The Big Bee Truck Patrick Ferrer, Sales Manager of Dadant & Sons will attend our MeckBee meeting on September 17, 2015

September, 2015 Coming Events          September 12- 13 Fall Apitherapy Course NTS/Fall_2015fl...
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September, 2015

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September 12- 13 Fall Apitherapy Course NTS/Fall_2015flyer3.pdf September 17 - Monthly meeting at Muzon UMC. George McAllister (see below) October 3, 10, 17, 24 Testing for Journeyman and Master Beekeeper certifications October 12-14 Protecting Pollinators in Ornamental Landscaping Conference October 15, 2015 – Monthly Meeting at Muzon UMC November 19, 2015—Monthly Meeting at Muzon UMC December 17, 2015 – Potluck Dinner February 25, 26, 27 2016 – NC State Spring Conference in New Bern, NC. July 7, 8, 9 2016 – NC State Summer Conference in Hickory, NC

The queen castle is the Swiss army knife of beekeeping equipment. The queen castle is used for swarm control, raising new queens, housing older queens, rotating comb, supplying weak hives with bees and brood and much more. George will discuss how the queen castle can help you maintain strong productive bee hives with little additional work.

The Big Bee Truck Patrick Ferrer, Sales Manager of Dadant & Sons will attend our MeckBee meeting on September 17, 2015. Patrick will be driving his BIG TRUCK and will bring your beekeeping equipment and supply orders right to the meeting. Dadant will not charge shipping or tax on orders delivered to the September meeting. To place your order, contact Patrick at (434) 432-8451 or (800) 220-8325. Check out the Dadant beekeeping supplies at\catalog

President’s Buzz by Gerry Mack George McAllister

September 17: Better beekeeping management using Queen Castles – presented by George McAllister HoneyComb Page 1

Save the Dates for Intermediate Beekeeping School MeckBee will host an intermediate beekeeping school in November. Classes will be held each Tuesday night in November (3, 10, 17 and 24) from 7pm to 9pm at the Providence Baptist Church at 4921 Randolph Road. September 2015

Greg Fariss, our NCDA&CS Apiary Inspector, will be our instructor. Class subjects are being finalized and will include topics of importance to intermediate-level beekeepers. A class syllabus, cost and registration information will be provided soon so watch your emails and come to the September MeckBee meeting. Your 2015 Honey Crop I hope that your 2015 honey crop is now headed for customer’s kitchens. First-crop beekeepers have asked about filling and labeling jars and selling honey – here’s what I think: Quantity Honey jars are sized to contain a nominal weight at a typical honey density. Customers however, look at volume to see if they are getting a good deal. Jars should be filled at least to the full line – resist the temptation to weigh out exactly 16 ounces if it leaves the pound jar looking not quite full. A full jar reinforces that customers are getting a good deal when buying a quality product. Labels Honey labels must at least include net weight, type of product and seller’s contact information. ( ard.pdf). Designs can be simple or store bought and will establish your message to customers – are you a mom & pop apiary or do you aspire to a regional brand? A crooked, smudged or torn label sends the same uncaring message as a sticky jar. Make sure the label clearly lets customers know how to reach you when the jar is empty. Price Pure honey bought directly from a local beekeeper should fetch a higher price than generic grocery store honey. Consider jar and label costs in setting prices for different sized jars. It makes customer sense to have larger jars priced less per weight than smaller jars - for HoneyComb Page 2

example, a 2-lb. jar should be priced a bit less than two 1-lb. jars. If you are selling wholesale cases to a retailer or buckets to a honey packager then expect them to receive a wholesale discount from your single jar retail price. A Beekeeper’s Dozen We only sell honey made from our hives which means our annual quantity is what it is. We can’t just “make more” as if we were baking cookies so I feel no need for retail discounts on this limited commodity. We find it best to add a small jar of liquid or creamed honey to a large retail purchase to show our appreciation. It’s a good way to let the customer try a different product or for them to re-gift the jar to someone who will then become a future customer. A honey bear for the kids is a good way to thank regular customers. Marketing A day at a farmers market puts you in touch with potential repeat customers. Presentations to schools, garden clubs, neighborhood groups, churches and other community organizations is a good way to find customers. A “Local Honey For Sale” sign will attract walkers, runners, and cyclists in your neighborhood. Have business cards out so they know how to contact you when they are ready to buy. Make sure that customers understand why your fresh local honey is special and unique.

