Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 2013 Newsletter

Co-editors:  Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman

Our new president, Bear Kelley, judging the honey show at the September meeting

photo by Marybeth Kelley

The President's Message

I would like to thank all of you for the confidence in me in choosing me to be State President. I will endeavor to continue the professionalism of this office and uphold the responsibilities that are expected of me. We all know that any leader is only as good as the people around him. I want to thank those who have chosen to stand with me this year:
  •  Mary Cahill-Roberts as Vice President; 
  •  Rose-Anne Fielder as Treasurer, 
  •  Andy Bailey as Secretary, 
  •  Brutz English as North GA Director; 
  •  Steve Prince as Middle GA Director and 
  •  Steve Cobb as South GA Director. 
And let's don't forget Linda Tillman and Gina Gallucci who Spill the Honey and Bill Owens, our link to the outside world as the Webmaster.  I also want to thank all those who worked so hard at putting the fall meeting together. The sponsoring clubs, the Heritage Center, and everyone else who committed so much time, money and effort; please accept everyone's gratitude.

Also thanks to all who attended our annual meeting this year at the Gwinnett Heritage Center. Your attendance there is the life blood of our organization. I met so many new folks and visited with members whom I have met before. One of the highlights of this year’s meeting was that we approved three new clubs for inclusion into the GBA. Those were Lake Country; East Metro and Ogeechee Beekeepers in Statesboro. We welcome them and all their members.  We encourage them to get involved with Georgia Beekeepers Association. 

We discussed The GBA membership quite a bit at this meeting and with 24 clubs throughout the state, we have approximately 1200 individual club members, but less than 200 of those are actual members of GBA. Only about 16% of Georgia's known beekeepers are involved with GBA. Club presidents, let's go to work and help our numbers grow. Your GBA officers are willing to help out anyway we can. I would like to report at our next meeting a much greater number. My contact info as well as the other officers is listed on the GBA website.  Again, thank you all for your support and I hope to see and hear from you throughout the year.

Bear Kelley, 
GBA President

From our outgoing president:

As I end three years of combined service as President and Vice President of GA  Beekeepers, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported the club and projects during my tenure and wish Bear Kelley success as he becomes the new president. Initiating a newsletter; welcoming three new local clubs; encouraging more member participation throughout all areas of the state; appointing a proactive legislative committee; developing a rapport with national agricultural lobbyists;  extending the relationship with the Georgia Farm Bureau;  and  promoting unity and camaraderie among members help define my tenure.  I will continue to be an active member in our club as we all strive to improve life for the "girls" as we save the world, one bee at a time.

Jerry Edwards,

Past President, GBA


Honey show entries at September state meeting
photos by Marybeth Kelley

Georgia Beekeeper of the Year

Bruce Morgan is our 2013 Georgia Beekeepers Association Beekeeper of the Year.  Bruce began beekeeping in 2006 after his son-in-law, Dr. Jamie Ellis, asked him to build some cypress hives for him.  He found that his woodworking skills and beekeeping went hand in hand, and over the years built his apiary up to about 60 colonies. 

He respects his bees, and willingly shares his experience, knowledge, and even his extractor when needed.  He is a welcomed mentor to anyone in need.

Bruce, father of Dr. Amanda Ellis who is also a beekeeper,  started the Lake Country Beekeepers Association last year. They already have over 50 supportive members representing an eight county area. He is the current President and has already been an instrumental part of the club’s first beekeeping short course held earlier this year.
Beekeeping is a labor of love for him, as he does bee removals, moves bees to Sourwood, sells honey, and builds and sells beekeeping equipment in the Sparta area. His club members admire and respect his skills and willingness to help educate others.

Congratulations to Bruce Morgan!


