try to determine some accuracy. They admitted that this was the best they could do with what they had to work with. I read a report last year that America has a demand for over 500 million pounds of honey for all that we do with it. You can see on the store shelves more and more products containing honey: cereal, breads, peanut butter, etc. Booze too! It seems that a lot of whiskeys and bourbons are adding honey to their joy juice.
To fill the void, China and other countries are saturating our markets with their “Pure Honey.” And we all know that is not good. Their cheap honey drives down our prices and keeps us from even getting on the store shelves in some cases. Fortunately a lot of businesses are seeking local honey, but they need educating on what it really is. One store commodity guy I spoke with thought that getting honey from Maine or Iowa here in Georgia, was local honey. I tried to educate him, but I don’t think I got through. All of us have to help teach the public. Write articles in your local newspaper, magazines and appear on TV. Craft Fairs and Farmers Markets already attract the folks who are in the know, but we must keep it up.
For the past year or so, I have been receiving a request from the USDA inquiring about the status of bees, honey production, etc. I have been sending the inquiries down through the club presidents to send on out to the membership to respond. I don’t think many of you are responding. I hope that you do as those numbers finally wind up in the total. Remember, you are not reporting to the IRS, you are simply reporting to an office that gathers data. (I can’t imagine that two govt offices would actually talk to each other!) So please take the time to send in your report. If the USDA had more accurate numbers, maybe they could restrict/reduce the flow of bad honey into America. Let’s join together to protect our market by participating in these surveys.
President, Georgia Beekeepers Assn.
It is with great sadness that I must report that long-time beekeeper Billy Engle passed away on May 12, 2015.
Mr. Billy Engle was the owner of Rose Creek Honey Farm in The Rock, Georgia. He began keeping bees with his father as a small child. His father kept bees in gums and he taught Mr. Engle the basics of handling honeybees. Mr. Engle began his commercial beekeeping venture in the late 1980s as an alternative to traditional farming. Engle managed as many as 650 colonies in his beekeeping career and was a honey producer, a commercial pollinator, and a supplier of package honeybees, nucs and queens. Mr. Engle retired from commercial beekeeping in 2014, but still maintained a few colonies for his personal enjoyment up through the time of his passing.
Mr. Engle was a member of the Georgia State Beekeepers Association, Florida State Beekeepers Association, the Henry County Beekeepers, the Tara Beekeepers, the Potato Creek Beekeepers, the Heart of Georgia Bee Club and the American Honey Producers Association. Mr. Engle served in various positions of leadership in many of these organizations over his many years of beekeeping. He was one of the most sought after and highly regarded speakers on honeybees throughout Georgia and the Southeast.
Mr. Engle regularly made time at bee meetings to speak with and answer questions from fellow beekeepers. Mr. Engle’s keen insight and easy-going nature made him a favorite mentoring resource for generations of new beekeepers. To have spoken with him even once was all it took to understand why he had such an excellent reputation for generosity with his time and wisdom. The list of clubs, schools, community groups, and organizations he has visited and spoken to over the years advocating for the plight of the honeybee is exhaustive. He will be sorely missed by both us beekeepers and his honeybees.
From Brutz English
For club speaker ideas, GBA maintains a speaker list. If you would like to speak to clubs, click here to be added to the list. As a speaker, plan to know what your honorarium request will be if you are asked to speak. If you have invited speakers for your club, click here to read an article first published in Bee Culture about how to treat your speakers well.
Club News and Notes
Certified Beekeeper Level Test - (Pre Registration required by June 9th, 2015, Call Randy Rolen 423-304-2714 to register). No registration day of testing. Requirements: Must have beekeeping experience. Individuals should be familiar with the basic skills and knowledge necessary for the beginning hobby beekeeper.
- Must pass a written and practical test.
- The practical test includes being able to:
- describe the parts of a beehive;
- light and properly use a smoker;
- recognize the various stages of brood, different castes of bees, and find or at least describe the queen;
- differentiate between brood, pollen, capped honey;
- recognize propolis and describe its functions; and
- describe the layout of a brood nest, i.e., placement of honey, pollen and brood.
- The written test includes materials covered during Institute lectures and labs at Young Harris Beekeeping Institute, as well as outside readings.
Official text for the program is the 2007 edition of First Lessons in Beekeeping, Dadant & Sons.
Location - Chattooga County Agricultural Building, 32 Middle School Road, Summerville, GA 30747 (Just off Highway 100)
Saturday, June 13th
Hours - Check-in 8:30am to 9:00am
Practical Test* 9:00am to 12:00am
Written Test 12:00pm to 1:00pm
* - The Practical portion of the Certified Beekeeper Exam has two parts - each takes approximately 15 minutes:  an outdoor exam where you will demonstrate your skills lighting (and keeping lit) a smoker and working a beehive, and  an indoor exam where you will identify certain beekeeping tools & equipment
Coweta Beekeepers held a workshop on Sunday, May 17 with 48 members attending. The workshop was taught by Steve Page with sustainable beekeeping the subject of the day. Topics included hive inspections, making a split with a queen, notching to raise queens and making splits with queen cells. The method taught is simple and first year beekeepers can master queen rearing quite easily.
The attached photo is a frame with three queen cells three days after notching.
Forsyth Beekeepers Club is offering our annual queen rearing class on May 30th and any interested parties should contact Bill Dunn at 770-630-2743. We are also in the middle of our annual 2 day bee school. We have had our day in the classroom and on June 6th will have our day in the field with practical exercise in the hives. If you have missed this year then plan to join us next year.
Beekeepers of Gilmer County Club will be sponsoring a short course on “AZ Hive Management” in Ellijay, Ga., from 1pm until 6pm on June 21st, 2015.
Janko Bozic, Professor of Entomology at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and 30 year beekeeper will be our keynote speaker. The professor has been managing Langstroth and AZ hives for over 30 years and is also an expert on the Carniolan Bee.
There will be a $25.00 fee for the course, which will include: lunch, visits to 2 AZ hive locations in the area, AZ hive management manual and lectures. Fee will be waived for those that have purchased an AZ
Brian Drebbor has made a short “you tube” video explaining the basics of the hive. For further inquiries please contact: Mary Lou Blohm at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 706 636-1514.
Henry County Beekeepers Association
Virginia Webb spoke at the March meeting of the Henry County Beekeepers Association in support Minneapolis Minnesota's bid to bring Apimondia to the USA in 2019. Apimondia has not visited the USA since 1967! Minneapolis' 2019 bid is the USA's best shot to get the world-wide beekeepers meeting back on American soil for the first time in more than 50 years! This literally is a once in a life time opportunity! However, as with any undertaking of such magnitude, the issue of funding has become crucial. The committee organizing the Apimondia 2019 bid is in desperate need of financial support from the local beekeeping communities around the country. After hearing Virginia's presentation, the Henry County Beekeepers voted and chose to step up in support of Minneapolis' 2019 bid to the tune of $400.00! We at the Henry County Beekeepers Association would like to challenge our fellow clubs in Georgia to step forward with us and support the 2019 Apimondia bid! Let's bring Apimondia back to the USA!
