Thursday, December 12, 2013

Minutes From the December Meeting

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association             Notes from 12/09/2013 Meeting
35 members attended.  New members: Tim Wilbanks, Jerry Smithey

I didn’t make notes for our 9/9/2013 meeting.  New members at that meeting were Mike Marling, Marty Stimson, Drew Disterhoft, Nathan Wedeking, and Kim Robu.

President’s report:  Dave Irvin still has quite a lot of beekeeping equipment he inherited from Merlin Sorenson.  This includes 8 complete hives that Dave has refurbished and will sell for $80 each.  He recommends side-nailing frames; frames nailed only top and bottom pull apart too easily.
Demonstrating a better way to nail frames

Iowa Honey Producer’s Association Meeting held in Marshalltown, 11/1-2/2013:  Andy Joseph reported that overall in Iowa last year there was about 50% hive mortality during the 2012-13 winter, and an average of 60-80# honey produced per hive.  There were extreme variations around the state.  He says small hive beetles may now be getting a toehold here in Iowa. (Recall Boyd Palmer warned us about SHBs back at our March meeting.)

Jackie Park-Burris talked about her queen breeding business, and her measures to promote hygienic stock.  She rears her queens in remote locations, and treats for mites only in the fall.  Inger Lamb and Joy Williams both emphasized the need for healthy, diverse plants to supply nectar and pollen.  Inger says bees only distinguish the colors of white, yellow, blue, and ultraviolet, and like flowers of those colors.  Joy says Iowa DoT plans to start seeding more bee plants along roadsides.  Amy Toth is starting a program at Iowa State to detect bee viruses; many of us brought in samples of our bees for her lab to check.

Randy Oliver talk at IHPA: Randy treats for mites using many different treatments; each must be tailored to the time of year when most effective.  He only uses low doses to avoid building up resistant strains of pests.  He makes many splits in early spring (often only 3 frames) so as to break up the varroa hatch.  His bee population graph showed a huge buildup in spring that tapered down to half the number of bees by late summer.  Meanwhile the varroa population stayed steady or increased only slowly during the year.  (So we see many more mites per bee in the fall—not many more mites, just fewer bees.)  He cautions, though, that the real threat from varroas is the viruses they spread; watch for deformed wings, a sure warning of a sick hive.  He has noticed that a sick hive in the beeyard will infect nearby hives, so is careful to remove and isolate any sick-looking hives right away.

During spring buildup, forager bees may be hard pressed to bring in enough pollen to feed all the eggs the queen is churning out.  Often, foragers may be only a day or two ahead of the demand.  In that case, a stretch of bad weather can be disastrous—if foragers cannot get out, a cadre of new bees will be missing, and 6 weeks later the hive will miss out on any prospective honey flow. (Why 6 weeks?  Figure 3 days as an egg, double 3 to get 6 days as larvae, double that to get 12 days as capped brood, double again to get 24 days as hive bees before they mature to become foragers.  Total is ~54 days, or ~ 6 weeks.)  Randy strongly advised that when the weather is miserable in the spring, that is exactly the time you should be feeding pollen patties.

Floyd demonstrates how he applies patties
  (Floyd Otdoerfer’s recipe for pollen patties: 4 cups bee protein mix, 1 pint honey, heavy sugar syrup to paste, then dry and cut into strips.)  Notice you only feed pollen patties in spring, when you want to encourage the buildup.  If you see a bee cluster at top of a hive in winter, by all means feed them, but feed sugar patties, not pollen, at that time.  You don’t want to encourage egg laying in mid-winter.  More at Randy’s website

Indian Creek Nature Center Bee Course
Bob Wolff’s course on Beginning Beekeeping will have its first meeting January 16th, 2014, at Indian Creek Nature Center, beginning 7:00 p.m. The course is currently full, but to check on cancellations you can call the ICNC at 319-362-0664.

Next meeting, March 10, 2014:  Bob Wolff will report how Neonic pesticides are killing our bees. 
(For information about the report from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, click on this link.)
 We will collect annual dues and have a raffle for one of Paul Gardner’s complete hives.  You must be present to win.

What is this???  
Dave Irvin brought in a tool he "inherited" and asked members if they could help identify it's use, assuming it is a tool for use with beekeeping.  Can you identify it?

==Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Meeting



Our quarterly ECIBA meeting will be next Monday evening in Room A&B of the Coralville library.  Start time of 6:30 is just to give folks time to chat and talk about gear they may bring in.  Business meeting will start at 7:00 p.m.   Finish by 8:30 p.m., when library staff lock up and go home. 

Agenda items:
·         IHPA meeting, Marshalltown (a general discussion from everybody who was there).
·         Randy Oliver’s talk at IHPA (Dave Campbell).
·         Spring feeding of hives (Floyd Otdoerfer). 

Come north on 12th Ave from Hwy 6 past the stoplight.  Library is on the left (west).   You can park in the lower level and walk right in to the library’s basement.  Room A&B is first room on the right.