Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Queen Cell Giveaway


									                                     The                    June 2009 Vol. XII No. VIII

                        West Sound Beekeepers Association

     June                                             Next meeting:
                                       Tuesday, June 16, At The Stedman’s
                                            5:45 PM Journeyman Studies
                                               6 PM Bee-ginners Class
      Snacks:                                     7 PM Regular Meeting
   Cindy Fulgham                     Queen Rearing Group meets after the Regular Meeting

                             Queen Cell Giveaway
                           (Details page 1)
    June 20- Beginners Field Day 12 Noon “Spring Management”
                          Queen Cell Grafting Session 1 PM

President, Journeyman Study Group Leader                    What’s Inside:
Jim Dunbar        .360-286-5359

                                                     Queen Cell Give away............1
Kayla Wentworth      .360 598 3867
Michelle McMillen        ????                        Message From The President.3
Treasurer                                            Mead Making Update..........….4
Lori Christie    .360 830 5509
                                                     Reactor vs. Proactor................4
Educational Materials
Barbara Stedman      .360 692 9453                   Hints and Tips..........................5
Education Chairman                                  Queen Rearing Update.............6
                                                    Sweet Deception......................10
Paul Lundy         .360 297 6743

Peggy Dunbar         .360-286-5359
                                                        When disease seems determined to trample
Newsletter Editor                                         The goals you have set, take example.
Basil Gunther       .360 297 5075                                 The tortoise gets there
                                                                  Well ahead of the hare
Webmaster                                               And his steadiness makes the time ample.
George Purkett      .360 895 9116

Queen Rearing Group Leader
David Mackovjak    .360 698 5228
                          Queen Cell Giveaway
The Queen Rearing Group has outdone itself again! We will be passing out queen cells at
Stedman’s to members after the beginner class and before the meeting. Bring Your nucs full of

George Purkett shares his thoughts:
“I have about 10 five frame nuc boxes I can loan out. Jerry Hominda mentioned he has many
that can loan out. Beekeepers would need to contact one of us and pick them up before the
meeting so they could be populated with bees and be ready for the queen cells. Other options
would be to make their own nuc box, or to just use a single hive body with the entrance
reduced. Stedmans may have some for sale, I do not know. The nuc boxes could be brought to
the meeting for a queen cell, or the queen cell can be kept warm and held carefully for a trip
home and immediately put into the hive. To date, I have not been contacted by anyone wanting
to borrow a nuc box.

Should also mention that to make up a nuc, you would want 1 frame of emerging brood, One
frame with pollen stored, One frame with honey/nectar...All with the bees attached...and no
queen. Optionally one or two more frames with bees. Note: some of the bees will fly back to
the original hive the next day. Avoid putting the queen into the nuc. Avoid putting young open
brood in the nuc. Make the nuc up between 1 day and 30 minutes before adding the queen

If we do not have a topic for the evening and the weather is nice, maybe the meeting should be
used to make up several nucs at the apiary and install queen cells.”

Veronica, WSU queen #27 takes a walk across some drone comb. She and her sister, #56, were
the source for the queen cells grafted at Judy & Basil’s on June 6 to be given away to
membersat the meeting!

                                            Page 1
                    Minutes from the May 19, 2009 meeting
                                              None Submitted

Guest Speaker At PSBA June Meeting
Michael Burgett, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon
State University, will speak at our June 23 PSBA meeting, starting at 6:30 pm.
Burgett has studied honeybees for 40 years. He has a Ph.D. from Cornell
University, specializing in apiculture. He has consulted for governments and other
organizations in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He recently conducted
research in Thailand on the “Asian Hive Bee” [Apis cerana] and authored an article
to appear in the June, 2009 issue of the American Bee Journal on colony mortality
in the Pacific Northwest. He will talk about this topic and his research at our June
meeting. Don’t miss this great speaker!

Bainbridge Beekeepers
In an effort to connect with other beekeepers on Bainbridge, would you join us on June 18 from 5-7 PM for
a deck potluck (or just a short visit) and sharing of beekeeping issues? Wouldn't it be great to have
someone suit up and help you catch a swarm, or teach you what you're seeing in your hive? Several of us
are beginners, and need a local mentor from time to time. I hope we can network with those beekeepers
on the island who may or may not be WSBA members. So join us! If there's an interest we can meet
periodically, as interest warrants. This notice will be in the WSBA newsletter, and I'll try to call those folks
who only have a phone number listed. Pass it on!
all the best,
Pat Gentry
634 Ferncliff Ave. NE Bainbridge Island
(a few blocks north of the ferry building, on the east side between Wing Point Way & Tiffany Meadows)
I'll have a barbeque available, a green salad and cool drinks, & Scrabble for the kids & partners who don't
want to talk about bees!

