Monday, January 7, 2013

January 2013 Newsletter

Spilling the Honey
GBA Monthly Newsletter
Editors:  Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman

Photo of bee on sunflower by Christine Fahrnbauer of Canton, GA

Message from our President, Jerry Edwards

Happy New Year, fellow beekeepers, as 2013 will be an exciting year for us in the bee world.  The first scheduled state event is February 8 - 9 at Lake Blackshear Resort.  I must extend a big thank you to Bear Kelley and Mary Cahill-Robers who have worked diligently to secure the first class facility and several interesting guest speakers.

Plan to attend the meeting and bring at least one friend as we all work together to build our beekeeping community.  

I hope to see everyone February 8 - 9.

Jerry Edwards, President GA Beekeepers
Saving the World, One Bee at a Time


Upcoming Georgia Beekeepers Association Spring Meeting!

Mark your calendars.  The Spring Meeting of GBA will take place at the Georgia Veterans State Park at Lake Blackshear Resort on 8 and 9 Feb 2013.  The resort has two bedroom cabins available as well as a wonderful RV campground and the Park Manager is offering a 30% discount to GBA attendees that weekend.  The resort is located about 8 miles west of Cordele (exit 101, I-75) on Hwy 280.  There are also numerous motels and restaurants in the Cordele area for those interested.   Reminder:  There is no honey contest at the Spring meeting. 

The meeting will start with a GBA board meeting at 7 PM on Friday, followed by a reception open to all attendees.  The official meeting begins at 8:30 AM on Saturday with the president’s message, followed by a day of helpful bee talks.  Do plan to come and spend a great weekend with your fellow Georgia beekeepers.

“The lark is up to meet the sun,
The bee is on the wing;
The ant its labor has begun,
The woods with music ring.
Shall birds, and bees, and ants, be wise,
While I my moments waste?
O let me with the morning rise,
And to my duty haste.”

Wm. Holmes McGuffey, McGuffey's Eclectic Primer; (1848).

What do Bee Clubs Do in the Winter?

We all know that beekeepers in the winter spend time getting ready for the next bee season, building and painting equipment, ordering from catalogues, reading bee books.  Sometimes beekeepers in the winter make candles and lip balm as a way of being creative with products of the hive.

What can bee clubs do in the winter?  A couple of years ago, the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers club used the winter months to rewrite the rules for our annual honey contest.  Using what some of us had learned from Robert Brewer’s talk at GBA at the 2009 fall meeting in Rabun County, and relying on what some of us were learning in training to be Welsh honey judges at Young Harris, we completely rewrote the club’s honey contest rules.  At least five members of our club contributed thoughts and ideas and researched rules used by clubs across the country.

Our goal was to make our honey contest rules specific and clear.  It had been some of our experience that honey contest rules often are not detailed enough to make for a clean and well-judged contest.  To enter a honey contest, the entrant needs to know what guidelines will be employed in the judging - it’s much easier to prepare your entry for the contest when you know exactly what is expected.

Once our rules were complete, we sent them to Robert Brewer and to Keith Fielder for review and we added their suggestions.  Our rules are now more specific and clear than the rules used at GBA for the annual fall honey contest.

If your club wants to revise your honey contest rules this winter, we are glad to share what we developed.  You can find the Metro Atlanta honey contest rules here.  If you have any questions about our rules or our process used in rewriting them, feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to try to help.


“Place a beehive on my grave
and let the honey soak through.

When I'm dead and gone,
that's what I want from you.

The streets of heaven are gold and sunny,
but I'll stick with my plot and a pot of honey.

Place a beehive on my grave
and let the honey soak through.”

    -May's Honey Song, from The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd (p83)
January Street Cred:
This video came from ApiNews, November 2012

For a fun explanation of bee genetics, watch this You Tube video of Dean Stiglitz, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping, as he explains genetics and the bee


“Tart words make no friends; a spoonful or honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar. “

~ Benjamin Franklin


A Thank you to GBA

The Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association (MABA) is developing a junior beekeeping program to be held at MABA hive locations in the greater Atlanta area.  In 2013 we will begin to offer one day programs for children ages 9 and up (7 & 8 year-olds may attend with a parent).  With the financial assistance from the Georgia Beekeepers Association, MABA will purchase beekeeping supplies including bee suits, gloves, hive tools, and smokers for ongoing use in the program. 

Bill Owens and Cindy Bee have both offered suggestions for the actual programming based on past GBA Junior Beekeeping programs. 
Melissa Bondurant, currently working on her Master Beekeeper certification, developed the outline for our new program.  Holly Bayendor will be the Chairperson of our new program. 

The Junior Beekeeping day will begin with an educational PowerPoint followed by equipment building and hands on beekeeping experience.  If time allows, we will have a honey extraction demonstration with each “new” beekeeper taking home a bear of freshly extracted honey.

Thank you to the Georgia Beekeepers Association for helping us with this program.

Cindy Hodges
President-Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association

GBA Club of the Month
Southeast Georgia Beekeeping Association

The SE Georgia Beekeeping Association is comprised mostly of commercial beekeepers.  So unlike other beekeeping clubs, with monthly meetings of novices and experienced beekeeper members, the Southeast club meets only twice a year.  Their meetings are more like the two annual meetings of GBA and include a number of speakers, usually well-known beekeepers like Keith Fielder or university folks like Keith Delaplane. 

Barry Hart is the president of the Southeast Ga Beekeepers in Clinch, County, one of Georgia’s southernmost counties, on the Florida border.  Barry says that as commercial beekeepers, his members only have time to gather twice a year to get caught up about current thinking about keeping bees.  Then they are on to work, managing their beekeeping businesses.

 Our GBA Spring Meeting is February 8th and 9th (Friday and Saturday) at Lake Blackshear Resort
Upcoming Bee Events

·         Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Short Course (currently filled with over 100 registered)
January 19, 2013
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, GA

·         Tara Beekeeping Short Course
January 19, 2013
Georgia Power Building
Forest Park, GA

·         North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow
January 8-12, 2013
Hershey, PA

·         GBA Spring Meeting
February 8 – 9, 2013
Lake Blackshear Resort
Cordele, GA
·         North Carolina & South Carolina State Beekeepers Associations
Joint Spring Meeting
March 1-2, 2013
Rock Hill, SC


This is your newsletter
Your editors, Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman

We are really enjoying putting this newsletter together for you every month.  Please keep sending in photos, funny stories, and beekeeping articles for us to publish! 

Membership in GBA is a real bargain.  For just $15 a year you get the opportunity to meet beekeepers from around the state at the two annual meetings, you can list yourself and your honey business on the GBA website, and you get to read our newsletter each month. 

If you are not a member of GBA, consider sending in your $15 and joining the organization.  We are a great group and as our membership expands, more is possible for our organization to accomplish.   If you are not a member, please let us know what GBA could do to meet your needs.  As a beekeeper in Georgia, this is your organization and your needs should be met.

Gina and Linda

Photo by Julie Civitts of Toccoa, GA

GBA Officers 2012
President – Jerry Edwards
Vice-President – Bear Kelley
Treasurer – Roseanne Dorn
Secretary – Mary Cahill-Roberts
North GA Director – Buster Lane
Middle GA director – Steve Prince
South GA director – Fred Rossman
Past president – Steve Nofs
Newsletter Editors – Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman
Webmaster – Bill Owens

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