Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 2014 Newsletter

Editors:  Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman

 David Tolar:  Best in Show at Perry Honey Show October 2014

President’s Message

Fall is upon us, the honey has been harvested and you are putting your smoker up for the winter if you are in North Georgia and just letting it cool down if you are in the southern part of the state.  Things are slowing down in the apiary, but your clubs are preparing for the Winter/Spring classes that you present to the public every year.  

With that in mind I have asked Dr. Margo Wimbish to Chair the Junior Beekeeping Committee.  And she accepted!  Her task is to assist us in developing effective junior/youth beekeeping programs or classes that you may want to present this coming year.   I know that many of our clubs present a public class for adults and they generally fill up quickly, but a youth program must be developed and presented a little differently to hold their attention and make them excited to learn.  Not many kids care about neonicotinoids and such and don’t really care about the politics.  Dr. Wimbish presented a couple of breakout sessions, which were very well received at the Fall Meeting in Milledgeville.  Her energy level and desire to help is a blessing to us and we should take full advantage of her work.  She is a volunteer, as we are all, and we appreciate her energy and help.  Her email contact is:  Once the word gets out, I know that her dance card will fill up fast, so don’t delay in getting her scheduled.  And don’t forget to have your junior beekeeping activity posted on our GBA website calendar. 

You all should know by now that we are having our spring meeting at the Lake Blackshear Resort, near Cordele in February.   The dates are  Feb. 13 - 14, 2015. The board meeting and social will be Friday evening and sessions will be all day on Saturday.  Please plan on attending.  The facilities are great with a fantastic hotel and a campground at the Georgia Veterans State Park, if you choose to bring your RV.   Linda Tillman and Julia Mahood are working hard to put on a great meeting.  Since it will be on Valentine’s Day, the resort will have a special dinner/dance that night, so you can plan to stay and impress your sweetie. 

Other upcoming events are the American Bee Federation conference in Anaheim, CA. from 6-10 January 2015.  Slade Jarrett and I plan on representing GBA at that conference.  The Eastern Apicultural Society  (EAS) Conference will be in Canada this coming year and Mary Cahill-Roberts will represent GBA there, as she is on their board.  I encourage all of you to attend.  Thank you all for your continued support and hard work in keeping the Georgia Beekeeping Association the wonderful organization that it is.  

Clay “Bear” Kelley,
President, Georgia Beekeepers Assn. 

GBA Club News: 

Dr.  Margo Wimbish has been appointed the Chairperson of the new Junior Beekeeping Committee.   Thank you very much for stepping up and accepting this position and assisting the Georgia beekeeping clubs in preparing and presenting beekeeping programs to junior beekeepers.  Thank you and we all look forward to working with you.

Margo Wimbish relating to kids as she teaches them - great resource for our organization.


We celebrate Clay “Bear” Kelley, our Georgia Beekeeper of 2014.  Thanks to the photographers who contributed to this collage:  Marybeth Kelley, Cindy Hodges, Deborah Sasser, Linda Tillman

"Bear" Kelly is our 2014 GBA Beekeeper of the Year.  

Bear began beekeeping over six years ago after retirement from the Military.  He has served as past president of the Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Associationand now is the current President of the Georgia Beekeepers Association (GBA).  Since he has taken over as GBA president he has devoted his time and efforts to building membership, promoting beekeeping, and instigating by-law changes for improving the organization.  He has energized the organization through his constant focus on making GBA a better and more active state group.  
  • He has managed meetings, made them fun for all, and brought incredible spirit and energy to his role as GBA president.
  • He stays in touch with the Board of Directors, both collectively and individually, to keep people working on projects that benefit GBA
  • He has worked on projects to get bee hives in state parks and in some state prisons   
  • He represents Georgia at ABF and comes back brimming with more thoughts about how to make our organization even better.  
  • He has really pushed to get every president of local bee clubs to become a GBA member - that task isn't complete yet, but he is driven to achieve this goal.
  • He has revitalized the 4-H program and the Junior Beekeeping program.
  • He developed a Power Point about the value of becoming a member of GBA and has shown it to clubs across the state.
  • He manages a small apiary in his yard and has beautifully kept hives
  • By the time you read this, he will have thought up three or four more ways to improve the Georgia Beekeepers Association.
We are so lucky to have him as president.  He is an involved beekeeper, engages in producing products of the hive beyond honey with his wife Marybeth. He champions beekeeping in Georgia at every opportunity.  Congratulations, Bear!

The Perry Honey Show
submitted by Bear Kelley

The second annual Georgia National Fair Honey Show took place on October 3, 2014. There were 27 entries  in categories ranging from extracted light, amber and dark to black jar.  Secretary Slade Jarrett eagerly welcomed each entrant and studiously recorded the participant's contribution to the show.  Senior Judge Keith Fielder, with assistance from Judges Brutz English and Bear Kelley evaluated and critiqued each entry.  Not an easy task!  

Ribbon winners were: 
First Place Light Extracted, Kristie Jarrett; 
Second Place Light Extracted, Jay Parsons; 
Third Place Amber Extracted, David Tolar; 
Third Place Dark Extracted, Brutz English; 
Second Place Black Jar, Katrina Papel; 
Third Place Black Jar, Amanda Hayes;  
Best in Show, David Tolar Black Jar.  

All of these deserving participants had their ribbons on display at the Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association honey booth throughout the fair.  David Tolar was the recipient of the beautiful Georgia Beekeepers Association award, which was also on display at the honey booth. 

A big thank you to Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association for again sponsoring the honey show.

* A judge having an entry in a particular honey show category may not judge that category. 

Club News and Notes:
November Club Meetings and Speakers:

Beekeepers Club of Gwinnett
Nov 11 7 PM Hebron Baptist Church, Dacula, GA
Berry Brosi: Speaker’s Topic of Choice

Coastal Empire Beekeepers:
 Nov 10 6:30 PM Oatland Wildlife Center, Savannah, GA  
Members Roundtable: Fall Inspections: Did you Miss Anything?