Phacelia Seeds Are Here!
For those of you who ordered Phacelia Tanecetifolia seeds, the long wait is finally over!
The total cost per pound is $21.55 Make checks payable to West Sound Beekeepers Association.
I'll bring seed to the mid-June meeting and any queen rearing events or you can make private

My experience for what it's worth:
   • I don't think you should have Phacelia blooming until after the blackberry flow. Afterwards it is very
     good. During seems like a waste.I like it for nucs, especially.
   • It doesn't germinate laying on the surface. I make the ground bare and level and broadcast the
     seed with a hand cranked broadcaster. Afterwards I rough up the planting with a garden rake
     dragging it lightly over the whole area. Next I wet the whole area with an oscillating sprinkler that I
     move around the perimeter of the plot. I then make sure the soil doesn't dry out completely for the
     next few weeks.
   • The latest I ever planted was mid-July. I think early to mid-June is optimal.
     I sow with Buckwheat and clover. Buckwheat starts blooming in 6 weeks and lasts about two weeks
     until the Phacelia blooms, which lasts about 8 weeks or more. My New Zealand white clover is
     blooming now from last years planting.
   • Phacelia is a tremendous producer of nectar and pollen. Bees love it. It makes a long lasting cut
     flower. Unfortunately, deer love it too!

       Here is a good internet article:

       Good Luck!
       Basil                                     Page 2
Message From The President
Hello to all you fellow beekeepers! I will keep it short this time in the interest of getting this
letter to Basil only three days late. Again, Basil attempts to gather input for the West Sound
Beekeepers Association newsletter and discovers it is a lot like herding cats. Thank you for
your patience, Basil – especially from the President who should have a better handle on time

It has come and gone, one of our two weeks of summer! With any luck, the other week comes
with the blackberry nectar flow and perhaps Mother Nature might help with some decent
temperatures for the queen rearing efforts. Those of you that are not fortunate enough to have
a neighbor with a pool probably discovered the Boardman feeders used for watering your bees
certainly emptied quite expeditiously. The bees pulled on the water so hard for a few of those
days they experienced caved in cheeks, cross-eyed with a collapsed proboscis. The feeders
bubbled like feeding syrup to a starter kit. So DO NOT forget – they need water during those
dry warmer days, and soon enough the last seven of them will be here!

The queen-rearing group really showed their stuff during transfer of the cells. I am not quite
sure why Stan got stung as many times as he did, but he took it all in good stride, reminding
me of a doting mother taking care of her babies. David spotted the queens moving inside of
their cells using the sun to illuminate the queen frame from the backside, and that was VERY
cool. Thanks Dave! George was there, basking in the glory of it all, with several other members
picking up their queens as well. Jason left his entire hive at the Apiary in hopes of his queen
meeting up with some nice drone bees and the return of his bees that decided they needed to
‘get away from it all’. Darren used the ‘hot bottle and tissue method’ to get his prize, and I
never did see Paul show up his girls. Stan’s truck had so many bees hanging off the back I
think he got a starter package out of the event.

Consideration has been given and will be bounced against the club to divide the meetings up –
perhaps into a ‘business’ meeting, a ‘tricks, tips, and hints’ meeting where we can share our
thoughts and experiences. Maybe a journeyman’s night as well as a queen rearing night, a
combination of any of the previously mentioned, or something to the effect that we aren’t there
until midnight putting away chairs. Come prepared with ideas and yes, your input makes the
difference so bring it on!

That is it for now. Hope to see many people in attendance this next meeting.

Jim Dunbar,
Less new to the West Sound Beekeepers Association presidency than last month, but with still
a very long way to go.

        No Presidency is truly free from graft!           Mr. President’s Chief Advisor
                                            Page 3
Mead Making Update Reported by Basil Gunther
On May 30 Dan Nichols invited me over to his place to help bottle the mead we made at the
picnic last summer. It has been slowly humming along in carboys at Dan & Beth’s house these
many months, and treated like privileged guests. It was fun and I learned a lot!

                                            What thoughts lurk in the
                                            mind of the master,
                                            sampling the bouquet?

The three meads: Straight Mead, The Mix, and Beekeepers Blend.
The aging finishes in the bottle. If not ready for the picnic, then
the holiday banquet!

