Western IL Beekeepers Meeting
Minutes March 15, 2016
WIBA Executive Board Meeting
The Board approved an expenditure of $54 to put an ad in the Penny Saver for one week. The PS covers Warren, Knox and Henderson Counties. We hope to encourage folks to join us and also we will indicate we have bees for sale. We need the revenue to cover the bee order and Ron’s travel expenses. Nonmembers will have to join WIB to get bees.
Donny Darnell donated a box of 50 frames to help our junior beekeepers. Thanks, Donny! And thank to Herb Crompton for refurbishing the hives for the juniors. They look great!
Ed Melvin will talk to Sean Pence and try to get him to do a program about increasing pollination habitat in May.
Full Board Meeting
Because of TERRIBLE weather, we didn’t have a lot of folks at the meeting, but those in attendance soldiered on! President Ron discussed the new bee packages coming in. We hear they are a week late, but we will know more as we get closer to April. We still have a lot of packages left and we need to sell them so we can break even.
Treasurer’s Report – Our current balance is $6,675.09
Secretary’s report – Diane is still working on updates
We discussed the Junior Beekeepers program. Ann Knowles will be choosing the participants. The young keepers will be expected to keep record books to track their projects. Students will also be expected to come to one of our meetings to share their experience with us. Students are welcome to come to any meeting – we are all glad to help them learn more about bees.
We then had an open discussion about bees and bee keeping. Bob Frey gave a demonstration on how to put the packaged bees into a hive.
We continued the discussion started last month about mites. Hives need to be treated 3 to 4 times during the summer. Start to treat very soon, as soon as the queens start to lay drone cells. Mites Away Quick Strips (formic acid) are a good product and they don’t harm the honey. Oxalic Acid is now legal in the US, but it can’t be used when honey is drawn. Use it in early spring or after honey has been harvested. Keep track of your mite count.
If you have not started to rotate your hive bodies, start now. It is one way to try to prevent swarming by making sure the queen has enough room to lay. Dr. Tom Seely has information about how to attract swarms. Check the internet.
We discussed feeding our bees. Feed 1:1 sugar water now. The bees love the lemon grass extract added. You can buy lemon grass from many grocery stores. Make a tea from it and add some to your syrup. A top feeder is a good investment; they can be purchased from Dadant’s. They can also be used as open feeders. If you do that be sure to keep the open feeder AWAY from your hives so as not to attract robbers.
We discussed honey production. About 60 lbs. of honey per year is about average.
As the storm subsided, Diane motioned to adjourn; Donny seconded and we adjourned at 8:00 p.m.