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Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association

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-Loyd Luna welcomed everyone to the Spring meeting. 58 people were present and approximately 20 were first time attendees.
-The minutes of the last meeting held in February 2012 were approved.
-Treasurer's report: Doris Luna reported that there is $1015.00 in income from the 2012 short course, and that $728.49 in expenses had been incurred, leaving $286.51 from the short course. The association has a total of $4588.49 in the bank account.
-Loyd Luna reported that that 44 people completed the short course and that the course had received good reviews. Comments included providing equipment assembly information earlier on in the course (late January) rather than later. Most attendees indicated that they would rather receive a printed course book rather than a cd.
-On March 24th the bees were installed at Arlington Echo. Loyd reported that he has received approximately 20 calls about swarms.
-Ollie Snyder gave the group a presentation on the re-worked AABA website.
-Linda Elliot spoke about a bulk jar order she will be placing with SKS for honey jars.
-Loyd stated that the Anne Arundel County Fair Board needs a member of the beekeeper association since Patty Slunt will be retiring from this position. Michael Doyle volunteered to fill this position.
-Steve Hanlon reported that a number of people signed up for the mentoring program
-Dave Crump reported on an Earth Day celebration (April 14th) at Quiet Waters Park. Dave had a beekeeping booth that gave the public information on beekeeping. Dave can use others to help in the future.
-Loyd indicated that he would like the club to consider a donation of new hive equipment to Arlington Echo to replace the 20-30 year old equipment. Amy moved to purchase new equipment and Ollie seconded the Motion. Steve Hanlon suggested a $300 cap. An amended motion was made to determine through Heather Hatfield what equipment would be needed by Arlington Echo and that it possibly include an order of 2 screened boards for hive beetles, with a $300 cap. The motion was approved by the membership
-Dave Polk announced he will give a package installation class. Dave has extra Queens for sale and after May 6th, may have more bees for sale
-Loyd announced that Pat Beers-Block donated API LIFE VAR to Arlington Echo
-After the business meeting and a short refreshment break, an expert panel of experienced beekeepers (Dave Crump, Dwight Fielder, Loyd Luna and Dave Polk) responded to questions from the floor. Information provided included:
1. Question: Is it a good idea to re-queen a hive when the queen is 2 years old?
Answers: Yes, it is best to re-queen because fertility declines over time. Re-queening also keeps genetic stock gentle and can optimize genetic diversity. Some on the panel look at brood patterns (if extensive or not) and re-queen based on that. Others thought it best to re-queen in the Spring, while others have re-queened in August or September.
2. Question: Is it possible to overfeed with sugar water?
Answers: No.
3. Question: Is there a trick in catching a swarm with a "lure box"?
Answers: Most experienced that swarms tend to head toward trees and bushes rather than the boxes. Loyd pointed out an article in the current issue of Bee Culture on "Bait Hives"
4. Question: If there is spotty brood pattern, should the queen be replaced?
Answers: Yes - you want solid brood pattern. One panel member pointed out that you want to investigate why the brood pattern looks spotty?
5. Question: When should the hive be checked after a swarm?
Answers: You want to check before the swarm occurs. If 2 weeks pass after a swarm, check brood. If no brood, requeen or consider combining hives.
6. Question: What to do about ants in the hive?
Answers: use straight cinnamon around ledge and in the hive. Use ant traps, ignore them. Some have used boric acid. A product called "Terro" has boric acid in it.
7. Question: brood chambers were switched a few weeks ago. When should they be reversed again?
Answers: Bees move from bottom up. If the bottom box is empty, you want to switch them around. If bees are equally distributed between the 2 deeps, you can leave them as they are.
8. Question: What to do about hive beetle troubles.
Answers: can try beetle traps (beetle blaster), can squash the beetles manually. Screened bottom boards may help. Wintergreen oil may help (hive beetles may bypass the hive if it doesn't smell like a hive).
9. Question: What is the best way to store honey?
Answer: honey can be frozen.
Dates for future meetings are: June 12, August 14 and the MSBA Honey show on November 10.
Door prize drawing was won by Mac Dahill and Ron Riddle.