At this year’s Fall 2013 Georgia Beekeeper’s Association Meeting, Jay Parsons won the 6/3 frame honey extractor which was donated to the raffle by Mann Lake Bee Supplies. 
Jay has been very fortunate to have won a number of the GBA raffles over the last few years and would like to share this fortune with his home club, Metro Atlanta Beekeepers. 
He said that he would like to have this extractor made available to other club members over the next year who may not otherwise have a way to process their honey. At the end of this next bee year the  extractor may have to give up its communal duties and be offered up for a new owner at MABAs next fall auction.


Another State Park Beehive!

Rozalyn M. Todd just received a grant from Beautification Environment Education (BEE) to place a beehive near the lake at Panola Mountain State Park in Lithonia, Ga. The Busy Buzz Club of DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia will place the beehive at the park in March, 2014. Rozalyn received her certification with Bear as a honey judge in May, 2013.


The one that got away:
This swarm (probably a hive that absconded) was hanging at the Atlanta Howard School.  As Vince arrived to capture it,  climbed the ladder and was two steps away from it, the swarm took off.  Well, you know what they say: a swarm in May is worth a load of hay, a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, a swarm in July isn't worth a fly….but this was September.  Hmmmm.


Survey Results from September:

We wanted to know how you harvest honey.  Thirty-four of you answered our question about honey harvest.  Here are the results:

82.4% of you use an extractor
                29.4% of you harvest by crush and strain
       17.6% of you make cut comb honey
  17.6% of you make chunk honey
        8.8% of you make creamed honey

Our October topic is about the meeting at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center on Sept 20-21.  If you didn't go, we want to know why you didn't go.  And if you did, we want your feedback.  
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Beekeeping with African Bees in Malawi
by John Wingfield

At our August meeting of the Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association,  Mr Tom Columbus spoke about his experiences in Malawi, Africa with African bees.  These bees were the original African bees.  The strain we deal with are a hybrid of European and  these African bees. 

He introduced people of Malawi to beekeeping while there originally as a Peace Corp volunteer.  His presentation was most interesting and very informative.  Yes, the African bees are aggressive and have a tendency to swarm more than their European cousins.  When they swarm they seek a home similar to the home that they just abandoned.  

He also mentioned that there are no glass production facilities in Malawi so they used tin cans and old bottles to deliver their honey.  Hygiene was also a problem.  He stayed in Malawi for an extended period of years before returning to the USA.  

He had some very interesting ideas about the future of beekeeping.  According to him we will all be raising African bees in the future. He has a website.  The link is: Be certain to visit his page "Scutellata"  found at the top of the page. In fact you might want to visit all of his web site pages.  They make you appreciate that you live here in the USA. 


Dear Aunt Bee,

This year I decided to enter creamed honey in the honey contest.  Some of my honey from last year was crystallizing so I used that to make the creamed honey.  I thought it was delicious, but the judges said it tasted like last year’s honey.  I was bummed.

How did they know?  How can I use last year’s honey without it tasting like last year’s honey?

Down and Disappointed

Dear Down and Disappointed,

Keep your bottled honey in the freezer to maintain its freshness and flavor.  All honey begins to ferment a little under the lid after a while, but in the freezer this process is kept at bay.  While it is still last year’s honey, honey that has been stored in the freezer can be used to make this year’s creamed honey without the last year’s taste.

Good luck in the next contest.

Your Aunt Bee

(hint contributed originally by Jim Ovbey and expanded by Keith Fielder)

"That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees."
Marcus Aurelius

Why a honey face mask?
Did you ever try a honey mask or use honey in your skin care regime? Honey is a humectant, which means it will attract and keep moisture inside your skin. This hydration makes that your skin supple, elastic and silky soft.  Honey also has anti-oxidant properties which play an important role in protecting your skin against damage from UV (ultra violet) sun light. The darker the honey the stronger the anti-oxidant effect
How to do it:
Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot!) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. This way you have more control and it doesn't burn.  When it is nice and warm smooth the honey gently and equally with a facial mask brush or spatula on your clean face and neck; keep the eye area clear
Now lie down, relax and leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes.  Wash it off with warm water, end with a splash of cold; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside.