MABA Jr. Beekeepers
June 7, 2015 Alpharetta
The children (ages 6-13*) are welcome to participate in a live beehive inspection, which includes "suiting up" with veil, bee suit, gloves, etc., a creative activity, watching a slideshow presentation about honey bees, helping with honey extraction, honey tasting, show and tell, etc. www.metroatlantabeekeepers.org/
TriCounty is having a field day in the hives. They have two Saturdays with which to work. The first date is Saturday June 6th. If it rains on the 6th, we will try to go INSTEAD on June 13. Our time to gather for this field trip will be 10:00 am. Everyone is welcome to stay as long as you want to; until everyone has asked all of their questions, gotten their hands sticky, smoked a whole pile of pine straw and groomed every bee.
We can visit, learn, laugh, inspect hives, and maybe have another really good time; whatever you guys and gals want to do. Maybe even learn what NOT to do.
There is plenty of room for you to bring your own pic-a-nic basket, or there is a Subway and a Shane’s Rib Shack just down the road in Jefferson.
PLEASE bring your veil, hive tool, smoker, gloves, and anything else you would use to work in your bee yard. Lawn chairs, or a picnic blanket might be wise, too.
The farm address is 2355 Ethridge Rd, Jefferson.
Remember if it rains, we will meet on Saturday, June 13th.
Helmut Albrecht up in a tree to catch a swarm! What IS he standing on???
2015 Young Harris –
UGA Beekeeping Institute Honey Show
Extracted Light Amber Honey
1st - Melissa Bondurant
Very Highly Commendable - Cory Momany
Highly Commendable – JM Sikes
Extracted Amber Honey
1st – Rodney Garner
2nd Roger Kicklighter
Commendable – JM Sikes
1st - Sean Massey
1st – Rodney Garner
Original Bee Related Photography
1st - Dan Long
2nd – Kim Bailey
3rd – Jim Moudry
1st – Michael Steinkampf
Best of Show
Rodney Garner – Mead
Michael Young Award – Most total Points
Rodney Garner – 1st Mead, 1st Ext. Amber Honey, BOS
Awarded Welsh Honey Judge Certification:
Rodney Garner and Randy Rolen.
“Give a beekeeper a queen and you sustain him for a year; teach a beekeeper to raise queens and you sustain him for a lifetime. “
Steven Page 2015
By now all you beekeepers that bought nucs this Spring should have ventured into your hives (I HOPE you have moved your bees from the nuc into a hive) and hopefully found your new marked queen. Gail Albrecht from Heart of GA found hers!
Photo: Rick Moore
If you attended the Spring Meeting, you may recall hearing that Smith State Prison in Glennville has a program teaching inmates to keep bees. For those who were not aware, here's a quick recap: Back in August my local club (Ogeechee Area Beekeepers) was asked to assist in developing a diploma or certification for the men who completed the program. Shortly thereafter Bear Kelley and Jennifer Berry got involved. The decision was made to allow these men to take the UGA certified beekeeper exam at Smith SP when they were ready.
On May 1st, Jennifer Berry and the Bee Lab team went to Glennville and administered the written and the practical exam to 11 inmate beekeepers, myself, and two members of the prison staff. Jennifer's team brought everything needed to proctor the exam; we used the prison hives in the hands-on portion of the exam. I'm pleased to say all 11 inmates, myself, and a prison staff member passed with flying colors and are now Certified Beekeepers.
Though the inmates did most of the work and training themselves, I am glad to have had a small part in it. When we think of working with inmates, our minds normally think of how unsafe it could be. My experience at Smith SP was very good. I never felt unsafe at any time. All the men seemed genuinely glad to see us and were very respectful and mannerly. The prison officials had a graduation celebration for the men after the test results were announced. You really could see a sense of pride and accomplishment on the faces of the graduates.
It is our hope that these newly certified beekeepers, upon release, will be able to enter back into society successfully and lead productive lives. A few of the men, whose sentences were almost up, told me that they planned to get out and start their own apiary.
So on behalf of the inmates, I want to say a big "Thank You" to Bear, Jennifer, and the Bee Lab team. Also, I want to thank Brushy Mountain for the equipment donation. The men are putting it to good use.
Whipmaker (and Certified Beekeeper)
A Big Swarm at a Big Site
by Gina Gallucci
Early on a hot clear Monday in May, I took a swarm call from Philip Agnetti, Sr. Safety Manager at the new Atlanta Falcons Stadium construction project. The temperature was rising fast and I live fairly close by, but honestly, I was excited to see this jobsite. My real job is construction recruiting, so although I talk with construction people all day long, I don't get to see projects in person.
Philip Agnetti met me outside this colossal project site, a joint venture with Holder Hunt Russell Moody. Philip was there to make sure all went well. He drove a extra-large golf cart type vehicle to get around the site. He helped me load my equipment in the truck bed of the cart and drove me into the site.
I had to sign in after which he issued me a VISITOR safety vest and hard hat in neon green! I put on my gear and we drove all the way around the site to the bees’ location. The project is not yet paved and full of all kinds of trucks, equipment, and staff coming and going. Many people are working on this enormous project.
Lots of people watched us pass. I imagine Philip doesn't usually open his week with someone wearing shorts and sneakers. I should have thought about my boots and long pants but I was worried about the swarm taking off as the day warmed up.
The project itself is a beehive of activity, all toward a unified goal. Philip showed me where different parts of the stadium would be and answered my questions as he drove. Finally he stopped. I was a bit surprised when he led me up a several flights of scaffolding stairs, where I could see through each step and could imagine falling through.
I said, "I forgot to mention I am afraid of heights," and Philip said, "Oh, are you?" Being a safety guy, he just kept on walking up the steps. We reached the top of what was be the main entry concourse, and he walked ahead, kicking bits of debris out of my path. The site was very clean and organized looking, with small piles of trash swept into piles. A few more steps and he said, “There they are.” I looked where he pointed and there they were alright, a large swarm, four feet off the ground, hanging from pieces of rebar which were piled into a wooden box.
I changed the vest and hard hat for my bee suit, veil and gloves. I set my pink sheet below the swarm, put the box on top of the sheet, and brushed them in. Over the next few minutes, I brushed the bees, moving the rebar a little to get most of them.
From several feet away across a portion of the floor which hadn't yet been poured, lots of construction workers were watching, taking pictures and waving hello. Mr. Gary Kimble, Superintendent with HHRM Self Perform, LLC., came close to tell me about growing up with bees and how his Granddad used cigar smoke on his bees. Gary knew exactly what I was doing when I waited for the bees to follow the Queen.
It didn't take long; I left some bees behind since we all had to get back to work. I changed back into my safety gear to travel. Philip and Gary helped pack up my gear, tape the box shut and then carried all my equipment back to the cart! They are true gentlemen, and friends of the bees.
The Atlanta Stadium Bees are now in Dunwoody and will help with beekeeping education for the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association. I am grateful for the opportunity to pick up the bees and to see this job site.
