Jacksonville Beekeepers Association Welcome:
Michael Leach, Club President, welcomed current members and guests. The 2011 board of officers and guests were introduced. Members who have not yet renewed were encouraged to do so. Guests were encouraged to join.
December 2010’s minutes were approved.
Prior to the January meeting, there were 12 families and 12 individual paid memberships. Several new memberships were paid at the current meeting.
The website committee was asked to say for a meeting immediately following the Jaxbeeks meeting.
Mike Booth is critiquing the current site content. The committee will decide on a future web-host. Yahoo is the current host. As of now, the club will continue with Yahoo on a month to month basis until a final decision is made. It is hoped to have that final decision by the February meeting. Possibilities of additions to the site are a question and answer forum and a classifieds section.
SPEAKER: Michael Leach suggested asking Dr. Larry Conner to come and speak on March 21, 2011. Dr Conner speaks on Queen Rearing as well as other beekeeping subjects. We could have a shortened business meeting on said evening. The club members approved a $250 budget for Dr. Larry Connor visit. Michael will find out what the actual cost is for speaker fees and expenses. Other local clubs will be invited. Also the club members approved a $5 guest admission fee that will be charged for non-members, which may be applied towards a Jaxbeeks membership if they choose to join that night.
BEE COLLEGE: The Bee College needs two volunteers. Volunteers need not be interested in bees or beekeeping or should have been through the college in the past. Volunteers will be helping with food
preparation, set up and tear down. College Students, Master Beekeepers and Master Gardeners will receive a discount for the college. Only 230 students are allowed. The location of the college will be Marineland, FL. Tuition is: $170 individual, $310 family. Classes at the college will include: FABIS, Jr. Bee College and Restrictive Pesticide Use.
Jaxbeeks has been approved to set up a table (attended or not) with information regarding our club.
FUTURE TOPICS: Possible future topics: Queen Rearing, transferring a nuc, installing a package of bees.
MASTER BEEKEEPER PROGRAM: Must have owned bees for at least 1 year. The apprentice program is for those just getting started. There is a written exam. You must score 70% or better to pass. Master Beekeepers get a discount at the Bee College.
The Florida Sate Fair will be in Tampa on February 10 – 21, 2011.
The Georgia Beekeepers Association Spring Meeting will be held in Jekyll Island, Georgia on February 11 – 12, 2011. Cost is $60.
Our February meeting will be on Thursday, February 24, 2011.
April 9, 2011 The Duval County Extension Office will be offering the Beekeeper’s Short Course. Cost is $15.
Now is the time to clean the queen excluders. Clean and repair frames. Clean “old and tired” wax off of plasticell foundations. Re-wax by applying a very thin coat of melted wax with a paint brush. Repaint hives if needed. Discard any diseased or over-used frames. 3 methods for repairing frame rests were demonstrated.
Check the smoker for any cracks or rust. Check the smoker’s bellows for tears. Make sure the alignment hole from the smoker body to the bellows is lined up. Make sure the grate is clean, not rusted or over sooted. To clean an overly sooty grate, you may heat it to “hot” which will char the soot and it will fall off. Dadant sells parts for smokers.
Check your veil for holes. Make sure the strings are good.
Check your torch for leaks or rust. Always keep the torch standing upright. A torch on its side can lead to a clogged valve.
Prizes included several calendars and a Self-Lighting Torch.
Questions and Answers:
Q: When should you move queens from the upper boxes to the lower boxes?
A: Boxes should be rotated “approximately” February 15.
Q: Once I split, how soon should I check on the hive?
A: Leave the new hive alone for at least 30 days. This is to give a virgin queen ample time to mate and start laying brood.A: If you install a new mated queen check to be sure she is released after 4-5 days. Also it is ok to check for eggs and brood after 14 days. A: keep smoke to a minimum for the first 30 days.
Q: Why are there so many dead bees around the entrance to my hive?
A: If it warms up after a freeze, bees begin housekeeping. Removing dead bodies is one result.
Q: When should a new beekeeper think about acquiring a hive?
A: Now is the time to start serious research and put in an order for a nuc or package, slated for early spring arrival.
Q: If I am interested in honey production, what is the latest I should consider splitting my hive?
Q: How can I safely treat Varroa Mites without chemicals?
A: You can dust the hive with powdered sugar once a week for 3 weeks in a row. It’s better if you dust the all bees and not just the top bars and this should be done early in the morning or late in the evening while the forage bees are home.A: Spits and Swarming can break a brood cycle reducing the ability of Varroa to breed or multiply. A: Screen bottom boards can reduce natural Varroa counts by as much as 10-14% per UF Dr. Jamie Ellis.
Q: Should I pre-treat my hive with Terramycin?
A: This is a personal preference. Terramycin is used in the treatment of Nosema and Foulbrood. The consensus of the membership was if you do not have an issue and are not in the honey business, this is unnecessary. If you do choose to use it, you MUST follow the directions. It must be done on a proper schedule. Treatment must be finished at least 6 wks before a honey flow.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.
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