Chattahoochee Valley Beekeepers Association
Nov 10  6 PM Oxbow Center, Columbus, GA  
Bill Owens: Speaker’s Topic of Choice

Eastern Piedmont Beekeepers
Nov 3 7 PM Campbell Research Center, Watkinsville, GA
Planning meeting for tour of Blue Ridge Honey Company on Nov 15

Henry County Beekeepers 
Nov 11  7 PM 116 S Zack Hinton Pkwy, McDonough, GA  
BJ Weeks: Speaker’s Topic of Choice

Lake Country Beekeepers
Special date:  November 24 7 PM Hancock County Extension Service, Sparta, GA 
Jamie Ellis:  Speaker’s Topic of Choice

Lake Hartwell Beekeepers Nov 6   7 PM  First Baptist Church, Lavonia, GA  
Bob Binnie: Bee Equipment and What You should Know about Processing Honey

Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association  
Nov 12  7 PM Atlanta Botanical Garden  
Keith Delaplane: Speaker’s Topic of Choice

Mountain Beekeepers 
Nov 4 7 PM United Community Bank, Blairsville

Potato Creek Beekeepers Club
Nov 20 7 PM  Spalding County Extension Office, Griffin, GA
Linda Tillman: Fun and Facts about Wax

SOWEGA Beekeepers Club
Nov 8 6:30 PM  Parks at Chehaw Learning Center 
Annual  Honey Show (entries due 5:30 - 6:30) 
Program during judging on the life of the worker bee

Tara Beekeepers Association
Nov 17 7 PM Forest Park  
Jerry Edwards:  How do I Sell this Honey?

Send in your club’s monthly meeting information to be published here in the Newsletter every month.  We’d love to help you expand your attendance and to help generate interest in what your club is doing.


Below you'll find a crossword celebrating beekeepers in Georgia that we GBA members all know and love!  Have fun with it.


Can You Believe It?!   IMITATION HONEY #$%@#

Walmart has broken the news of a revolutionary breakthrough, Sugarfree Honey.
In fact it's already on the shelves, see it in this picture.

How do you think the bees do it? (grin)                          contributed by Ricky Moore

Medicinal Use of Beehive Air
by Steve Page

We spent the first eleven days of October in the Black Forest region of Germany.  Germany is a wonderful country with friendly people.  There are many quaint towns surrounded by beautiful farms and forests.  The food, beer and wine are excellent.  There are many beekeepers too. 

We visited two beekeepers and a beekeeping supply store.  We found honey for sale at farmers’ markets and in grocery stores. 

One of the beekeepers uses hives to provide hive air for people to breathe for healing.  The hives are in a shed with an opening in the wall to allow outside access.  The top of the hive has an opening with a screen and a small fan to pull air out of the hive and blow it into a tube and mask.  The beekeeper explained how hive air or ApiAir can help with asthma, bronchitis, croup, COPD and other afflictions. 

I don’t know of any documented positive results of hive air but the next time you’re inspecting a hive take a deep breath and enjoy the possible benefits.  Be forewarned:  if you breathe the air from a hive in the fall the pleasant aroma of spring wildflower nectar may be replaced with the unpleasant locker room smell caused by goldenrod nectar.

Beekeeping is a lot like moonshining.

Here's how:
  • Your neighbors aren't quite sure what you do
  • You have strange trucks visit you at irregular times
  • You do your work near or in the woods
  • You have strange contraptions and tools
  • You work with Mason jars
  • You work outdoors
  • Your product is often sold by the quart, and right out of your trunk
  • You're very vague about how much product you produce
  • You have unwritten secrets and recipes passed down by word of mouth
  • Everyone wants what you produce
  • You buy sugar: lots and lots of sugar

Rick Moore
Heart of GA

Dear Aunt Bee,

All of my hives have screened bottom boards.
In your opinion should I change all my bottom boards to solid or am I okay to leave screened bottom boards over the winter?  Is there an advantage one over the other?
Thanks for your help to all of us new beekeepers,

Ventilation Vicky

Dear Vicky,

Luckily in Georgia and the deep South, we don’t have severe winters (last February notwithstanding).  We can leave our hives on screened bottom boards all year long.  The thing is, the bees keep their cluster warm and not the whole hive box.    

If you want to want to buy them little blankets, go ahead, but they are hard to clean.

Seriously, if you are concerned, closing off the screens in winter will do no harm and perhaps help a little if we have another February Snow Catastrophe.  Some beekeepers slide the plastic insert for varroa counting under the screen for the cold months.

Aunt Bee

Honey-Glazed Turkey
14 Servings Prep: 25 min. Bake: 3-3/4 hours
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • GLAZE:
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 cup Dijon mustard
    1-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 cup butter, cubed
    2 cups chopped onion
    1-1/2 cups chopped celery
    12 cups unseasoned stuffing cubes or dry bread cubes
    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups boiling water
Place turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Bake at 325° for 2 hours.
In a small bowl, mix glaze ingredients; brush over turkey. Bake 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours longer or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°. Baste occasionally with pan drippings. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.) 
For stuffing, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir until tender. Add stuffing cubes and seasonings; toss to combine. Stir in enough boiling water to reach desired moistness; transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until lightly browned.  Remove turkey from oven; cover loosely with foil and let stand 15 minutes before carving. If desired, skim fat and thicken pan drippings for gravy. Serve with turkey and stuffing. Yield: 14 servings (8 cups stuffing). 
Editor's Note: Stuffing can also be baked in turkey. Loosely stuff turkey just before baking; bake as directed, increasing final bake time by 15 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180° in thigh and 165° in center of stuffing. 

