Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

  • Annual Picnic for CVBA 2017

    Date: 2017.09.18 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    2017 PicnicWhat a great time!  (You can view more photos on the PHOTOS page of our website.) The CVBA annual picnic for 2017 was held Sunday September 17, which had been delayed from the 10th due to Hurricane Irma. Even with the change in date, the turnout was terrific. There was a vast amount of food and several activities happening that kept everyone busy.  Beeswax candle making is always a hit as well as the honey tasting contest and the smoker contest.

    Bill Mead

    Bill Mead with Picnic coordinator, Mark Eckman

    We had 12 entries in the honey contest consisting of a surprising array of colors and tastes. Judging was not easy with so many great honeys. The winner for 2017 Best Tasting Honey goes to Bill Mead!  Congratulations Bill!  He received a beautiful plaque for this achievement, and a huge gift basket prize.

    The gift baskets were put together by Misty Lizarralde, Human Resources Manager, Snyder’s-Lance.  Thank you to Snyder’s-Lance for once again providing our wonderful top-honor prizes!

    The plaque award is new this year and is an honor given from the Chattahoochee Valley Beekeepers Association.

    An honorable mention in second place was Jenny & Mark Eckman’s honey, and in a tie for third, William Farris’ and Steve Slappy’s .  Congratulations to you all.

    Freddy Beegle

    Mark Eckman with Fred Beegle

    The smoker contest was a fierce competition, but in the end Fred Beegle was the winner for the large size smoker and Matt Young was the winner for the smaller size.  Both skilled beekeepers went home with a large gift basket and bragging rights until next year.


    Mark Eckman with Matt Young

    A sincere thank you to Mark Eckman, picnic coordinator and to the Beegle Family for hosting all of us at your farm once again for a terrific picnic event!

    Our next meeting will be October 9th at the GA Extension office meeting room. Meeting time is 6:00 PM.

  • May – Paul’s Newsletter

    Date: 2017.05.30 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    It’s been a strange month in comparison to this time last year. On May 7th, I had three swarms in one day and have not seen a swarm since. Last year, the swarming didn’t stop until July and I even caught a swarm last year at the end of September. Does this mean they are through for the year? Of course not. My yellow lab, Maggie, and I will continue our twice daily trips through both bee yards, searching for that distinctive football shape in the trees.
    The University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute at Young Harris on May 9 – 13 was an event anyone interested in beekeeping should have attended. I was especially proud that 4 members of our club (not counting me) attended, two of whom took the training and testing to become UGA Certified Beekeepers. I hope to take a few minutes at our next meeting to tell you who went and who our newly Certified members are. I also want to encourage any of you who have an interest, to make plans to attend next year.
    I guess due to the absence of swarms, it’s been rather peaceful in my bee yards for the last couple of weeks. The girls are going about their business of making baby bees and making honey. I think I have been more diligent this year than last at putting second brood boxes on the captured swarms and adding honey supers a little more timely. That may account for the decrease in swarm activity this year, but I thought I did pretty good last year. Maybe not.
    Last month, I inspected all of my hives very closely to make sure I had productive queens in each. (You don’t have to actually see a queen in order to confirm her presence. If you see eggs and young larvae, you know she’s there.) As is always the case, I have some really productive hives, some moderately productive hives and some weak hives. Normally, I would hunt for a capped queen cell in a hive that had several or a queen I could find, and I’d move that frame to the weak hive and bid a fond farewell to the old, unproductive queen. (CAUTION: never ever move a capped queen cell from a hive unless you have confirmed beyond doubt that there are either others OR you can find and visually confirm the old queen is still there.) In my current predicament, I will soon be forced to combine (using the newspaper method) the weak hives with strong ones. It’s never a good idea to combine two weak hives. You’ll only wind up with a big, weak hive.
    If you choose to purchase a new queen and requeen a weak hive, it can work IF you take some capped brood frames (one is enough if it’s full) from a strong hive and add that when you
    introduce the new queen. All the bees that hatch from the brood frame will be nurse bees long enough to get the new queen established.
    For the last two weeks and for the near future, I will be inspecting the top box (brood or honey super) about every ten days. All I do is lift the outer cover and lightly smoke the bees, then lift the inner cover. If I see bees actively working the top box, I add an additional super. By actively working, I mean lots of bees in that top box with several frames filled out. Sometimes only three or four filled out frames is enough for me if there are lots of bees, especially if it is a honey super I’m looking at. If it’s a brood box I’m looking at, I need to see lots of bees and most of the frames filled out before adding the first honey super.
    In a nutshell, I’m looking for swarms, trying to figure out how to handle the few weak hives and I’m adding boxes. In my free time, I’m cleaning old wooden ware, putting old comb and wax moth damaged comb in boiling water to collect what wax I can, and throwing the resulting foundation away. Unless they are severely damaged, I clean and reuse the wooden frames. (They are not damaged by the 10 – 20 second dip in boiling water. In fact, they are easier to clean if you can do it right away.)
    It’s a good time, too, to be thinking about varroa treatments in the early fall. As an important note, according to all the scientists and professionals we encountered in Young Harris, amitraz (Apivar) is out and thymol (Api Life Var) is in. Where I have recommended Apivar as my choice for early fall treatment in the past, I am switching to Api Life Var for my early fall treatment. I harvest honey the first week in August, usually, so my calendar would be: harvest Aug. 7th, put wet supers back on the hives for a few days. Remove supers Aug. 12th. Begin Api Life Var treatments beginning Aug. 13th, assuming daytime temperatures will allow it (follow the instructions on the package). If it’s too hot, I’ll have to wait until it falls to the threshold.
    I hope this information helps you to be good to your bees and, as always, every word of this is MY OPINION ONLY (hopefully backed up by some good science).
    See you at the next meeting.

