Meetings Are Back!!!
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November 13th at our regular time of 7:00pm.
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or join by phone at any of these numbers.
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Meeting ID: 918 2239 3910
Meetings will be held on these dates all at 7:00pm.
Nov 13, 2020
Dec 11, 2020
Jan 8, 2021
Feb 12, 2021
Mar 12, 2021
Here are the links for the recordings of our previous meetings.
October - SBA meeting 10/9/2020
We will be posting some monthly Beekeeping Tips to make sure everyone is doing the right things at the right times for your honeybees.
This month's tips are provided by Jim Perkins.
October Beekeeping Tips
What do we need to do to prepare our hives for the coming cold weather and winter? The hive that has the best chance of surviving the winter will be the hive that was very strong all year and has a young queen. Remember, a strong hive is more apt to be pest and disease free, thus overwintering much better because it does not have viruses caused by mites. Weak hives that do survive the winter usually are not impressive the following year.
When you remove and extract your fall honey leave plenty of honey for your bees to eat during the winter. You should plan to leave 70 or 80 pounds of honey on for the bees. Two deeps and a super should weigh about 150 pounds. Remove your queen excluder if you have one on. The bees may move up through the excluder and leave the queen trapped below. Add a mouse guard after confirming that you are not trapping a mouse inside. The entrance reducer can be used as a mouse guard, but you need to have the opening up so that dead bees do not block the entrance.
Add an upper entrance with a moisture board above it. The upper entrance will provide air circulation to remove moisture and an exit for bees to make their cleansing flight on warm days. The moisture board will wick water away and prevent water from dripping on the bees.
Wind is a detriment to the wintering bees. You can add a wind break using fencing, burlap, or old pallets. Also, you can wrap your hives with 15 pound felt paper, commercial wrap or Styrofoam. Make sure that you do not cover your top entrance with your wrap. The bees need an escape in case the snow blocks the bottom entrance. Now you can add your outer cover. Make sure that you weigh or strap the outer cover so that the winter winds do not blow the cover off.
Hopefully your bees will form a cluster near the bottom of the hive with plenty of stores above them. They will work their way up though the hive eating the honey as they go. You can add a little insurance by placing some dry granulated cane sugar on a piece of paper on the top frames leaving space around the paper for the bees to get to the sugar. You can also leave fondant, grease patties, winter patties or sugar candy on the top frames.
We wish everyone a successful fall extraction, winter prep and overwintering of your bees.
Last Month's Tips
September Beekeeping Tips
Where has the summer gone? We have experienced a wet spring and a dry, hot summer along with a pandemic. There were few swarm calls in May and June, but now in August there have been several calls for bees in buildings. That probably means late swarms.
As we move into September our strategies move to fall and winter preparation. By now you should have extracted all of your spring and summer honey and put the supers back on. The fall flow (goldenrod, knotweed and asters) will produce lots of dark honey. Make sure that you have more than ample space for the bees to store this rich, tasty honey. If not the bees will fill the brood chamber with honey and cut off crucial final brood rearing for the winter bees. Do you have enough jars or bears to store your fall honey? What are you going to do with your honey now that the Harford Fair has been cancelled and you cannot sell it in the honey hut? You can freeze honey in jars or bears, because it does not expand like water and break you container.
It is time to make preparations for your winter prep season. Do you have a wind break plan? Are you going to take off all of your fall honey and feed your bees or leave ample supplies for them without feeding? If you plan to feed sugar syrup plan to do it before it gets too cold for the bees to process and store the syrup. Do you need to buy/make any materials (moisture boards, felt paper, Styrofoam, fondant or winter patties) for winter?
You can take time this month to analyze how this beekeeping season has been for you. What did you do right? What could you have done better? Did you monitor and control your mites? Did you control your swarming tendencies or catch your swarms? Did you get as much honey as you expected?
When you work you hives, be cautious not to set off robbing. Keep your honey suppers covered with a towel or board so as not to attract bees from other hives. Keep the hives open for as short a time as possible. Use a triangle board or fume unit to get bees out of the honey supper rather than sweeping bees off each frame as you remove them.
Next month we will go more in depth for winter preparations. Until then watch your bees bringing in pollen and nectar.
Check back periodically for updates.
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