Saturday, September 15, 2018

Minutes from September 10, 2018

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association
Minutes from September 10, 2018

***** Important Notice: The date for our December meeting will be Tuesday the 11th rather than the 10th due to conflicts with availability of the meeting rooms at the Coralville Library. The December meeting will be in room A of the Coralville Library as usual.

The meeting was called to order by Dave Irvin. New members were introduced.
A big thanks was given for those who volunteered to help with the bee tent at the Johnson County Fair.
Dave gave an update on his health condition, and we're glad he is looking well.
State Fair:
Some members attended and enjoyed the experience, though it was hot. Crowds at the bee exhibit were steady.
Honey Crops:
Various members reported on their season's production. Results were mixed. Currently, there is a lot of goldenrod but bees don't seem to be on it much.
A sheet was passed around for those who are interested in working with someone to learn about beekeeping and those who are mentoring or would be interested in mentoring.
*** Working with another to share your knowledge and experience can be fun and rewarding. If you would be willing to work with someone, please contact one of the individuals below.
Samantha Jacobs 319-431-8644
Rob McCain 319-621-7653    
Small Hive Beetles:
There seems to be an increase in the number of small hive beetles in our area. Keeping a strong hive will diminish the effects they may have on a hive. Some suggest having limestone around the base of the hives to keep the area dry, which may discourage the beetles.
Creamed Honey:
Bill and Tina Jennings run Rapid Creek Honey from their backyard apiary. They currently have 11 hives and sell at the farmer's market. Creamed honey is popular at the market. The Dice method is the standard method of creating creamed honey and this can be found online. However, Bill uses an egg beater to blend up crystallized honey. He puts about a tablespoon of this into a jar of clear honey and after several days in the refrigerator the jar has turned into creamed honey, with a nice firm consistency. He does not heat the clear honey as the Dice method recommends, as this destroys many of the healthy aspects of the honey. The Jennings offered taste samples, then, of their creamed honey. Discussion followed with questions about moisture content, temperature effects on honey, and various names creamed honey goes by.
Bill also talked about his experience with Apivar, a mite treatment, applied after honey removal. He has had 100% winter survival using this treatment method. Floyd mentioned the chemical doesn't kill the mites but weakens them so they can't attach to the host. Bill also keeps a stack of hives through the winter rather than reducing to one deep chamber. The importance of ventilation and methods of ventilating the hive was discussed by various members.
Matt Stewart/Neonicotinoids:
Matt spoke about some agricultural practices that are detrimental to honey bees, particularly neonicotinoids.
North American Mite-A-Thon:
An information sheet was passed around about this national mite survey taking place September 8-15.
Winter Prep:
Look at hives to see if feeding is needed. Pure honey fed back is best but sugar water also works.
Make sure to do mite treatments.
Close off screened bottom boards, put mouse guards in place. Strips to keep varmints from eating bees are recommended as well.
Wrapping hives also recommended, black roofing felt is common. Be sure to leave holes for access and ventilation. Placing hives close to one another can help protect them.
Hives can be moved for better winter protection, once winter starts.
General Comments:
Floyd has some extra equipment he will make available since he is downsizing. Contact him for more information.
Best mite treatment? Many options, but oxalic acid or strips such as Apivar are recommended.
After extraction, let the bees clean up the honey supers.
Questions were raised about how to protect frames from wax moths after extraction. Freeze frames after extracted and cleaned to kill larva/eggs, then moth balls can be used to help keeps moths away.
Someone could volunteer to attend the November Annual meeting of the Iowa Honey Producers and report on that. (If anyone would like to do this, please email or phone Jim Davis to get on the agenda. 319-626-2998. )

Topic ideas for the December meeting:
--Many recent reports have focused on declining quality of queens. Is there research to support this?
--A calendar of flower blooms throughout the year could be made available to club members.
--A field trip to someone's apiary could be arranged

Minutes submitted by Jim Davis (