              The horse and cow live thirty year and nothing know of wine and beer
               The goat and sheep at twenty die with ne’er a taste of scotch or rye
                 The sow drinks water by the ton and at eighteen is nearly done,
                    The dog at fifteen cashes in without the aid of rum or gin,
               The cat in milk and water soaks then at twelve short years it croaks,
               The modest sober bone-dry hen lays eggs for years and dies at ten,
                 All honeybees are strictly dry. They sinless live and swiftly die,
             But sinful gin full rum soaked men survive for three score years and ten
             And some of them, the mighty few, stay pickled till they’re ninety-two.

                       Taken from the Nottinghamshire Beekeepers Association Newsletter

Although I’ve heard people say that there are countless ways of being a beekeeper, there are effectively
two ways of managing bees. You may be a reactive beekeeper or a proactive one. In the Concise Oxford
Dictionary we have the following definitions:

• Reactive – acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling
• Proactive – creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding.

Both approaches are perfectly sound but they require different skills and, more importantly, different
aptitudes from the beekeeper.

The reactive beekeeper needs to be a keen observer of his bees. His management of the bees requires a
strict adherence to the nine-day inspection schedule during those vital spring and summer months. As an
aside, I’ve always found this a problem.

     Sunday – I make a good start. Then a week on Tuesday, there is work and marital responsibilities
  (pushing a trolley around Tesco’s in case you are wondering). Then a week on Thursday, there is work
again followed by essential psychotherapy (a few beers with the old boys). Then a week on Saturday. OK,
but it’s probably too late. They’ve already swarmed. As an aside within an aside, the whole problem stems
                                                  Page 4
from having seven days in a week but, bearing in mind how it originated, one doesn’t like to criticise.
However, the ancient Egyptians had a ten-day week and the Lithuanians, in their past, had a nine day
week! Much, much better for beekeeping.

But, continuing, many beekeepers successfully manage their bees this way, artificially swarming when
queen cells appear, treating for disease when it’s spotted and collecting swarms. The reactive beekeeper
knows his bees really well. He can spot the queen without difficulty. He learns to recognise the symptoms
that tell him that action is required.

On the other hand, the proactive beekeeper is a theoretician, a planner keeping a diary and records from
year to year. The proactive beekeeper believes he knows what the bees are going to do before they do
themselves. With the aid of boards and doors and charts and little black books he puts in place swarm
prevention techniques. He tells his partner, who has not the least idea what it means, about Snelgrove and
Demaree and dashes off to the apiary at dusk, opening little doors in the hive seemingly without rhyme or
reason. But, surprisingly, it works. And to prevent disease he swears by IPM and changes his
brood comb yearly. But beware proactive beekeeper. Is craft being replaced by methodology?

Where do I stand? As a beginner I was taught to be a reactive beekeeper. But as the years have gone by I
am becoming a proactive beekeeper. This has been spurred on by listening to speakers at Association
meetings. This is why I think that the lecture programmes of the Associations are so important,
disseminating knowledge and exploring ideas, inspiring us common beekeepers to try something different.

HINTS AND TIPS to beginners in bee culture. (which may still hold good today.) Dingwall BKA
As published in “Beekeepers’ Supplies 1939” R. Steele & Brodie

