Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Spring Bees arrive! Jim and Gayle Hunsinger picked up a trailer and truck load of Nucs for our bee club. These nucs were pre-ordered through Jim and Gayle who organized everything and delivered the nucs to Oxbow where members conveniently came to pick them up around 9PM. They have been doing this for several years now and the membership appreciates this greatly!
The weather cooperated this year with mild temperatures and very little, if any, misty rain. Enthusiasm was high as new beekeepers and seasoned beekeepers came to help out, socialize and collect their new treasure. Most were going to place their new bee nucs on top of their permanent hives that night and install the bees the next day. The nucs are made of a sturdy white plastic that is weather proof and makes a great swarm trap afterwards. So don’t throw the box away! Check out these photos.
It’s late February and things are beginning to bloom all over. Azalea’s and Red Buds are looking like they will bust out all over any day now. The bees are foraging with a vengeance. I left my shop door open Sunday with some old dead-outs stacked up near the entrance and the bees found them. Hundreds, if not thousands of my girls were in my shop so thick there was no room for me. I turned off all the lights and covered the windows with tarps so that the only light they could see was the open door. That got most of them out, but I still had hundreds of dead bees on my shop floor yesterday and today. Note to self: don’t leave the shop door open again.
All of you missed a wonderful Georgia Beekeepers Association meeting in Griffin last weekend. I know all of you missed it because Jim Ellis and I were the only CVBA members there. You missed a great chance to learn from the professors and chat with fellow beekeepers. I encourage all of you to consider joining the GBA. It is well worth your time and money.
I finished inspecting the rest of my hives this past week (5 or 6 is all I can handle without a break). While inspecting, I did my hive body reversals and continued to treat with the oxalic/glycerin shop towels I wrote about earlier (credit Randy Oliver from California). I really like that method because it doesn’t seem to bother the bees at all. No sooner do I lay the moist towel over the brood than bees begin to crawl all over the towel. I had a few hives in which the bees had not moved up or were all scattered around the hive bodies (which I left alone), but most were all in the top brood box, which I reversed to give them room to continue moving up in the hive.
I found a few drone cells in a couple of my hives but I’m waiting now for warm sunny days to start at the beginning again, looking for drone and swarm cells. Do remember it takes a drone 24 days to hatch (from egg to bee) and an additional 10 days for him to sexually mature. It only takes a new queen 18 days to hatch (from egg to bee) and a few days after that to mature. It is NOT too early to look for swarm cells. Beekeepers in Savannah reported active swarms already and Jim Ellis told me Saturday he had already had a swarm call.
Finding swarm cells really is a gift if you have any desire to split some hives (which also serves as a swarm deterrent). When you find a swarm cell, locate the old queen and move her to a NUC box along with half the honey/pollen and brood, leaving the frame with the swarm cell(s) in the original hive along with half the honey/pollen and brood. Move that NUC with half the bees/honey/pollen/brood and the old queen 2 miles away. Fill up the old hive with frames and foundation and now you have two colonies of bees. After a few weeks when the new queen has hatched and mated, you can move your NUC back to your yard and put them into a full size hive. One hive is now two. Couldn’t be easier.
My hives were all full of honey and pollen, so I have stopped all feeding, but you need to make that determination for your own hives. Inspect. Try to lift them from behind. If they’re heavy, you’re probably good but better to pop the top and inspect. When I inspect my hives, I remove and inspect every frame in the top box, then move it aside and do the same with the bottom box. You should be doing this now.
If It seems light or if you do not see a good amount of food, keep feeding. From now until the honey flow begins in earnest around April 1st, your bees are in danger of starving. Two or three cold days or two or three rainy days and they can starve if they don’t have sufficient stores.
A quick word about pesticides. In our area of the state, we really don’t have heavy agriculture and that’s where the greatest danger from which pesticides come. Pesticides can be a problem, but we are not at great risk from agricultural spraying. Although I’ve read about and seen pictures of pesticide kills, I’ve never actually seen one in real life. If you spray pesticides for any reason or can influence a neighbor who does, make sure to spray late in the afternoon around dusk and never, ever spray blooms the bees visit during the day. Spray only after the blooms have dropped.
As I listen to lectures and attend classes at state meetings, I have noticed the “experts” are now spending a lot of time on Varroa and less and less time on Neonicotinoids (a pesticide infused in seeds). I’ve even seen a couple of studies that discount Neonics as a problem. A real turn-around from a few years ago when everything from Colony Collapse Disorder to Global Warming was being blamed on neonics. The jury is still out, I guess.
INSPECT YOUR HIVES! TREAT FOR VARROA! FEED WHEN NECESSARY!
– Paul Berry, member CVBA
A certification class is coming to the CVBA. Specifics will be forthcoming. The certification testing is reportedly quite difficult and will require dedicated study. Stay tuned in to this website and come to the meetings to get the latest information on this topic.
2016 is shaping up to be a great year for honey! Lots of things are blooming right now and swarms are at a record high. Its a great time to be a beekeeper in the Chattahoochee Valley. Keep a check on your hives and add those supers! Clover seems more abundant this year than previous years. Did you know that bees love privet hedge blossoms? Its true… and it makes great honey. Privet hedge is everywhere in this area and this honeybee fact makes it a little easier to tolerate the highly invasive shrub. The photo is showing a few wildflowers, which required very little effort but took a great deal of patience to grow. Two years of leaving this section un-mown was difficult because it looked terrible the whole time. From someone who loves to mow, this was an accomplishment.
The 2015 Christmas social for the Chattahoochee Valley Beekeepers Association was a delicious event! We had a full spread complete with barbecue, side dishes, desserts and every kind of tea you could imagine. A special Thank You to Gayle and Jim Hunsinger for taking charge of the details. We appreciate you both and your wonderful organizing and culinary talents!
At this social, we were introduced to Anne Randle, the new Muscogee County Agent. If you missed the event, you can see her image in the slideshow below. You can also contact her at the Extension office.
Merry Christmas everyone! Have a joyful and safe holiday. See you back here at this Extension Office for our January meeting. In February, we will be at Oxbow and start alternating between the two locations.
HELP! Swarms & Bee Rescue
BECOME A MEMBER!
PRINT out an APPLICATION HERE
Here is a handy link:
QUICK LINK TO SWARM LURE RECIPE!!!
SPRING is here, get those Honey Supers ready!
(see below for specifics about our alternating locations)
LOOKING AHEAD-MEETINGS IN 2017:
April 10 - Oxbow
May 8 - Ga. Extension Service
June 12 - Oxbow
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
- Observation Hive Donated at Meeting
- Nucs at Night
- March 2017 – Paul’s Newsletter
- February 2017 – Paul’s Newsletter
- Beekeeping Spring Course Outline -2017
Nucs Arrive 2017
Varroa Mite Test
- April 2017
- March 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- December 2015
- October 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- December 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- March 2014
- January 2014
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- January 2013
- November 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012