Monday, September 15, 2014

July and August meeting recaps

Busy summers make for poor blogging.  Here is a recap of the July and August Honey Bee Club of Stillwater meetings.

Queen Discussions

  • There was some thought regarding whether queens started from an egg in the hive make a better queen than one introduced into the hive.
  • Queen cells in the middle of the hive are more viable than at the bottom.
  • Are the best queens bred for genetic diversity rather than specific traits?  
We need healthy queens!

  • Is the demand for bees decreasing queen quality?  It may take a while to catch up with this demand.
  • The consensus on how along to keep a queen is a maximum of two years.  

Words of Wisdom:  
Never buy anyone's final round of queens.

Mite Control Discussions

  • There was some talk that you can treat later if you have Italians, since they keep laying eggs regardless of weather in the later summer, as opposed to Russians and Carniolans who stop laying by a certain time.  
  • Drone combs work well for mite control.
  • The powdered sugar method does not work.  
  • For general bee health, it is crucial to replace foundation every 2-3 years.

Honey collection

Several methods were discussed on how to get the bees of honey supers.  

  •      Simple shaking and brushing
  •      Bee Blower
  •      Leaf blower (careful with this!)
  •      Fume Board
  •      Bee Escape (this blogger's favorite)
Once you collect that honey, make sure it is dry enough.  It needs to be no more than 18.6% moisture to last without fermenting and to be considered Grade A Honey.  Keep it in a dry, warm place, maybe with a dehumidifier running for a few days and check moisture level with a refractometer.  You can also bring a small sample to Nature's Nectar and they will test it for you.  

7/16 Swarm catcher report:  One call per day for the last 60 days.

Our next meeting will be on September 15 and will feature Chris Schad from the Southeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association to discuss small scale prairie planting.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cable TV schedule of Neonics on Bees Presentation

Valley Access Channels of the Central St. Croix Valley Joint Cable Commission on 9/11/2014 made a video recording of this presentation on Dr. Krischik's research findings on the effects of Neonicotinoids on bees. This is timely information given the numerous concerned citizens and policy makers throughout the state and their efforts to make good policy for all.
    Dr. Vera Krischik, Entomologist: “Neonicotinyl Insecticides and Bees -- Is the Threat Real?

Broadcasts of Neonics on Bees

Sat 9/13 Channel 15 at 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM
Sun 9/14 Channel 15 at 5:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Mon 9/15 Channel 15 at 3:00 AM and 9AM and
Mon 9/15 Channel 16 at 4:00 PM
Tue 9/16 Channel 16 at 1:00 AM and 7:00 AM

The file will be loaded to the Valley Access TV's youtube channel on Monday 9/15.

Check here to see if it is up yet:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wild Ones Invitation to Neonicotinoid Lecture

    Dr. Vera Krischik, Entomologist: “Neonicotinyl Insecticides and Bees -- Is the Threat Real?” 

    Thursday, September 11th, 2014, 7:00-8:30 pm 
    Join us for socializing and Ginger's treats at 6:30pm 
    FamilyMeans Building, 1875 Northwestern Ave., Stillwater  Click for a MapFree and open to the public.

    Honey bees and our native bees, such as bumble bees, pollinate 30% of the plants that produce the vegetables, fruits, and nuts that we consume. Bees pollinate native plants that require seed to sustain future populations. These seeds and fruits from native plants are fed on by many animals, from birds to bears. Both native bees and managed honey bees are in decline. The causes are complex, and we can make a difference by ensuring our landscapes and management practices are bee-friendly.

    Noted bee researcher Dr. Vera Krischik, will discuss why bees are in decline, how systemic neonicotinyl insecticides contribute to bee decline, and how we can choose bee-friendly flowers and protect bees from insecticides. This is an important topic and we are excited to have Dr Krischik as our speaker. Please join us for her presentation.

    Dr Vera Krischik is a tenured Faculty in the Entomology Department of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Among her many responsibilities she is director of CUES: Center for Sustainable Urban Ecosystems that promote natural resource management.

    Refreshments and socializing begin at 6:30 pm with the main program at 7 pm.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thanks for Voting

The well deserved Superior Hiking Trail Association was awarded the grant. Our group and Beez Kneez will likely benefit from the increased exposure. Thanks all.