Are you interested in expanding the number of your hives? Want to get into contract pollination but could use some financial help to purchase a trailer? Other beekeeping (and farming) grants are available from the TN Dept of Agriculture. Read on - don't let the deadline sneak up on you if you're interested in one of these grants.
Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Applications Now Available
TDA has released the 2011 application for the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. Applications can be submitted June 1-7 and should not be postmarked prior to June 1. Applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis, so producers are encouraged to apply early.
“The Ag Enhancement Program is a very important economic development tool for our farmers and rural communities,” said Governor Bill Haslam. “This program has been successful in providing more opportunities for farmers to participate, increasing farm income and generating additional economic activity in our rural areas.”
This year’s program offers the same menu of cost share opportunities as last year. This includes the livestock equipment, cattle genetics, hay storage, feed storage, grain storage and producer diversification opportunities. To date, TAEP has provided cost share funds for more than 21,000 projects.
TAEP was established in 2005 and supported by the General Assembly to increase farm income by helping farmers invest in better farming practices and by encouraging diversification and innovation. Through TAEP, farmers can qualify for 35 or 50 percent cost share, ranging from a maximum of $1,200 to $15,000 depending on the project.
Applications are available at most farm agencies including USDA Farm Service Agency, UT Extension and Farm Bureau offices, as well as most farm supply stores. To ensure accuracy, producers are encouraged to work with their local extension agent or local TDA representative when completing the application.
Producers can get important messages and updates on the program by calling 1-800-342-8206. For more information or to download an application, visit www.TN.gov/agriculture/enhancement.
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
Jimmy Cunningham of the Ellington Ag Center presented "A Year in the Life - The Beetles" in which his findings from an experiment that took place over the past year were shared with the group. The goal of the experiment was to find out how effective different methods of eliminating or controlling small hive beetles.
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:
Also mentioned was 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.
Finally, there is current legislation before the TN General Assembly that will limit beekeepers' liability if certain conditions are met to alert others that bees are present. This same bill will also strengthen hive registration requirements and consequences. You can read more about this at http://tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/apiary.html
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).
Please enjoy the video segments (files) we recorded this past Thursday with Paul Carter and Lara Jarrell. The videos are available on our YouTube Channel. I confirmed all segments are now online and available for downloading or sharing to the general public.
The day started with a Linda and I recording a swarm at Paul's house, followed by Lara and Paul performing hive inspections at her farm.
Flint River will have queens available on April 20, 2011 for $17.00 each, the same price as last year. Flint River is located in Meridianville, AL - just across the TN/AL line north of Huntsville. Queens can be picked up or mailed to you.
To place an order call: Bill Mullins at 256-682-4372.
We're going to have an interesting guest this Saturday. Jimmy Cunningham will be sharing with us the results of some things he has learned from trying different ways of fighting the small hive beetle as part of an Ellington Ag Center initiative. Be sure to make it to the meeting so we can all learn from Jimmy's experience - these little bugs can kill a hive in the blink of an eye!
Some of you might remember Jimmy from last year when he visited our group with Jim Primus. He's been working with Jim Primus at Ellington Ag Center in Nashville for a while and has a lot to share with us about good beekeeping practices too.
ALSO Anyone interested in identifying what information from HiveTracks.com you'd like to be able to download to your computer for use with a spreadsheet or your personal database - plan to stay an additional 30 minutes. The HiveTracks.com owners are willing to create the downloadable report for us once we tell them what we want. Please study the HT site before the meeting so we can make easy work of this task.
This Saturday, April 9th at 9:30 AM in the meeting room of the Public Library in Ashland City.