- Swarms - Got One and Didn't Get One
- by Rick Moore
- It's swarm season here in Middle Georgia.
- I was fortunate recently to receive the call about a swarm in an underground water-meter box, as you see in the first picture. It was the easiest capture you could imagine. I lifted the lid, and with a knife cut loose the comb, and scooped out the bees. After placing it in a nuc, I allowed the other bees to walk right in! Total time was less than an hour. Thank you!
But not all calls are that easy, as the second picture shows. I spoke with a man who told me he had a three year old hive in a tree that he did not want; hive or tree. I went and found a hole in the tree as he said, about three feet off the ground, but the opening was too small for me to reach into.
With a flashlight I could see the opening went down several feet and curved. The owner says now he is considering taking the tree down and will call me to come back if he does. I may get those bees yet!
Dear Aunt Bee,
I've learned there are three kinds of queen cells; swarm, supercedure and emergency.
The swarm queen cell hangs from the bottom of the frame, and the supercedure cell is built in the middle of the frame. Am I correct, the queen lays an egg when needed in each type of cell in anticipation of the need of the hive?
Now that brings me to the second question. Once the emergency queen cell is built in the middle of the frame, do the bees move an egg into that cell and then begin to create their new queen, or do they build the emergency queen cell around a cell that already contains an egg?
Thanks for clarifying this confusing point.
Still learning in Middle Georgia
Dear Still Learning,
Hopefully we all are (still learning, that is). In each kind of queen cell, the queen is “encouraged” to lay an egg so that her replacement can be raised. According to Malcolm Sanford in Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees:
Queen supercedure occurs when the queen is failing in some way. The bees construct a specialized queen cup on the face of the comb and the queen is encouraged to lay an egg in it. After the new queen emerges and mates, the old one is eliminated. Queen supercedure creates a break in the brood cycle, thus lowering potential population growth. (p. 143)
In another source, the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping says that the bees know within minutes if their queen is disabled or missing. In that event, the workers make a queen from a larvae less than three days old. If they can confine the disabled queen to one section of the hive, they will make the emergency queen in another section where her presence is less evident
The process above is also what the bees do when the beekeeper provides a queenless hive with a frame of eggs and young brood to support their making a new queen. While the supercedure queen cell is generally in the center of the frame and swarm queen cells are usually on the bottom of the frame, an emergency queen cell will be located wherever the bees can find a good larvae under three days old.
There’s always more to learn!
Your Aunt Bee
(Thanks to Rick Moore for submitting this question )
Thanks to Melissa Bondurant (and others) for sharing this with us: National Geographic has a video of bee metamorphosis from egg to adult. It's very interesting and even shows a varroa feeding on a pupa.
Thanks to Christine Farhnbauer for sharing this piece about bee decision making.
Thanks to Gina Gallucci for sharing this about a monk who keeps bees.
And our own Bear Kelley was interviewed for this article about the deaths of bees.
And Linda Tillman was interviewed about honey and allergies for this piece on WABE.
When Gail Albrecht (Heart of GA Beekeepers) opened one of her hives, she was surprised to find stuck to the underside of the inner cover, a whole row of drone brood neatly lined up across the tops of a frame. A quick texted picture to Heart of GA President Tim Smith confirmed they were indeed drone brood and not bad guys.
Earth Day at Warner Robins
Heart of Georgia Beekeepers were invited to participate in Earth Day at the Warner Robins Nature Center in Warner Robins, Georgia on Saturday, May 2nd. The Center, having just installed an observation hive, asked our club for volunteers to explain the observation hive and speak to the patrons about beekeeping in general. Ed Deming, Broadus Williams and Rick Moore provided amusing anecdotes, information and instructed and entertained all who came to the greenhouse to see the observation hive. Ed even let the youngsters sample his honey!
To Fight Bee Decline, Obama Proposes More Land to Feed Bees
A/P May 19, 2015 WASHINGTON — The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better. A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.
While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move. They say it may help pollinators that are starving because so much of the American landscape has been converted to lawns and corn that don't provide foraging areas for bees.
"Here, we can do a lot for bees, and other pollinators," University of Maryland entomology professor Dennis van Englesdorp, who led the federal bee study that found last year's large loss. "This I think is something to get excited and hopeful about. There is really only one hope for bees and it's to make sure they spend a good part of the year in safe healthy environments. The apparent scarcity of these areas is what's worrying. This could change that."
The report talks of a fine line between the need for pesticides to help agriculture and the harm they can do to bees and other pollinators. Lessening "the effects of pesticides on bees is a priority for the federal government, as both bee pollination and insect control are essential to the success of agriculture," the report said. The administration proposes spending $82.5 million on honeybee research in the upcoming budget year, up $34 million from now.
To read the entire article: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/05/19/science/ap-us-sci-bee-plan.html?_r=0
I got a call this last weekend about bee activity on the front of someone’s house. After seeing where they were going into the house, I went inside to determine if they were in the floor joist or in the wall. Used my Flir Infra-red camera and saw they were in the joist between the first and second floor. I used a Bushkill Bee-Vac to remove them. I was not able to spot the queen.
I sealed up the entrance and took the bees outside, placing them near where they were entering the house. Foragers were returning and massing on the outside of the house. Left the hive there until dark, by then all the foragers had made their way to their new hive. Closed everything up and took them to their new home. I will put a frame of eggs and larva from one of my other hives in this weekend, just in case I injured or killed the queen during the process, so they can raise a new one.
photos and article by Roy Blackwell
Note: Gretchen was one of our speakers at the GBA Spring meeting. My sunflowers aren’t blooming yet, but if yours are, sign up and be counted!
Presidential Task Force report and the Sunflower Project
The White House wants to save the bees. The Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators produced by the Pollinator Health Task Force is an important guide to what the country needs to discover to support our pollinators and you can help it succeed. The Great Sunflower Project data that you are gathering will play an important role in answering these questions. The task force identified “investigating large-scale (transnational and nationwide) and small-scale (landscape-level) relations between plant and pollinator distributions will help determine where specific plant species are appropriate, and elucidate which species are “broad-spectrum” (appropriate in many locations and contexts and for many pollinators) and “specialist” (appropriate to support one or a few obligate pollinators)” as a critical research need. This is exactly what we are doing with our Pollinator Friendly Plants Program. This year, we are focusing our converting our Great Pollinator Count Day to coincide with Pollinator Week and calling it the Great Pollinator Count week. This year, we need you to do a pollinator count on as many different kinds of plants as possible. Five minutes per plant is all that you need to do. Identify the plant to the best of your ability, the more specific the better. This information will help us determine where different plant species are appropriate and which pollinators they support.
So, mark your calendars to count June 15 - 21, 2015 for Great Pollinator Count Week! We will be sending our top ten contributors a pack of bumble bee cards as a thank you!
Next week, I am going to send another newsletter with updates on Colony Collapse Disorder, neonicotinoid pesticides and honey bees from a conference I just attended. It is important stuff!
The Queen Bee
Some wisdom from Dr. Tom Webster, expert on nosema and professor
at KY State U, who has recently spoken in several meetings in Georgia
“Bees who die from nosema die because they can’t take nutrition into their bodies.”
