July 9, 2011
Twenty members arrived at the Ashland City Library to find Paul and Joyce Carter waiting with coffee they had made, and a delicious array of homemade cookies, apples, and other goodies provided by our members.
We began by welcoming two new members: Jackie Measley from Chapmansboro, already being mentored by Johnny Bell, and Carol Hippensteel, who is being introduced to beekeeping by her friend and neighbor, Lara Jarrell.
The Cheatham County Fair dates of August 22-27 were announced and a sign-up sheet circulated to determine whether the club could provide enough volunteers to manage a booth. Happily, nearly every slot was filled so we’ll look forward to this opportunity for informal education on the marvels of honeybees and the serious challenges they face. This year we will be able to sell honey and wax products at our booth – details to be worked out at next meeting. Lara offered to provide small samples of her beeswax soap to those who visit our booth. We will try to locate a judge so members can display their honey and wax products and those who wish to do so may compete for ribbons.
A decision was made to have our December meeting and annual Christmas party at the newly rebuilt Riverview Restaurant in Ashland City on December 10 at 1:00 PM. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us.
The major question of the day was, “Is the flow over?” Many thought it was and have been extracting, but Greg Allen’s bees are “busy as bees” on his sourwood trees. Yes, there are some sourwoods in our area! Greg brought in a branch to allow us to study its blossoms. He has also taken photos and a video of his bees hard at work on the sourwood, which will continue to bloom for some time. Unfortunately, in the absence of our Computer Expert Kevin Eggers, we were unable to view these pictures. We look forward to seeing them at our next meeting.
Discussion followed on extraction, the major apiary activity for July. Paul Carter brought his “Bee-Go” and a fume board to explain the quickest way to remove bees from the frames we want to rob. One member mentioned that there is a better smelling, mint flavored chemical available for this task. A slower but gentler method of using a bee escape (a one-way door) was also suggested.
Members were reminded to return their wet supers to the hive as soon as possible after extracting to avoid small hive beetle and wax moth damage and also to provide space in case weather conditions should allow for additional honey flow. But do it in the evening, to prevent robbing.
Paul Carter announced that he and Joyce would be hosting an Extracting Party at their home next Saturday, July 16. Please call them (746-5398) if you plan to attend.
Bee stings were mentioned – an opportunity to urge members to always carry an epi-pen to the beeyard. Our nurse Lara reminded us that once we have administered the epi-pen, we need to be careful to hold it firmly against our thigh because the pen will want to pop out and the medicine will be lost.
Ordinary bee stings can be treated with ice (to counter swelling) or, as suggested by Keaton Penick, a drop of honey (!!) which he has also found helpful on tick bites and poison ivy rashes.
Beetle Blasters ($1) will still be available at our meetings while supplies last.
Watch your email for a monthly list of beekeeping chores provided for us by Vice-President Linda Nutt. Thank you, Linda.
Our next meeting at the Ashland City Library will be held on Saturday, August 13 at 9:30 AM.