Meeting of the Southern Vermont Beekeepers Association
September 21, 2015 7:00PM
Manchester Community Library
It was noted that September is National Honey Month. A great resource for information about bees, honey, literature, recipes is the National Honey Board at honey.com. A sample recipe was distributed.
We discussed information about a grant program available for beekeepers.
Grants are available from the federal government and from state governments for various aspects of establishing and keeping honeybees as a business.
The website link for more information is:
Our guest presenter was Pat Imbimbo who has had over 30 years of beekeeping experience. Like most of us Pat has experienced the challenges of successfully over-wintering bee colonies.
Partly from his forensic investigation background and his genuine desire to find and improve methods of beekeeping his presentation started by described various hive preparations that haven’t worked. Then he demonstrated some techniques that have shown promise. He stressed that these results really apply to his experience and the environmental conditions that are at his apiary. Someone else could have different results.
For the past two winters he has been experimenting with placing a modified deep on the top of his hive that contains wood shavings. There is screen fastened to the bottom and a few holes for ventilation. The objective is to reduce moisture build up in the hive over the winter. He believes that excessive moisture is a key factor in colony dead-outs.
The wood shavings, which he shakes first to remove dust, absorb moisture that would otherwise be trapped in the hive over the winter. To date his success rate has been 100%.
He found the idea in a book by Ed Simon, “Bee Equipment Essentials” available from Betterbee Company and Wicwas Press.
The latest design that Pat is evaluating is with hives made in Slovenia, Eastern Europe. These hives are intended to be stacked in a “bee house” that is open on one side to the front of the hives. All access to the hive is from the rear through a hinged door. Here the beekeeper can slide out frames for inspection or harvesting.
Because the rear doors are inside the bee house, where the light is minimal, they can be opened for inspection with almost no disturbing of the bees.
The Slovenian beekeepers claim that this design results in very few winter losses
Pat will be experimenting with these next season and evaluate them side by side with traditional North American style hives. He offered to report his findings back to our association.
Southern Vermont Beepers - November 17th 2015; Meeting and Workshop
Vermont Beekeepers Association – January 26, 2016; Winter Meeting
SABA –November 16th, 2015; General meeting
Jack Rath shared upcoming meeting Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers Associations, conference and show, which was in Korea this year, will be in Montreal in 2019. See apimondia.com.
Adjourned at 8:25
The meeting began at 7:03pm with 28 people in attendance. The election of officers took place. Sarah Rath nominated Stewart Dittmeier as Vice President. All nominees and current officers were elected. 2015 Officers include Susan Marmer as President, Stewart Dittmeier as Vice President, Jack Rath as Treasurer, and Heather Thomas as Secretary.
The program commenced with Steve Parise's discussion. He has served different posts with VT State agriculture for 24 years - focusing much of his time on consumer protection (e.g. apple inspection) and bee safety (e.g. bee inspection). At one point, apples were Vermont's biggest export with 20-30 orchards exporting abroad. He also has served as a maple syrup judge. Into the future, his work will focus on third party food safety - focusing on audits for large scale producers. The FDA is set to make changes for food safety, announced October 2015 -- affecting state programs, the number of inspectors, and farmers markets.
This year June 1 - July 30 the new mandatory registration of hives will go into effect. Information will be sent out May 15. Registration paid in 2015 will be current through June 30, 2016. The fee will be $10 per location, with no cap on the number of hives in any location. This program will benefit beekeepers by integrating with the Managed Pollinator Protection Plan in the State of Vermont -- which will provide communication to beekeepers when crop producers intend to apply pesticides to nearby or adjacent properties. Human health concerns (e.g. location of disease carrying mosquitos) will continue to trump limitations placed on the use of chemicals.
Parise discussed products used for mite control and the differences between specific use exemptions (Section 18) and approval for use through a formal registration process. Opt guard 2 is Section 18 - works best if very little or no brood in hive. Oxalic acid is approved by EPA for use and the State is working on USDA approval in Vermont - this is typically used between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other mite control sprays/methods include apiguard, apistan, powdered sugar sprays & drone trapping.
Current beekeepers should check for starvation between now and April and should avoid the use of sugar syrup until warmer weather (40 degrees + sunshine) to avoid condensation in the hive. Feeding sugar or pollen might be necessary. A few tips for winter preparation - honey should always be above your bees and feeding should cease by October 15.
The program ended at 8:45pm. Thank you, Steve Parise!
Minutes of the Southern Vermont Beekeepers Association
February 11, 2015
Call to Order at 7:20 due to delay in unlocking the door.
In the absence of the President and Secretary the meeting was lead by Stewart Dittmeier.
Election of Officers was postponed until next meeting.
Motion made and carried to renew membership in the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. A check for $75 was given to the Chamber representative.
Jack Rath gave a presentation on Observation Hives and brought one to demonstrate the proper use.
A Question & Answer session followed the presentation with Jack offering updates on a number of bee related topics.
The next event will be a potluck dinner and presentation by VT State Apiculturist Steve Parise on March 18th. This will be held at the new Manchester Library.
Steve will report on a number of topics as well as the new bee-yard registration fee.
It was suggested by Beth Miller that we include a honey tasting event with each producer who has honey to bring a sample. Also family and friends are invited to attend.
A motion was made and approved to change the next scheduled meeting to May 20th at the new Manchester Library and to invite Matt from Middletown, VT (note: Beth Miller knows his contact info) who will speak about unique varietals of herbs and wildflowers for honey production.
Annual dues is due and being collected.
Betterbee Field Day will be June 28th in Greenwich, NY. Dewey Caron will be a guest speaker.