MeckBees now has a logo and E-store where you can purchase your very own hats and shirts with our logo September 2015

embroidered or printed! Check it out today by following the link below. All items at cost. What a deal! s?AC=804224&DistID=20554#1152372

Libby Mack Receives State Recognition at Summer Conference

One day the Little Red Beekeeper was rambling thru the countryside and came upon a bee swarm. “This swarm needs a home,” said the Little Red Beekeeper. “Who will help me take this swarm to the farm to its new home?" said the Little Red Beekeeper. “Not I,” said the Wannabee. “I will,” said the Newbee. And so the Little Red Beekeeper and the Newbee carried the swarm home. “Who will help me build a hive for these bees?" asked the Little Red Beekeeper. “Not I,” said the Wannabee. “I will,” said the Newbee. And so the Little Red Beekeeper and the Newbee built a beautiful beehive. Complete with screened bottom board, fancy new wax foundation, inner cover to let fresh air thru and a nice roof to protect the bees from the weather. And a pretty entrance reducer to keep out robber bees and mice. The Little Red Beekeeper and the Newbee watched the hive grow and grow.

Libby Mack

“Who will help me harvest all of this honey?” asked the Little Red Beekeeper. “Not I,” said the Wannabee. “I will,” said the Newbee. And so the Little Red Beekeeper and the Newbee harvested pounds and pounds of honey. The Little Red Beekeeper and the Newbee wondered what to do with all of the honey.

Johnny Preston

The Little Red Beekeeper The winner of our 2015 fable competition is our own Johnny Preston. For his winning entry, Johnny was awarded a stainless steel honey bottling valve contributed by an anonymous patron of the literary arts. HoneyComb Page 3

And the Wannabee said “I can bottle it all up and save it.” And the Little Red Beekeeper and the Newbee said “Oh No, No. We will do that.” And so they did.

September 2015

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Mites can be seen with the naked eye. Mites were originally found in Asia. Mites can only reproduce on honey bees. Mites transmit viruses to bees (not to humans).  Every colony has mites. Beekeepers spread mites by:  Exchanging brood.  Transporting colonies.  High density.

Hampton Mabe is the youngest Bee School student to pass both the written and practical test and is now a Certified Beekeeper. He was the recipient of the scholarship money given by an anonymous donor. Hampton attends Shamrock Gardens Elementary School and shared his plans with us to put a bee hive in the school’s vegetable garden that is maintained by students. Congratulations Hampton.

Program Notes

Greg Farriss Apiary Inspector NCDA & CS Speaker Notes from July 16th Monthly meeting Varroa Destructor Some background information:  Varroa mites feed on bee blood (hemolymph). HoneyComb Page 4

Bees spread mites also:  Swarms.  Colony robbing. Varroa mites spread at least 24 different types of viruses including acute bee paralysis virus, sacbrood virus, deformed wing virus, chronic bee paralysis virus, resulting in bee parasitic mite syndrome. Identifying varroa mites in your hive: 1. sticky board – only shows mites are present, not how bad the infestation. 2. Sampling method: a. Ether roll – kills sample. b. Alcohol wash – kills sample c. Sugar shake. (See pdf d. for chart entitled Sampling Colonies for Varroa destructor. Gives accurate measure of mite infestation so beekeepers can decide when to treat for mites (Integrated Pest Management approach) Methods of control: No chemicals – (methods below must be used in combination – no single method offers adequate control). September 2015

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Genetics – mite tolerant bees Drone trapping Break the brood cycle Hives in full sun Screen bottom board Powered sugar – research shows very little mite control

Hard chemicals (follow directions exactly) –  Apistan istan_label.pdf  Check Mite -mite/cadusafoscyromazine/coumaphos/coumaphosappor oval.html  Apivar - Soft (fumigates) (Note: must use in temperature range.)  Formic Acid – (MiteAway Quick Strips) ch/reg_actions/registration/fs_PC214900_01-Apr-05.pdf  Thymol - Api Life VAR, and Apiguard ch/reg_actions/registration/decision_PC080402_23-Mar-06.pdf  Oxalic Acid – This is the new kid on the block. It can be applied as either vapor or liquid. Currently approved by the EPA and the state of North Carolina. Product is sold through Bushy Mountain. Greg can be reached at: (336) 671-2883 [email protected] HoneyComb Page 5

Bonus Varroa Mite Guide Honey Bee Health Colation Releases Guide to Help Beekeepers Detect, Control Varroa Mite Infestations. Download it HERE:

Getting Ready for Winter (Panel Discussion) August 20 [Editor: Taking notes on a panel discussion is hard and very disconnected. Instead of arranging the comments by speaker, at some points I simply lumped them together. Some of the topics were rearranged and some were not included in these notes.]

