March 2014 Meeting Minutes


Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers


Meeting Minutes – March 12, 2014

President Tom Allen…

The Ohio State University Bee Lab Free Webinars begin March 19, 2014:

  • March 19: Phenology for Beekeepers, Denise Ellsworth, The Ohio State University Extension/Entomology
  • April 16:  Making Colony Splits – An Inexact Procedure, Jim Tew, Extension Bee Specialist, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
  • May 21: 10 Rules of Modern Beekeeping, Kim Flottum, Author and Editor of Bee Culture Magazine
  • June 18: Hive Monitoring: Measuring Primary and Secondary Pests of Your Hive, Alex Zomchek, Master Beekeeping Instructor
  • July 16:  Chemistry of Honey, Thom Janini, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University
  • August 20: Bee Foraging in Rural Areas During Corn Planting, Reed Johnson, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
  • September 17: Winter Preparation, Barb Bloetscher, State Apiarist, The Ohio Department of Agriculture
  • Wyoming Bee College Conference March 22, 23rd Cheyenne, WY.Omaha Bee Club Bee Fest & the Great Plains Beekeepers Workshop – August 9th, 2014

Members Discussion:

John McDowell

  • Discussed buying a nuk of bees or a package if bees
  • Try to ensure you have 60,000 bees at the beginning of the nectar flow…which occurs around early to middle of June.
  • Ideally you will want the following number of frames full: 3 frames by April 30th; 4 frames by April 27th; 5 frames by May 6th; 6 frames by May 15th; 8-9 frames by June 15th
  • One frame/one side = 2,000 bees
  • To manage bee population in March
  • o    Combine two weak hives
  • o    Split hives
  • o    Any colony will accept brood from any other colony

Adding new bees to your NEW hive

  • If you purchase a nuk of bees – remove 4 frames from the middle of the brood box and place the four nuk frames in the box.


When to Re-Queen:

  • Should be done annually or bi-annually – commercial beekeepers say you should do it every year
  • If you have spotty brood
  • If you have a hive with a bad disposition (angry bees)

Next, put an empty super shell on the top of the brood box. Take queen cage out of the can (TAKE THE PLUG OUT and replace with the candy plug which comes with it) place it vertically in the middle of the frames. Place the empty super shell over the top – cover and come back in a hour and remove the super.

The best way to ensure your queen survives:

  1. Begin with the bottom brood box with 9-10 frames. Remove 4 to 5 frames from the middle of the box and replace with 4-5 frames from the nuk.
  2. Place a second brood box over the bottom brood box.
  3. Put a third brood box with the new queen inside on top of the two boxes and cover with a double-screen board.
  4. Wait one month.
  5. Then find and kill the new queen.

 Jerry Owens

How to split a hive

  • When the bottom box is all bees and brood – it is a good time to split
  • Must have at least three frames of bees to transfer to a new hive.
  • NOTE: These bees have not been out of the hive so they have never seen how to get home…so if you put them in a new hive…it is home…they don’t know the difference.
  • If you have frames with supersedure cells it is a good time to split your hive…they will naturally make a new queen – So don’t transfer the queen you have to the new hive.
  • To split:
  1. Place new or top box next to bottom brood box – look for frames with supersedure cells
  2. Take 3-4 frames out of the middle and put in the new box
  3. Take 3-4 frames out of the new box and put on the sides of the old box (both sides)
  4. Let the new box & bees sit for two days…before putting the queen in the middle of them…so they ‘want’ a new queen and when she arrives they will welcome her and not kill her
  5. Put new queen in the middle of the new hive – plug must be up
  6. Put a top feeder with sugar water on – so the bees do not need to go far for food.
  7. Move new box in the permanent location as soon as possible.
  8. Leave the boxes closed for 10 days so bees get acclimated to their new home before you invade their space
  •  The best time of day to split a hive is mid-day – on a warm and calm day

Hive Discussions…

  • Spring – when bees are bringing in a lot of pollen it is a good time time to reverse boxes…
  • Good time to clean frames up so they are easier to take in and out
  • Dark frames probably need to be removed – so get new frames because old and dark ones could have a build-up of pesticides
  • Clean burr combs
  • Gently take boxes off the bottom board and clean the bottom board
  • Peek around and see how much honey is left
  • Ice cream buckets with small holes in the lid – turned upside down and on a small board (slightly elevated) – is an easy way to feed bees in the spring.

 Fun Fact:

  • One day in the life of a bee = two years in the life of a human
  • ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water will disinfect anything.

Minutes submitted by:  Michelle Hovland, Secretary 

Disclaimer:  If I have misquoted you, misnamed you, didn’t quote you, didn’t name you, or otherwise made mistakes in these meeting minutes, I apologize. Please feel free to send me the corrections and I will correct/publish them in the meeting minutes on the web site.  Send to


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