Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Newsletter 2014

President's Message

Here it is September already and the active bee season is drawing to a close. Now
it’s “Honey Time!” I hope everyone has had a productive season and the Golden Flow has
started. The photo above is some of the wildflower honey we were able to extract this
year and get out on the market.

While you are bottling your sweet success, save some for the two big honey shows
that we have on the horizon. The first one will be at the Fall GBA meeting in Milledgeville
the 19th and 20th of this month. The rules and categories are posted on the GBA website
for all to see. This show is really for the state title. With the Best in Show award, you’ll
have bragging rights for the coming year. Just think what that can do for your marketing
program! The next show will soon follow at the Georgia National Fair in Perry on the 4th
of October. This will be our second annual event there and we look forward to many of
you entering and showing your stuff.

I have to say here that Cindy Hodges won both titles last year and I know
improved her sales and spirit quite a bit. Slade Jarrett won best tasting (the Black Jar
category) and has sure had fun boasting about that one. A little birdie told me that Cindy
will not be competing in both shows this year, so a winner’s spot is open for someone

Please don’t let these folks intimidate you. Get your honey in the jars and bring it
in to be judged. We have a lot of good judges in our community who will let you know
President’s MessageGBA September Newsletter Page 2

your shortcomings and then you learn how to do better next time. As members of GBA,
there is no entry fee, so what do you have to lose? If you need help in preparing for the
show, Virginia Webb has posted a number of You Tube videos to help you prepare Honey
Show entries for competition. And we all know that Virginia is certainly well qualified to
teach you how to win.

In addition to these two shows, many of our clubs will be having contests as well.
Feel free to check out the calendar of events on our website. And Club Presidents, if you
haven’t sent in the notices to be posted, please do so. We will advertise your events free
for you. I look forward to seeing everyone at the fall meeting and checking out the honey

Bear Kelley,
President, Georgia beekeepers Association

Georgia Beekeepers Association Fall Meeting

Sept 19 -20 at the Hampton Inn in Milledgeville, GA. To register for the fall
meeting, click here. The schedule for the meeting is below - should be great -
everyone come and rub shoulders with your fellow beekeepers!

Friday, September 19th:  (Wifi is available)

09:00 Opening Remarks by the President and
Introduction of the Association Officers
09:30 Main speaker Kelli Williams; Georgia Grown
10:15 am Main speaker Katie Evans; Africanized
Honey Bees
10:00am -2:00pm, includes lunch
11:00-11:40 am Honey Queen Speaker
11:45-12:15 Break outs List A
12:25-12:50 Break outs repeat list A
1:00 – 1:45pm Lunch
12:30 pm Honey show entries due - Honey Judges
report for duty
1:45 pm Main Speaker Carl Chesick
2:30 pm Main Speaker Tim Tucker, ABF
3:15 pm break out List B
3:45pm Repeat break out List B
4:30 Announcements
Steak Dinner; (Reservations Only) Starts at 545pm
at the college. Room to be announced.

Friday night 
7:00pm: Awards program for the Beekeeper of the
Year and Honey show winners

Saturday, September 20th:

08:30 am President Message and open the
meeting of the members
Business meeting / Election of New officers
10:00 am David Williams State Beehive
10am -2pm Children’s Program:
11-11:45 break out List C
11:45- 12:30 Repeat break out List C
12:30 -1:30pm lunch
1:30-2:15 pm break out List D
2:15-3:00 pm break out Repeat List D
3:15 pm Speaker Panel open for questions
from members
4:00pm Closing Remarks by President

List A: Virginia Webb, Mary Cahill-Roberts,
Jim Ewing, Tim Tucker

List B: Cindy Hodges, Newsletter Editors,
Katie Evans, Steve Page

List C: Bill Owens, Bruce Morgan, Carl
Chesick, Keith Fielder

List D: Bear Kelley, Linda Tillman, Rafeal
Cabrera, The Wimbish family

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE - great food, great friends, great knowledge exchange, time in the bee yard, favorite vendors.

Note: Reservations for Friday dinner are made when you sign up for the meeting. You can also
register onsite


by Ricky Moore
My first experience at doing a cutout as a new beekeeper was less than stellar. Oh, it was 
memorable; in fact let me tell you about it.