L 2 R – Jeannie Frye, Jodie Rierson, George McAllister, Tom Davidson, Jimmy Odom, Johnny Preston and Libby Mack

What should be happening in the hive now?  By November, top box filled with honey. Brood bottom box with 2-3 pollen frames in bottom box. And lots of bees.  Remove the queen excluder. The queen excluder can be cleaned either by scraping, freezing and breaking of propolis or heating.  Mites are the biggest problem, and pesticide residue in brood frames. These must be dealt with by September at the latest. September 2015

 Entrance reducer on smallest opening by October.  Some combining of weak hives should be done in September.  Top feeders can be left all winter, solid inner covers can be used if not top feeders. Bottom boards can be solid or screened. Screened bottom boards can have the corex sheet put in to reduce cold drafts.  You may need to move the frames with brood and the queen to the bottom box in September / October. Insulation  Windbreaks are essential.  Cedar shavings in top box over inner cover provide some insulation and absorb excess moisture.  Some ventilation is necessary – don’t completely seal the hive at the top, let the warm moist air out.  Insulating the boxes is generally not required in NC. Drone Frames  Some didn’t believe that they’re effective except during March /April.  There are other kinds beside plastic.  A medium or shallow frame in a deep box will encourage the production of drone cells.  In the fall no drone brood will be produced.

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Beetle traps  No reason to remove them for winter.  Beetles may be lessened by having hives above ground (like on a deck).  Some use shingles under hives. Need fat bees – Feeding [Editors note: Fat bees: in fall, the emerging workers tank up on pollen, they store all that good food in their bodies, thus preparing themselves for a long life through the winter. These well-nourished, long-lived bees have been called “fat” bees – Sommerville 2005]  Fat bees need a good source of pollen in September. May need pollen patties for build-up. Some people apply in November, some in September.  No liquid feeding in winter – it’s too cold for the bees to process it.  Fondant (bee candy) laid on frames is insurance feeding or emergency feeding.  Need between 60 lbs to 75 lbs honey in full size hive going into winter (end of October – November). Nucs can be overwintered in smaller boxes with less honey. Should be capped honey.  One-to-one (light syrup) Feeding now (August/September) for drawing new foundation and stimulating brood rearing.  Use heavy syrup (two parts sugar : one part water) to fill existing drawn comb for winter stores. Bee Health  Bee health is hard to measure in winter. September 2015

 Fight varroa mites –chemical or non chemical. Bees infested with varroa will not live long enough to build up in spring.  Newly approved varroa treatment oxalic acid can be applied in winter when brood is at a minimum.  Fumidil-B can be used in fall to help prevent Nosema infections.

 Most everyone said to requeen in the fall (August/September). Pollen Frames  Must be frozen in order to save for use later. Pollen degrades quickly at room temperature.  Can be used in whatever hive needs a pollen boost.

Contest!!! Fill out the crossword. Send the answers back to [email protected]. Mark subject – Crossword. Names of all those who correctly complete puzzle will be entered in a drawing at the meeting for a prize. Yes! You must be present to win.

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September 2015

Late Breaking NCSU Webinar Just a reminder that our next beekeeping webinar is Monday, September 14th starting at 7:00 pm EST (logon details below). Please disseminate and share this invitation to everyone and anyone who might be interested! The fall webinar has traditionally focused on some of the research projects that the NC State Apiculture Program has been involved in over the last year. This year, rather than giving a brief overview of all of our ongoing research, I thought we might pick just one and go into a bit more depth. As such, the topic for the session is Feral and managed bees in rural and urban habitats. This will cover some of the research that some grad students, postdocs, and undergrads in the lab have been conducting for a number of years, and it addresses some insights about bee biology and backyard beekeeping. Many thanks to the Surry County Beekeepers for hosting. A full list of our beekeeping webinars can be found on our website at: Many of you have already expressed your interest in attending the webinar, so please use this information from the Collaborate system to log on and join. So far, several clubs will be joining, but let me know if you or your chapter would like to take part! I look forward to this next webinar, but in the meantime let me know if you have any questions and happy new year! Sincerely, David You are invited to join the Collaborate session "Surry County Beekeepers 09-14-15" [email protected]. The session starts Monday, September 14, 2015, 7:00pm and ends 9:00pm. You may join the session up to 30 minutes early. Click here to join the session:

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September 2015

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September 2015

A Note from the Editor Please email us with questions, pictures, article submissions and anything else you’d like to share with the club in the monthly newsletter. Email your submissions to: [email protected] Subject: HoneyComb

MCBA Newsletter 121 Hermitage Road Charlotte NC 28207

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September 2015

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