Ask 10 Beekeepers A Question:

Checking for Varroa

A basic varroa trap:  Beneath the screened bottom board, put a white piece of corrugated board spread with something sticky like Vaseline or use contact paper.  Leave this trap in the colony for 2 days and then take it out to count the mites.  In Georgia, the threashold to treat was set at 40 mites per day.  

Jay Parson:  I like to keep my in-box time to a minimum, as do the bees.  I'll stay with the sticky board.  You can give it a quick spray with "Pam" or Vaseline.  Slide the lightweight panel in under the screened bottom board and you're done.  Come back in 24 hours or 3 days and do a quick count.  Three days is nice because you can do a count and then average to get your 24 hour rate.  I like using the sticky board during a miticide treatment as then you get a big visual of how effective the treatment is.

Virginia Webb:  The sticky board drop and count is the easiest.

Bill Owens:  Varroa count?  Huh?  I can see how they are if the hive survived!

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

--Benjamin Franklin


Street Cred:  

A really informative article on the Small Hive Beetle can be found here


GBA Web Bytes

From Bill Owens our GBA Webmaster:

The GBA will be verifying and updating the member content listed on the website. If you are listed in the Product & Services pages of the GBA website you MUST contact the webmaster beforeNovember 1, 2013. This is to ensure that all contact information on the website is up to date. Even if your information has not changed you still have to contact the webmaster. Anyone who does not verify their information and/or paid their membership dues prior toNovember 1, 2013 will be removed from the website.
Bill Owens
Webmaster GBA Website

From Brutz English, our new Facebook page manager

Find us on Facebook - Social Insects and Social Media!

For those of you who don't know, the GBA has it's own Facebook page.  The GBA Facebook page is easy to find: just type "Georgia Beekeepers Association" into the search bar, and our page will come right to the top of the search results.  The GBA Facebook page is set up as a "club" or organization page rather than as an "individual" or a "group" page, so you can't "Friend" or "Join" it.  If you want to follow posts on the GBA Facebook page from your Facebook page newsfeed, just click the "Like" button, and you will be able to see everything posted on the GBA Facebook page. Buzz by and check out our page on Facebook, and feel free to post and bee-related news, announcements, events, or photos! I look forward to seeing you there!

Editor's Note:  The Facebook page is a great place to exchange beekeeping questions and ideas with other Georgia beekeepers and to put up your photos and club information.  Please use this resource!  

Current Georgia Beekeepers Association Officers:

President:  Bear Kelley
Vice President:  Mary Cahill Roberts
Secretary:  Andy Bailey
Treasurer:  Rose-Anne Fielder
Past President:  Jerry Edwards
North Georgia Director:  Brutz English
Middle Georgia Director:  Steve Prince
South Georgia Director:  Steve Cobb
Newsletter Editors:  Gina Gallucci and Linda Tillman
Webmaster:  Bill Owens

Upcoming Bee Events:

October 4:  Georgia National Fair Honey Show
Georgia National Fairgrounds, Perry, Georgia
GBA Members Free; non GBA Members $15 (includes 1 year GBA membership)

January 18, 2014:  Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Short Course
Registration is open for the MABA Short Course at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Saturday, January 18.  Cost $95.  Course includes everything you need to know to get starting in beekeeping.  The course sells out every year, so if you or someone you know would like to take it, you can register here.   

The Final Buzz

Many thanks for all your kind words and thoughts about our newsletter at our fall meeting.  Of special note, it was wonderful to hear what great ideas various members had for the strong growth of GBA.  It was a pleasure to get to know more of you in person and we hope to put more names with faces at the next meeting on Feb. 7th & 8th, 2014 in Columbus GA.  Please consider all your contributions large and small worthy and appreciated.  Pictures, articles, beekeeping tips are a great way to share with other clubs members in between meetings.   

Gina Gallucci & Linda Tillman

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