Wine: Medium-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied white wine such as Riesling or Gew├╝rtztraminer 

 © Taste of Home 2014 

Our Survey about Winter Equipment Storage - take a short moment to have fun with this one question survey!
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


The Final Buzz

 We have much for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving.  We are thankful for the bees, honey, good friendships at GBA, all our newsletter contributors and our own Beekeeper of the Year & GBA President, Bear Kelley.  We acknowledge all these gifts and more.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!  

Gina and Linda

Monday, October 6, 2014

T-Shirts from the Fall Meeting

Slideshow from our Fall Meeting of GBA

October 2014 Newsletter

Editors:  Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman

Winning Queen Bee Photo in First Annual Queen Photo Contest.  The entries were judged at the Fall meeting by members of the Board of Directors.  This photo was taken by Deborah Sasser of the Sasserfrass Hill Bee Farm in Augusta, Georgia in May, 2013.  Deborah won this featured spot for her photo, an award certificate, and one year of GBA membership for this blue ribbon photo.  

President’s Message

I want to thank everyone again so much for your confidence in me and the work we are doing with the GBA while keeping me on for another year as your President. Once again, I also want to thank those who have stood with me and have worked so hard to keep us rolling ahead: Mary Cahill Roberts, RoseAnne Fielder, Andy Bailey, Slade Jarrett, Brutz English, Steve Prince, Steve Cobb, Linda Tillman, Gina Gallucci, and Bill Owens.  We have our work cut out for us as we move into the coming year.

        It was great seeing so many of you at the fall meeting and getting your positive comments to the wonderful speakers we had. We will continue to work on the speakers/topics list that was generated with your input. Congrats also to Jay Parsons for winning “Best in Show” for his Honey beer entry. Lake Country once again had the best attendance for any club, and we want to thank all the Lake Country members for stepping up and hosting this meeting.

During the meeting of the members I gave a “State of the Colony” kind of report to let you know what we actually did this past year. If you were not in attendance, here it is…..

State of the Colony Address

        As we finish 2014 and move on with Father Time into 2015 I would like to inform you of the things that we have accomplished this year. 

        We sponsored and conducted the first annual Honey Show at the Georgia National Fair with Cindy Hodges winning “Best in Show” in October 2013. Although we had less than 20 entrants and we limited the show to extracted honey only, we feel that it was a success and are trying it again this year. October 3rd is the show date.

        I appointed a fourth Director (Slade Jarrett) to help cover the northeast side of the state. This increase in our Directors was necessary since our numbers are growing and the actual number of clubs in that area of Georgia continues to increase.  At the fall meeting in Milledgeville, we voted to make that a permanent position giving us four Directors with two year overlaps.

        I appointed Mary Cahill-Roberts, our Vice President, to fill the seat on the Board of Directors of EAS. Her position there is a 4 year term. I know that she plans to share with you the EAS happenings and her experience at the EAS meeting in Kentucky this past June.

        Brutz English got the Facebook page up and running right away after the September meeting last year. We continue to have a lot of hits on it and new folks are constantly showing up.

        We created the Georgia Beekeepers Ambassadors program. The purpose of this is to recognize folks who have worked so hard with the Georgia Beekeepers Association, either as an officer, administrator or public representative. To be selected for this honor, you must have dedicated much time and personal sacrifice to the public education of the importance of Honey Bees and mentored beekeepers throughout Georgia. There are no official duties with this position, just continue to be the "Ambassador" you have always been by representing Georgia Beekeepers with professionalism, pride and enthusiasm. I want to congratulate once again the following Plank Holders: Fred Rossman, Keith Fielder, Bob Binnie, Jesse McCurdy, Evelyn Williams and P.N. Williams.

Early on the morning of November 3, 2013, a semi-truck loaded with honeybees overturned at exit #185 on I-75 in the City of Forsyth, GA. Several hundred colonies of honeybees came off of the truck and were strewn for hundreds of feet along the southbound lanes of I-75. As many as three southbound lanes of traffic had to be shut down as hundreds of thousands of unhappy and confused bees clouded the sky. Local fire and police were ill equipped to handle this type of situation. GBA Northern District Director, Brutz English, of nearby Barnesville, GA, was among the first beekeepers contacted by the Forsyth Police Department for assistance. Brutz got the call for assistance out to a number of local beekeepers in the area, and responders from the GBA and the Henry County Beekeepers Club were soon on the scene helping to sort out and clean up the mess. The salvage and clean-up took over 14 hours. I am currently working with state officials to establish a “Bee HAZMAT” policy for the state so that local fire departments won’t just hose the bees down the drain. I will discuss this further as we develop the program.

        Marybeth and I attended the American Bee Federation meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in January. I was overwhelmed by the information flow and reported on that in the February Newsletter.

        Our spring meeting was held in Columbus in February and hosted by the Chattahoochee Beekeepers led by Paul Berry. We had a lot of wonderful comments from you and we are constantly working to improve our seminars with hard work and creativity. The worst comment was that it was “standing room only” because we did not anticipate as many attendees as we had. Our spring meetings have not been so well attended in the past and you can bet it will not happen again on my watch. Our Keynote speaker, Dr Jamie Ellis and the other speakers did a wonderful job.

        We revised and put into policy the 4-H and Junior Beekeeping programs into one program. With the assistance of Keith Fielder and Arch Smith (the state 4-H Director), we re-worked the 4H program and integrated it in with the new Junior Beekeeping Policy.  We discussed this at the meeting and voted on a by-law change that will affect financing this policy.

        We have established some great lines of communication with you by keeping the web site up to date, our Facebook page going, and our “Spilling the Honey” Newsletter that should receive the Edward R. Murrow Journalism award for excellence. Furthermore, I have created the Presidents Council. That is, established open lines of communication with all club presidents (email and phone) and conduct the Presidents Council break out session that we intend to continue for all future GBA gatherings. And the newest is “Twitter”.  Linda Tillman is determined to get me into the 21st century. As soon as I learn how to twitter, I’ll be tweeting you!

