Monday, July 21, 2014

July 2014 Meeting Notes



July 12, 2014



President Chris Robbins called the meeting to order at 9:30 am.

There were 29 people in attendance at this months meeting. After a short welcome, Chris turned the meeting over to Becky Harris who gave a presentation on extracting honey.


Becky explained that it was very important to have a bee free environment when you extract honey.  The smell of the uncapped honey will attract any bees in the area. Becky sets up a 10X10 screened in tent in her yard to extract honey in. Honey is also easier to extract when it is warm, so if you are going to do it inside an air conditioned home, keep the frames outside until you are ready to extract them.

You want your frames to be free of bees when you extract. The four most common ways to remove the bees from the frames are:

1: Manually, by shaking and brushing them off.

2: The use of chemicals and a fume board, to drive the bees out.

3: Blowing the bees off the frames with a leaf blower. Be careful the queen is not blown out of the hive!

 4: A bee escape: This allows bees to leave the frame, but they cannot return.

Uncapped honey: It is important the majority of the honey on your frames is capped, otherwise there may be too much moisture in your honey. This can cause the honey to ferment. The moisture level of your honey should be 18% or below, and can be tested with a refractometer.


There are three common methods to uncap honey. They are:


1: An uncapping pick

2: Serrated knife

3: Heated knife


Harvesting honey: The most common methods are:


1: Crush and Strain

2: Uncap-Invert-Drain (must have a warm area)

3: Mechanical Extraction, by use of either a radial or tangential extractor


After harvest, many people set their equipment and frames outside to let the bees clean them out. This is a violation of TN law. It prohibits this practice in order to prevent diseases from being spread, as bees from numerous colonies will clean the items up. If there is any disease present in your frames, you can spread it to all the colonies.


Honey should be strained after extraction, to remove the tiny particles present before it is bottled. There are numerous methods and micron sizes available to the beekeeper. Several items were displayed that can do the job.


This was the end of Becky’s presentation, after which she gave the treasurer’s monthly report. Our beginning balance was $1,363.29. Expenses for the month were $150.00, Income was $32.76, which left and ending balance of $1246.05.


David Hanson then read the Secretary’s notes from the previous months meeting. Both reports were accepted on voice votes.


Chris Robbins then led a discussion on the subject of the upcoming fair. A request was made for volunteers to assist with set up, assist with judging, and man the booth during the hours the fair is open. There were several volunteers and it appeared the necessary coverage was achieved. Our next monthly meeting will be held at the fairgrounds in order to help get as much set up done early as is possible.


There was further discussion on topics of honey sticks for the fair (will be ordered), educational videos, and an educational bee hive with picture displays. I was decided that we will purchase a bee hive, as it can be used yearly at the fair.


After this there was a general Q & A session with the three most dis:cussed topics being: ventilation of hives, the merits of screen bottom boards versus solid bottom boards, and the storing of honey supers during the off season.


The meeting ended after this discussion with a reminder that the next meeting (August 9, 2014) will be held at the Fairgrounds.


Respectfully submitted,


David K. Hanson


Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 2014vMeeting Notes

Cheatham County Beekeepers

June 14, 2014 Agenda

9:30 AM

TSU Farm, Ashland City



The June meeting was called to order at 9:30 am by President Chris Robbins with 16 people in attendance. Becky Harris presented the Treasurer’s Report.  Opening balance for the month was $1363.21, with income of $79.00. Expenses for the month were 78.92, with an ending balance of $1,363.29.


Discussion was held at the beginning of the meeting on topics that should be included in the County Fair newspaper, and what classes of honey should be judged. It was decided that there would be a class added for Medium Amber Honey, with and without comb. It was also decided all honey without comb will be required to be submitted in narrow mouth quart jars, and all comb honey will be in wide mouth quart jars.


Chris then passed around a picture of a cabinet that he suggested be purchased as an exhibit and storage area for items on display at the Fair. The price of the cabinet is $150.00, and donations will be taken towards the purchase price. Any shortfall will be made up with money from the club.


