April 2017


The Northern Neck Beekeepers Club met on April 10, 2017 at St. Stephen’s Church in Heathsville, VA.  President John Olivier called the meeting to order at 7pm.




The March minutes were approved.  




John Olivier gave the financial report: No expenditures


                                                                 No income


It is time for annual dues of $15.00 to be paid.  Please bring dues to the next meeting on May 8 or send them to Treasurer, Dave Holt.






Ted and Jim will no longer be in charge of education.  They have done a superb job over the years and are ready to hand over the reins.  Volunteers are needed to organize the educational activities for the club.




Lynn has the banner and materials for display.




It was decided that there would not be a booth at Earth Day in Heathsville on April 22.




Chris Panther and Hyte Smith will organize the display and work the booth at the Richmond County YMCA Riverside Super Hero 5K on April 29 in Warsaw.  The Panthers picked up the tent from Ted after the meeting and Chris will contact Lynn about the rest of the materials.




The Strawberry Festival on Memorial Day weekend does not have anyone to organize or run the booth.  Volunteers are needed!!






Elections will be held at the May meeting of the Bee Keepers Club.  We still need a President and Vice President.  Remember under the bylaws, John cannot run again this year.  So members need to step up to take over and help in some of these roles.




General Information:


·         There are 1000 acres of canola near Kilmarnock if anyone can get their hives near there.  Be aware the honey crystallizes quickly, so you must get it out quickly.  It is very good honey and good for you.  It makes very good cream honey.


·         Swarming is happening now.  To prevent swarms, go in hives every 6 days and if you find queen cells, remove the queen and create a nuc, leaving 2 queen cells in the original hive.  Lift hives and look at bottoms to make the inspection happen faster.




Mike’s Notes:


·         If you can prevent swarming you have honey.


·         If the hive swarmed, you have a good requeened hive. Check a swarmed hive after 28 days to see if you have a queen.  This is also a good time to treat for mites.


·         It is time for supers to put on hives now, in some areas since late March.  If you do not have supers, nector is falling into lower boxes which triggers swarming.  You can put 3-5 supers on by June.  When using foundation, put on one box at a time.  When they start working on outside frames, pull the frame and place it in another box.  Then space out the frames in the super so it will be easier to extract the honey.


·         Time to get ready for extracting – collect jars, lids, etc, and clean the extractor


·         Use canola and fall honey (goldenrod) to make cream honey – it has the consistency of peanut butter and there is a very good market for it.


·         Also a good market for comb honey and cut comb honey – use foundation frame with no foundation and the bees will make the comb for this product.


·         Also a market for wax cappings and burr comb - $9-$10 a lb square


·         Along with selling nucs, these products can let your hobby make money for you.


·         Look for signs of mite infestation now.  Treat with formic acid or mite-away quick strips.  Use treatments that allow you to keep supers on.


·         If you have dark brood comb, do not put in super- put in brood box.


·         If you have a frame of dead brood, put it in a hive and the bees will clean it.


·         Drawn super frames can be used year after year.




John Olivier is making queen cells now and should have a surplus for the club in May.  He will also have nucs in May.




Extract honey early to prevent small hive beetles getting into the honey.


Small hive beetle treatment:


·         Use swifter sheets or scotch brite cloths


·         Brush it with a brush to fluff it up


·         Take inner cover off and lay cloth across the box


·         Line it up at back of hive and then pull it a couple inches to the front.


·         If using a top feeder-put cloth under the top feeder.


·         Hives in the shade are more susceptible to small hive beetles.




Calling all members to step up and take on some of the teaching responsibilities for next year’s class as Mike will not be able to come as often as he has been.  Remember many hands make light work.  We need to pull together as a group to keep the Northern Neck Bee Keepers an active and viable group.




The meeting was adjourned at 8:00.




The next meeting will be held on May 8th at St. Stephen’s Church, Heathsville , VA at 7pm. 








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