Diane Newton announced that on May 30 Hildene will host Bee Safari
Join Bee Girl, Sarah Reid Laird for a workshop focusing on pollinator identification and habitat enhancement. 9:00 to Noon in the Beckwith Room. Hildene Members $10. Non-members $15. Seating is limited and reservations strongly recommended: email Stephanie or call 802.367.7960. More information will be on the Hildene website.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00
Discussed dues, and memberships paid/unpaid.
Elections of officers will be held at the next meeting in January - our Annual Meeting. Interested parties please submit your indications of interest.
Discussed moving quarterly meetings from the 1st Wednesday to the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Note that the Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) and Empire State Honey Producers (ESHPA) have meetings twice per year, and events throughout the year.
Discussed listing other associations' meetings on our website.
Discussed programming for 2015. Ideas include (1) an Observation Hive (from betterbee) with discussion, (2) a social event at the new Manchester Community Library, (3) an event with Steve Parese the State apiary inspector to highlight beginning beekeeping information and an overview of pathogens, (4) a discussion for beginner beekeepers, (5) a discussion/debriefing from Jack Rath's travels and meetings, (6) discussions/presentations about unique varietals of herbs and wildflowers for honey production, (7) viewing of movies More Than Honey & Queen of the Sun, and (8) how to market raw, pasteurized and granulated honey.
Discussed how to wire wax frames, the honey flavor wheel, establishing local restaurant's connection to our local honey production (typically an issue of supply vs. demand), pollen, mite count 2014, and use of hopguard.
*We do apologize that it appears there are a few meeting minutes missing from this site.
Introductions and discussion of current state of membership's bees and hives. One new member - Dana.
Discussion of Betterbee Field Day with Michael Palmer.
Susan Marmer shared flow chart to check for mites @ http://www.beginners.info
Discussed the powdered sugar test for mites: put a few bees in a ball jar with a screen over top. Shake into bowl of water. If you see more than 12 mites in the pan, use mite-away.
Registration of hives can be done through the Vermont State website.
Discussed that there are no more bee inspectors in New York State. Former retired NYS bee inspector Earl "Juicy" James lives in Granville.
Discussed moving the dates of meetings to be more consistent with hive activities.
Discussed Bennington Garlic Festival over Labor Day weekend and having club representation at this event and others like it.
Discussed club subscriptions to Bee Culture and Bee Journal, and American Bee Journal (which one said was available for free online, although another said 1 year is $24 paper and $16 for the online version).
The Full Palette is being held at Stratton Mountain August 31, and September 1. We'd also like to have club representation at this event. We might need to consider obtaining a banner and posters.
Fresh Market is loooking for honey to sell.
One member mentioned the value of freezing wax to prevent wax moths, and installing mouse guard early in the season when the temperature/weather changes.
Bee Away is a product that is available again. Fishers Bee Quick is available in the Betterbee Catalog.
Double layered uncapping pan is available through Breezy Meadows.
The Association discussed Tristan Winnpenney's of Pawlet, and his 1,400 hives for sale. It was learned that he had sold all of his bees.
The Association needs to notify Matti Sobel to redirect the old Southern Vermont Beekeepers to our site and Facebook site as well.
The next meeting will be on November
All memberships were paid up for the year.
The association reviewed the amount in the checking account, and discussed obtaining 501(c)3 status.
Jack Rath's presentation had to be postponed because he is in Georgia picking up bees. His wife Sarah Rath brought videos to share with the membership.
The Association established a swarm team, and discussed swarming; it discussed website improvements, and additions.
The membership was encouraged to participate in the Seed, Shovels, Boots, and Buckets event May 17 and 18.
The Association is also seeking mentors for those who are starting out in beekeeping.
The club's extractor resides with Keld.
Discussion of Mites
Two treatment types
(1) apastan strips
(2) thymol - an extract of thyme. Use in the fall
(3) mite-away - approved organic, can use the honey. Very strong. (July & September)
Betterbee is conducting experiments with different types of treatments.
Types of mites: varroa mites and tracheal mites.
When treating, treat after you take off the last honey.
For earlier bees' production, order overwintered nucs.
Please register your bees with the state.
Last year Myers in Granville, New York lost 220/500 hives.
Discussed use of neonicotinoids
Bee The Change is a new federal report on honey bee health
The meeting was in the conference room of The Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Eleven people were present. Several signed up and paid for membership.
Susan Marmer, President opened the meeting at 7 PM.
Keld Alstrup took notes/minutes in the absense of our secretary.
We discussed our plan for quarterly club meetings, but also that Better Bee has classes on many bee subjects. Their field day will be July 13 in Greenwich, NY. Free for all.
Jack Rath also made known that his company Better Bee will donate a honey extractor to our club. The extractor will be picked up and kept by Keld Alstrup at his home on 657 Riverbend Drive, Manchester, and will be for the use of club members only. It will be expected that the extractor will be out only for a couple of days at a time, so that it can be available to as many members as possible. Also expected that it will ALWAYS be returned in very clean condition and ready for the next member to use.
There will be a meeting at SABA on Saturday, July 16 at the State Museum in Albany.
Discussion to utilize our Facebook site for member communication.
Input was given to Susan for future speakers and topics.
Jack Rath gave us all an interesting presentation on spring bee management. His wife Sara contributed a special honey based snack (as well as the recipe for same) Uhmm!
Until further, meetings will be held at The Chamber Conference room at 39 Bonnet Street, Manchester. Our club is now a paid up chamber member. Meetings will be announced on the chamber weekly bulletin the week before each meeting.
Our next meeting will be May 7 and deal with the overwintering of nukes.
Submitted by Keld Alstrup