Minutes of Meeting April 11, 2018
Meeting called to order at 7:00 PM at the Manchester Community Library.
After a few announcements, Jack Rath gave a presentation first focusing on Varroa Destructor and new research.
Sammy Ramsey, a Doctorate Candidate at the University of Maryland, was a featured speaker at the VBA in January.
He has made some very important discoveries about the nature of Varroa and the way it attaches honeybees. Jack shared some of his information and a short video. See below or go to youtube; https://youtu.be/KQfbX0fUneQ
Jack also presented key elements of beekeeping targeted for beginners but a good review for everyone.
An election of officers was held; Stewart Dittmeier was reelected President and Jack Rath reelected Treasurer.
Tuesday September 26th @ 7:00
Jack Rath, an owner of Betterbee, the new President of the Vermont Beekeepers Association not to mention being our Treasurer and his wife Sarah gave a great presentation on their trip earlier this year and their investigation of beekeeping practices in Cuba. "They have very little equipment and make do for many things.
Jack and Sarah gave a very interesting presentation that included not only beekeeping but insight into the Cuban society.
Tuesday May 16th @ 7:00
We were very pleased to host Phd. candidate Samantha Alger and Masters student Alex Burnham from UVM who shard some of the results of their work in studying potential causes for bee declines including habitat loss, climate change, pesticides pollination and disease.
UVM researchers have recently released groundbreaking studies highlighting bees' importance to food, health and the environment.
Samantha Alger is researching Vermont bee viral diseases, the role of plants in virus transmission, and the effects of pesticides on bee health and behavior. She leads Vermont’s involvement in the U.S. National Honey Bee Survey, gathering baseline data on diseases and pathogens, and works closely with beekeepers, providing educational workshops on bee health and disease management practices.
Alex Burnham, a junior in the Graduate College's Accelerated Masters program, studies bee viruses and parasites and serves as hive inspector and sample collector for the National Honey Bee Survey.
Monday, March 6.
Neal Kober from Betterbee will give a presentation on comb honey.
Neal was introduced to beekeeping as a teenager while living on the family dairy farm. He began beekeeping regularly in 2000 and manages about 50 hives as a sideline business selling comb and extracted honey both retail and wholesale. Currently Neal works full time for Betterbee. In this role he helps manage the Betterbee Apiary, including the northern queen rearing program, the over wintered nuc program, and honey production. He is also part owner at Humble Abodes, a woodenware manufacturing company in Maine.
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