        We as members of the GBA represented you at numerous meetings throughout the year; such as ABF, EAS, Young Harris, 4-H Banquet, FFA, GA Ag day at the Capitol, meetings with State Representatives, State Beehive inspectors, State Pollinators meeting, Former President Carter, and more that I am sure to inadvertently omit.  We know that there are in excess of 2,500 beekeepers in Georgia and we have only 300+ members in the GBA, but when we attend these meetings, we represent the interest of “all” Georgia beekeepers throughout our state and will continue to do so. Professionalism, Representation and Recognition are not just buzz words that we are using these days, but it is what we are striving to accomplish.
Thank you for your support, your input and patience with us as we continue to strive for excellence.

Bear Kelley,
President, Georgia Beekeepers Assn. 


Fall Feeding Honey Bees – One of the Most Important October Managements Tips in Georgia
by Mickey Anderson, Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Assoc.

Beekeeping is a seasonal, cyclic operation, and beekeepers need to do different things based on what the colony needs.  Feeding is one of the most critical things in the fall for successfully overwintering.  Beekeepers  who are in the northern Rabun county need to feed bees differently than beekeepers who are south of Valdosta.  (I have kept bees in both places as well as many other areas in the state of Georgia).  Feeding bees is highly temperature dependent, and early October is usually warm enough for bees to take down sugar syrup.  Feed your bees now, and because of their advantageous hoarding instinct, the bees will take down extra sugar syrup and use this feed in the winter when feeding will be very difficult.

In Georgia, each good colony needs about 40-50 lb. of honey for overwintering. A deep brood frame can hold about 7-9 lbs of honey.  If bees don’t have enough honey/sugar syrup, then the colony could likely die from starvation.  Beekeepers should try to err on the heavy side.  If extra honey/sugar syrup is present, it will be stored in the combs, and used in the spring when the demand for honey (and pollen) greatly increases with the population explosion that every good colony experiences.  Feeding sugar syrup in the fall also seems to stimulate the queen to lay more eggs and concurrently entice more workers to collect more pollen, to raise more brood, to produce a more populated colony, which increases the chances for successfully overwintering the colony.

The honey and/or sugar syrup will take care of the carbohydrate needs of the colony, but the honey bee colony also needs proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, which come from pollen, or some type of pollen supplement feed.  As a general rule, I rarely feed pollen supplements to my colonies because I monitor the naturally collected pollen.  If I can see frames loaded with yellow and orange (and sometimes other colors) pollen, then the colony doesn’t need additional pollen substitutes.  In the Atlanta area, where my bee colonies are located, goldenrod and aster produce pollen and nectar in September/October, and this year seems to be better than past years.  My bees also collected pollen from centipede grass, and although I have heard that grass pollen has a low nutritive value, my bees collect it every year and it doesn’t seem to adversely affect them.  I have also heard and read that having pollen from multiple sources is beneficial because what one pollen lacks in essential amino acids, other types of pollen will have. 

Without pollen, brood rearing is greatly reduced or shut down completely and will not start again until the workers can eat enough pollen to get their brood food glands going to feed the developing honey bee larvae.  Check for pollen in the brood frames, and if you don’t have pollen, then it is recommended to feed the bees some type of pollen supplement.  Lack of pollen will not kill the adult bees from starvation like lack of honey/sugar syrup, but as noted above, lack of pollen will stop brood rearing.     


photo submitted by Diane Holland, Harlem, GA

photo submitted by Julie Civitts, Toccoa, GA

photo submitted by Doug Roberts of Chattahoochee Valley

These three photos were all submitted to the First Annual Queen photo contest.  This year the rules allowed multiple entries.  If someone entered more than one, we are only putting one of the entries in this newsletter and will include the others in later issues.

A number of folks at the fall meeting asked for David Williams’ contact information.
Mr. Williams is the State Bee Hive inspector who spoke with us. 
If you plan to transport your bees in/out of Georgia, you must contact his office to get a certificate. His office is located in Tifton, Georgia.

David Williams, 
State Beehive Inspector
Georgia Dept of Agriculture
229-386-3464 -Office
912-213-8396- Cell


Beekeeping and my Life by Steve PageCoweta Beekeepers

  • Beekeeping has enhanced my connection to nature, to the rest of the living world.  I am more aware of the world around me and the changing weather and seasons. 
  • Beekeeping has connected me to the people of my community and to beekeepers near and far.
  • Speaking, teaching and mentoring to my community and to my fellow beekeepers have resulted in fulfillment and happiness.
  • The time and energy of mentoring fellow beekeepers can result in significant personal rewards.

“When we commit to service it actually biologically and anthropologically is more likely to lead to our own success and our own happiness.”  
Simon Sinek author of Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.


Location:  Coweta County, Georgia
Name: Her Majesty Queen Victoria of the hive....  
My name: Steven Page
Date: August 22, 2014
This large queen was raised by the colony this summer when I made a walk away split and let them raise an emergency queen.  I inspected the hive after 4 weeks and this queen was laying. Beautiful....
I can raise better queens than the queen producers.
Some thoughts on raising emergency queens from Michael Bush’s web site.

Quality of Emergency Queens
First let's talk about emergency queens and quality. There has been much speculation over the years on this matter and after reading the opinions of many very experienced queen breeders on this subject I'm convinced that the prevailing theory that bees start with too old of a larvae is not true. I think to get good quality queens from emergency cells one simply needs to insure they can tear down the cell walls and that they have resources of food and labor to properly care for the queen. This means a good density of bees (for labor), frames of pollen and honey (for resources), and nectar or syrup coming in (to convince them they have resources to spare).

