• February – Paul’s Newsletter

    Date: 2018.02.12 | Category: Newsletter, Tips and Tricks | Response: 0

    Paul’s Winter/Spring Newsletter

    Greetings All!     I’ll try to do better, I promise.

    When the weather is pleasant and the sun shines on my hives, you can almost hear the girls singing.  Cold days keep knocking us back a little, but they recover quickly.

    If you haven’t treated your bees for mites yet this winter, about your only option now is formic acid (Mite Away Quick Strips.  If you haven’t treated them, I STRONGLY recommend that you do right away.

    I am very close to rotating my hive bodies to reduce swarming.  (On a double-deep hive, put the top box on the bottom and the bottom box on top.)  I will ONLY do this if most of the bees are int eh top box now.  It’s also a great time to put a Mite Away Quick Strip between the two.  The reason I do this is to give the bees a sense of more room.  In many hives after winter, you will see that virtually all the bees, brood and food are in the top box. Since bees always move up, rotating the boxes gives them somewhere to move up to, thus reducing the need to swarm.

    I’ve been feeding my bees all during the cold weather, just to make sure they have enough food.  When it’s as cold as it has been, you can’t open the hives to check.  The red quince on my farm has started to bloom in the last few days, so I am feeding all my hives now to stimulate the queen to lay.  By the time these eggs hatch (21 days), early blooming plants should be providing the nourishment the young bees need.  Your goal is to have as large a population of bees as possible as early in the blooming season as possible.  (And still discourage swarming).  The ONLY thing I do to prevent swarming is providing my bees with plenty of room to grow and by doing splits as I have time.  I never cut queen cells or clip queen wings.  In my opinion, that’s a recipe’ for disaster.

    Remember that we can have swarms as early as the First of March.  Counting backwards, since queens hatch at day 18, you might begin to see swarm cells as early as the middle of February (only about a week away).  That’s a little early, but certainly not unheard of.  Speaking of splits, that’s the best way to prevent swarms because you’re actually beating the bees to the punch, creating an artificial swarm YOU control instead of them.

    Anybody can do a split with a swarm cell.  All you have to do is divide the hive in half, making sure the queen is in one half and the swarm cell(s) in the other half.  Each half should have an equal amount of honey, brood, pollen and bees.  Then move one of the halves two miles away for 2-3 weeks.  For those of you who remember how to “notch” a queen cell, you don’t even have to have a swarm cell.  Anytime I see a swarm cell, it’s a free and easy chance to do a split.

    I’ve got a pretty good PowerPoint program on “Catching a Caring for Swarms” I did at the GBA meeting last year.  I’ve been asked to present it at the LaGrange club in February and the Tara club (McDonough) in March.  If we have an open meeting soon, I’ll be glad to do it for our club if you like.

    The Georgia Beekeepers Association Spring Conference is being held in Griffin next weekend, so register and come if you can.  It is an exceptional learning experience.  You can meet and talk to people there who are a heckofa lot smarter than me.

    Don’t forget to promote our Spring Beekeeping Course beginning February 24th.  Tell friends and neighbors to call Oxbow Meadows, (706)507-8550, to sign up.

    I’m in conversation with Dr. Keith Delaplane now about holding the Certified Beekeeper exam here in Columbus in Mid April, for those interested.  Once I get past the GBS meeting next weekend, I’ll be able to concentrate on that and will let you know as plans progress.

    If you have any questions or want me to discuss a topic in these (infrequent, sorry) newsletters, shoot me an email.

    Be good to your bees!



  • 2018 Spring Beekeeper Course

    Date: 2018.02.08 | Category: Announcement | Response: 0

    WANT TO BE A BEEKEEPER?  TWO SPRING EVENTS: Spring Beekeeper Course and Jr. Beekeeper Workshops offered by CVBA!

    That’s right, two educational events: A full six-week course for anyone serious about beekeeping, and three special day-long workshops geared toward children interested in beekeeping. Taught by knowledgeable, seasoned CVBA beekeepers.

    2018 CourseTHE SIX-WEEK COURSE:
    The CVBA is presenting a six-week course that will take you from a beginner to a beekeeper. (see expanded flyer below) This course is one day per week from February 24, 2018 to April 7, 2018. (There is no class March 31st).  Cost is $100 per person and $50 for immediate family, which includes the classes, textbooks, handouts, and a one year membership with the CVBA!  Time is 3PM – 5PM at Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, Columbus, GA. Specific dates are: Feb. 24, Mar. 3, Mar. 10, Mar. 17, Mar. 24, Apr. 7

    REGISTER TODAY!  Call Oxbow Meadows at 706-507-8559

    This is a comprehensive class with hands-on work and is packed with information.  Early spring is the perfect time to become a beekeeper, so call today to sign up.

    Join us for a day-long fun workshop and learn all about honey bees.  Three workshops are offered. (see expanded flyer below) Cost is $35 per child with one parent/guardian. Parent/guardian must be present during the workshop.

    The Dates and topics are:
    April 14, 2018 – How to build a bee frame
    May 12, 2018 Beeswax Candle making
    June 9, 2018 – How to build a bee frame

    Bring a lunch, as all workshops are from 10AM to 3PM at Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, Columbus, GA

    REGISTER TODAY!  Call Oxbow Meadows at 706-507-8559

    More information on both of these Spring 2018 events at: https://oxbow.columbusstate.edu


    2018 Course

    2018 workshops

  • 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.

  • PICNIC Date Postponed Due to Hurricane IRMA

    Date: 2017.09.14 | Category: Announcement | Response: 0

    The Annual CVBA picnic has been postponed to September 17th, 2017 due to Hurricane Irma.  Imminent bad weather on September 10th made it necessary to postpone our annual picnic for everyone’s safety and to prepare for the hurricane.

    The picnic will take place as usual but is delayed by one week.  The new date is September 17th, same time, same place so we hope you will come out to the Beegle Farm.  Sunday September 17th at 4:00!

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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