“If my bees had nosema, I would do nothing.”
“Heat kills nosema and other microbes. Cold holds microbes in suspension until the temperature rises.”
“Bees prefer water which reflects light. They also prefer
salt water over chlorinated water.”
As wax comb ages, it becomes darker and more brittle. It also can harbor contaminates such as pesticides, fungal and bacterial diseases along with heavy metals which is why we need to replace brood combs every 3-5 years
Buttermilk-and-Honey Chicken Kabobs
A buttermilk marinade ensures tender meat and juicy flavor. The kabobs are delicious on their own, but even better with Toasted Pecan Pesto or Romesco Sauce.
- Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 small sweet onion, grated
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 pounds skinned and boned chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 10 (6-inch) wooden or metal skewers
- Vegetable cooking spray
- Grilled lemon halves
- Toasted Pecan Pesto or
- Romesco Sauce
1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth; whisk in buttermilk, next 3 ingredients, and 2 tsp. salt until blended.
2. Place buttermilk mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal and chill 3 hours.
3. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water 30 minutes. (Omit if using metal skewers.)
4. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers, leaving a 1/8-inch space between pieces; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.
5. Grill kabobs, covered with grill lid, 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Serve with lemon halves and Toasted Pecan Pesto or Romesco Sauce.
THE FINAL BUZZ
We hope you are all enjoying seeing what all the beekeepers and clubs are doing around great state of Georgia. We are loving seeing this sharing evolve. Please keep your info coming and remember that we need your articles and photos before we put the next issue to bed. Deadline for the July issue is Wed. the 24th at midnight.
If you know someone who is a beekeeper and isn’t a GBA member, share this newsletter with them and encourage them to join ($15 individual, $25 family).
Gina and Linda
Posted by Linda T at 2:09 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2015
GBA Monthly Newsletter
Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman, Editors
We request club meeting information from all Georgia clubs each month. If you don’t see your club here, we did not get a response to our request. Consider volunteering to be the person who sends in program information for your club.
2. Prove that a hive contains two laying queens
Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman, Editors
Julia Mahood took this photo and wrote: I caught a swarm on Sunday--my favorite way to spend a beautiful spring afternoon. The bees were so kind and calm. They were patient as we drove to their new home and patient as they were poured into their new digs. I slid the cover over most of the top, but left an inch or two open so that the still-flying girls could find their way in. I was so relieved to see this line of workers on the edge, tipping their abdomens up high and fanning their wings to distribute the scent from their nasanov glands, telling their sisters “Head this way, our Queen is in here!”
The President's Message: Let’s all join the Bee Team!
Illustrated above is a hexagon just as our wonderful Honey Bees would construct. They figured out that the six sides are necessary to create a strong voluminous cell to protect their young and store their very valuable food supplies. My illustration shows that we beekeepers need to be concerned about all six sides as well. Many beekeepers start with local club involvement, finding a mentor, and gaining personal education about bees. Just those three facets of learning can help one become somewhat successful as a beekeeper who endeavors to keep and manage honey bees.
But to create a stronger “knowledge” cell, you need both to continue on to education toward certification levels as well as involvement in state and national organizations. The UGA Young Harris program provides classes to allow you to move through levels of certification. In the past, when our grandfathers kept bees, life was so much simpler. Farming chemicals did not exist as they do now; hive beetles and varroa mites weren’t any problem at all; and we were not worried about Africanized bees and all the other stuff that is on our plates today. So going to Young Harris and listening to Jennifer Berry, et al. discuss the current treatment methods and biology of the bees we love so much is what may save you from losing everything you have invested. Whether you keep bees naturally or use treatment chemicals occasionally, at Young Harris you can learn both sides of success. The Young Harris program has also had many naturalists, like Master Beekeepers Linda Tillman and Keith Fielder, speaking on the environment necessary for bees and honey production.
Being involved with the Georgia Beekeepers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation is important as well. At the state level, we have almost 3,000 beekeepers and through the state organization, you have a chance to meet others who know what problems you are experiencing and who may have already found a solution. Our state gatherings in the spring and fall bring in nationally known speakers, make available various equipment vendors, and give you a chance to compete in the state honey competition. The American Beekeeping Federation provides much of the same, but multiplies it by 50! They bring speakers from all over the world of beekeeping and their equipment shows are the best in the business. Each of the state and national organizations keeps us apprised of the progress of the Africanized bee movement, the spreading of diseases and status of chemical use that harms bees in our environment. You certainly leave those meetings feeling a bit overwhelmed with new information about the bee world.
In summary, the six sided cell is necessary to give you strength and provide you with a voluminous education. So, I want to encourage you to expand your education and knowledge by getting involved in all aspects of the Bee Team!
President, Georgia Beekeepers Association
Jennifer Leavey’s students captured a swarm. She writes: Here is a swarm we captured from the trunk of a cherry laurel (?) right outside the Starbucks in the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons at Georgia Tech. The process drew a lot of attention!
For club speaker ideas, GBA maintains a speaker list. If you would like to speak to clubs, click here to be added to the list. As a speaker, plan to know what your honorarium request will be if you are asked to speak. If you have invited speakers for your club, click here to read an article first published in Bee Culture about how to treat your speakers well.UpcomingClubActivitiesMay2015 _1_.pdf by Linda Tillman
Club News and Notes
Lake Country Beekeepers
At the March and April meetings, the Lake Country Beekeepers Association in Sparta, Georgia hosted two popular Georgia beekeepers: Mr. Slade Jarrett of Jarrett Bees, and Mrs. Virginia Webb of Mtn Honey. Mr Jarrett presented a program on Spring Buildup and Management. In early spring, the bees consume a lot of honey as they build up the number of worker bees. This is the time of year when bees will starve and it is very common to find dead bees. It is important to feed sugar water (1:1 ratio) and to keep feeders filled until the nectar flow starts. He discussed checking the hives for brood, pollen and potential swarming. It’s a good practice to split hives but make sure the hive is good and strong. Bees are stronger and more effective in number. To be a successful beekeeper “think and plan ahead on bee time.”
Members who attended the April meeting were treated to a two for one talk as Mrs. Webb shared her enthusiasm for both Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association and Talking to Kids about Honey Bees. The Apimondia Congress is a world wide beekeeping group that gathers once every other year. Last time Apimondia met in the USA was 1967. The USA is making an Olympics type bid against Canada and possibly Brazil for the location for August 2019 with a proposed meeting site in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference is five full days, like our state meeting on steroids, with 600 programs, hands-on opportunities with 5000 hives, scientific presentations, lectures, the World Honey Show, the Honey Queen and 300-400 trade companies in attendance. Check out Apimondia on Facebook.
Virginia Webb is a third generation beekeeper and an ambassador for the beekeeping world. She and her husband, Carl, operate Mtn Honey in Habersham GA. She has visited countless schools and similar organizations to share her knowledge of the bee world. Her teaching philosophy is all about hands-on and involving the audience. She advises not giving honey samples or honey straws in classroom settings due to potential mess honey can create on floors and on the bus. Virginia enjoys sharing the life and important of bees in our world, and encourages every beekeeper to speak to local groups, especially young audiences.
