Western IL Beekeepers Meeting
Minutes July 19, 2016
Board Meeting: We didn’t have much to discuss at our Executive Board Meeting. We had a short discussion about the loss of queens this year. We will be getting ready to discuss our order for next year soon. The order must be made in December. Bob Frey brought a book for our lending library. It is Honey Essentials by John Connor. Thanks, Bob!
Full Board Meeting: President Ron welcomed everyone. There were three new keepers present: John Connor, Nancy Hicks and Joe Roberts. Welcome to world of beekeeping, folks!
Treasurer’s Report: Mike informed us that we have $4,613 in our account.
Secretary’s Report: Diane will add the new members to the roster and get a new list out to everyone.
Discussion: We discussed our junior beekeeping program and asked Anne Knowles if she could contact Paige Sargent and ask her to come to our August meeting. We want to hear from all of our jr. keepers this year. We agreed to sponsor 2 or 3 new juniors next year.
Many keepers are harvesting honey with some impressive totals. Herb has gathered 228 lbs from 5 or 6 of his hives. Rick Camp has pulled 150 lbs so far. We discussed prices for honey – Ron charges $7.50/pound; Mike charges $20/ quart.
Some questions were raised regarding swarming. Hives can get both honey and pollen bound. Keepers can pull full frames from the center of the hive body and replace them with empty frames. Be sure to rotate your hive bodies. If you find your hive is bound you can also put a super on the bottom if you need to. 3 supers equal two hive bodies. Some keepers use only supers because they are easier to handle.
Strong hives can fill 2-5 supers of honey quickly if the frames already have drawn wax. Keepers should have enough extra frames, supers, etc. to keep the hives working. We discussed plasti-cel vs. wax foundation. Some keepers have had success with the plastic, others haven’t.
Jim Browning has two queens separated by an excluder in one of his hives. Experienced keepers said that you can run a dual queen system or you can split the hive into two hives. Caucasian bees can often tolerate two queens per hive.
With regard to harvesting, if you do the oven method you lose your drawn comb. Also, your honey is no longer “raw”. It becomes pasteurized if you put the frames in the oven to retrieve honey.
The “Honey Flow” hive is “A GIANT MESS!” It results in burr comb (ugh!) and you can’t tell if your honey is ripe. Don’t bother with it!
Herb has a 4 frame Dadant motorized extractor he will donate to the club. It is old but working and for those who don’t have an extractor or have a bunch of frames, it will make the job easier. The club will handle the loaning out of the extractor. Thanks, Herb!
Many keepers requeen in the fall to insure a strong hive going into winter. You don’t have to find the queen in your hive to know she is there. If you see eggs and small larvae, the queen is there and doing her job!
We discussed having a meeting in the future where newer keepers can practice putting frames together, and learn how to split hives and make nucs. That is an excellent idea we will pursue during the winter.
We had a great meeting with lots of learning and discussion and we adjourned at 8:10 p.m.