1. To winter bees successfully, make sure in September or October that stores are plentiful, that the stock
has a young queen, is sheltered from north winds, and above all, see that the hive is damp proof.
2. Thirty to forty pounds are required to safely carry a colony through the winter, also add a cake of
3. Do not keep the bees confined to the hive on sunny winter days, but when snow lies on the ground it is
safer to shade the entrance.
4. Prepare your hives, when possible, long before you expect to require them, and see that they have a
good-fitting movable “dummy”, and that all hives have frames of uniform size.
5. Spring is the season when bees are in most danger of starvation and dwindling. Watch your colonies,
and feed the destitute right on till the honey crop opens. Lessen the room in autumn by means of the
dummy, and increase the space as required in spring.
6. Do not feed at the entrance or out of doors, as it causes the bees to rob, but always on the top over the
brood nest.
7. When you see many bees hunting around and trying to get into other hives, be sure robbing is going on
some where, or that loose honey as been left within their reach. Where stocks are weak, close up hive
entrances to just sufficient to let a bee out, and sprinkle a weak solution of carbolic acid about the front of
the attacked hives or where bees are crowding.
8. One bee, in March, is worth many in June, so do everything possible to forward breeding. Keep the
bees warm – feed, if necessary – supply them with water and pea flour where pollen is scarce.
9. In early spring remove drone comb, and replace it with worker or full sheets of comb foundation as
much as in your power. You will always leave more drone brood comb than needed. Too many drones
mean a reduced crop of honey.
10. The bees require ten to fourteen pounds of honey to make one pound of comb, so it will always pay
you to use full sheets of foundation even if foundation cost three times the price charged for it. In addition
to saving the bees’ time and honey you can only secure straight, easy-handled combs by using it freely.
11. The honey harvest lasts but a few days, or at best a few weeks, so you must have the hives full of
bees, and always ready to take advantage of it when it comes.
12. Improved methods and foreign competition have increased the supply of honey so much so that, to
ensure a ready sale, it should be put on the market in as attractive a form as possible.
13. For home consumption, it pays to produce it in larger sections or shallow frames, as the bees will
store more honey in these.
14. By using wrought-out combs and the help of an extractor, 30 to 50% more honey can be produced
than in sections. If you have three or four hives it will pay you to invest in an extractor, and a good one is
cheapest in the end.
                                                 Page 5
15. Honey, unless a Ripener be also used, should not be extracted until sealed over, as it is watery,
unripe, and will become unfit for using. Give the bees time to ripen it, and keep them at work with
sufficient room; supply them with empty comb if possible.
16. When bees are hanging out in front of the hive it shows that they are uncomfortable in it, and have no
room. They should be given more air or more room according to circumstances. Shading the hive from the
sun in very warm weather is beneficial.
17. If you give your bees plenty of room before the honey flow, and keep them comb building, they will
rarely swarm. If once they find themselves crowded and get the swarming fever, nothing will prevent them
from swarming.
18. Raise queens and drones only from the best colonies in your apiary.
19. A queenless stock will raise queens at once if it has eggs or larvae under 3 days old. The queens will
hatch within a fortnight.
20. The old queen always goes with the first swarm.
21. By taking only one swarm, and with good management, you may secure surplus honey, but large
harvests can only be taken from hives which have not swarmed at all.
22. To hive a swarm, first skep it, then place hive in position, frames being level across. Wedge up front of
hive to form a large entrance, and place a large board or sheet, one edge resting on alighting board, the
other sloping down slightly from it. Now shake the swarm out in front of the entrance, when, with very
little guidance, they will quickly run under cover. If done towards evening very few bees will fly.
23. When you open a hive of bees, if you see any robber bees flying about, you may be sure that there is
no honey in the fields and you must avoid leaving the hive open, or exposing the honey within their reach.
A robber bee is easily recognised by its quick motions, and buzzing around the hive doors, and
occasionally trying to settle on the floorboard near the entrance.
24. All bees will become robbers if tempted with exposed sweets in time of scarcity.
25. Decrease the size of the entrance after the honey crop is past, but be sure to have it very large during
the honey harvest.
26. In seasons of scarcity your bees should be fed, and they will probably repay you tenfold the following
27. If bees have to be fed after cold weather sets in, soft candy should be given them.
28. Keep your colonies strong. That is the best safeguard against robbers and other evils.
29. A good bee smoker and veil are indispensable. They give a beginner confidence. The bees won’t
tolerate nervous, jerky handling. Handle gently; with an occasional puff of smoke you can do anything you
please with them. Smoke the bees a little at the entrance before opening the hive.
30. The middle of the day is the best time to handle your bees, as the old bees are then in the field.
31. When you get stung do not lose any time, but scrape the sting off. Do not pull it out, as you are likely
to drive more poison into the wound.
32. There are about 5000 bees in a pound.
33. Before melting old comb into wax, it is better to keep it under rainwater for twenty-four hours. By
doing so you get more and better wax.
34.Over manipulation will only disorganise the bees. Never open the hive unless you have a good reason
for doing so.

Queen rearing report update – 6/6/09
David Mackovjak

Since our last meeting we have had two grafting sessions. The first grafting session took place
at Stedmans on Sat, 23 May following Paul’s beginner’s field day in the club’s apiary. We had
aprox 15 interested members. Both George and myself explained the process behind queen

                                                  Page 6
 George explaining the finer points of queen rearing and selecting a nice frame to graft from.

     Three days before our grafting session Stan & I prepared a queenright double super.

