Saturday, April 12, 2008

April 11th Meeting

At out April meeting, we had a panel discussion of current Spring hive management issues. Harry Mallow, Richard Cutter and Dwight Kessel served as our expert panel and Steve M moderated the discussion. Steve made several announcements at the outset. out of Pittsburgh is looking to buy local honey for their on line market. Keep them in mind as a customer for early honey harvest. Steve has all the contact info. They are essentially on on line fresh produce market. Many members reported very strong hives at this time. Some have even installed honey supers to provide early expansion room for the hives. Dwight has done very well. He went into winter with 22 hives and had 21 survivors, a great result. It appears that winter losses have been below normal for our group. Most feel they are getting good results by using Honey Bee Healthy and grease patties. Steve mentioned a new book he had called Natural Beekeeping which covers a lot of this material. After a cool March, hive activity in early April has been good. Richard and Harry reported that numerous hives could be split right now, which is a few weeks ahead of normal. The panel felt that all of this could mean a strong swarm season so better swarm management is probably required this year. In particular, we discussed the technique of installing 3 new empty frames in a crowded bottom box as a swarm prevention measure. Harry gave us an update of the preparation for the June 21st Field Day at Old Camp Hickory in Accident, MD. Dr Amrine and WVDA staff will speak and we will be having numerous demonstrations so the excitement is starting to build. Steve will put an agenda together in the AMBA workspace. Our raffle gifts included farm eggs, jarred products, flower seeds, a potted herb, and hive frames as well as a 50-50 drawing. Richard won the 50-50 and donated the proceeds back to the club. Thank you Richard.