  • Observation Hive Donated at Meeting

    Date: 2017.04.17 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Jerry Slaughter of Cold Creek Bee Co. and Jim Ellis, president CVBA

    At our April 10th meeting, Jim Ellis, on behalf of the CVBA was very proud to accept a beautiful observation hive from Jerry Slaughter, who is a member of our bee club and also owns Cold Creek Bee Co.  This is an Ulster observation hive and will be very useful whenever we do presentations.  An observation hive is always a big hit and this type will make it quite easy to take the bees for demonstrations.  Paul Berry submitted an application to Jerry for our club, and this resulted in our being granted this terrific piece of equipment.  The CVBA works to promote sustainable beekeeping and encourage awareness and protection of the honey bee.  Having an observation hive at our disposal is a terrific asset.  Thank you Jerry!

    Our speaker at this meeting was very informative. Bear Kelly gave a great presentation on “Honey, the Inside Story.”  Among other things, he is currently taking a course to be an official honey judge. We would like to invite you to our annual picnic and our honey contest. Thank you Bear, for taking the time to speak to our group!

  • Picnic 2016 – a FUN time!

    Date: 2016.09.15 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    The Chattahoochee Valley Beekeepers Association annual picnic was again held at the farm of Betty Beegle and her family.  At their farm, they are ready for anything and luckily they were ready for rain.  Yes, it rained on our picnic, but that just made it fun, interesting and memorable.  At the Beegle Farm, they have a large framed roof over their picnic area, so all the food and guests were covered.  You had to get a little rained on to get your dessert, but that didn’t stop anyone.  It was well worth it too because all the food and all the desserts were terrific.

    Before it rained, we did a little candle dipping and also saw a wax melter setup.  Along with this, Jim Ellis and Freddie Beegle got into one of Freddie’s hives and did an inspection demonstration.  This is always very informative and a great thing to see especially since we should all do hive inspections before winter to make sure the bees are putting up enough honey.   The smoker contest and the honey tasting contest also took place.  This year the smoker contest was divided into large smokers and smaller smokers with a prize for each category.  The winner of the smaller smokers was Charlie Brown.  The winner of the larger smokers was Duane Johnson again.  Congratulations to you both!  The winner of the honey tasting contest was William Ferris for the second year in a row.  Congratulations!  We also had a new attraction at the picnic this year.  D. Dekeyser brought one of his parrots named Scooter.  This extremely beautiful bird was quite entertaining and was a big hit with the kids as well as the adults.

    Picnic 2016Here is a group photo which we took just in the nick of time before it began to rain.  Thank you to Doug Roberts for taking our group photo and also all of the photos on our photo page.  Here is a quick link to see these photos…

    Our October meeting will be at the UGA Extension office on October 10, 6PM.

HELP! Swarms & Bee Rescue



Due to construction work, the April 9, 2018 meeting will be held at Oxbow Meadows.  Please spread the word.

Here is a handy link:


Click these handy links to find out more about our SPRING 2018 COURSE OFFERINGS:

2018 Course

2018 workshops

(see below for specifics about our alternating locations)

2017 Picnic Photos Posted!:  CLICK HERE


April 9 – Oxbow – Note: this is due to construction at UGA office.
May 14 – Oxbow
June 11 – UGA Ex. Office
July 9 – Oxbow
All dates except the picnic begin at 6PM and end (hopefully) before 8PM.

All of our meetings are on the second Monday of the month, except, of course, September’s annual picnic. Now you can put us on your calendar early and plan out your entire year of beekeeping meetings. These meetings alternate locations between Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, 3535 South Lumpkin Rd., Columbus, GA and the UGA Cooperative Extension office – 420 10th Street in Columbus, GA. Time is 6:00 PM
Becoming a member of our Beekeepers Association is easy! CVBA-MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

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