Stan showing both plastic and wax caps that will be placed in the hive to be cleaned. We took
the hive on the right, placed the queen in the bottom super, rotated the bottom super 180 deg
so the entrance is on the back and put a queen excluder on. A cloak board holder was then
placed on top with the upper super. The following day the cloak board was inserted so the
upper super of bees believed they were queenless and would accept the queen cells we were
going to place in there on Saturday during our grafting session.

More information on this process can be found at:

                                              Page 7
Back to the grafting; after discussing the process, we collected several frames of very young
brood. Now the fun really began. Everyone was given the opportunity to try their hand at
grafting the newly hatched larva and placing them into the queen starter cups. We had two
types of grafting tools – Chinese and German. Members were encouraged to try both. This was
very interesting and educational. It was not as easy as one might think. The idea was you
would locate a newly hatched larva, ideally less than a day old. They were really small so we
were using a light magnifying glass. It was important to keep the larva from drying out so we
had moist towels over the brood comb to keep the humidity high. After several dozen attempts
everyone was fairly proficient. We were ready!

We used extracted royal jelly so that we could “prep” the queen cells so that there would be a
bed of royal jelly to place the larva in during the grafting process. We tried two different types
of queen cups plastic and bee wax. George showed us his bullet queen cup maker….pretty
resourceful. We will be able to determine if the bees have any preference. By the end of the
afternoon we had grafted aprox 60 queen cells. We tried to limit the amount of time between
grafting the cells and returning them back to the hive we had prepped earlier.

The following Sat afternoon (30 May) I removed the cloak board and counted 33 queen cells.
Well done to all the grafters; we were 50% successful. Not bad for our first try!!

                                             Page 8
                                 Look at all those queen cells!!

On 2 Jun, ten days after the grafting session, the queen cells were ready to be removed and
placed in nucs. We handed out queen cells after work from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the club
apiary on Tues evening. We had nine members show up and distributed 24 queen cells. It
turns out that several of the grafted larva were older than one day because several of the
queen were getting ready to hatch. This was bad because we run the risk of the newly hatched
queen going around and killing all the other queens still in their queen cells. We’ll know more
when we get at update at the next WSBA meeting.

Everyone waiting for their queen cells.            George and Stan examining the queen cells.

                                            Page 9
This is what happens when you don’t properly close your nuc box before you place it in your
vehicle; you get several hundred loose bees. And this is George demonstrating his home made
“bee sucker” and trying to collect all his bees!!

Now we are still along way off from having a good laying queen...she might be deformed, get
hurt when we transfer the queen cell to the nuc box, get killed after she emerges, eaten by a
bird on her mating flight, and the list goes on. So you can feel pretty good if you finally end up
with a good laying queen!!

I took home 5 queen cells and have found two nice plump queens running around five days
later. I’ll know in a week or so if they are good egg layers.

On 6 June, Basil and Judy hosted the queen rearing group at their home for our second grafting
meeting. More to follow on how that grafting session went. (There will be a post soon on the
Yahoo group documenting the June 6 Grafting -Ed. Note.)

Thanks for everyone’s participation. I think we learned a lot and over all were pretty
successful. We are planning on one more grafting session on 20 Jun starting at 1 pm at
Stedmans. Everyone is encouraged to come out and try their hand at grafting.

Sweet Deception: New Test Distinguishes Impure
Honey From The Real Thing
ScienceDaily (May 16, 2009) — Here's some sweet news for honey lovers: Researchers in
France are reporting development of a simple test for distinguishing 100 percent natural
honeys from adulterated or impure versions that they say are increasingly being foisted off on

Bernard Herbreteau and colleagues point out that the high price of honey and its limited supply
has led some beekeepers and food processors to fraudulently make and sell impure honey
doped with inexpensive sweeteners, such as corn syrup. These knock-offs are almost physically
and chemically indistinguishable from the real thing. Scientists need a better way to identify
adulterated honey, the researchers say.

Herbreteau and colleagues describe a new, highly sensitive test that uses a special type of
chromatography to separate and identify complex sugars (polysaccharides) on their
characteristic chemical fingerprints.

                                             Page 10
To test their method, the scientists obtained three different varieties of pure honey from a
single beekeeper and then prepared adulterated samples of the honeys by adding 1 percent
corn syrup. They showed that the new technique accurately distinguished the impure honeys
from the pure versions based on differences in their sugar content.
Journal reference:
Megherbi et al. Polysaccharides as a Marker for Detection of Corn Sugar Syrup Addition in Honey.
 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009; 57 (6): 2105 DOI: 10.1021/jf803384q

To top