September 2017
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COLONIAL BEEKEEPERS 7th ANNUAL FIELD DAY AND BARBEQUE

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Although the weather is going to cooperate, the road to the picnic has become impassable without 4 wheel drive. BBQ will be available at the club meeting Tuesday!

When --- Saturday, May 13, 2017- 1:00 PM -'till
Where -- 287 Wythe Creek Road, Poquoson, VA

 

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Steve Hunt and Angie Hamlet are generously hosting this event.

Pork Barbecue (homemade) and hot dogs will be furnished by Steve and Angie. Club members are asked to bring a covered dish and a cooler with beverages of their choice. Bottled water will be provided.

The site of this event is wooded, also has a pavilion, a pond (chock full of brim) and horse shoe pits. Portable Potties will be available. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

This is a family event. All family members and guests are welcome. The area is kid friendly so bring the kids and grandkids.

There are some bee hives on site and inspections are possible if there is interest and weather permits (heat). Please bring your safety equipment and if you have extra, bring it also for the new beekeepers that may not yet have any.

All barbecue not consumed at the event will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to the Colonial Beekeepers Association. In the past years the barbecue left over and sold to club members was never enough to satisfy the demand. This year we are asking those who would like to purchase some "very good barbecue" to pre-order what you would like. Price is $7.00 per container (pint/1 lb.)

For planning purposes, if you are planning to attend and/or want to order some barbecue please let Jackie (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) know the number of people attending and/or the pounds of barbecue you'd like to order by Saturday, May 06, 2017.

Hope to see you there!

(For directions click here.)

Come out and join us!

 

 

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August Meetings
and Events

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August 15th
Monthly Meeting

 

August 19th
National Honey Bee Day
Brent & Becky's Bulbs

 

 

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September Meetings
and Events

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September 19th
Club Picnic Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the "Upcoming Events" or "Latest News" link under the Main Menu for more information.

 

 

 

NewBees Corner

 

Information listed here is for the new beekeepers looking for new information and guidance on beekeeping and beekeeping chores:

 

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The summer dirth has started and foraging bees are all looking for stores to bring back to their home hive. Don't let your hive become a source of stores for a neighboring colony! Use a robbing screen if you have a small colony or are feeding to grow your colony. Products like Honey B Healthy or added essential oils can drive foraging bees wild. They want that stuff! Know that a honey bee colony's worst enemy is a stronger honey bee colony, fact.

For information on Robbing Screens check out these links:
1. Robbing Screen article on the CBA website
2. Images for different varieties of robbing screens
A few video links on making robbing screens. (Something to remember is if you use an entrance reducer the width doesn't need to exactly match the bottom board, example: an 8 frame robbing screen will work on a ten frame hive with an entrance reducer!).
1. Northwest New Jersey Beekeepers(NWNJBA)
2. Country Rubes Beekeeping Supplies
3. Another Country Rubes Video
A Google search brings up plenty more videos!
Robbing Screen Videos

 

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Well the chances for colder weather are finnally behind us and the bees are busy. There are many things in bloom now and more to come. With all these resources the bees are ready to reproduce, SWARM! I've been doing my best to quell that desire by opening the brood nest and practicing nectar management but in some cases it just isn't enough. So if I see evidence of swarming: queen cups with eggs or larva visible or even capped queen cells. What do you do?

Here are some links for you to follow that give some practical advise. First is Michael Bush on why seeing queen cells isn't so bad and what to do and not to do. The second is a 22 page read that does a great job of explaining what could be going on in your hive. The pages that mimic Michael's answer are 13 & 14. There Are Queen Cells In My Hive-What Should I Do?. Lastly, here's a link to how you might transplant them to a queenless colony or make a nuc. Fat Beeman doesn't wear a veil, you should! Fat Beeman never says "it is my opinion" so take heed!  Queen Cell Transplant

The hive manipulations to consider as the nectar flow is on are "Opening the Broodnest" and "Nectar Management 101". If opening/expanding the brood nest I would caution to start slowly as you become familiar with the technique and get more aggressive later in April and May. Here we go!

Finally, so you have your new nuc or package bees, how do you grow them? Here's a link to a presentation of how to grow your bees into 3 boxes:Growing Nucs

 

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Last week I helped a club member find and remove the queen in a colony that had swarm cells, I worked on the James River and saw an Osprey investigating a nest site, fruit trees were budding and many ornamentals are in bloom, in my home yard I inspected a colony in a 10 frame deep with 8 frames of brood.... This weekend I'm sitting by the wood stove wondering what will survive and if they have the hindsight to ponder "WHAT WAS I THINKING?" There is no way to stop the weather, we can only look ahead and try and do what we can. In Florida an orchard owner may turn on the sprinklers to keep the buds from freezing or maybe light smudge pots, my trees are on their own. I heard of a swarm being caught last week, will that queen cell survive, will the queen get an opportunity for a mating flight, will there be drones to mate with? It is way early in the year and 35 or more days before last frost is forecast for our area. That hive will be doctored up in the weeks ahead when success or failure can be determined. This appears to be a year when those colonies that are a bit slower may win the race. Keep an eye on the forecast and be cautious in your hive manipulations, don't do too much too early! Some colonies may suffer chilled brood as they have to cluster and abandon edges of the brood nest. You'll get to see how hygienic your colonies are. Make sure they have stores close as there are still night time temps in the 30's. The forecast for the next 15 days has 13 days with a chance of rain. If there are drones will they fly, will that queen get a chance to fly? Be cautious when considering making splits. Hang in there, Spring is coming even though you may think it is here already!

 

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