Lake Country Beekeepers Association Members - The Courson Family: Raymond & Maryleen and their sons, Raymond III and Brent
The Lake Country Beekeepers Association is a 60 member club. Beekeepers and folks interested in learning how to keep bees gather monthly to learn and share ideas. The club meets the 3rd Monday of each month at the Hancock County Extension. Visit us on Facebook or contact Bruce Morgan of Morgan Apiaries at 478.357.4029 for further information. Come join us on May 18th at 7:00 p.m. when our guest speaker will be Steve Page of Coweta Honey.
The Chattooga Beekeepersparticipated in the Ag Day sponsored by the Chattooga Young Farmers. The event hosted approximately 300 students attending from each of the schools in the county. The beekeepers for this day were Randy and Carolyn Rolen and Sophia Price.
Lake Hartwell Beekeepers
Got a call from a local farmer, he began to explain he heard what he thought was a plane coming over. As it turns out, it was their first experience with a swarm. The bees landed near their house in a small peach tree.
They told us that the swarm was about 6 ft. off the ground but by the time we got there the small branch was hanging so low from the weight of the bees they were touching the ground.
We proceeded to lift the limb enough to get a sheet under them, sat our brood box up close and with a little encouragement they slowly checked out their potential new home. A beautiful swarm, we saw the queen when she went in and man, the march of the bees really kicked into high gear to get in there with her.
Randall & Shairon Kerlin
Lake Hartwell Junior Beekeeping Class is offered on Thursday, May 7 at 7 PM at First Baptist Church of Lavonia with Chad and Michele Whitworth
Heart of Georgia Beekeepers
receiving a trailer load of nucs on an early April night.
Metro Atlanta Beekeepers
hive inspection at Blue Heron Nature Preserve. We added a super and checked brood patterns and Queens cells.
Nice 4 hour old swarm, very docile. They were thrilled to cover drawn honeycomb. Weird they were on the ground. by Sam Alston
These three photos (above) were taken by Rick Moore. This swarm was captured near Hawkinsville, GA in early April, 2015. It was large enough to fill a ten frame hive. By using a bee vac, the entire swarm was gently moved from the tree into a brood box in six minutes.
A Few Good Uses for the Queen Excluder
by Linda Tillman
In a tree there is no queen excluder. In the wild, the queen is free to wander in the comb and lay where she’d like. The queen excluder was developed for the convenience of the beekeeper. During honey harvest, the queen excluder ensures the beekeeper that he/she could remove the honey supers without taking the queen. For the commercial beekeeper, this creates an efficient honey harvest.
With less hives than a commercial outfit, you can employ an unlimited broodnest for the better functioning of the hives. When you remove frames for harvest, shake or brush the bees off.
The beginner kits I bought when I started beekeeping each came with a queen excluder so I own two queen excluders. Although I don’t use the queen excluder in my hive, I have found several good uses for it in beekeeping.
1. Swarm includer
When hiving a swarm, putting a queen “includer” under the bottom box of the hive, just above the hive entrance, will keep a swarm from leaving because the queen can’t go with them. Remove the “includer” after a night or two (in case the queen in your swarm is a virgin queen and needs to get out to mate). This suggestion came from Julia Mahood while I was panicking about possibly losing a swarm.
2. Prove that a hive contains two laying queens
Once I thought I had two queens laying in my hive at the same time. Eggs and brood were in the bottom box, the second box was solid capped honey, and the third box held another box of eggs and brood.
I posted about it on Beemaster Forum. The forum members suggested that I put a queen excluder between the two boxes and leave them for a week. At the end of that time, if there were new eggs in both the top box and the lower box, then I had two laying queens. I did, and there were indeed two laying queens in the hive.
3. Ensure that you don't take the queen by accident when making a split.
Take the frames you want for the split out of the hive and shake or brush every single bee off of them. Including a couple of frames of brood and eggs provides resources for a new queen.
Put the queen excluder on top of the brood box.
Above the queen excluder, put an empty hive box. Fill it with the five bee-free frames you have pulled. Don't put any other frames in that box. On top of that box put the inner cover, the top cover, and leave the hive for the night.
The next day, the brood frames should be covered with nurse bees who have come up to keep the brood and eggs warm. You can move these five frames into their own box with no fear that you have accidentally taken the queen. Simple nuc, simply made.
4. The perfect drain rack for cut comb honey
The spaces between the queen excluder wires are small and close together to keep the queen from pushing her enlarged abdomen through. If you put cut comb honey sections on a cake cooling rack with wires far apart, indentations are made in the honeycomb. If you want your cut comb honey to be show quality, it should not have wire marks in it. Your queen excluder will solve this potential problem!
The applicable physical principle is Pressure = Force/Area. The force is the weight of the honeycomb. More wires in the queen excluder increases the area. Thus the pressure is less with the queen excluder and does not mark the comb.
So these are four ways to use the queen excluder.
How do you repurpose this device?
Science Daily article about bees being hooked on pesticide nectar
- Near Unadilla, GA are hundreds of beeyards filled with many overwintered hives and nucs. Here the hives are being inspected, nucs are being created and getting ready to ship. Photos by Ricky Moore.
Dianna Tribble’s Honey Lavender No-Bake Cheesecake
This award winning cheesecake requires no baking!
1/4 cup boiling water
5 tablespoons dried lavender flowers, divided
8 Shortbread Cookies (see recipe), finely crumbled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Mint, for garnish
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over 3 tablespoons lavender flowers. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Strain water and discard lavender. Set water aside.
Crush and finely chop remaining 2 tablespoons lavender flowers. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon chopped lavender, cookie crumbs and butter. Press mixture into bottom of a greased
9-inch springform pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Combine remaining tablespoon chopped lavender with granulated sugar. If you like, use food coloring to tint the sugar purple. Cover and set aside.
When ready to fill the pie, in the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and honey until smooth.
Whip cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese filling. Spoon over prepared crust, cover and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen. Remove sides from pan and put pie on a serving plate. Sprinkle with reserved lavender sugar and garnish with mint, if desired. Serves: 12
— Adapted from a recipe in “Tribble Farms Cookbook” by Dianna Tribble
Gardening for you and your Bees
by Gina Gallucci
You will enjoy watching your bees work by having their favorites plants nearby. Bees love native wildflowers, flowering herbs, berries and many flowering fruits and vegetables. Here in Georgia, a few you should consider include varieties of mint, basil, sage, thyme, borage, oregano, lavender, chives, buckwheat, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cucumbers, tomato, squash, pumpkins, melons, crocus, snowdrops, jonquils, tulips, sunflowers, asters, dandelions, clovers, lilacs, wisteria, cosmos, black-eyed susans, gaillardia, goldenrod, bachelor’s buttons, anise hyssop, bee balm, sedum, peony and honeysuckle. If you have the space, planting any type of fruit tree is perfect and trees such as maple, willow, black locust and sumac are also good food sources for bees.