My next door neighbor, Jarrod Murphy, an even newer beekeeper than myself, had gotten a phone 
call from a farmer friend of his who was tearing down an old house on his farm. When he pulled 
the wood off of one corner, a swarm of bees let the farmer know immediately that house was theirs 
and they were willing to defend it. After being stung a couple times, he called Jarrod and invited 
him to come get the bees before the farmer set fire 
to the house. Jarrod and I loaded up the truck with our bee suits, smoker and a nuc. Seriously, 
we didn't know any better.

The house was out in the country, turn at the church, go to the old abandoned grocery store, 
turn left and literally go to the end of the paved road, and turn left on the dirt road. When we 
arrived, unhappy bees were flying all around the house. Thank goodness for the full bee suit as 
these girls were spoiling for a fight.

Much of the comb on the ground was dark and looked very old. The cells were full of capped 
brood, drone cells and lots of honey, both capped and not. There were larvae mashed and torn 
throughout the comb. The smoker was of little value as the bees were mostly in flight. 

It didn't take long to realize that you don't bring a nuc to a cutout. Jarrod loaded the nuc, retrieved a 
five gallon bucket from the truck, and we filled it with as many bees as we could. We were scooping 
up bees with our goatskin gloved hands and watching them land on our suits and face netting, 
trying to get to our faces. Neither of us were stung on this adventure.

Now we had a nuc crammed full of comb and bees and a five gallon bucket with more. Now what do 
we do with them? How do we get this mess into an orderly fashion and make this hive survive? Here 
at The Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Association we are very fortunate to have Jesse McCurdy, our go to answer man. Jesse asked what trouble had I gotten into this time. He offered to show us 
what to do with the lot, bring it by. We did, he did, and home we went as happy as clams.

Two weeks later when examining the nuc, we discovered those larvae we thought were bees, 
turns out to be a massive infestation of hive beetles. The entire nuc was lost and destroyed. 
Though we were told wild hives like this were infested with hive beetles and we put traps in 
the nuc, it was too little against the invasion and the war was over. We had lost before we 
brought them home.

All in all this was a quite a learning experience. We learned what to take to a cutout, and as 
importantly, what to do with the recovered bees and comb. We learned wild bees are a risk and 
to quarantine them away from your domestic hives for a period of time to determine if the 
new bees are safe or sick. Thankfully we did quarantine them away from our bee field.

I hope this is the first of many cutouts and recoveries, but with any future cutouts having a 
much better outcome!


Reminder that we are voting on two by-law changes at the Fall Meeting.

To see the original by-laws, click here. The changes were sent out in an email to the 
membership on August 15 from gbanewsletters@gmail.com
Please read and be familiar with these changes before the meeting.

GBA is getting more and more
technology-oriented every day.
You can sign up for the Fall Meeting
on Wufoo; we have a Facebook
page; and we are now on Twitter

You Might Be a Beekeeper If...

  • The wallpaper on your smartphone is a photo of your hives
  • You check on your hives more than you check on your children
  • Your car sits outside the garage because inside the garage is your beehive building workshop
  • You own four epi pens and you are not allergic to bee stings
  • You think bee stings are a part of the business
  • You carry your bee suit in the truck at all times, just in case
  • You can explain how bees have a grandfather and no father (you can, can't you?)
  • You get your back feathers riled when someone in Michigan is selling local Tupelo honey, because you know that ain't possible
  • You have an old family recipe for making Creamed Honey
  • You talk to your bees
  • The words Dadant, Mann Lake, Dixie Bee Supply and Kelly have a special place in your heart
  • You spend more on bees than you do on groceries
  • You think nothing about driving a hundred miles and spending hours to rescue a swarm or to do a cutout
  • Your idea of a perfect Saturday morning is spending it in the bee field
  • When you hear someone mentioning hives, you do not think of raised, often itchy, red welts on the surface of the skin
  • You own a refractometer
  • You've named all of your bees...individually

by Ricky Moore
Sadly we note the death of Master Beekeeper Howard Reagan. A life long beekeeper, Howard lived in Dawsonville and was a member of both the Forsyth and Amicalola Bee Clubs. He was from a beekeeping family: his father, grandfather, and great grandfather all were beekeepers.



