Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 2012 Newsletter

GBA Monthly Newsletter
Editors:  Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman

Bees cleaning up a honey spill (Photo by Linda Tillman)

Message from our President:  Jerry Edwards

Thank you, fellow Beekeepers, for giving me your vote of confidence to be president of this vibrant organization.  Let us join together to make the Georgia Beekeepers Association the most productive group in the beekeeping nation.  As your president, I have three major platform items:

  • To conduct all business by adhering to procedures established in the bylaws
  • To increase membership and to mentor new clubs, for youth and adults, statewide
  • To educate the public and governing bodies about all issues regarding the honey bee


GA Beekeeper of the Year 2012:  Cindy Hodges

Cindy Hodges is GBA's Beekeeper of the year.  Cindy spends countless hours teaching beekeeping, taking swarm calls from the general public, and managing her own apiaries.  Cindy earned her Master Beekeeping Certification in 2011.  She is a leader in both the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association and in GBA.  She is an avid honey bee photographer and has contributed both photos and articles to Bee Culture.  Fred Rossman, head of the selection committee, says, "I do not believe we could have found a better candidate.  Knowing Cindy, I do not believe Cindy will stop her involvement in the beekeeping community, but instead go forward and lead others to the enjoyment of keeping bees and tasting honey."  Congratulations to Cindy Hodges.


How to Use a Hive Drape

by Linda Tillman

Photo by Julia Mahood

Smoke is very disruptive to the bees.  While it is always good to have your smoker lit, I just use the smoker to "knock at the door" by puffing into the entry.  Then I set the smoker down by the front of the hive and rarely need to pick it up again.

To keep the bees calm, I use hive drapes, also known as hive manipulation cloths or hive quilts.  While you can purchase a commercial manipulation cloth, old pillowcases are just the right size to cover a bee box.  Flour sacking kitchen towels also work quite well.  The material of the hive drape should be woven tightly enough to keep bees from getting caught by loose threads.  Bees are covered with hair and can easily get tangled in cloth that is even slightly loosely woven.

I drape every opened box.  Then I move the drape aside to expose the one frame I wish to take out.  Moving slowly and covering every open box with a drape will keep your bees calm and gentle for the inspection.

Experiment with these and you'll find out why the old time beekeepers used them.  The calm of the bees should be enough motivation to give a hive drape a try!

"I like pulling on a baggy bee suit, forgetting myself and getting as close to the bee's lives as they will let me."

-Sue Hubbell, A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them


Stung by Beekeeping
by Gina Gallucci

One of my first honey harvests was quite a heart thumper!  I was draining beautiful dark honey into a large Pyrex pitcher because I ran out of jars.  The glass handle snapped off.  The pitcher cracked and spilled 1 1/2 quarts of honey all over my kitchen floor.

My dogs, Shamrock and Blarney, came to find out why I was cursing loudly.  They began eating as much honey as they could lick up, stepping in it and getting really sticky.  I had honey on my feet and under my flip-flops!  I slid and fell reaching for a dishtowel.  I was a mess and the honey wasted was a calamity.  I got it all cleaned up and kept working, with a lesson learned the hard way!

Photo by Gina Gallucci

GBA Club of the Month

The Bartow Beekeeper's Club focuses on teaching our members how to keep or maintain their hives.  Most meetings are planned around what is happening in our hives that month and what the beekeeper should be doing for his/her bees.

We have grown from 10 - 15 to 40 - 50 per meeting in just a few years.  We have had new folks at each meeting!  We try to pair up the "newbees" with our more experienced beekeepers.

In addition to spring bee schools and summer extracting classes, our members give lectures and demonstrations to local schools, garden clubs and other organizations.  Our club is blessed to have several experienced beekeepers and one former commercial beekeepers.  The members seem to enjoy the meetings, many questions are asked, and after the formal presentation, members hang around to keep talking bees.

Victor Halbgewachs, President, Bartow Beekeepers  


From the Editors

We'd like this to be your newsletter.  Every month we plan to feature one of Georgia's beekeeping clubs.  We'd also like to include every month a beekeeping tip (with a photo to illustrate the tip), a funny story about someone's beekeeping adventure (also with a photo to illustrate the story), and every month we'd like to include a GBA member's photo of your own bees or anything associated with your beekeeping. This is a NEWSletter and we'd like to include your news.  So if something important to beekeeping is happening at your club or in your area, let us know.

Send your tips (with photo), funny stories (with photo) or a photo you are particularly proud of to or and we will let you know if yours will be in the next newsletter.

Please let us hear from you - we'd love your material.

Your editors,

Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman


"The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams."  Henry David Thoreau