For a guide to SouthEast plantings for pollinators, click here.
Dear Aunt Bee,
Is it okay to add food coloring to the sugar water on my top feeder so I can more easily see when it needs to be refilled? And how long should I feed a nuc that I just made from an established hive?
Inquisitive but learning
Adding food coloring to sugar water being fed to bees is a great idea. First, as you noted, you can more easily see when it needs to be refilled. More importantly, if you color the sugar water and that syrup ends up in your honey, the food color will show up as well so use colors like blue or green or purple so that if your honey is tinted blue, green or purple, you will know there is sugar syrup in it.
Feeding your bees during nectar collection pretty much guarantees that your honey will contain sugar syrup. You should mark the boxes that are on the hive when/if you are feeding so that you will not take honey from those boxes. That still does not guarantee that sugar syrup will not be in your honey because the bees move stuff around in the hive all the time.
If you made a proper nuc from an established hive, you should have given the nuc a couple of frames of brood and eggs, a frame of pollen and a frame of honey. That honey should be enough to give them a start and that nuc should not need feeding here in the early spring. So I would encourage you to stop feeding now, if you haven’t already. My bees have been bringing in some nectar since the middle of March - maybe even earlier where you are, if you are in a warmer part of the state.
Bees that do need feeding in early spring are package installations. Those bees didn’t know to engorge on honey because they didn’t know they were being shaken into a package. Even those bees only need to be fed a week or two because with the nectar flow, they won’t need the syrup. I got two packages this year and only fed them 1 pint of syrup each because they started bringing in nectar and quit taking the syrup.
Your Aunt Bee
Yes, it’s been a while since we had a survey. We would love to get more responses on our one question survey. Our most recent survey in January asked: Do you remove wax and propolis from your frames and hive boxes for winter storage?
Of the twenty of you who responded, here’s what we found:
Yes, I scrape them: 13 of you
Yes, I clean them with hot water: 3 of you
No, I take my chances: 3 of you
No, I like to feed my wax moths: 1 of you
Now, wasn’t that a fun question? We’d love to hear from all over 300 of you to whom this newsletter gets sent….
This month’s question is………….
Click here to read the question and answer the one question survey.
The Final Buzz
Our newsletter this month is especially colorful because of all your photos! Don’t be shy about sending whatever you can. We want to have representation from all around Georgia.
Please also know we are accepting your info for honeybee related ads for the our Spilling’ the Honey newsletter eagerly read throughout the southeast. If you or your company would like to purchase ad space in the GBA Newsletter, click here.
Gina and Linda
Posted by Linda T at 11:38 PM
Friday, March 6, 2015
Editors: Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman
Dr. Margo Wimbish
Note to club program planners: we are in the ongoing process of creating a list of speakers all around the state who might be good for programs for your clubs. You can access the list here.
Spring Meeting 2015 - It was great and if you didn’t come, you were missed and we hope you come to the fall meeting in Milledgeville. Photos by Bill Owens, Gina Gallucci, and Linda Tillman. To see a slide show of these and more photos from the meeting, click here.
The President’s Message
I can’t begin to tell you all how pleased I was at the Lake Blackshear Resort with our Spring Meeting in February. We had a record turnout of members and new members. I believe it was in the neighborhood of 260 people. P.N. Williams said that was the most in 30 years. We were originally planning for around 140, but the writing was on the wall a week before with 153 pre-registered.
The high number means we had a heck of a lot of walk ups. In the future, we plan to keep registration open longer to increase the possibility of preregistration. Everyone who preregisters helps us ensure that we have enough programs, handouts, and lunches for the attendees. While we love welcoming those of you who register at the door, planning for the meeting works out better if you take a moment to preregister. The staff at the Resort handled it well and somehow produced the extra meals at a moment’s notice. I apologize if we had standing room only in some of the breakouts. If you were there, you know we shifted folks around a bit to accommodate the more popular speakers.
I reported at the Board meeting that as of two years ago, GBA had less than 180 members with 22 affiliated clubs; and as of the board meeting this year (13 Feb 2015) we had more than 425 memberships and 35 affiliated clubs. If my count is correct, we actually have 563 members (counting family members) now. That’s tremendous! This is your organization and I am so glad you are coming out to give support. Your participation is the reason we can have good speakers, great facilities and a wonderful event. Thank you from all of your officers and the event committee. We are glad that the work going into these meetings is appreciated.
At the Board meeting, we presented two new charters to recently established clubs. Those were the Altamaha Beekeepers with Holly Neilsen as president and the Beekeepers of Gilmer County, led by John Tackett. Andy Bailey, our GBA secretary, actually prepared “Charters” printed on parchment paper. They were quite popular and many of the club presidents there expressed their desire to have one for their club. So, if you know your “Charter date,” send an email to Andy: email@example.com with the appropriate info and we will prepare them for you and mail them back as we get them.
We also approved multiple year memberships at the Board meeting. Now when you pay your membership dues, you may pay for one, three or five years at once. There will be no monetary savings (since our dues are so cheap already), but it means that our staff will not have to work as hard in getting everyone to re-up every year, and you will not have to worry about it as well.
I want to thank the club presidents who attended the Presidential Breakfast. We had a great turnout and I felt that we were able to get to know each other better. Dr. Wimbish discussed the Junior Beekeeping program and Regina Robuck talked up the American Beekeeping Federation. We also discussed how to get bulk sugar, getting bees through the winter stronger and other topics. The local club presidents went away with a list of potential speakers to help them with their program planning.
We have already started working on the fall meeting to be held in Milledgeville in September. We were so happy to see so many of you at the spring meeting. Now all of you come back in the fall, enter the big honey show and bring a beekeeping friend with you. We want our numbers to keep going up.
Finally I want to say thank you to Linda Tillman and Julia Mahood. Their hard work and professionalism gave us this wonderful event.
President, Georgia Beekeepers Assn.
Lake Blackshear Meeting Highlights
To learn more about Gretchen Lebuhn and the Great Sunflower Project, click here. On that web page, you can register for the project and find out lots about bees of many kinds.
To learn more about Jennifer Leavey’s work with bees at Georgia Tech, click here.
To find out about Erin Forbes’ SARE grant, click here.
Web Site Auction
Every year at the February meeting, we
hold an auction for advertising space on the GBA website. To see how advertising looks on
the website, click here and look to the right side
of the page.
This year the winners were:
Bill Owens (Georgia Bee Removal): $1500
Ray Civitts (Mountain Sweet Honey): $800
Slade Jarrett (Jarrett Apiaries) $400
Higgins Apiaries $400
Every year four ads are sold and every year, the winners grow business from contacts made through the GBA website ads. This year GBA took in $3100 and this benefits all of us as members.
Next year at the February meeting, plan to bid
for your business to have one of the four
spots. It pays off - just ask Bill Owens
(who wins the top spot every year)!
A few quotes from our speakers:
"Super Sisters are two Queens in one hive which are both offspring of the same Queen and the same drone."
