June 2015 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers


Meeting Minutes – June, 2015

President Bob Asheim called the meeting to order at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center on June 10, 2015, at 6:10 PM.  Approximately 45 people were in attendance, including 8 ‘newbees’ (at the meeting for the first time).

According to the May check-in sheet, there are 116 colonies within our club, 29 of which are new, and 37 colonies have been lost since September 2014.

Bob stated where we are now in the Bee Year: the Spring Build-Up Phase should be almost complete, and your colonies should be at their top strength for the continuation of the honey-flow season.

Bob then asked to go AROUND THE ROOM for each member to report on the status of their bees.  Three members report having had swarms, which was a loss for some and gain of a colony for others; several members have lost colonies in the late Spring, some of which were new Nucs which did not make it; a few members have split colonies, and one has re-queened.  A member stated she had a significant problem with flies in and around her hives, and what worked was setting traps using beer.

A member had spoken with Bob Tolman, who says he hopes to be released from the Mayo Clinic on July 4, and plans to be at our next meeting.


A Treasurer’s report was not read.


A correction is made to the May Minutes: Kenny ‘Harrigan’ is a misspelling, and should read Kenny ‘Hargens’. (He has 15 acres of wild flowers outside Hill City, and is hoping beekeepers will come forward to put their bees on this land.  He can be contacted at (605) 348-0496.)


–The Rapid City Ordinance was re-heard at the City Council meeting on May 18th, 2015.  The motion to require a fence or other barrier was voted down, so the ordinance passed without that restriction.  The ordinance allowing hobby beekeeping within the City limits is now official.

–Tom Allen reported that Governor Daugaard accepted and signed an Executive Proclamation designating June 15-21 2015 as South Dakota Pollinator Week.  In part, the proclamation reads,

Whereas, South Dakota consistently ranks in the top five states in pounds of honey produced and has over 316,000 colonies in an average year; and,

Whereas, Pollination plays a vital role in the health of our national forests and grasslands, which provide forage, fish and wildlife, timber, water, mineral resources, and recreational  opportunities as well as enhanced economic development opportunities for communities; and,

Whereas, Pollinator species provide significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining healthy biodiverse ecosystems, and,

Whereas, The state of South Dakota provides producers with conservation assistance to promote wise conservation stewardship, including the protection and maintenance of pollinators  and their habitats on work lands and wild lands:

Now, Therefore, I, Dennis Daugaard, Governor of the state of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim the week of June 15-21, 2015, as South Dakota Pollinator Week.

The document will be kept in the Club Archives.

–Tom Allen also informed the Club that August 22, 2015, is National Honeybee Appreciation Day.  He talked with people at the Outdoor Campus about joining forces to plan a community-wide program. More on that will follow next month.


–Tyson H. Steiger of the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau (605-718-8489) contacted our Club, regarding the next South Dakota Beekeepers Association Convention. It is in Mitchell on June 24-25, 2015 . That convention is geared primarily for commercial beekeepers, so has been of less interest to most hobbyists.  Kia Smith and Tina Mulally will follow up on the contact.

–Tom Allen reminded us about the excellent monthly webinars by Ohio State University on pollinator health. The next webinar is titled “Social Insects: an Overview.”  They archive all their webinars, so you can view all past presentations. Their site is: http://u.osu.edu/beelab/courses/


Bob Asheim presented tonight’s program, titled:  “New Beekeepers and old Beekeepers with New Colonies”

–The primary objectives with a new colony is, by the first two weeks in September, to have:

  • 20 deep frames fully drawn (2 deeps as hive bodies.)
  • As close to 30,000 adult bees as possible (about 10 frames covered on both sides with adult bees.)
  • Mite load within allowable limits (three-day sticky board test with results of 3 or less mites per day.)

–The minimum amount of safety equipment needed to work with your hive:

  •  Bee veil
  •  gloves
  •  long-sleeved shirt
  •  full-length pants
  •  no open-toed shoes!
  •  ankles covered

–Bob brought examples of basic beekeeping equipment that he always has handy when he is working with his bees:

  • smoker
  • sugar water in a spray bottle also works to calm the bees down
  • hive tool
  • drop cloth:  Bob uses several, one to put on the ground to set frames and equipment upon, and other ones to cover the exposed bees while he works on the hive.
  • bee brush or turkey feather (some say a turkey feather is gentler on the bees). When brushing bees off the frames or hive,  BRUSH UP, NOT DOWN!  If you make downward strokes, it can catch    them and break their legs.  Brushing up lifts them up and off.
  • cinnamon :  Sprinkle this around hive openings to keep out ants
  • baby powder:  Put on hands to ease putting on gloves, and seems to deter bees from stinging the hands.


Hive Placement:

  • Have local WATER AVAILABLE.  Bees seem to like dirty water.
  • Hive should face East or South
  • Set on a raised stand, like concrete blocks or other support
  • Situate out of sight of passersby
  • Should have easy access
  • Fence it in if small children or domestic animals are around
  • Placing a flag near the hive lets the bees get used to the motion so they don’t bother you as much when you go near the hive.


Bob also gave detailed information about different methods for swarm control.


The meeting was adjourned @7:25.


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 jpsned2149@gmail.com



About Wannabee Secretary

Secretary - Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers club
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