September 14, 2010 Meeting Minutes
The regular meeting of the Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers was called to order at 6:05 p.m. on September 14, 2010 at the Canyon Lake Senior Center by Jerry Owens.
The minutes of the August meeting were not read because the secretary was not able to be present.
There was no treasurer’s report.
There was no Old Business
Lila Lytle of Custer was present and honored for her write up in the Custer County newspaper giving the club more press and exposure to the general public. Thanks Lyla for sharing this with us.
Shutting down the hives for winter was a main topic of conversation. As winter draws near we need to be aware of what the bees will do to prepare for the cold months ahead. A method of helping the bees is to feed them sugar water in the fall until freeze up to help the bees conserve their supply of honey. The hives came with a top feeder which we all used this last spring. In addition to the hive top feeder we have available a front hive feeder to help the bees this fall. The front feeder takes a quart or ½ gallon jar sitting on the front porch that the bees can use. This feeder is real visible to the beekeeper as you can see the feeder as you walk by the hive and tell if it is low on food. It is important to feed during the warm spells in the winter as well.
The bees will need both of the brood boxes full of honey to have a chance to make it through the winter.
A very important item to watch out for is the venting of the hive during the winter. Make sure that all the holes in the hive are open as well as the small opening in the bottom hive reducer. The warm air needs to escape to prevent condensation buildup in the hive which will turn to cold water and fall on the bees killing them.
Another thing that we can do to help the hive is to provide as much insulation as possible to keep the hive from having the wind blowing around the hive and wicking away the heat from the bees. There are many methods available. One that we talked about was to place straw bales around the hive on three sides leaving the front open to help the ventilation. The bales should be placed about 4” to 6” away from the hive box to keep any moisture or mildew away from the hive. We must not get the hive too warm during the cold months as the bees will come out thinking that a warms spell has arrived and they will get caught up in the cold and not be able to make it back to the hive. Cardboard was suggested, as well as ridged insulation. Lee Alley used ridged insulation last winter and it did very well. Another member is using concrete insulation blankets, so the methods are only limited to our imagination.
We were cautioned about keeping the wax moths out of our stored hives. The wax moth will lay eggs in the comb and the eggs will hatch into larva which will travel throughout the comb leaving a real mess. An example was passed around for everyone to see. The favorite method of controlling the wax moths was to seal the boxes as well as possible and put a layer of cedar wood chips on the top of the stack of boxes. This will go a long way to keep the moths out during the storage time frame.
We all need to keep track of what we are doing and share our successes and failures with the club members to assist us all in having a successful experience in our beekeeping.
A final note: The meeting time has been changed to the second Wednesday of the month. The next meeting will be on the 13th of October 2010. The meeting time remains 6:00.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Minutes submitted by: