Books and Other Cool Stuff

A link to the W.A.S. news letter – May, 2016

The Club Librarian for 2015 is Dan Mulally.  The club has several books and videos that members can check out for a month at a time.  Dan provided the following list of books currently in the library (as of October 2014).

  • A World Without Bees – Time Magazine
  • Applying Pesticides Correctly – EPA/USDA
  • Bee Keeping for Dummies
  • Beekeeping and Honeybees
  • Beekeeping Basics – Penn State
  • Beekeeping, Bees, and Making Honey
  • The Beekeepers Bible
  • The Beekeepers Lament – Vivian (how one man and half a billion bees help feed America)
  • Confessions of a Beekeeper
  • Cooking with Honey – Joanne Barrett (Recipes)
  • Guide to Backyard Bees and Honey – Grit Country Skills
  • Guide to Backyard Bees – Missing from Library
  • Homegrown Honeybees and Time Management
  • Honeybee Democracy – Thomas D Seeley
  • Increase Essentials
  • Keeping Bees and Making Honey – Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum
  • Letters From the Hive – Stephen Buchmann (owned by Tom Allen)
  • Managing Insecticide/Honey Bee Problems – Pennwalt Corp
  • Noxious Weed Control : 2003 – SDSU Pamphlet
  • The Professionals Guide to Managing the Insecticide-Honeybee Problem – Pennwalt Corp Pamphlet
  • Top Bar Beekeeping

Good Reads Many of our club members have personal resource libraries and often recommend books to buy (or borrow).  Per member requests, we’ve added this section to the website to allow members to post their book recommendations and any other cool things they find.

Several members recommend these 2 magazines:

Recommended Movies: Jim Green recommends ‘Vanishing of the Bees’ which can be ordered from Netflix either via Streaming or DVD or purchased from places such as  It’s an 87 minute documentary detailing the economic, political and ecological consequences of CCD.

Posted in Books and Cool Stuff | 1 Comment

Honey Flow Information

Per discussion in the February Meeting, this blog category will allow our members to post when they see their first honey flow, what area are the bees in, and what major nectar sources are in bloom at that time.  Later, we can accumulate comments from the web site as well as club members log information to come up with an idea of when the honey flow starts and stops in each area.

Don Sargent's Easter Bees

These are Don Sargent’s bees outside of Whitewood on Easter Sunday.  They are bringing in bright orange pollen and some cream colored pollen.   The Bees did not rest on their Easter Sunday.

Posted in Honey Flow | 2 Comments


Feel free to post any items you have to sale or trade.  Don’t forget to include contact inforamtion.  Please limit the items you wish to sell or trade to BEES and BEEKEEPING items.

Posted in Buy/Sale/Trade | 25 Comments

Questions and Answers

Do you have a question about beekeeping?  Have you learned something about beekeeping you would like to share with the rest of the club members?  Post your questions, answers and general information here.

Posted in Member Q&A | 11 Comments

Give us your feedback !!

Please give us your feedback about this new site.  We would love your ideas, suggestions, links to interesting articles.  Simply add comments.  Note that all comments will be monitored and approved before they appear on the blog to keep spammers and other nasty people from corrupting our site.

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September 2016 Meeting Minutes


Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

September 2016 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers Meeting Minutes: September 14, 2016 members and friends met at the Canyon Lake Senior Center at 6 p.m. President Kia Smith called the meeting to order. Approximately 45 people attended.

The 2016 Officers

  • President- Kia Smith
  • Vice President- Michelle Grosek
  •  Secretary- Lynette Epp
  • Treasurer- Jan Snedigar
  • Old Business
  • No old business

New Business

  • Dustie Go Fund Me Site- Jerry moved that the club give $500 to Dustie for her injuries with her bees. It was seconded and passed.
  • Tote for librarian- Lynette moved that the club purchase a tote with wheels for the librarian. It was seconded and passed.


  • Bill Clements gave a presentation about the bee incident in Sturgis
  • Bob Ashiem gave a detailed informational about the difference between European bees and African bees
  • There was much discussion about how we as a club deal with and be prepared for any instances of African bees making their way up to South Dakota. Kia took names of people willing to work on a bee club action plan, swarm ready contacts, and emergency response education.

Minutes submitted by Lynette Epp, Secretary

Posted in 2016 Meeting Minutes

June 2016 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

June 2016 Meeting Minutes

 The monthly meeting of the Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers met on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at the Game, Fish, & Parks Outdoor Campus.  The meeting was called to order by President Kia Smith at 6:03 PM. Vice President Michelle Grosek and Secretary Lynette Epp were absent.  Treasurer Jan Snedigar took Minutes as requested by the President.  There were @35 people in attendance.

A Treasurer’s Report was not requested.

Members around the room reported on the status of their bees.  Members report there has been a lot of swarming this Spring, including in the last few days which is somewhat later than usual.  It has been a boon for some, as several members have ended up with three or four additional colonies.

After several members reported that the nucs installed last month do not seem to be expanding very quickly, Jerry Owens stated this seems to be a common occurrence this year.  He thinks it is because of the dry conditions and a lack of food, so the bees get more conservative in order to be able to feed the bees already in the colony. Tom Repas stated that the bees will even eat the larvae as a source of food when conditions are unfavorable for foraging.  A member heard that many farmers are already anticipating crop failure with alfalfa because of no rain, which is also affecting wild flowers. Most people agreed that while there is a lot of dames rocket in bloom, the bees don’t seem interested in it. There was much discussion about whether we should be feeding the bees if there is not enough food out there for them, but not wanting to discourage them from foraging. The best thing is to check your hives and see how their stores of honey, nectar and pollen look, and decide accordingly.


There was no old business. 


Kia Smith and Jerry Owens reported that they were interviewed by KOTA News about bees, and Tom Allen was interviewed by KNBN for a botanical garden segment on bees which will air the last Monday in June.  He said he talked mostly about mites.

 Kia reported that the Club was contacted by the Sturgis BAM (Bicycles, Art & Music) Festival which will be on July 9, 2016 in the Sturgis city park.  Contact Kia Smith if you are interested in joining other club members to put a booth together for that. 

In August, the Club will not be able to meet at the Outdoor Campus, so Kia suggested meeting either at her home in Piedmont, or at the Firehouse Restaurant in downtown Rapid City.  The program that month will be Tom Repas, who will talk about and have samples of his prize-winning mead.  A majority of members liked the idea of having it at Kia’s home. To avoid the Sturgis rally, the meeting will not be on the second Wednesday, but on Friday, August 19, 2016.  Kia will have more information about it at our July meeting, and will send out emails with directions when its closer to the time. She plans to invite the Whitewood Bee Club to join us. That meeting will also be a potluck. 

Kia informed the club, that one of our members, Ken Martin, passed away suddenly a couple of weeks ago from heart attack. 


Tonight’s Program was two presentations:  Jerry Owens talked about Mosquito Spraying by the city and protecting our bees, and Bob Roberts demonstrated the half-size brood boxes he is building for nucs. 

Jerry Owens talked about mosquito spraying for West Nile Virus done by the city of Rapid City, and his efforts meeting with them to come up with a plan to protect our bees from the toxic spray.  The chemical the city uses now when they do the fogging at night is extremely toxic to bees if it gets on the hive, and the spray floats on the top of any standing water.  The city wants to work with us, and is considering Jerry’s suggestion to switch to a spray called Altosid, which is not toxic to bees.  But for now, the city has agreed on a plan that they will let Jerry know when and where they are going to use the fogging spray (they always do it after dark). Going by our list of Club Members, Jerry will contact all beekeepers who live within six blocks of the target area. If you are in the target area, you must cover your hives after sundown, and cover any standing water sources until the next morning.   

The second talk was by Bob Roberts, who brought samples of the nuc boxes he has been building as a way to provide a more manageable hive space both for the bees and for the beekeeper.  They are 1/2 the size of a regular brood box, but fit side-by-side in the same area, so the regular hive top fits over both of them. He attaches screening to the bottom of each box, so a separate bottom board isn’t needed.  On each box he cuts an entrance hole in one end and one side, covered by a purchased steel entrance disc (sold thru Mann Lake or at Runnings for a few bucks).  Each deep then becomes a double 4-frame start up colony.  The main benefit for the bees is that they stay real strong in them through the winter, as the bees in both sides cluster to the center and keep each other warm, and they stay closer to stored food.  It’s easier for the beekeeper because they are lighter to lift than the full 9-10 frame deep, and since the bees are already in two colonies, it’s much easier if you want to make splits to increase stock.  Bob also has made a wooden insert that can be put into a regular brood box to divide it in half, which similarly creates two 4-frame nuc spaces for the bees. It’s a faster way to convert the deep boxes you already have, ’tho it doesn’t have the advantage of being lighter to lift. Right now, he has his double-nuc boxes stacked three deep with his bees.  He recommends the book, Increase Essentials by Lawrence John Connor.   

Questions, answers, and lively discussion continued until well after 8:00 pm.

 Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at the Game, Fish & Parks Outdoor Campus.  Social time is at 5:30, regular meeting at 6:00. 

The time of adjournment was not recorded. 

Submitted by Jan Snedigar, Secretary pro tem. 



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January 2016 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

Meeting Minutes – January, 2016

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers Meeting Minutes: January 13, 2016 members and friends met at the Game Fish & Parks Outdoor Campus at 6 p.m. President Kia Smith called the meeting to order. Approximately 50 people attended.

Old Business:

The 2016 Officers were introduced.

  • President- Kia Smith
  • Vice President- Michelle Grosek
  • Secretary- Lynette Epp
  • Treasurer- Jan Snedigar

New Business

  • Official Spelling of the Club name: Kia Smith brought it to the attention that the Wannabe name was being spelled with only one e on the Articles of Incorporation but we spell it with two e’s on all of our social media. Joan Clements moved that the Wannabe Hobby Beekeepers change the spelling to Wannabee with two e’s to match our website and other social media. Motion was seconded. Motion was unanimously passed.
  • There was some talk about the spring ordering of bees. Package Bees should be coming around the first week of April.
  • 2016 Wyoming Bee College is March 19 & 20
  • Porcupine kids are interested in visiting a bee farm
  • Kia reminded everyone that it was time to register our bees with the State and forms are available on line.


Guest Speaker: Tom Repas gave an in depth presentation about raising queens. Tom Repas owns Canyon Rim Honey Bees and is located in Hermosa. His father raised bees and he took over his father’s bees when his dad became allergic to bees. He has been a bee keeper since he was a teenager.

For more information on Tom check out…

The time of the meeting adjourned was not recorded.

Minutes submitted by Lynette Epp, 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


Posted in 2016 Meeting Minutes, Archive - 2015 Minutes | Tagged

February 2016 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

Meeting Minutes – February, 2016

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers Meeting Minutes: February 10, 2016 members and friends met at the Game Fish & Parks Outdoor Campus at 6 p.m. President Kia Smith called the meeting to order. Approximately 50 people attended.

Old Business:

The 2016 Officers were introduced.

  • President- Kia Smith
  • Vice President- Michelle Grosek
  •  Secretary- Lynette Epp
  • Treasurer- Jan Snedigar

Kia announced she had the paperwork to change the Wannabe club name to Wannabee but wasn’t able to do it. Lynette Epp took the paperwork to submit.

  • New Business

  • Kia talked about our State needing a Pollinator Protection Plan
  • Newcastle/Upton wants a speaker- Jerry said he has tried to contact them
  • Western Apicultural Society would like us to join their society. Jerry asked Kia to send the members more information via email before any further discussion. Kia said she would.
  • North Rapid Civic Association- having a presentation on Feb. 24 at General Beadle.


  • Guest Speakers: Dan & Tina Mulally gave a presentation on the Hogg Half-Comb Cassette Honey and How to do a Juniper Split.
  • Dan also mentioned that the way they are treating hive beetles in Hawaii is to put a Brawny (dine-a-max) paper towel in the hive. Apparently, the beetles get stuck to the towels like Velcro.

Minutes submitted by Lynette Epp, 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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December 2015 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

Meeting Minutes – December, 2015

On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, members and friends met at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center for their annual potluck Holiday party.

Election results for the new officers for 2016 were announced:

  • President–Kia Smith
  • Vice President–Michelle Grosek
  • Secretary–Lynnette Epp
  • Treasurer–Jan Snedigar

In addition to the sumptuous potluck dinner, members were treated to honey tasting by Jerry Owens, and entertainment by the acapella quartet, the Bee Team.   It was both a lively and relaxing evening for sharing food and visiting with friends.

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




Posted in Archive - 2015 Minutes | Tagged

November 2015 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

Meeting Minutes – November, 2015

President Bob Asheim called the meeting to order at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at 6:00 PM.  Approximately 51 people were in attendance.

Bob introduced Vice President Susan Nolan, Treasurer Kia Smith, Secretary Jan Snedigar, Librarian Dan Mulally, Program Committee person Tina Mulally, and acknowledged Website Manager Linda Anderson, Facebook Manager Michelle Grosek, and past presidents Tom Allen, Lee Alley, John  McDowell, and Jerry Owens.


A treasurer’s report was not read.

Bob then asked to go AROUND THE ROOM for members to report on the status of their bees.  In general, most members report they have winterized their hives, though the warmer weather has cut us a lot of slack. Many people are having trouble with wasps, and are noticing the changes in direct sunlight/shade on their hives as we move towards winter.  Some comments were as follows:

  • Bruce Reichert of Box Elder has 3 hives, has put a wind break in place, and plans to wrap the hives in tar paper.
  • Ross and Sue Burden of Hot Springs have 1 hive that is doing okay. For those looking for good Fall bee flowers, Ross recommends purple asters.
  • Tom Allen in Rapid City has 9 hives, but will lose 1 which has no queen. For winter, he has put on insulated boards on three sides, added a moisture block and sugar.
  • Florence Thompson in Caputa has wrapped her hives in bubble wrap with a foam panel on top.
  • Wayne Gibbons of Crawford, Nebraska, is a commercial beekeeper who just sent his 1200 hives to the central valley in California for the winter, where the’ll be when the almond crop blossoms in early Spring.
  • Jon and Lynette Epp of Black Hawk discovered small hive beetles in their 2 colonies. They put in oil traps, and followed that with ‘Check-Mite’, and have not seen anymore, though they think it may be the cold that got them.  They winterized their hives last month, and are hoping to get colonies through the winter for the first time.
  • Tim Moran of Rapid City had 2 hives, but lost one. He hasn’t done an autopsy on it, but thinks it was weakened when he was using a top feeder, and bees were able to get in between it and the inner cover, and he found thousands of dead bees floating in the water.
  • Chuck Hendriss of Dark Canyon had 2 colonies, but one absconded, and the other is doing very well. So far for winterizing, he has put in mite patties and an entrance reducer.
  • Dan and Tina Mulally of Rapid Valley got 365 pounds of honey from 3 hives this year. They have wrapped their hives for winter, with styrofoam on top.
  • Peggy Roberts has 8 hives, some in Hermosa, and some in Newcastle. She has been feeding them with candy boards and sugar water.
  • This is Brian Fenske’s first year with his hive of Italians, and things have gone very well.  He has not winterized yet.
  • Ellen Conroy of Custer has 5 hives, and has decided not to wrap her hives, as she used tar paper last year, and they got too wet, and ended up with black mold.  She always puts up a wind break, however, and in 5 years has never lost a colony.
  • Margot Peterson on Radar Hill, and another member in the Valley each have 2 hives, 1 of Minnesota Hygienics and the other of Italians.  They separately report the same results–that the Minnesota bees have not done well and produced no honey, but the Italians have done great with lots of honey.
  • Lilia Lytle of Custer has 3 colonies, and a friend recently came and winterized her hives, in her words, “put long johns on them.”


Bob Asheim reported on the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) Local Foods Conference he and other members attended on November 6, 2015, at Cadillac Jacks in Deadwood.  Jerry Owens had an impressive table showing all the products he sells, and his talk was well-received.

Bob states we need to have Jerry, Tina Mulally and Tom Allen demonstrate how to set up booths and sell honey, as they are very effective at it.


  • Copies of Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers Club Guidelines were made available to members.
  • President Asheim announced it is time for officer nominations for President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary for 2016.

All nominations need to be submitted to him by December 2, 2015, so he has time to verify with the nominees that if elected, they will serve, and then he will put their names on the ballet.

One vote is allowed per family.

  • Members who are not planning to attend the banquet at our meeting on December 9th, 2015, can vote by e-mail, or can send ballots by regular mail to President Asheim prior to the banquet. Otherwise, turn your ballots in at the door at the banquet.
  •  Election results will be verified by the outgoing officers and announced that night.

For our club Christmas Banquet:

  •      If last name begins with A to M, bring a main dish
  •      If last name begins with N to Z, bring a salad or dessert


Bob Asheim presented tonight’s program on “Honeybee Pests and Diseases.”

He gave a comprehensive and beautifully organized talk, with up-to-date information on pests from man to hive and bee diseases, and tips on how to deal with them.

  • Do not handle horses and then work with your bees, as the smell of horse sweat will make the bees angry and agitated.  (Also, do not eat bananas before working with bees, as they dislike the smell.)
  • Skunks will sit by a hive all night, and the eat the bees as they come out in the morning.  If you raise the hive up about 18” above the ground, the skunk has to raise up to get at the bees, and exposes his/her stomach to stings, and can be driven away.
  • Raccoons are able to remove the hive cover, destroy the frames, and eat brood, bees and honey.  To deal with them, tie the top of the hive down or use weights.
  • Mice:  any opening where a mouse can put its head, it can go through. They will slip into the hive box when the nights first start getting cold, urinate and create a scent trail before the bees un-cluster for the day. On cold days and nights, the female mouse will re-enter the hive, build a nest and raise her young. They will feed on dead or dying bees during this winter confinement. The best treatment is entrance reducers and covering any holes to prevent them from getting in in the first place.
  • Bears:  Since Bob said at our October meeting that small hive beetles are not in this area, and then they showed up a couple of weeks later, he wants it officially on record that he has his concerns about bears!
  • Woodpeckers can do considerable damage pecking holes in the body of the hive.  Similarly tanagers, and blue birds eat bees.
  • Dragonflies are a problem in late summer.  No solution is noted.
  • Yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps all die in late summer, except the new wasp queen. She mates in late summer, and then comes out in the spring. So killing wasps in the spring keeps the population down for the whole summer.
  • Ants can be a serious problem.  Deter them by sprinkling cinnamon, or making an oil trough.
  • Wax moths can be a serious problem with stored brood comb. Protect stored brood by freezing or using moth crystals.
  • Bob stated the small hive beetles recently came into South Dakota by a commercial beekeeper who had had his hives in Texas.  They are able to spread quite a distance, as they can flay much farther than bees can.  They will attack all comb types to eat honey, pollen, larva and pupae.  Strong colonies are the best protection. There are more tips on how to deal with the beetles on the Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers website.
  • Tracheal Mites.  If you look at a picture of honey bee anatomy, you see that bees have 1 artery for their whole body.  If a tracheal mites pierces any part of the artery, the bee can then be exposed to many diseases and environmental stresses. This mites is what kills the bees in the winter: the older bees are most affected, the mites build up and build up, and reduce the life of the bee by 50%.

Tracheal mites multiply rapidly throughout the winter, and other than female mites transferring on the hairs of one bee to another bee, they live out their lives in the trachea. Signs of infestation by tracheal mites, are that bees are unable to fly, have ‘K wing”, and the whole population starts to dwindle. The best treatment is by placing menthol grease patties near the brood, which also kills varroa mites.

  • Varroa mites are the biggest problem when the queen is actively laying and there are lots of brood. The female mite enters the late larval cell just before sealing, then feeds on bee pupa and starts laying eggs. The nymphs hatch and feed on bee pupa, so you can see both mature and young mites on the pupae. Parasitic mite syndrome (PMS) is a condition associated with high varroa infestation. The goal is to cut down the mite’s ability to live and breed, not by doing just one thing, but by MULTIPLE APPROACHES. There are three viruses related to mite infestations which are found in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), including bee paralysis (the bees become   hairless and ‘greasy’ looking, and have deformed wings.
  • American Foul Brood is caused by a spore forming bacterium. Signs are “ropey” strings of the infected bee larvae, and the melted larvae stick hard to the cell. This must be reported to the State, the colony destroyed, and all equipment and hardware destroyed by burning.
  • European Foul Brood is less serious, usually appears in spring and early summer, but can be treated with terramycin and normally goes away as the bees clean up the hive.
  • Chalk Brood is a fungus which forms spores. Treatment is re-queening and positioning hive in a sunny location.
  • There are two kinds of Nosema: Nosema apis and Nosema cerana, which is more deadly.  The main symptom is fecal spotting on the outside of the hive. The best treated is with Fumagilin-B in spring and fall. The only true way to tell is to send a sample to a laboratory.

The meeting was adjourned @7:30.

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



Posted in Archive - 2015 Minutes | Tagged

October 2015 Meeting Minutes

Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers

Meeting Minutes – October, 2015

In President Bob Asheim’s absence, Treasurer Kia Smith called the meeting to order at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, at 6:00 PM.  Approximately 50 people were in attendance.

In response to members’ request at our September meeting, a microphone was made available for tonight’s meeting.


A Treasurer’s report was not given.