"Cutting queen cells as a way to prevent swarming is a little like using the rhythm method for human birth control." Erin Forbes
"The next month is a critical time for your bees in terms of food. Populations are increasing hence food stores are decreasing. Check in on them now to make sure they have enough food until the nectar flow begins which is still over a month away. " Jennifer Berry
"A good Queen cell is pocked and looks like a morel mushroom on the outside; typically a smooth Queen cell doesn't make a good Queen." Cindy Bee
GBA President, Bear Kelley, presents a new club charter to Holly Nielson for the Altamaha Beekeepers. Your club, even well-established, can get a charter (suitable for framing) by sending in your charter date to Andy Bailey, GBA Secretary.
The Spring GBA meeting was “buzzing” with news of upcoming youth events across the state! Tara Beekeepers are planning a half day spring youth event at Reynolds Preserve in Marchth (Contact Buster and Fran Lane). Coweta beekeepers continue their commitment to youth education through a relationship with local 4-H club members (contact Steve Page). The Oatland Island Wildlife Center and the Coastal Empire Beekeepers (contact Gregory Stewart) are also investing in youth education through workshops and an ongoing commitment to honey bee preservation outreach.
For our older youth, great things are happening in honey bee education statewide at Georgia Tech (Dr. Jennifer Leavey), University of Georgia (Jennifer Berry), Georgia Southern (Statesboro Beekeeping Association), and at Middle Georgia State College (Dr. Gloria Huddleston).
A few tips for planning youth focused educational events:
· Limit activities to thirty minutes or less (like many of us, children’s attention spans are limited).
· Alternate lecture and seated activities with activities including movement and play.
· Provide fun low-cost prizes (http://www.orientaltrading.com).
· Have an alternate-filler activity planned (You never know what can happen and it is best to over plan for youth events).
· Visit the following sites for great activities! (http://honey.glorybee.com/sites/default/files/HoneyFilesWeb.pdf , https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/4H/4-H-571-W.pdf , http://ipm.ncsu.edu/4-H/Beekeeping%20Projects%20K-3.pdf )
· Safety comes first. Make sure your site and all activities are safe for designated age groups. (Have a basic first aid kit on hand – Band-Aids, even when not needed, make everything feel better!)
· Have fun! Remember youth are the future of beekeeping and you are planting the seed for honey bee research and preservation!
GBA offers funds to support youth education programs! If your club is interested in hosting youth activities and are in need of program ideas, games, activities, or planning support please call or e-mail. I look forward to presentations at the Tara, Henry County, and Griffin Clubs!
by Ricky Moore
As an experiment I placed granulated sugar on a tissue paper atop the frames in a hive, just to see if the bees would take the granulated sugar. I'd seen it on YouTube as a means of emergency feeding.
Winter was just starting and the bees were slow to acknowledge and accept the sugar, partly because I continued to front feed also. Early in January the bees discovered the sugar and from the photo you can see, are really going to town on it.
In about six weeks, they have consumed over three pounds of granulated sugar. This will not be my first choice for feeding, but I'll always keep it in the back of my mind as another possible way to feed the bees in winter.
Note to club program planners: we are in the ongoing process of creating a list of speakers all around the state who might be good for programs for your clubs. You can access the list here.
Club News and Notes
Coweta Beekeepers Introduction to Beekeeping class
January 24, 2015
The Coweta Beekeepers had 47 students in attendance at the annual Introduction to Beekeeping class on January 24, 2015. Since the class, the students have participated in two workshops. The first workshop taught equipment assembly and the second workshop taught nectar management. Workshops will continue each month thru June.
Lake Hartwell Beekeepers Go on a Field Trip
by Shairon Kerlin
by Shairon Kerlin
Lake Hartwell Beekeepers for our February meeting took a field trip to Bob Binnie's new store, Blue Ridge Honey Co. in Lakemont, GA. Bob, his wife Suzette, and his entire staff were great! The retail portion is beautiful with a great variety of products and bee supplies on display with smiling faces greeting you as you arrive.
Bob took the opportunity to begin our tour in that area with a bit of history including past, present, and even future plans. They are in their nearing final stages of the total operation but we couldn't tell it. It was really impressive.
We continued through his bottling, packaging and labeling area, as well as extracting, and storage. They really dazzled us with their foot work. For the finale they served us lunch where Bob joined us while sharing even more and a really good Q & A session with the group.
The club members really enjoyed themselves. Give your club a treat and if you are within a reasonable radius of their store, give them a call and set up a tour. Makes for a great field trip and really a nice day for all.
The Flow Hive: An Interview with Michael Bush
by Linda Tillman
The newly invented Flow Hive has been all over the Internet in recent weeks. You’ve seen the photos on Facebook pages. Two Australian developers created a hive box that allows honey to be harvested without opening the hive. The photos often show a hive with an open tube pouring honey into an open jar. While it seems convenient for honey harvesting, using this hive box might prevent people from being good keepers of their bees (not taking the time/effort to inspect these hives).
Michael Bush, a nationally known Nebraska beekeeper and author who will be one of our keynote speakers at the Fall GBA Meeting, was one of the beekeepers asked to try this configuration. He said the inventors sent him some of these frames to try. I asked Michael some of the honey harvest questions that were bothering me:
The open honey container in Atlanta would draw bees in a second and seems a poor plan.
There is no reason to have an open honey container under the tap. I have a tube running from mine through a hole just big enough for the tube in a five gallon bucket lid. I can't imagine why I would do it any other way. It's no more inconvenient and it assures no bees drowning in the honey.
In Hotlanta during summer, the hot temperatures would always encourage the honey to flow easily out of the hive. What would happen in colder places?
The honey tends to be at least 93 F anytime the weather is not outright cold and it flows very nicely at 93 F. I don't have heather or other kinds of thixotropic honey, so I don't know how they would work, but these frames might even work better than trying to extract, as often just moving them makes them thinner and the way the device works it shifts half the cell walls a half of a cell down which would stir (move) the honey causing it to flow better. But with my honey this Flow Hive system drained in just a few minutes (like 3 to 5 minutes). It's really amazing to watch.
Would honey leak into the hive, making problems for the bees?
The caps are not even broken. There is no honey flowing into the hive. This is accomplished by having half of the cells’ mouths protruding more. The bees draw out the other half with wax to match the protruding ones and when you break the cells open, virtually all the caps stay intact.
And how could you be sure without a queen excluder that you would not be crushing brood? My queen sometimes lays up in the honey boxes.
The cells are too deep for the queen to lay in and they are an odd diameter so she wouldn't like laying in them even if they were shallow enough. They are too small for drone brood and too large for worker brood and too deep for either. There is actually no reason at all for anyone to use an excluder with these Flow Hive frames.
I am curious about what made you confident enough to endorse this, if you did.
The makers sent me a box of them to test. I've seen the Flow Hive work. It is mind blowing... really. They have worked out all of the honey harvest details. I can only imagine two POSSIBLE issues which I have not encountered. One is IF the honey crystallized it might be a bit of effort. With this (flow hive) I would harvest early and often, so it's doubtful it would be crystallized. The second POSSIBLE issue would be that I can't know how it will hold up over time. I haven't heard a final price, but I assume it will be pricey. It will take a few years to know the answer to how well it will age, but it seems well built.
