Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

  • 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.

  • Annual Picnic for 2016!

    Date: 2016.08.11 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    The CVBA Annual Picnic is scheduled for Sunday September 11, 2016

    Picnic location is the Beegle Farmmore interesting facts on that later in this post.

    CVBA-2015 PicnicMany activities – beginning at 4:30 PM

    Dinner, Fellowship, Beekeeping Technique Demonstration, Honey Tasting Contest, Smoker Contest, Candle Making, Group Photo, and a Special Surprise!   So, bring your family, bring a veil for the demo, a small un-marked squeeze top container of your best honey for the tasting contest, your smoker for the smoker contest… don’t bring pine straw, everyone will pick from the same pile, and of course bring your favorite food to share.

    Partial reprint from previous years:

    Picnic MapAnyway, I promised some interesting facts on the Beegle Farm.  First, here is a basic map on how to get there.  The big double road drawn North/South in the map on the right, is Interstate-185.  Take Exit 30, then go a very short distance toward 219.  Whether you turn right or left obviously depends on if you are travelling North or South on 185.  The off ramps are technically on the Hopewell Church Road, but Hopewell Church Road turns into 219, so you do not turn once you are on that road.  You are within walking distance… pass a church, and when you come to some trees on the left, you have arrived.   Look for the “If and When Honey” sign, and usually there is a smaller sign that says “Bee Club” pointing down the dirt road that leads to the picnic area, shown as the red circle with the star on the map.

    Honey SignThe Beegle Farm is a historic landmark with a rich history, which includes a grist mill, power plant, and general store.  Bet you didn’t know that!  I happened upon this website describing several interesting, historic landmarks in the Whitesville, GA area.  The Beegle Farm is one of the featured places, and to me, the most interesting.  In 1932 Betty’s father, J.T. Cox, purchased the house, land, grist mill, and country store.  I will let you read the details from the link above, but interestingly he also owned a personal power plant that produced 32 Volt electric power – enough for their needs on the farm (back then).  The grist mill ran on it’s own separate gasoline engine until they converted it to run with electricity.   This personal power plant also provided electricity for a movie projector, which J.T. ran during the summer months.   Picture a drive-in, with wagons instead of cars.   This movie night attracted quite a number of people, who, in-turn, could all purchase snacks at intermission from the country store… how smart is that?

    So plan to attend this year’s picnic.  It’s always a fun time

HELP! Swarms & Bee Rescue


Here is a handy link:

(see below for specifics about our alternating locations)
July 10 – Ga. Extension Service
August 14 – Oxbow
September 10 – CVBA Picnic at Betty Beegle’s Farm
October 9 – Ga. Extension Service
November 13 – Oxbow
December 11 – CVBA Christmas Social at Ga. Extension Office
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

Recent Posts

Nucs Arrive 2017

Varroa Mite Test

Helpful Links