The honey bee is truly a versatile insect. While they are commonly known for their honey production abilities, their ability to collect massive amounts of pollen is vital to the survival of the colony. A normal colony will bring in 100 pounds of pollen in a single season. Spring is the typical season for pollen collection.
Last Minute Bee School Information:
It’s going to be a good day Saturday, March 25th! Thirty-one people have registered for our first Appalachian Beekeepers Bee School!
A couple things to know:
- Parking may be limited due to a county-wide baseball event happening at Konehete Park.
- We will be providing muffins, donuts, coffee and water for those attending.
- All attendees will be provided a free membership to the Appalachian Beekeepers Club for one year.
- Lunch and snacks will be provided throughout the day.
- There will not be any live bees!
If you are a member of the club currently, we will need mentors for the new beekeepers. Please let Don know if you are available to mentor.
If you are an instructor, thank you so much for helping this be such a success! If you see anyway during the day to improve, please shoot Don an email so we can incorporate it for next year’s school!
This Month’s Priorities for Beekeepers
NCSBA News and Events
In the News …
Sunflowers Linked to Reduced Varroa Mite Infestations in Honeybees submitted by Chris Marok
First Vaccine for Honey Bees Approved by USDA, submitted by Don Reynolds
US approves world’s first vaccine for declining honey bees, submitted by Holly Cole
A Note From Don …
Obviously, the cold has finally arrived after a very mild Fall and early Winter, so if you have not done it yet, it is time to add winter protection to you hives.
- You may want to place entrance reducers on your hives to help keep the cold wind out. This will also help deter mice from getting in you hives. I reduce mine down to a 1 inch opening.
- If you use screened bottom boards, you could place the plastic inserts all the way in to also reduce the cold air flow into the hive.
- If your hives are unprotected from the cold north/northwest wind, a wind break of some type will help your bees.
- If any of you “wrap” your hives with some type of insulation or windbreak material, now is probably the time to do that.
- Quilt boxes for the top of hives are another good idea. They help insulate the hive and absorb moisture.
- At some point after this week or so of really cold weather, you should check your hives food stores on the next warmer day and feed if necessary. I would not use sugar water this time of year as it could cause a moisture issue within the hive. Fondant would be a better option. It is easy to make at home or you can order it from some of the larger bee suppliers. Here is a great recipe for making your own candy board (fondant). Steve, from the club, submitted this article which is a good read about providing your bees fondant during the winter months. The fondant recipe we are supplying here is not a cooked sugar so it should be fine, but the article is a great read to educate beekeepers on what to look for in fondant.
I hope all of you and your families have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.
Don Reynolds, President