CHEATHAM COUNTY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION MINUTES FOR 6/13/15 meeting, held at Ashland City public Library.
21 people were in attendance.
Chris Robbins called the meeting to order at approximately 09:30
Morgan Turpin gave her treasures report, explaining that previously she had been including our over draft protection amount in our balance, that she had not corrected this mistake.
Current corrected balance is $1681.77
Chris Robbins reported that last month about 15-20 people had met at the farm and gone through hives.
There was some general discussion with several members sharing that they had recently extracted, with general consensus that with current temperatures, the honey flow is over until early autumn.
Chris presented information about rules and regulations for packaging, labeling, and selling our honey.
Tennessee rules for labeling have changed. Per the department of agriculture, labels must now state 100% pure honey, give a company name, location, and a way to contact you.
Labels should state “ounces by weight”.
Going rates were discussed. In a recent fair in Coopertown, quarts of honey (without comb) sold at $24.00 a quart.
Chris intends to see his at about $11.00 per pound.
He brought in some beautiful jars he had purchased from Fillmore container Company in Lancaster PA, including a glass bear.
He had figured jar cost and label cost into his final prices for his honey.
He used a service from Avery Label makers, 200 labels for $50.00.
Honey produced and packaged this way is sale tax exempt.
However, if he wanted to add a wooden honey dipper to his jars, these would need to be taxed because he did not produce them himself.
There was more general discussion, which included that Johnson’s Honey Farm in Goodlettsville is actually importing honey from China.
Johnny brought in a video, a TV presentation, “Vanishing of the Bees” which aired on Pivot and is available on Net Flix.
Themes in this lengthy and well done show included investigating why bees are vanishing, which included information about changing style of pest control, and statistics that clearly correlated the introduction of “Gaucho” and “Poncho”, 2 systemic pesticides made by Bayer, with increased losses of colonies.
Whereas previous styles of pest control, sprayed directly on plants, directly effect living bees, it was posited that systemic pesticides are so incorporated into the pollen that subsequent generations of bees are harmed while still in the larval stage of development.
In France, public opinion led to the outlawing of these chemicals. Once they were outlawed, the hives stopped collapsing.
While here in the United States the system of regulation favors the chemical companies themselves, who do their own research and submit data for review, where their clear motive is to protect their vested financial interests, as opposed to an independent agency, working to protect people.
Many other themes were also explored, including the crippling effect of bees being exposed to mono cultures, which are unnatural, and unsustainable.
I highly recommend watching this show, which was at times horrific (films of a huge bee yard of dead colonies) and encouraging and inspiring.
Respectfully submitted, Margaret Beaver.