AABA MEETING MINUTES - JUNE 21, 2011 AT ARLINGTON ECHO
Following a demonstration and inspection of the Arlington Echo Beehives by Bart Smith, AABA President, Loyd Luna, welcomed all beekeepers to the meeting.
Bart Smith gave a power point presentation on "Helping your bees survive the winter" (notes from the presentation are below):
Why colonies die? Varroa mites, viruses, diseases, lack of food and neglect
The ideal colony as of October 31st has: young bees, 5 or more pounds of bees per 1 deep box, few varroa mites, little or no nosema and 60 pounds or more of honey
Dealing with varroa mites: reproduce in brood, feed on brood, important to monitor mites, don't want to treat if not needed
Bart described the procedure for conducting a "sugar roll test" for mites and the "natural mite drop test"
Varroa mite treatments include:
1. Apilife Var - which is a thymol product and comes in wafer form which is then placed on 4 corners of the hive. Need to treat 3 different times and is safe to use. The disadvantage is it reduces brood production and treats only adult bees
3. Mite away quick strips - newer - formic acid/fumigant, thin packets get placed on top of hive for 7 days, hazardous to use this but you can use it during the honey flow. Works on brood and adults
Do not use: Apistan, check mite plus, powdered sugar and home-made brews.
Bart recommended rotating medications
Tracheal mites: exist in low levels in most colonies; are seldom in our area; most varroa mites treatments work on tracheal mites
-No obvious symptoms
-dysentary does not indicate nosema disease
-best thing to do is to have bees tested (knock a few bees into a jar with alcohol) and mail to Bee Research Laboratory. Check them late summer into
Fall. See AABA webpage for BRL website. Bart indicated that sometimes nosema will taper off on its own. Fumigilin B is the only product on the market for the treatment of nosema
Other important measures to take:
-Feeding is important in fall - bees should have 60 pounds of honey in the hive for over-wintering. Most of their food should be in the upper deep box. Feed into the last part of October. If bees have not done so, position the brood (by moving frames if need be) into the center of the bottom box. Most of the honey should be above the bees. Only reverse hive bodies in the Spring.
-Provide a wind break
-Requeen colonies in late summer
-August to October:
- Unite weak and queenless colonies
- Inspect for parasites and diseases
- Check for healthy brood
-September to October:
-Reduce colony entrance (use larger part as opening and not smaller part)
-remember to vent the hive in October into November by sticking a small twig between the inner and outer covers
Following Bart's presentation and a short social break, the group held a brief business meeting:
A formal reading of the April minutes where dispensed with in order to save time.
The treasurer, Doris Luna, gave a report on AABA finances stating that the AABA has a bank balance of $2076.66 and has 79 members
Steve Hanlon gave the status of the mentoring program and indicated there were 3 mentors working with 5 newer beekeepers based on geographic location. Anyone who might be interested in this please contact Steve Hanlon or Loyd Luna
The 2nd Annual AABA Social (potluck) will be held at association member Dan Maerzke's home in Severn on Saturday, September 10th at 5 p.m. More to follow on this
- Chrissy Perry will loan you the extractor for a mere $25. If you return it clean, you get back $15.
- The Anne Arundel County Fair is September 14-18, MD State Fair is Aug 25-September 5. Get those entries ready.
-Our next meeting is on August 16th; Dave Morris will tell us about winning in honey competition.
REGISTER YOUR BEES WITH THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE!! (Loyd has copies of applications).
James Neat won the door prize which was an outer cover
AUCTION!! Following the business meeting, we conducted an auction of donations by Mrs. Thelma Carlson, who was the AABA secretary in the late 1970's. Approximately $700 in proceeds will benefit AABA.