March 2015 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

Meeting Minutes – March, 2015

President Bob Asheim called the meeting to order at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center on 11 March 2015, at 6:00 PM.  Approximately 55 members were in attendance.


Kia Smith reminded members to continue getting their annual dues to her ($10 per family for the calendar year).


CHECK-IN SHEET:  Bob reports we presently have 90 colonies among our members, and 16 colonies have been lost so far during the Winter.  The check-in sheet didn’t make it all the way around the room during tonight’s meeting, so members are asked to please help with that at future meetings so that we can keep compiling this important information.

RAPID CITY ORDINANCE:  The City of Rapid City has completed a draft of regulations for keeping bees in the city limits. The main points are:

  • If you have a standard-sized yard, you can have up to 4 colonies, and flight paths must be directed away from neighbors.
  • You must provide water on your property to minimize the bees seeking out neighboring water sources
  • All colonies must be in hives with removable frames, so they can be inspected.  Skeps are not allowed.

Jerry Owens has a copy of the draft, and it is available to anyone who would like to read it.  It now goes to the City Planning Committee, and they will give us a chance to read it again, with any of their changes, before it goes to the Mayor.

  • SWARM CAPTURE TEAM:  The team has completed a draft of how the Swarm Capture Teams will be organized.  Bob distributed about a half-dozen copies for members to read, write any ideas or suggestions, and to include their phone number if they want to be on a list to receive a swarm.


LOBBYING ACTION:  Our club’s appointed Lobbyist, Tina Mullaly, attended a meeting in Pierre that was about spraying for Pine Beetles and the effects on bees.  The spray is extremely toxic to bees and other beneficial insects if present during application, or within 24 hours thereafter.  She asked the Hearing committee to consider a requirement that all registered beekeepers be given 24-hour notice before the spray is used in any area in the State.  The committee said it’s too late in the legislative year to consider a new proposal, but they would be willing to draft something for next year.

    • Tina asked the club if she should continue as our lobbyist, and there was no objection.


  • Jerry Owens is ordering both packages or Nucs.  They are Italians or Minnesota Hygienics, and cost $110.00.  You can contact him by phone at 605-381-9986, or email at ADR Bees.
  • John McDowell is ordering packages, and will go pick them up the first or second weekend in April.  You can order with him right up to that time, so contact him at 605-716-2600 after you check your colonies and know if you need to order.



  • The month of March will see the lowest adult bee population per colony—it may be down to 8 to 15 thousand bees, from their Fall population of @30,000. Hopefully the central cluster of bees in each colony is still large enough to sustain an internal cluster temperature of about 70 degrees, and an outer cluster temperature of 43 to 46 degrees.  From January to now, we have had quite a few days above 59 degrees, which has allowed the bees to take cleansing flights, and allow the cluster to move and maintain contact with its honey stores.
  • The queen will have started laying in the last week of January or in the first 2 weeks of February. Usually at the start, she lays @100 eggs per day, and by March it will be about 750 eggs per day.  MAKE SURE WATER IS AVAILABLE NOW.
  • Once brood starts, CONSUMPTION OF BEE BREAD AND HONEY WILL INCREASE DRAMATICALLY:  food stores consumed for this month will be about 4 lbs. building to 8 lbs.  The internal cluster temperature will be increased to 93 degrees or higher, and the cluster will remain centered around where the queen lays her eggs.  Hopefully, the temperature will rise enough to allow the workers to consolidate honey and bee bread around the brood areas. Because of this anchor of the cluster around the brood, sudden drops in temperature for a lengthy period of time can cause the colony to starve, even though there are plenty of stores.


  • Feed 1 to 1 syrup, as no forage will be available for weeks.  (For example, Bob estimates in the Belle Fourche area, the first dandelions will bloom around April 20th, followed by fruit trees.)
  • Feed pollen/substitute patties for brood rearing
  • Check for Varroa mites and treat if necessary.  In the Winter with the absence of brood, the Varroa mites are just riding around on the adult bees, but once brood starts, 80% of the mites will be in the brood cells, and crawling among the nurse bees.  Do a Varroa test and install grease patties over the brood area if numbers are high.
  • Recommend treatment for Nosema
  • Swarm Prevention Management planning.  Be thinking about swarming and be aware that this month and April are the best months to replace the queen.


Minutes submitted by: Jan Snedigar, 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



About Wannabee Secretary

Secretary - Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers club
This entry was posted in Archive - 2015 Minutes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s