The Cheatham County Beekeeping club met at 9:30 AM at the Cheatham Public Library in Ashland City. Though some Bee Blasters were sold and member renewals were noted, the main business of the meeting was our guest speaker - Mr. Jimmy Cunningham. A summary of his presentation follows:
1. Guest Speaker: Jimmy Cunningham
Several different treatments were tried - most which involved the use of either feed salt or lime in the West Beetle Tray that was used on each hive. The hives were different in some ways - some were totally shaded, others were in full sun, one had small cell comb, and other variations. All hives also had Beetle Blasters within the hive.
Conclusions: Most hives died or were very weakened except for the hives that had feed salt to start and were later switched to lime in the West Tray. The survivor hives also used 2 Beetle Blasters. The Beetle Blasters were filled with a special recipe of oil, apple cider vinegar and banana oil to attract the beetles. Hives need to be in sun. Blasters filled with only oil will not attract the beetles - these need to be changed regularly. Using good hygiene practices is critical - don't use your hives to store unused equipment, keep your hives strong, keep the blaster and west tray additives (oil, lime, etc) pretty current so they can do their jobs; remember that dead beetles attract live beetles - tidiness is important.
Jimmy introduced the group to several products that were new to the group. They included:
Walt Wright's Checkerboarding technique. There is a Wikipedia entry on the subject, so check it out. More great articles by Walt may be found here.
2. The Tennessean had a recent article about beekeeping and the proposed legislation. (See the link to this article in a April 9, 2011 post on the Cheatham Co Beekeeping Club web page).
Next meeting is May 14, 2011.