Becky Harris then announced that the National Honey Board has donated 2,500 of the brochures she showed to us at a previous meeting, to be handed out at the fair.


A general discussion proceeded after this about who had already extracted honey this year, the overall condition of member’s hives, and what price they were selling honey for. After this discussion ended, members donned their suits and the rest of the meeting was dedicated to the examination of some hives at the farm. This was particularly helpful for some of our new beekeepers, as they learned from the more experienced members of the club what to be looking for when you get into your hives.


Our next meeting will also be held at the TSU Farm on River Road, at 9:30 am on July 12, 2014.


Respectfully submitted,


David Hanson, Secretary

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 2014 Meeting Notes

Cheatham County Beekeepers

May 10, 2014 Agenda

9:30 AM

Ashland City Library



The May meeting was called to order at 9:30 am by President Chris Robbins with 20 people in attendance. Becky Harris presented the Treasurer’s Report.  Opening balance for the month was $1180.46, with income of $280.83. Expenses for the month were 98.08, with an ending balance of $1,363.21. After a motion and second, the report was accepted as given. David Hanson then gave the minutes of the previous month’s meeting which were also accepted as read, after a motion and second.


Chris then reported that T shirts and hats ordered last month are not yet ready for pick up. They should be ready by the time of our next meeting.

After some discussion, it was decided to plan educational topics to be covered at each meeting for the next year. This will start with next months meeting. Some in attendance volunteered to do presentations on the topics being covered during the various months. The list is as follows:


June 2014- Problems/Pests in the hive  (Chris Robbins)


July 2014- Honey Extraction  (Becky Harris)


August 2014- Do I need to Re-queen?  (Johnie Bell)


September 2014-Products from your hive (Roger & Diana Senechal)


October 2014- Winter Feeding strategies (Johnie Bell)


November 2014- Winterizing your hives  (Johnie Bell)


December 2014- Christmas Party (Order bees)


January 2015- Repairing/Preparing Equipment for spring


February 2015- Foundation Selection  (Junior Morrow)


March 2015- Beginners Beekeeping Class


April 2015- Swarm Management  (Johnie Bell)


May 2015- Preparing for the Honey Flow 


The next two meetings will be held at Chris Robbins home on River Road. We will be working in and around hives, so bring your bee suits!


Chris reported that he has had several requests to do school group presentations on beekeeping. He inquired if there was any interest in starting a young beekeepers group. After much discussion it was decided that we would continue our present course, and inquire of the local 4 H group to see if they had any members interested in beekeeping.


Discussion then shifted to this year’s County Fair, as that is an effective way to stir interest in bees and beekeeping. It was generally agreed upon that if the opportunity arises to obtain a new display case at a reasonable price, we would do so. It was also suggested that we look into video presentations and printed pamphlets for the fair. Becky advised that by joining the National Honey Board, we gain access to a number of publications they have available. A motion was made, seconded and carried for the club to join. A member also advised she had and would donate a television for the club to use for video presentations at the fair.


Other topics discussed regarding the fair were:

 1: Door prizes—will give honey as a prize.

2: Sales of honey at fair—members working the booth may sell their honey. It was undecided whether or not they should donate a percentage of sales to the club.

3: Pricing of honey for the fair and the coming year.

4:Honey judging

5: Honey sticks—Chris and Becky will look into obtaining sticks for the fair.

6: Catalogues—Chris will look into getting beekeeping supply catalogues to give out at the fair.


At the end of the discussion regarding the County Fair, there was a short Q & A session between those present.  Topics covered were swarms, small cell vs large cell foundation, the TAEP program and Plasticell Foundation.


The meeting adjourned with a reminder that next month’s meeting (June 14, 2014) will be at the TSU farm on River Road. Bring your suits!



Respectfully submitted,


David Hanson, Secretary