January 12, 2010 Meeting Minutes
After unexpected changes in room location, the meeting was called to order by Jerry Owens at 6:10, January 12, 2010, at the Rapid City Public Library. The minutes of the previous meeting were not read.
Jerry opened the meeting by stating that the time for ordering bees for this spring is here and is crucial if hives are going to get a strong start. Jerry stated that it was easiest to have the same kind of bees for all of the hives a person has. He has been in contact with many suppliers recently and found that shipping costs have risen substantially.
Jerry shared some research he had done on the different types of bees, their attributes and their strengths and weaknesses, especially as it concerns this area. The main types discussed were: Minnesota Hygienic, Carniola, Italian, Russian, Buckfast, and Caucasian.
Availability was then discussed. Jerry found that out of sixteen contacts only four would ship through the mail. Shipping costs have greatly affected the cost of bees. The prices ranged from $155 (including shipping) to $68 plus $60 shipping. Bees come in 3 pound packages and include a queen. Troy brought up the question about local commercial beekeepers selling packages. Jerry indicated that at one time he did get a package of bees locally. One drawback might be the fact that local commercial beekeepers move their bees all over the country and therefore they may have a tendency to be exposed to more disease or parasites. The benefit would be no shipping costs.
Dave Braveheart asked about start-up costs for beekeeping. Jerry indicated that he sells a new hive with bees and set up for $350. This includes two hive bodies, two honey supers, frames for each, a queen excluder, top, and landing bottom. Included in this price is also assistance for the first year. Additional items that new beekeepers may want to purchase would be: suit for $70-80; hive tool for $7; smoker for $35-40; and gloves for $15-20 (all prices are approximate). Jerry also indicated that he has a small extractor which he will make available to his customers and also to club members as is possible. Jerry also pointed out that there are other suppliers available besides his company.
Jerry will send out an email with bee prices to everyone and plans on putting an order in within the next several weeks. This will insure the best price and a good delivery date.
Due to a scheduling conflict, meeting dates are now the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. A specific room is still unknown so check the podium as you enter the library. We will also try to have signs in place.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:50.