  • Tina Mulally reported on the “Made in South Dakota” event she and Dan, Bob Asheim, and Tom Allen participated in on October 10th, 2015, at Main Street Square in Rapid City.  She stated it was well attended, they sold lots of honey, and people were very interested in learning about bees. They encouraged members to take part in it next year.
  • Kia Smith reported on the Western Apicultural Society (WAS) conference she attended in Boulder, Colorado, on October 1-3, 2015. She stated there were 10 presentations a day, great food and beverages which were all prepared with honey, and top speakers from around the United States who provided a wide range of information. Some of her favorite speakers were:
    • Elina Lastro Nino of the University of California at Davis, spoke on her work with queen biology, and working with California beekeepers and growers to develop sustainable approaches to bee management.
    • Jamie Weiss w/ Habitat Heroes, is an organization in Boulder that gives awards to people in the community who create great bee habitats in their yard.
    • Dr. Ron Fessenden of Colorado Springs, talked about the health benefits of honey for the human brain.
    • Dr. Dan Hyder of San Juan College in New Mexico, spoke on floral sources and the health benefits of various nectar sources.
    • Dr. Marla Spivak, who directs the Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota, spoke about mites and other main problems affecting bees. She stated the term “colony collapse disorder” is outmoded. [Her website states that National surveys made since the initial appearance of CCD in 2006 and 2007 have now established that the majority of colonies are dying for many reasons–from the mites, from bad nutrition, from not enough honey, from pesticides, and from the dramatic increase in herbicide use which is killing off sources of food for bees in many locations.
    • Sarah Red Laird–”The Bee Girl” spoke about carrying beekeeping forward to the next generation.
    • Jim Doan is a third generation commercial beekeeper in New York, who talked about “10 Things that Have Changed Beekeeping.”  He referred to neonicotinoid pesticides as “the elephant in the living room.”

Kia said the the new trend is to call ourselves “Backyard Beekeepers” rather than “Hobby Beekeepers.”

She also stated an excellent website is


  • Jerry Owens alerted club members that the Small Hive Beetle (SHB), was recently observed in two different colonies in an area between Rapid City and Sturgis, so we have another invasive pest to contend with in our hives.

This is the first time the beetle has been observed in our area, as it has been thought that our usual long, cold winters have created a barrier to their moving north. It is unknown how they got here, but were most likely transported with packaged bees and/or by commercial beekeepers who truck their bees to pollinate in other states and then bring them back into South Dakota.

An article on Managing Small Hive Beetles by the University of Arkansas, was made available to members.

Jerry stated the following:

  • If the colony is healthy, the bees should be able to keep them in check.
  • The beetle is easy to see, as they are dark and 1/4” in size.
  • They can be managed organically using vegetable oil traps.
  • If they do infest a hive, the damage is done by larvae who eat the brood, pollen, and honey.  If in large numbers, they ruin the comb and the honey. They also feed off of grease patties!
  • Members are encouraged to check their hives for this pest.

Kia Smith and Tina Mulally addressed members about our Club putting together a conference on Hobby Beekeeping to be held alongside the South Dakota State Beekeepers Convention scheduled to meet in Deadwood on July 7-8, 2016.

Kia and Tina want to work collaboratively with commercial beekeepers so we can address issues that affect both Hobby and Commercial interests, and also get speakers to talk about our view point. They want to bring beekeepers together from a large area, arrange speakers on a variety of topics, have vendors, and provide a setting to network with each other.

This began a lively discussion among club members, which continued into the program.


John Stolle is owner/operator of the Sturgis Honey Company. As a club member as well as a Commercial Beekeeper, he spoke in favor of doing a combined convention with the SD Commercial Beekeepers. He presented his reasons for doing so, and fielded questions from the members.

Some members have experienced defensiveness and mistrust between hobby beekeepers and commercial beekeepers.

Other members expressed bewilderment at taking an antagonistic attitude, as they have found commercial beekeepers to be helpful and interested in the cross-currents that effect bees, and therefore understand both sides of the fence.

Another opinion is that we shouldn’t try to mingle with those who keep bees for a living, as much of the focus in commercial beekeeping comes from academia, not from being out there in a bee yard getting stung.

One of the most important things about hobby beekeeping, is that it continually brings in new people who are not beekeepers.

If we do work on having a convention, we have a lot of knowledge and experience within our own club, like Bob Asheim and others, and we should make use of our own resources.

A motion was made by Lynette Epp of Black Hawk, that our Club have a joint conference with the SD commercial beekeepers in July 2016.  A vote was taken by verbal response, asking who was in favor which seemed to be a majority.

Kia and Tina passed out slips of paper as a survey, for members to indicate in writing if they were in favor of planning a conference in conjunction with the Commercial Beekeepers next year, if they were not in favor, if they preferred to have our own convention, and also asked people to write down topics they would like to see included. The results were:

  • 25 people out of about 45* filled out the slips, indicating
  • 19 yes
  • 3 maybe
  • 3 no

*The approximate count of attendees was 50 at the beginning of the meeting, though some people were not members, and some left during the discussion.

The meeting was adjourned @ 7:40.

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


Posted in Archive - 2015 Minutes | Tagged