Speaking of the GBA Fall Meeting, mark your calendars
NOW to be in
Milledgeville, GA on September 18 - 19, 2015
for another fabulous GBA meeting, filled with good speakers, good breakouts, good cheer.
The Heart of Georgia Beekeepers will present a FREE “Introduction to Beekeeping Class” on March 21, 2015 at the Camp John Hope FFA-FCCLA Center 281 Hope Entrance Rd. Fort Valley, GA 31030. This class is designed for people who are interested in starting beekeeping, those who are just interested in beekeeping, or in gardening. The morning session will be in Classroom from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. Lunch will be at 12:00.The afternoon session will be from 1:00 PM until midafternoon (4:00 PM) at a nearby bee yard where students will open bee hives, identify bees, learn the parts of a hive, and see the bees at work. We will have protective gloves, veils, and suits for the
students. The class is open to all ages.
If you are interested in participating in the class, please take a moment to register through this link.
Please make sure you register EVERY person that will be attending the class so we will have a record of EACH person. We will be having a lunch during the break at the cost of $8.00 per person. If you are interested in the luncheon, please make sure you select lunch when you register for the class.
At the GBA February meeting in Lake Blackshear, Erin Forbes encouraged us to apply for grants in both her keynote speech and in her breakout. Here are two opportunities to apply for money to study your bees:
1. The 2015 USDA/AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program has been announced; please see attached. Application requirements are available on the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s website at http://agr.georgia.gov/grants.aspx.
Project Proposals are due to my office via email by Friday, April 17, at 4:30 p.m. No late proposals will be accepted. Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you!
Jeanne Maxwell, Esq.
Director of Grants Development & Compliance
2. 3rd Annual Bayer Leadership Award Honors Innovations in the Beekeeping Community
Bayer CropScience is seeking nominations for its third annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award. The award provides a $5,000 grant to the winner to be used in support of a community beekeeping project.
To obtain an application, go to www.pollinatorweek.bayer.com. The deadline for submission is April 3, 2015.
The 2014 winner, Herbert Everhart of Kearneysville, WVA, created a beekeeping programs for veterans and youth in his community to introduce and educate on all aspects of beekeeping.
North East Georgia Mountain Beekeepers Association
is offering a beekeeping short course at the Elachee Nature Center, 2125 Elachee Drive Gainesville, Georgia, on Saturday, March 7th – Full Day Class Room Program. This class has been rescheduled from Saturday, February 21st.
Some of the speakers include: Paul Arnold, Bobby Chaisson, Slade Jarrett, Ray Civitts, Carl Webb, Keith Fielder, Bill Owens.
Registration Includes: Full Day Class Room Program-February 21st, Half Day in the Beeyard-March 14th, Family Membership in NE GA Mtn. Beekeepers Club, First Lessons in Beekeeping Book - One Book Per Family, Door Prizes, & Lunch - Provided.
$45 – Individual
$60 – Couple
$5 Each Additional Person in Same Family (covers cost of lunch)
Class Limited to 100
Call Slade Jarrett – 706-677-2854 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Include: Name(s) of all attending, phone, address, and email Subject Line: Short Course**
- "More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce,” according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News. There is a very thorough article HERE from Food Safety News, November 2011, about testing honey for pollen, and as the first sentence of the article states.
- Steve Page’s Coweta Beekeeping Method
- Can mushrooms save the honeybee?
Dear Aunt Bee,
If bees do not go to the bathroom in the hive and wait to go on a cleansing flight, what does the queen do? Does she go to the bathroom in the hive or does she slip outside?
Thanks for the help, Aunt Bee.
The bees who attend the queen take care of her from head to toe. They comb her hair, brush her mandibles and take out her bodily waste. None of the bees can fly during the coldest days and they “hold it” until there is a day when they can fly. Then as quickly as they can, they move the waste out of the hive.
Sometimes in a winter hive, the bees can develop nosema. You will know this when you see streaks of brown on the exterior of the hive as the bees release in desperation as they exit.
But in general, the queen’s needs are taken care of by the attendant bees.
Your Aunt Bee
Rustic Canyon's Honeycomb Ice Cream
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons wildflower honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a small to medium pan, combine the sugar and honey, and cook until the sugar is melted and the mixture has turned a caramel color. Remove from heat and add the baking soda all at once, quickly stirring to evenly distribute the soda. Be careful, as the soda will cause the sugar mixture to bubble rapidly.
Pour the honeycomb into a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and set aside until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes.
Break the honeycomb into big and small pieces, and store in an airtight container until needed.
Honeycomb ice cream:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
1 tablespoon vodka
Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Stir in the condensed milk and whip again to soft peaks, then whisk in the vodka and salt.
Gently fold in the honeycomb, careful not to overmix; you want a swirl look to the ice cream. Transfer to a smaller container and
put in the freezer until firmed, 1 to 3 hours. This makes about one-half gallon of ice cream.
As I write this in mid February, winter is raging full blown. It is down into the 30s, 20s and occasionally into the teens here in Middle Georgia. I am a second year wanna-beekeeper and have learned a lot. Much without a choice.
Last year I had a 100% hive loss when what seemed like overnight I went from healthy hives with stores and bees to empty hives. No dead bees, no predators, no reason that I could come up with for 100% healthy-turn dead hives.
I'm faring better this year with three of my five hives surviving, thriving and doing well. I did experience a repeat of last year and lost two hives. It is frustrating, aggravating, and I took it personally, for a long time.
During the cold last winter I would wrap the hives in blankets, seal the entrance and worry nightly about the bees getting too cold. The smartest beekeeper I've met, my mentor, Jesse McCurdy, kept telling me (and still does) "you do not have a problem with your bees, your bees have a problem with you!"
Having listened to my elders about beekeeping, and having put into practice what they taught, I have learned the most important lesson in my two year wanna-beekeeper experience; are you ready, this is important, so read and reread this slowly, let it soak in.
"Let nature take its course."
There, I've said it. Remember fellow newbies and wanna-beekeepers, we do not control the bees and the hives. Remember, they are insects. Bugs. They are programmed to do things that we cannot understand. We give them encouragement and nurture them to our abilities, but when the sun sets, they are still bugs doing what bugs do.
Having let go of the fears and over-protectiveness, I am enjoying beekeeping much more. I don't stress when it gets bitterly cold, I just go to the window, look at the hives and say "Girls, it's gonna be cold tonight, bundle up, I'll see you in the morning. Goodnight."
Heart of Georgia
We really had a great time working on this month’s edition. This was because of all the help we had from all of you sending in contributions.
We have identified a real need for us to have a designated GBA Photographer. We need this person to concentrate on getting photos at GBA meetings and club meetings of both people and bees for use in Spillin’ the Honey and on our GBA website.
If you’d like to be our photographer, please get in touch with us at: email@example.com
Posted by Linda T at 2:05 PM