So if one adds either new drawn wax comb or wax foundation without wires or even empty frames to the brood nest during a time of year they are anxious to raise queens (from about a month after the first blooms until the end of the main flow), they quickly draw this comb and lay it full of eggs. So four to five days after adding it, there should be frames of larvae on newly drawn wax with no cocoons to interfere with them tearing down the cell walls to build queen cells. If one were to do this in a strong hive and at this point remove the queen on a frame of brood and a frame of honey and put it aside, the bees will start a lot of queen cells.

The experts on emergency queens:
"It has been stated by a number of beekeepers who should know better (including myself) that the bees are in such a hurry to rear a queen that they choose larvae too old for best results. later observation has shown the fallacy of this statement and has convinced me that bees do the very best that can be done under existing circumstances.

"The inferior queens caused by using the emergency method is because the bees cannot tear down the tough cells in the old combs lined with cocoons. The result is that the bees fill the worker cells with bee milk floating the larvae out the opening of the cells, then they build a little queen cell pointing downward. The larvae cannot eat the bee milk back in the bottom of the cells with the result that they are not well fed. However, if the colony is strong in bees, are well fed and have new combs, they can rear the best of queens. And please note-- they will never make such a blunder as choosing larvae too old."--Jay Smith

Quinby seems to agree:
"I want new comb for brood, as cells can be worked over out of that, better than from old and tough. New comb must be carefully handled. If none but old comb is to be had, cut the cells down to one fourth inch in depth. The knife must be sharp to leave it smooth and not tear it."--Moses Quinby

"If it were true, as formerly believed, that queenless bees are in such haste to rear a queen that they will select a larva too old for the purpose, then it would hardly do to wait even nine days. A queen is matured in fifteen days from the time the egg is laid, and is fed throughout her larval lifetime on the same food that is given to a worker-larva during the first three days of its larval existence. So a worker-larva more than three days old, or more than six days from the laying of the egg would be too old for a good queen. If, now, the bees should select a larva more than three days old, the queen would emerge in less than nine days. I think no one has ever known this to occur. Bees do not prefer too old larvae. As a matter of fact bees do not use such poor judgment as to select larvae too old when larvae sufficiently young are present, as I have proven by direct experiment and many observations."--Fifty Years Among the Bees, C.C. Miller


Photo of the view under the screened bottom board by Ricky Moore
Have you ever looked under your beehive?
If you have a screened bottom, you might be surprised at the activity on the outside of the bottom board.

Queen photo submitted to contest by Roy Blackwell of Dawsonville, GA

True Confessions:

Just Sting Me And Get It Over With

by Ricky Moore

A couple months ago I shared with you my misadventure of being stung 11 times while learning Italian bees do not understand English or swearing, and they have an innate desire to enter a veil and share the space. Yeah, right.

Let me update you on my progress, may I?

During the hottest days in August this year I decided while the foragers were out and the hive bees were busy cooling the hive, I could quietly and expeditiously peek inside and see what was going on in their hives.

I really didn't want to put the full suit on so I donned the bee jacket with hood and veil, and of course being a novice, I wore my gloves. I know, I know what you're thinking, “Rookie, sooner or later you will get use to working with bees barehanded,” and while that very well may be true, I'm not there. They may be clumsy, but I'll wear my gloves, for now, thank you very much.

Did I mention it was a hot day? Ya, I thought so. It wasn't long before the sweat was running down the back of my neck and dripping off my forehead and onto my glasses.

There was the usual amount of bees flying around either curious what this big lug was that was disturbing their hive, or they'd woken up on the wrong side of the frame and were just spoiling for a fight. Either way, they attempted to get into my nice, safe veil. They'd dive bomb my face and fly off, come back and do it again. As the sweat poured from my face, my glasses started to slide down. What was I to do? I took my gloved hand and pushed my glasses up by pushing on my veil. No problem, right? You've probably done that many times too, right? I did. All was well. But about the third time I pushed my glasses back up my sweaty nose, one of the Italian Assassins was flying at mission critical point that when I pushed the veil to my glasses, she had flown at that exact same spot at exactly the same time. See where this is going? I pushed the bee into the bridge of my nose, and pinned there she did what all combatants would do. She stung me. Through the veil! Is there no safety in this avocation? Is nothing sacred?

A bee sting is a bee sting. We all accept it as part of the experience, but on the nose hurts like the Devil!

Just last week I replaced the front feeder with water on one of the hives. I did not want to wear all the gear as I'd stand behind the hive and reach around and place the feeder and get the heck out of Dodge. I am so smart, I decided to wear one of the gloves and pulled it all the way up past my elbow. I was completely covered and safe from vicious, inquisitive bees. Because I'm hot and sweaty and again didn't want to put on the suit or the jacket or even the veil, I didn't. Just the glove. I reached around, placed the water bottle and backed away without any troubles. Eureka! Then one lone, solitary bee made it her mission to be my BFF. I backed away, she came at me. I walked away, she followed. I stood still, she landed on my arm. I blew her off my arm, she returned. I moved my arm, she returned to the same place near my watch. Maybe she just wanted to see what time it was. This time I did escape her and managed to get inside without incident. 

I offer my experiences to show you we all do dumb things and sometimes get away with it, and sometimes we need a reminder who has the honey also has the stinger. Go. Make experiences. And enjoy that sweet reward at harvest time.

Club News & Notes 
by John Wingfield for Heart of Georgia Beekeepers

The  Heart of Georgia Beekeepers held their regular monthly meeting on the third Tuesday of the month at Camp John Hope dining room located between Marshallville, Fort Valley, and Perry. Supper of ranch chicken, wild rice, green beans, roll, dessert, and beverages was served. More than 25 preregistered and enjoyed the meal.  

