March 21, 2019 Secretary Minutes

6:30 President, Doug Galloway, gave the invocation and started the meeting.  New members and visitors introduced themselves briefly and were welcomed.

Officer’s Reports

Secretary, Sara Kennedy:

Minutes from February were sent by email in advance of the meeting, with a few paper copies available at the meeting.  February minutes were approved. 

We have a new contact email for the club: [email protected].  Please use this rather than Linda’s old email, and if necessary be sure that emails from this address are going to your inbox and not your spam folder.

Spring is here, which means swarm season is upon us, and it’s time to update the swarm response list.  A sheet was passed around to collect contact information.  If you were not at the meeting and wish to be on the swarm response list, please let Sara know.

Treasurer, Julia Brown:

            Julia was away, but the treasurer’s report was sent by email in advance of the meeting, with a few paper copies available at the meeting.  The report was approved

Program Chair, Mickey Hollar

            The April meeting will feature James Nieland, Chiropractic Doctor, speaking about safe lifting for beekeepers.

Vice President, Tracey Carriker:

            Spring is also the season for bee presentations in schools. This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and love of beekeeping.  We have a number of schools that request speakers each year, and would like to have more of our members participating.  We provide all the equipment you need, including a PowerPoint slideshow.  Please let Tracey know if you’d like to help out.  It can also count towards the service requirements for certification at the Journeyman and higher levels.

            There is a new alternative to the EpiPen called AUVI-Q, which Tracey recommends.  It still requires a prescription, but depending on your insurance may be significantly less expensive than the EpiPen.  Doug has forms that you can take to your doctor.

President, Doug Galloway:

            Several of our new beekeepers took the written portion of the Certified test this evening.  All passed, so congratulations to them!  If you missed this, the next opportunity is April 27 in Morganton (see for details).  Weather permitting, we will offer the practical portion of the test on June 22.

            We are still looking for a candidate (or candidates) to take on the presidency starting in 2020, and Doug would like to have them shadow him for the remainder of the year to assist in a smoother transition.  Please contact Doug if you are interested.

Old Business:

            Bees and equipment for sale:

                        Linda Moretz has equipment.

                        H.S. Greene has packages and queens.

                        Eddie Hicks has nucs.

                        Robert Smith is sold out for this year.

            The April meeting will be at Blue Ridge Energy.  The location for May is still TBD, but Doug is working on a potential new permanent location for our meetings.

New Business:

            Please contact your state congressperson in support of House Bill 334, which will provide $2 million in funding to replace and upgrade Dr. Tarpy’s lab and support his continuing bee research.  You can find your representative and their contact information at

7:00 — Guest Speaker: George McAllister “Increasing Honey Production Using Queen Castles

            A copy of George’s presentation is available by emailing him at [email protected].

            Queen castles are essential to George’s bee management—as much so as a smoker!  George is an urban, week-end beekeeper with limited space, so his focus is on having fewer hives and spending more time on each hive, and his goal is to maximize long-term honey production and to continually improve.

The three key elements that influence honey production are weather, the plant ecosystem, and the hive conditions.  Queen castles are a tool for managing hive conditions.  George’s queen castles are three mini-colonies in a ten-frame box.  Each colony has an entrance on a different side of the box, three frames, and its own jar feeder.  He uses them to generate “spare parts” for his production hives—bees, brood, and queens.

George compared queen castles to nucs—there are some differences, but both can be used for “spare parts” management.  Queen castles have the advantage for beekeepers with limited space.

George described his annual cycle of creating queen castles at the end of the nectar flow, using them to raise replacement queens, overwintering old “back-up” queens in the castles that may be used to requeen in the spring, managing the swarming impulse, and providing weaker hives with additional resources at any time of year.

George also emphasized the importance of keeping good records and knowing what you plan to do before going in to your bees.  He inspects weekly, starting with the queen castles and then any hives that he expects may need supplementation.

Upcoming Events:

Future Chapter Meetings at 6:30 pm:  

2019 Chapter Meetings/Tentative Schedule of Speakers

Apr 18:  Dr. James Nieland / Chiropractor Beekeeper Back Health (Blue Ridge Electric Community Room)

May 16:  Bryan Fisher / Splits

June 20:  Dr. Bill Herring / Anaphylactic Shock

July 25:  TBD (Note date change because of EAS)

Aug 15:  Annual Picnic

Sept 19:  Emily Trescot / Wax Comb and Candles

Oct 17:  Robert Smith / How to Build Affordable Woodenware/Sizes

Nov 21:  Debbie Mitchell

Dec 19:  Annual Christmas Dinner

Caldwell County Beekeepers Class 2019

Practical Test June 22

Future Conference Meeting

Eastern Apiculture Society Meeting from July 15 -19, in Greenville SC

Summer 2019 NCSBA Meeting, August 8-10 in Hickory NC.