Newsletter of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
June 4, 2012 Volume XII, Issue 6
Next Meeting: July 2, 2012, 7:00 pm
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 3561 Foothill Boulevard, La Crescenta, CA 91214
Topic for July Meeting:
[don't know yet - but Jim's in charge as Clyde's out of town]
Minutes from the June Meeting: Attendance: 55, 55 members, 0 guest
Contents in Brief:
- Beekeeping 101 classes are scheduled 9am first Sunday of the month from April-October (except September) at Bill’s yard located at 12640 N Little Tujunga Road, Lake View Terrace – free for members
- American Bee Journal –subscription discount – grab a voucher from Stacy or contact them at 1-888-922-1293 and tell them you’re a LACBA member to get 25% off
- Bee Culture subscription discounts – simply contact them at 1-800-289-7668 and let them know you’re a LACBA member to get a discounted subscription
- Buzzings – if you’re not getting a copy, let Stacy McKenna know (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can update your information
- Don’t forget to grab your nametag and keep it in your glove compartment or such so you have it handy for meetings.
- If you want to be listed on our website for honey sales or bee removals, contact Eva Andrews at email@example.com
- AGDayLA – Karl Walker was there for the day with Mary Landau. They gave 10 min presentations to about 800 kids about what bees do and how they do it. Thanks for helping support education about bees for all ages!
- Bill and Clyde’s yard saw a significant die-off this past month. They showed up to piles of dead bees in front of every single hive in a 128 hive yard. They’ve collected samples and sent them off for testing so they can give us a definitive answer as to why next month. It may be a poisoning incident, hence the testing. In cases where the field force is devastated, the key issue becomes feeding to sustain the house bees and larvae. So, instead of harvesting honey right now, Bill and Clyde are feeding this yard. These bees were in almonds about 3 months ago. Klaus says he saw a similar response in about 100 of his hives but only 3 weeks after coming back from almonds.
- Laura Rockwell is looking to sell her 4-frame extractor for $500 with all proceeds going to the club. Her husband modified it with an extra pulley wheel so it can be hooked up to your bicycle, electric motor, whatever rather than hand cranking it. Contact Clyde/Bill if you’re interested.
- Joe Green’s family will most likely be making his bee holdings available for sale to help cover medical expenses. When we have details, we will let everyone know.
- CSBA Board Meeting – Bill Lewis attended this past month. He voted to represent the small scale/hobbyists, and thus voted AGAINST spending $2K to provide water at border checkpoints for semi trailers loaded with bees. The board ultimately voted in favor, but Bill wanted to make sure the folk he talks with in the small scale side were represented. He’s been outvoted on similar issues in the past for similar reasons, particularly when the CSBA voted to increase membership fees for small scale/hobbyist members. One of the things he voted FOR was an upgrade to the CSBA website, which was passed.
The next CSBA convention in November will be held at the Morongo Casino in Palm Springs
The next CSBA board meeting will be held in late August. Every CSBA-dues-paying beekeeping club in the state gets a vote IF a member is present. Since Bill is already a board member of CSBA he can’t vote twice. Bill moved that we help send Clyde up for the August meeting so our group can officially vote. The motion passed to cover about $150.
- Fillmore Honey Harvest Festival – Clyde needs HELP early Saturday morning to set up a booth, and then man it for the two day event, from 9-5. It’s just going to be an educational booth, no sales, so it should be pretty easy. El Rey will be on the train which runs at 10am, noon, and 2pm, talking about the bees. The event will include musical entertainment, food, a craft fair, etc. Several volunteers signed up to pick things up from Bill’s yard early Saturday and then work the booth. If you want to help out, contact Clyde.
- Website Highlights – Eva’s been putting up a variety of posts, pretty much on a daily basis (Ed: she’s more prolific than me – I can’t keep up with our website!). The big new info up there right now is the National Pesticide Forum videos. If you’re ever sitting around with not much to do, take a few minutes to hit the website for new and interesting info about bees!
- Thousand Oaks Hive needs a keeper – Walt McBride knows someone in Thousand Oaks with a hive that needs tending. The family observes a Saturday Sabbath, so Sunday or weekday availability is required. Several folk in the room offered to find out more and try to help out.
- The American Medical Association discourages honey for children under the age of 1 due to the possibility of C botulinum spores leading to infant botulism (bacterial growth followed by release of toxins that can result in death that mimics/presents as SIDS). They are now also not recommending it for pregnant women, either, so don’t be surprised if you hear that at your farmer’s markets.
Many beekeepers have researched the initial study behind this recommendation and find it very lacking. Educate yourself and handle your liability management accordingly.
(Ed: Technically, both infants and pregnant women are considered by the medical field to be immuno-compromised. The elderly are also in this category. The 1980 document I have found from the Western Journal of Medicine indicates they consider eliminating honey a necessary but insufficient step in eliminating C botulinum spores from an infant’s diet – 65% of infant botulism cases had no connection with honey. 10% of honey available was found to have spores.)
- Bear fence – anyone got a spare lying around? Ben Jeffries is in need of one. Bill knows a consultant who specializes in these things should anyone need to install a serious, no kidding kind of enclosure for their bees. One key element some have found is that you need to provide a contact point ON THE GROUND for the bear to complete a circuit with – laying down chicken wire usually works fine. Otherwise, the electrical unit can usually be found for cheap at local hardware suppliers and you can hook it up to basic metal fencing supplies if you don’t want to go with one of the full fledged kits available in the bee magazines.
- White fuzzy mold-looking stuff - on the bees, at the joint between leg and torso. Does anyone know what this is? Klaus and Bill have seen it, but don’t know what it is. We highly recommended sending the photo to Randy Oliver for identification and eagerly await an answer at July’s meeting!
- Nectar flow – in Bill’s yards, they’ve hit the end of the sage, and are in a harvesting lull before the summer flow kicks in. Buckwheat is starting up, and there should be some sumac as well. Based on the weather, he expects the flow to be done by mid-July. According to the Bee Culture survey, we’re seeing a light, dry, late flow locally. Many areas are saying it’s cold/they’re feeding so it’s kind of tough everywhere this year.
- Laying workers – if your laying worker colony is weak, shake all of those bees into a strong colony. The stronger colony will suppress/kill a laying worker in favor of their queen. It’s suggested that you use the newspaper method between boxes to minimize fighting between the colonies. Put a new nuc in the spot of the old, weak hive to collect the returning field bees. Make sure your nuc does not include any brood comb from the laying worker. Introduce a new queen to that nuc.
No spare colony? You could try adding a new queen, but this technique often fails.
All proceeds from this raffle were donated to Joe Green’s family to help cover medical/estate expenses – we raised at least $203.
We had quite the selection this week – all prizes are donated, so the group spends no money on this endeavor. Thanks to all for helping support our group’s works through this fundraiser!
Wine Carrier – won by Greg Finley
Punch Bowl w/ Glasses – won by Bob Miskell
Corkscrew set – won by the Darlings
“Life in a Garden” ornament and Dynamo Bug Light – won by Doug Noland
Joe Green – a Eulogy:
Joe was a Vietnam Veteran. He used to go with his church down to Mexico to help build homes. He helped the homeless in his area get back on their feet by letting them live in his trailer until they got things going again. He used to bring home stray animals. He constantly went out of his way to help people out.
Thank you, on behalf of his friends and family, for being so generous in your donations to his estate.
One of our members has heard of an old tradition in the beekeeping community of tying black ribbons on a beekeepers apiary to convince the girls not to leave in grief at a beekeeper’s passing. We hope his bees continue strong in his absence.