Latest recommendations from Jennifer Berry, Director of University of
Georgia Bee Lab

Checking For Mites The Easy Way:
·       insert a framed sticky board into the entrance or plastic corrugated
sheet covered in Crisco under the screen bottom board (making sure bees
can't get to the sticky portion)
·       leave in for 3 days & remove
·       count total number of mites on each sheet; divide total by 3 to get
natural mite drop in 24 hours
·       mite loads of 12 in a small colony and 38 in a very large colony have
reached the economic threshold

In addition to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options, possible Varroa treatments include ApiLife Var, Hop Guard, Mite Away Quick Strips (formic acid), oxalic acid drip and ApiVar. Choosing the right treatment depends mostly on the time of year, with temperature and amount of brood being the deciding factor! However, if colonies have reached the economic threshold, the beekeeper must do something to reduce mite populations or that colony will be lost. Mites enhance the virus loads, which slowly kills the bees, dwindling the population down, till nothing is left.


Dear Aunt Bee,

When hives are placed close together, do honey bees ever get confused and go into the wrong

Dazed (and with possibly confused honey bees)

Dear Dazed and Confused,

Bees may drift into the wrong hive when blown by the wind to a different hive entrance (see Dave
Cushman’s website) or when the hives all look alike and are in a row.

Ted Hooper in A Guide to Bees and Honey describes the guard bee’s encounter with a forager
who has mistakenly drifted into a hive:

“a drifting bee entering the colony by mistake, perhaps because it has been blown down to the
hive by a cross wind, or misled by a similarity of the approach picture, will be challenged. In this
case the guard will press the challenge because the smell of this bee is not the right one. The
drifter, because its instinct says it is in the right place, will not try to fight the guard but will
submit. If the drifter is facing the guard it will offer food, which the guard will usually ignore. If
the guard is attacking from the side [...] the drifter will tuck its tail in and stand quiet, with its
head tucked down, or it may rear on to its two back pairs of legs, extending its tongue and strop
this with its front legs. These patterns of behaviour denote submission and the guard [...]
will do no real harm and certainly not attempt to sting. As with all bees, the guard’s concentration
period is short, and in a few seconds it gets tired of the whole affair and lets the drifter proceed.”

Drifting results in the spread of disease and parasites and can cause an imbalance in hive
populations between your hives, increasing the chance for robbery by the strong against the weak.
To minimize drifting, paint your colonies different colors, use stencils or stickers to make designs to
distinguish the hives from each other, keep your colonies not in a straight line.

Your Aunt Bee

Question contributed by Chris Pahl. Answer from Linda Tillman and various sources.
This crossword was created by Linda Tillman.  You can either print it out and work it or you can click here to work it online.  If you'd like to see the answers, email us at gbanewsletters@gmail.com with Sept Crossword answers in the subject line and we'll send you a filled out version.


Presidential Memorandum on Honey Bees

On June 20, 2014, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum to create a
federal strategy for promoting the health of honey bees and other pollinators.
His memorandum includes the establishment of a Pollinator Health Task Force
chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the EPA. The
task force will draw from many departments such as the Department of the
Interior, the Department of Energy, the Council on Environmental Quality,
among many others. The task force is charged within the next six month to
develop a strategy to include an action plan to address understanding, preventing
and recovering from pollinator losses. Also within six months, the task force is to
address increasing and improving pollinator habitat.
If you’d like to read the memorandum in full, you can find it here.


Honey Parfait
from Honey from Hive to Honeypot

by Sue Style

3 egg yolks
 1 egg
 1/2 cup honey
 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
 3 T chopped walnuts

Beat together the yolks, egg and honey with an electric mixer until thoroughly light and fluffy in top of double boiler over hot water. Keep this up for 3 - 5 minutes until it has thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Beat the whipping cream to soft peaks and then fold it into the egg mixture. Stir in walnuts, if using, and freeze the parfait in chosen container. This is nice if frozen in a bread pan lined with plastic wrap. When frozen, cut it into slices and serve. Or you can freeze it in individual ramekins. A fruit coulis goes well with it.


The Final Buzz

We hope to see everyone in Milledgeville for GBA Fall 2014 meeting. Many thanks to you for all of
your contributions and especially getting us started sharing your “True Confessions.” You are
welcome to write anonymously, if you’d feel more comfortable. Sharing mistakes is a great way to
teach others.

We are looking forward to making new friends and learning new tricks. See you in Milledgeville!
Gina and Linda