Our President, Tim Smith opened the meeting by asking new first time attendance to raise their hands.  A number of hands went up.  Newcomers were welcomed. Then the Treasurer, Kelly Hillis presented our current fiscal status with over $4,200.  Tim described the GBA Buzz fund and recommended we send $200 the Buzz Fund. A motion was made and passed to do so without objection. 

Then we got to the topic that is always a favorite. Tim asked the members "how are your bees doing"?  The members described their current problems and activity. Jesse McCurdy gave answers to many member questions. When there were no more questions.  Tim then asked who was going to GBA meeting at Milledgeville this week? About a dozen hands went up. 

Tim announced we had 21 entries for our annual black jar competition.  All 21 jars were lined up on two tables with cups holding sticks to dip and taste each jar and cups for the used sticks. Most of the members using each end of the sticks for dipping, with our judges using one.  Marybeth Kelly was in control of the black jars by assigning a number to each jar.   
Our winners are:  1st Place- Jackie DeFore   2nd Place-David Tannehill   3rd Place- Leonard Day


John Wingfield of Heart of Georgia Beekeepers entered this queen photo into our first annual photo contest!


This link was shared with us by Steve Price.  It’s a very interesting video - an overview of the whole colony collapse disorder phenomenon.


Joke from Bear:

Scientists have done studies and found that all beekeepers have beautiful eyes....

Why?  Because beauty is in the eyes of the Bee Holder!

Milledgeville 2014

Well, the meeting is over and we are all breathing a sigh of relief.  Congratulations to the winners of the raffle; hope that the prizes will help you in the future.  I personally would have liked that hive.  I was able to attend in body, but not so much in spirit as I have had a few personal ongoing issues that I am dealing with.  Overall, though, I think that the Milledgeville site was great.  The school was accommodating, and Brent (the school officer in charge) was great.  He was always there and very eager to help our group. 

The speakers were varied and educational.  I learned a lot.  The reviews and evaluations from our group are helpful to us that plan the meetings and were good overall.  The noise level was an issue that we will address when we go back to the college. I think moving the coffee and snack area will help some of that.  There was plenty of space to put the vendors and we will look at moving them, since a lot of noise came from people asking them questions.   

The meeting was well attended, the site had easy access, and Milledgeville was a fun town.  It is satisfying to the planners, and I enjoy watching the work of the group come together when we see the meetings well attended.  If you missed this meeting then you missed some great speakers.

Jennifer Berry’s queen class was excellent and I have not heard of any problems.  If you attended this break out then please let us know what your thoughts are via email.  If anyone has ideas for or changes to the conference please let us know.  We organize the meetings for those who attend so we want to meet your needs.  

It was also good to see three different commercial beekeepers attending and we hope to increase their numbers.   The commercial beekeepers are especially important to Georgia and to our group.

The hardest part for me in getting the meetings together is making sure that we cover the small details.  Having a buffet appears to be an ongoing problem.  We are going back to Lake Blackshear and for those of you who remember, the buffet line took forever.  The lunch on Saturday in Milledgeville occurred the same way.  For Lake Blackshear and in the future we will try to get boxed lunches.  It is fast and easy.   Some people don’t like to eat  boxed lunches but we do lunch this way for several reasons.  First, you don’t have to leave the venue; second, it’s convenient not to worry about where you are getting your lunch; and third, most importantly, is that you, the attendee, can spend time with other beekeepers and talk about bees!!

The other challenge we had was making last minute changes to the speaker list.  For the past four conferences, I have had one or more speakers call me and tell me that they have to change the time they speak or will not be coming.  It is a little stressful as you might imagine. 

Thanks for coming to the conference  and thanks for being a member.  The board represents all beekeepers in Georgia, whether they are a member or not, so encourage your club mates to become members. 

Mary Cahill-Roberts,
GBA VP again.  


Photo taken by Derrick Fowler in Hoschton, GA - entered in queen photo contest

Queen photo above was taken in Lee County, entered by Monte McDonald and entered in our contest.

Photo taken by David Miller in Jackson, Tennessee.  You can see the queen on the surface of the swarm

“I shouldn't think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than
new bread and real butter and honey for tea.”
― Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle


For more pictures, I'll post a slideshow link shortly!

The Final Buzz

We enjoyed seeing so many of you in Milledgeville at the Fall Meeting.  Our spring meeting this year is on February 14 (and 13th if you come for the Board meeting and reception).  Make your plans now to be there for an exciting conference.  Our own Cindy Bee is returning to Georgia to talk to us as well as several other speakers we think you will enjoy.  

Keep sending in your photos, articles, club news and notes, true confessions, questions for Aunt Bee, etc.  Aunt Bee was exhausted after the fall meeting, but she’ll be back next issue so send in a question or two!

Linda and Gina

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Newsletter 2014

President's Message

Here it is September already and the active bee season is drawing to a close. Now
it’s “Honey Time!” I hope everyone has had a productive season and the Golden Flow has
started. The photo above is some of the wildflower honey we were able to extract this
year and get out on the market.

While you are bottling your sweet success, save some for the two big honey shows
that we have on the horizon. The first one will be at the Fall GBA meeting in Milledgeville
the 19th and 20th of this month. The rules and categories are posted on the GBA website
for all to see. This show is really for the state title. With the Best in Show award, you’ll
have bragging rights for the coming year. Just think what that can do for your marketing
program! The next show will soon follow at the Georgia National Fair in Perry on the 4th
of October. This will be our second annual event there and we look forward to many of
you entering and showing your stuff.

