• 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.

    Smoker

    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!

  • Get Ready! The 2017 Annual Picnic is rescheduled for Sept. 17!

    Date: 2017.09.05 | Category: Announcement | Response: 0

    The CVBA Annual Picnic is scheduled for Sunday September 10, 2017

    (RESCHEDULED for September 17th, 2017 due to Hurricane Irma)

    This is the picnic we look forward to each year.  It is a fun time with lots of activities, and great prizes! There is a smoker contest, a honey tasting contest candle dipping, and other activities as well as fellowship and great food.  Bring the family and your favorite food to share. Check out these photos from our 2016 picnic.

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

    CVBA-2015 PicnicMany activities – beginning at 4:00 PM

    Dinner – 5:00 PM

    Dinner, Fellowship, Beekeeping Technique Demonstration, Honey Tasting Contest, Smoker Contest, Candle dipping, Group Photo, and more!   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 MapHere are 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  http://www.angelfire.com/electronic2/ronrollins/page1.html 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

  • 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.
    Paul

HELP! Swarms & Bee Rescue

Announcements

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PRINT out an APPLICATION HERE
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Here is a handy link:
QUICK LINK TO SWARM LURE RECIPE!!!

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MEETING LOCATIONS:
(see below for specifics about our alternating locations)
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2017 Picnic Photos Posted!:  CLICK HERE

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LOOKING AHEAD-MEETINGS IN 2017:

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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.

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FYI:
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
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