Western IL Beekeepers Meeting
Minutes April 21, 2015
The board looked at the changes made for the constitution; made some additional changes and agreed that Diane would update it and send it to each club member to discuss and vote upon at the next meeting
President Report – Membership continues to grow and we are having good attendance at our meetings. We discussed whether we should be the WIB (Western IL Beekeepers) or WIBA (Western IL Beekeepers Assoc.) We originally were WIB, but the general consensus was that WIBA has a bit more flair… So, WIBA it will be! Ed will touch base with a local T-shirt vendor to get us some prices for shirts.
Treasurer Report – There is $3,164.38 in our treasury. We have 52 paid members to date; more will be coming in today. We still have some bee packages left. Check with Mike to see what is left.
Secretary Report – Diane gave a short overview of the constitution updates. She will send out the finished document, with changes highlighted about a week before the next meeting.
Old Business – We can’t mess with Mother Nature! Poor weather continues to affect suppliers’ abilities to package our bee order. Ron said that the queen supplier has been flexible and willing to work with us so that both shipments arrive at the same time. We are on the list for pick up soon. Ron and Jan will get a call 5 days before the bees are expected and they will drive and get them. He will let Sean know when he is ready to leave and Sean will send out emails to the club and will post it on the website. Pick up will be at the Dexter Farm Equipment parking lot on Rt. 34. We will have some extra Italian queens available to cover dead loss. They are $20 each.
Equipment for Sale: Donnie Darnell has some hive bodies and supers to sell; Bob Frey has supers with frames for $100; Sean McKee has honeycomb frames (4 ¼ s ) for those that would like to sell comb honey; and Herb Crompton has a Styrofoam super and frames for FREE!
New Business – Betsy Larson will host the annual picnic. We will discuss details at the next meeting. Ron wants us to make sure there is a lot of meat…(we will take that under advisement, Ron!)
Q and A – Clover seed can be purchased in Peoria from Kelly Seed Co. Soybeans can also be a nectar source and bees are very helpful to the farmers. Pres. Ed reminded folks that their bees need to be registered with the state. We will have info at our next meeting. A new keeper wondered which direction the hive should face. South or Southeast seems to be best. It is also helpful to put your hive in a place that blocks North and West winds. You will have fewer ants and wood roaches if your hives are positioned well. Some keepers mentioned that hives should be branded with an ID to be able to identify in case of theft. A question was raised about hive vandalism. Fortunately, that is very rare.
We had a short discussion about swarming. Make sure you give your bees enough room. Rotate your hive bodies and check for crowding. Add supers as needed. Put your new packages in your hive in late afternoon. They are usually OK after they have spent a night in the hive. When putting in a new package of bees, the 10 frame hive bodies seem to work best. When to split a hive? When you discover queen cells in your hive or you see bees pouring /flowing out over the sides when you open your hive, it is time to split. Does noise, vibration or rumbling bother bees in their hives? Nope! Bees in hives placed by railroad tracks and the like quickly get use to it and have no problems.
Kyle Ward and some students from WIU showed his very informational film on the much talked about “Flow Hive” from Australia. The hive has gotten a lot of hype, but after seeing the film, the group decided that it was probably not really a viable idea. The hives are very expensive and use plastic frames. Keepers can’t really check inside the hives to measure moisture content of honey, the health and wellbeing of the bees. It didn’t appear the hives can be expanded, which is a problem. Honey robbing and predators would also be a problem. On member put it this way, “those people are interested in the honey; not the bee!” We felt that this fad will and should fade in time. Thanks, Kyle for a great video!