I have to say here that Cindy Hodges won both titles last year and I know
improved her sales and spirit quite a bit. Slade Jarrett won best tasting (the Black Jar
category) and has sure had fun boasting about that one. A little birdie told me that Cindy
will not be competing in both shows this year, so a winner’s spot is open for someone

Please don’t let these folks intimidate you. Get your honey in the jars and bring it
in to be judged. We have a lot of good judges in our community who will let you know
President’s MessageGBA September Newsletter Page 2

your shortcomings and then you learn how to do better next time. As members of GBA,
there is no entry fee, so what do you have to lose? If you need help in preparing for the
show, Virginia Webb has posted a number of You Tube videos to help you prepare Honey
Show entries for competition. And we all know that Virginia is certainly well qualified to
teach you how to win.

In addition to these two shows, many of our clubs will be having contests as well.
Feel free to check out the calendar of events on our website. And Club Presidents, if you
haven’t sent in the notices to be posted, please do so. We will advertise your events free
for you. I look forward to seeing everyone at the fall meeting and checking out the honey

Bear Kelley,
President, Georgia beekeepers Association

Georgia Beekeepers Association Fall Meeting

Sept 19 -20 at the Hampton Inn in Milledgeville, GA. To register for the fall
meeting, click here. The schedule for the meeting is below - should be great -
everyone come and rub shoulders with your fellow beekeepers!

Friday, September 19th:  (Wifi is available)

09:00 Opening Remarks by the President and
Introduction of the Association Officers
09:30 Main speaker Kelli Williams; Georgia Grown
10:15 am Main speaker Katie Evans; Africanized
Honey Bees
10:00am -2:00pm, includes lunch
11:00-11:40 am Honey Queen Speaker
11:45-12:15 Break outs List A
12:25-12:50 Break outs repeat list A
1:00 – 1:45pm Lunch
12:30 pm Honey show entries due - Honey Judges
report for duty
1:45 pm Main Speaker Carl Chesick
2:30 pm Main Speaker Tim Tucker, ABF
3:15 pm break out List B
3:45pm Repeat break out List B
4:30 Announcements
Steak Dinner; (Reservations Only) Starts at 545pm
at the college. Room to be announced.

Friday night 
7:00pm: Awards program for the Beekeeper of the
Year and Honey show winners

Saturday, September 20th:

08:30 am President Message and open the
meeting of the members
Business meeting / Election of New officers
10:00 am David Williams State Beehive
10am -2pm Children’s Program:
11-11:45 break out List C
11:45- 12:30 Repeat break out List C
12:30 -1:30pm lunch
1:30-2:15 pm break out List D
2:15-3:00 pm break out Repeat List D
3:15 pm Speaker Panel open for questions
from members
4:00pm Closing Remarks by President

List A: Virginia Webb, Mary Cahill-Roberts,
Jim Ewing, Tim Tucker

List B: Cindy Hodges, Newsletter Editors,
Katie Evans, Steve Page

List C: Bill Owens, Bruce Morgan, Carl
Chesick, Keith Fielder

List D: Bear Kelley, Linda Tillman, Rafeal
Cabrera, The Wimbish family

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE - great food, great friends, great knowledge exchange, time in the bee yard, favorite vendors.

Note: Reservations for Friday dinner are made when you sign up for the meeting. You can also
register onsite


by Ricky Moore
My first experience at doing a cutout as a new beekeeper was less than stellar. Oh, it was 
memorable; in fact let me tell you about it.

My next door neighbor, Jarrod Murphy, an even newer beekeeper than myself, had gotten a phone 
call from a farmer friend of his who was tearing down an old house on his farm. When he pulled 
the wood off of one corner, a swarm of bees let the farmer know immediately that house was theirs 
and they were willing to defend it. After being stung a couple times, he called Jarrod and invited 
him to come get the bees before the farmer set fire 
to the house. Jarrod and I loaded up the truck with our bee suits, smoker and a nuc. Seriously, 
we didn't know any better.

The house was out in the country, turn at the church, go to the old abandoned grocery store, 
turn left and literally go to the end of the paved road, and turn left on the dirt road. When we 
arrived, unhappy bees were flying all around the house. Thank goodness for the full bee suit as 
these girls were spoiling for a fight.

Much of the comb on the ground was dark and looked very old. The cells were full of capped 
brood, drone cells and lots of honey, both capped and not. There were larvae mashed and torn 
throughout the comb. The smoker was of little value as the bees were mostly in flight. 

It didn't take long to realize that you don't bring a nuc to a cutout. Jarrod loaded the nuc, retrieved a 
five gallon bucket from the truck, and we filled it with as many bees as we could. We were scooping 
up bees with our goatskin gloved hands and watching them land on our suits and face netting, 
trying to get to our faces. Neither of us were stung on this adventure.

Now we had a nuc crammed full of comb and bees and a five gallon bucket with more. Now what do 
we do with them? How do we get this mess into an orderly fashion and make this hive survive? Here 
at The Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association we are very fortunate to have Jesse McCurdy, our go to answer man. Jesse asked what trouble had I gotten into this time. He offered to show us 
what to do with the lot, bring it by. We did, he did, and home we went as happy as clams.

Two weeks later when examining the nuc, we discovered those larvae we thought were bees, 
turns out to be a massive infestation of hive beetles. The entire nuc was lost and destroyed. 
Though we were told wild hives like this were infested with hive beetles and we put traps in 
the nuc, it was too little against the invasion and the war was over. We had lost before we 
brought them home.

All in all this was a quite a learning experience. We learned what to take to a cutout, and as 
importantly, what to do with the recovered bees and comb. We learned wild bees are a risk and 
to quarantine them away from your domestic hives for a period of time to determine if the 
new bees are safe or sick. Thankfully we did quarantine them away from our bee field.

I hope this is the first of many cutouts and recoveries, but with any future cutouts having a 
much better outcome!


Reminder that we are voting on two by-law changes at the Fall Meeting.

To see the original by-laws, click here. The changes were sent out in an email to the 
membership on August 15 from
Please read and be familiar with these changes before the meeting.

