October 17, 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 for the September meeting were emailed this morning, with a few paper copies available at the meeting.  September minutes were approved.

Treasurer, Julia Brown:

            The treasurer’s report was emailed this morning, with a few paper copies at the meeting.  The report was approved in Julia’s absence.

Program Chair, Mickey Hollar

            Our next meeting on November 21 will feature Emily Trescott speaking about commercial wax cleaning and making quality beeswax candles.

            Reservations have been made at the Captains Galley in Granite Falls for our holiday party on December 19th.

            Please talk to Ron Cifu if you have ideas for speakers for next year.

Vice President, Tracey Carriker:

            Tracey was not present at the meeting.

President, Doug Galloway:

            The state fair is happening now through October 27.

            Dr. Tarpy thanked the club for our donation to his lab, which came from the proceeds of the club silent auction in July.

            Please support your local bee businesses.  In addition to Linda and H.S., there is a new bee store, King Bee, open in Morganton, owned by a member of the Burke County Beekeepers.

Committee Reports:

Beginner’s Bee School:

            Next year’s Beginners Bee School will be February 15, 20, and 22.  The committee will be meeting on November 5 to continue planning.  Please let Tracey Carriker know if you want to join the committee.

Old Business:

            The Farm Expo will be March 27 and 28.  Doug will be teaching the 7th grade students on the 27th.  Volunteers are needed for the 28th to speak to students and parents about bees and beekeeping; please talk to Doug if you would like to volunteer.  Volunteers may also sell honey.  This activity supports the Caldwell County Schools and will raise funds for the renovation of the fairground.  A motion was made and approved to authorize a $50 donation, in return for which we will be listed as a Contributor in their publicity materials.

New Business:

            Elections were held for the 2020 officers.  The slate of candidates announced by the Nominating Committee in August was:

            President – Sara Kennedy

            Vice President – Tracy Carriker

            Secretary – Liz Cifu

            Treasurer – Julia Brown

            Program Director – Ron Cifu.

Prior to the meeting, Julia called Doug to withdraw herself from consideration. 

Doug asked for nominations from the floor, for any position.  No nominations were made.  The slate of officers, as amended to remove Julia, was elected by acclimation.  The officers for 2020 are:

President – Sara Kennedy

            Vice President – Tracy Carriker

            Secretary – Liz Cifu

            Treasurer – Vacant

            Program Director – Ron Cifu.

As no Treasurer was elected, the President must appoint someone to fill that position.  Please contact Doug or Sara if you are interested in serving as Treasurer.

7:00 — Guest Speaker:  Robert Smith – “Building and Managing Honey Bee Colonies in Six Frame Hives”

            Robert is an NCSBA Master Beekeeper, the Senior NCSBA Regional Director for the Mountain District of North Carolina, and maintains a successful honey bee queen breeding and nuc business in Burke County.   Six frame hives are an integral part of his operation.

            Robert began his talk by explaining why he uses six frame hives.  Firstly, he sells overwintered nucs in the spring, and found that five frame colonies were apt to swarm before he could sell them.  He still has to manage for swarming with the six frame colonies, but overall they are much less likely to swarm.  Secondly, he overwinters these colonies as double deeps (12 frames total), which can easily be split in the spring to produce two nucs.  Thirdly, the six frame boxes, especially with the heavy plywood he builds them from, are better insulated (for both summer and winter) than the commercially available five frame boxes.

            Robert then spoke about his management schedule and the interaction between his queen rearing operation and his nuc operation.  He begins grafting queens as soon as drones are available in the spring.  He sells five frame nucs with overwintered queens that were produced in June or July of the previous year; these are split from the overwintered double deeps, and the frames that do not go with the overwintered queen get a new queen cell.  He will managed them as single deeps until late summer, then build them up to double deeps for the winter.  New queens are ready to sell once they have laid a full frame of eggs. (He also sells queens established in queen castles.)  He does harvest honey from six frame colonies, using medium supers, but he also keeps eight frame and ten frame colonies dedicated to honey production in his outyards.  Bees can fill a six frame super very quickly during the honey flow, so he has to keep up with them.

            Robert then spoke about the construction of his hives.  He uses two different box designs.  One has an integrated wire mesh bottom and a 7/8” round entrance paired with a “hive portal” available from BetterBee.  This design is great for moving, but not for combining.  The other design uses a plain box, with a separate wire bottom, slatted rack, and entrance reducer.  This design is great for combining, but less convenient for moving.  The boxes are 19-7/8” deep, 11½” wide, and either 9-7/8” or 6-5/8” tall, and fit any commercial deep or medium frame except those from Mann Lake.  He uses large bar handles that stick out rather than the recessed handles on most commercial hives.

Robert finds his hives don’t get wobbly even when stacked tall.  He attributes this to the weight of the boxes.  He recommends building either from heavy plywood or southern yellow pine.  Plywood has more insulating value than solid wood of the same thickness.  He uses butt joints with wood glue and three 2” screws, and caulks all joints with clear “window, door, and trim sealant”.  He coats his boxes with three coats of polymerized roof coating before painting them the desired color.

He cuts down plastic queen excluders to fit his hives—he finds the excluders necessary because queens are more likely to move up in smaller hives.

            He uses ventilated tops and top jar feeders enclosed in boxes.  The Ace Hardware in Morganton sells 2-7/8” hole saws with are the correct size to fit Boardman-style jar lids, and he buys plain lids and punches the holes himself with finishing nails, as it is far less expensive.  He cuts two of the holes in each feeder; one is for a jar and the other is for ventilation.  A box placed over the jars protects the syrup from the sun and provides ventilation—and looks nicer than a rock.

            Robert treats for mites with oxalic acid vapor, but he also recommended several IPM techniques.  He uses one shallow or medium frame in a deep brood box as a drone brood trap—the bees will build drone comb down from the bottom bar, and once the brood is sealed he can simply scrape it off rather than freezing a whole frame of drone-sized foundation.  He says that brood breaks are the best mite control, and he gets them automatically when he sells a queen.  He also emphasized the importance of minimizing drifting—different colors can help with this.

            Robert does not sell woodenware, but he did offer to provide us with a diagram that anyone can use to build from.  Someone else mentioned that BetterBee carries six frame nuc boxes.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20

19 people in attendance, including visitors and children.

Minutes submitted by Sara Kennedy, Secretary

Upcoming Events:

Future Chapter Meetings at 6:30 pm:  

2019 Chapter Meetings/Tentative Schedule of Speakers

Nov 21:  Emily Trescott / Commercial Wax Cleaning and Candlemaking

Dec 19:  Annual Christmas Dinner at Captains Galley in Granite Falls

Caldwell County Beekeepers Class 2020

Feb 15, 20, 22