Cheatham County Beekeepers Meeting, Cheatham Co. Library in Ashland City, TN
October 11th, 2014 Meeting Minutes
There was welcoming coffee for all to share, but I in my newness as club secretary, do not know whom to thank for this!
There was also a bulging bag of absolutely perfect and delicious homemade molasses/ginger snap type cookies passed around mid- meeting, and again, I am sorry to say I cannot recall the name of the thoughtful baker-beekeeper who made and shared them with us! (I have much to learn it is obvious!).
The meeting commenced at 9:43 AM. Chris Robbins welcomed the 12 members present, but this day there was no formal “calling to order”!
There were 12 members present.
Becky Harris, treasurer, was not present this day. Chris stated that the association checking account had $26.00 more in it than a month ago.
Johnnie Bell had video about queen rearing. It was extensive, and we spent the entire body of the meeting watching it. Again, my newness may have prevented me from absorbing much of the content, which was all new to me. Many other members were also taking notes, and I am sure they will be happy to share additional points they remember when we next meet!
I will attempt to summarize it as best I can. The initial segment was about equipment. There were at least 2 types of queen catchers, one like a big plastic hair clip, and one that was an exotic looking long glass tube with an opening to be positioned over the queen – it used the queen’s natural tendency to climb up and indeed, up she went, trapped inside! The man was very good, however, and quite easily simply picked up queens in his fingers….. (I however, have never even spotted my queen!).
There were at least 2 equipment systems, one looked like a grid of cells, where you could raise about 45 queens at a time; another was a system that used cup like cells that snapped in place on housings already mounted on frames , and a system called NICOT where there is a unit mounted in a frame. All of these were I think grafting systems. There was also extensive footage about a no graft method using a NUC .
Although most of the process was well beyond my knowledge level, there were some themes that seemed crucial:
- Avoid raising too many queens at one time (45 was posited as a good number)
- You must use special pieces of equipment to protect the queen cells
- There is a universal color marking system that allows you to readily know what year the queen was reared.
- QUEEN CELLS MUST NOT BE SEALED OFF TOO SOON: if one is already sealed in 7 days you must destroy it as the queen will be of inferior quality. It takes 3 days for eggs to hatch, and the cells must not be sealed before the 9th day. The queen will emerge in 16 days, and by the 11th day after her emergence you should see eggs.
After the video ended there was not a lot of whole group discussion or review of contents. Chris Robbins announced that the next meeting will be about swarm catching. As the time wore on to well after 11:40 members started to drift out, including myself.