GBA is getting more and more
technology-oriented every day.
You can sign up for the Fall Meeting
on Wufoo; we have a Facebook
page; and we are now on Twitter

You Might Be a Beekeeper If...

  • The wallpaper on your smartphone is a photo of your hives
  • You check on your hives more than you check on your children
  • Your car sits outside the garage because inside the garage is your beehive building workshop
  • You own four epi pens and you are not allergic to bee stings
  • You think bee stings are a part of the business
  • You carry your bee suit in the truck at all times, just in case
  • You can explain how bees have a grandfather and no father (you can, can't you?)
  • You get your back feathers riled when someone in Michigan is selling local Tupelo honey, because you know that ain't possible
  • You have an old family recipe for making Creamed Honey
  • You talk to your bees
  • The words Dadant, Mann Lake, Dixie Bee Supply and Kelly have a special place in your heart
  • You spend more on bees than you do on groceries
  • You think nothing about driving a hundred miles and spending hours to rescue a swarm or to do a cutout
  • Your idea of a perfect Saturday morning is spending it in the bee field
  • When you hear someone mentioning hives, you do not think of raised, often itchy, red welts on the surface of the skin
  • You own a refractometer
  • You've named all of your bees...individually

by Ricky Moore
Sadly we note the death of Master Beekeeper Howard Reagan. A life long beekeeper, Howard lived in Dawsonville and was a member of both the Forsyth and Amicalola Bee Clubs. He was from a beekeeping family: his father, grandfather, and great grandfather all were beekeepers.



Latest recommendations from Jennifer Berry, Director of University of
Georgia Bee Lab

Checking For Mites The Easy Way:
·       insert a framed sticky board into the entrance or plastic corrugated
sheet covered in Crisco under the screen bottom board (making sure bees
can't get to the sticky portion)
·       leave in for 3 days & remove
·       count total number of mites on each sheet; divide total by 3 to get
natural mite drop in 24 hours
·       mite loads of 12 in a small colony and 38 in a very large colony have
reached the economic threshold

In addition to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options, possible Varroa treatments include ApiLife Var, Hop Guard, Mite Away Quick Strips (formic acid), oxalic acid drip and ApiVar. Choosing the right treatment depends mostly on the time of year, with temperature and amount of brood being the deciding factor! However, if colonies have reached the economic threshold, the beekeeper must do something to reduce mite populations or that colony will be lost. Mites enhance the virus loads, which slowly kills the bees, dwindling the population down, till nothing is left.


Dear Aunt Bee,

When hives are placed close together, do honey bees ever get confused and go into the wrong

Dazed (and with possibly confused honey bees)

Dear Dazed and Confused,

Bees may drift into the wrong hive when blown by the wind to a different hive entrance (see Dave
Cushman’s website) or when the hives all look alike and are in a row.

Ted Hooper in A Guide to Bees and Honey describes the guard bee’s encounter with a forager
who has mistakenly drifted into a hive:

“a drifting bee entering the colony by mistake, perhaps because it has been blown down to the
hive by a cross wind, or misled by a similarity of the approach picture, will be challenged. In this
case the guard will press the challenge because the smell of this bee is not the right one. The
drifter, because its instinct says it is in the right place, will not try to fight the guard but will
submit. If the drifter is facing the guard it will offer food, which the guard will usually ignore. If
the guard is attacking from the side [...] the drifter will tuck its tail in and stand quiet, with its
head tucked down, or it may rear on to its two back pairs of legs, extending its tongue and strop
this with its front legs. These patterns of behaviour denote submission and the guard [...]
will do no real harm and certainly not attempt to sting. As with all bees, the guard’s concentration
period is short, and in a few seconds it gets tired of the whole affair and lets the drifter proceed.”

Drifting results in the spread of disease and parasites and can cause an imbalance in hive
populations between your hives, increasing the chance for robbery by the strong against the weak.
To minimize drifting, paint your colonies different colors, use stencils or stickers to make designs to
distinguish the hives from each other, keep your colonies not in a straight line.

Your Aunt Bee

Question contributed by Chris Pahl. Answer from Linda Tillman and various sources.
This crossword was created by Linda Tillman.  You can either print it out and work it or you can click here to work it online.  If you'd like to see the answers, email us at with Sept Crossword answers in the subject line and we'll send you a filled out version.


Presidential Memorandum on Honey Bees

On June 20, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum to create a
federal strategy for promoting the health of honey bees and other pollinators.
His memorandum includes the establishment of a Pollinator Health Task Force
chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the EPA. The
task force will draw from many departments such as the Department of the
Interior, the Department of Energy, the Council on Environmental Quality,
among many others. The task force is charged within the next six month to
develop a strategy to include an action plan to address understanding, preventing
and recovering from pollinator losses. Also within six months, the task force is to
address increasing and improving pollinator habitat.
If you’d like to read the memorandum in full, you can find it here.


Honey Parfait
from Honey from Hive to Honeypot

by Sue Style

3 egg yolks
 1 egg
 1/2 cup honey
 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
 3 T chopped walnuts

Beat together the yolks, egg and honey with an electric mixer until thoroughly light and fluffy in top of double boiler over hot water. Keep this up for 3 - 5 minutes until it has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Beat the whipping cream to soft peaks and then fold it into the egg mixture. Stir in walnuts, if using, and freeze the parfait in chosen container. This is nice if frozen in a bread pan lined with plastic wrap. When frozen, cut it into slices and serve. Or you can freeze it in individual ramekins. A fruit coulis goes well with it.


The Final Buzz

We hope to see everyone in Milledgeville for GBA Fall 2014 meeting. Many thanks to you for all of
your contributions and especially getting us started sharing your “True Confessions.” You are
welcome to write anonymously, if you’d feel more comfortable. Sharing mistakes is a great way to
teach others.

We are looking forward to making new friends and learning new tricks. See you in Milledgeville!
Gina and Linda