Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yogi and Boo Boo Are Not Invited

A hearty bunch slogged through the rain to talk bees and bear fencing on June 16, 2014.  Missing our meeting reporter, Marcie, --we did not think to take any pictures.

Paul L. and Kathy F. and the other Warner Nature Center Apiary staff hosted us at their locale.  I think around 2011, Warner started working on a honey bee education initiative. Paul built the observation hive and I'm guessing he and others trained the staff. Like all of us, they got the 'bug' so to speak and soon wanted more.  It took a few fundraising efforts and lots of volunteer efforts to get an apiary up an running. Luckily, they had already met the resident bear so prepared ahead of time for his/her advances.  Paul constructed the apiary fence with a few extra tweaks. Its on a timer to cycle off during daytime student programming and has a red light, like a dark room, to tell you when its on. Access is creatively made using a springtype grip on the end of each cable run and undoing its eye and hook system. I'll add a picture if we get one.

Announcements 

Reminder of the June 20th deadline for discounted rooms for the MN Honey Producers Conference in St. Cloud from some young beek in the room.
http://www.minnesotahoneyproducers.org/conference.html

Reception of samples of the Canadian Bee Periodical Hivelights to our library. The magazine is put out by the Canadian Honey Council four times a year. Past issues are available online and there is an enewsletter you can sign-up for. http://www.honeycouncil.ca/hivelights.php

Donation from John B. of his extra honey containers. (most were regifted to Warner Nature Center for their honey sale supported bee education initiatives)

Kathy F. noted Mann Lake has partnered with Warner for the next five years to support their Apiary and they want name suggestions for the People Hive aka Apiary Observation Room. (like how I snuck that in)

David W. donated bee periodicals to our club library.

Forgotten Announcements

Mike M. wanted to share A Star Trib article Food companies work with farmers on sustainability 

Bob S. donated Robbing the Bees by Holley Bishop to our club library. While I'm at it he has donated a handful of other books too. Most of them are being read by somebody. If they show up in the bin they are yours to borrow.

A welcome to new members.  We'll have you introduce yourself next meeting.

Presentations

Paul L. showed the club a grizzly bear fence experiment. Our Minnesota black bears might be more reserved but I don't know. I've heard meeting your neighbors, let alone confronting them about their vittles, is not done here. Here's the link: Nols Bear Fence Test

Bob S. alerted us to the very fine info available from the MN DNR Wildlife Damage Program on Bear fencing. Construction Details for Bear Fence and
beehive_protection_with_electric_fence.pdf
Yes, there are two links and its somewhat redundant. You pay taxes every year, you get multiple pdfs. I'm pretty sure all 50 states have their own version of these as well.

Brady and Yogi bear showed the electric fence he has put in. Its power was trenched off the house. He recommends deep ground rods backfilled with moisture absorbing soil if you're at a sandy site and to peruse Fleetfarms electric fencing displays to make sure you come home with all the parts. He used this polywire: http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/powerfields-9-wire-polywire-660-ft-/0000000202731
and this AC energizer: http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/blitzer-fence-energizer/0000000000525

Adrian talked a bit about planning your location so you can maximize the expense and not to forget about the best gate location. (a bit self referential) He showed us his solar energizer which was recommended on beesource. http://www.amazon.com/Parmak-Impedance-Operated-Electric-MAG12SP/dp/B00099FAJI He also recommends that polywire above.

Some chicken person busted in to tell us about Premier One ready to go portable roll out electric fencing with poles embedded. It might be this: Crazy Chicken People. Somewhere Bob S. also mentioned the flashing light fence option. Don't move near me if you are considering that one.

Tour

Kathy F. and Paul L. ended the night with a tour of Warner's observation hive, electric fenced apiary, apiary observation room and way too organized beeshed. Those not dressed in giant baggies asked intelligent questions.



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