January 2017 Club Meeting

Maria van Dyke
Maria van Dyke

Just a reminder that on Sunday, from 2-4, we’ll have our first meeting of the year! Maria van Dyke from the Danforth Lab at Cornell will speak to us about native bees; managing for them, how they interact with our own beloved Apis, along with some mnemonic activities you can share with family, friends, students and your own clients. Maria has an interest in the intersection of bees, landowners, policy and climate change, so it should be an informative talk!

At the business meeting, we’ll tackle the business of officer elections. If you have any questions, email Shelley.

October 2016 meeting

Hi folks! The bees are getting ready to move indoors, as are we!

Jim OchterskiThe October 16 meeting, from 2 – 4pm, moves back to the Cornell Cooperative Extension building at 615 Willow Ave. in Ithaca. This month, we have a guest speaker, Jim Ochterski. Jim is a senior consultant with Granular farm management software, and former Cornell Cooperative Extension specialist in the Finger Lakes region. He researched and authored the 2014 publication “From Honeycomb to Consumer: Marketing Local Honey in New York State.”

His talk is titled: “Labeling and Marketing Honey Like You Mean It” – An in-depth review of the legal, sanitary, and practical aspects of selling honey in New York State. Small-scale or large scale producers all must operate under the same food labeling regulation. Farm business expert Jim Ochterski will explain and illustrate honey marketing guidelines, updated legal definitions and requirements, and inspire new thinking about how you sell your honey.

Shelley’s heard Jim speak at the Geneva meeting in March. He’s got a lot of good tips for all levels of beekeepers who are considering selling honey in large and small quantities!

Keep an eye out for a work party! It’s possible that we’ll be taking honey off of the club hives this month as well, and Peter might put a call out for a couple of hands to help.

Bring your wintering questions! Now’s the time to get those hives ready for winter. New beekeepers should bring your questions to ask, others should bring experiences to share! After Jim’s talk and Q&A, we’ll have a more open forum about what to do for your hives. Not every apiary is the same, so we’ll share experiences with our own winters, and try to help you successfully overwinter your bees this year.

See you on the 16th!

August Meeting — change of venue!

The meeting for August has a unique twist.

Everyone is invited to join us in Danby for this event which is scheduled for the same day and time as our regular meeting. An informal meeting at  the club hives in August will be announced, but for the 21st there’s this:


Beekeeping in Danby!  by Bill Evans DCC

Please join us on Sunday August 21st at 2pm at the Danby Town Hall. The event is open to the public.

Danby beekeepers Peter Borst and David Hopkins will present a slide show conversation about beekeeping with audience participation and Q &A. Weather permitting they will then visit Peter’s backyard apiary on Lieb Road and visit flowers with foraging bees.

Peter is the Apiary Manager for the Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club, an avid bee photographer and a writer for the American Bee Journal. He has experience as a commercial beekeeper and as a NY State Bee Inspector.

David is a long time hobby beekeeper and is currently expanding his apiaries as a semi-commercial sideline operation. He has been an occasional hired hand for commercial beekeepers.

I will have some refreshments, I encourage others to bring some too

Pete

May meeting at the hives!

Reminder: We’re back at the hives! Come out on Sunday, May 15, 2-4pm, to our yard on the”back 40″ of the Cayuga Nature Center. If you’re new, brand-new, or just about to be new to beekeeping, these meetings are especially for you — get down and dirty with bees under the watchful eyes of our veterans. Don’t worry if you make mistakes; you can’t hurt your bees, and you’ll learn!

Bring your protective gear — but if you don’t have any, we do have some to borrow.

If you’ve been keeping bees for a few years, please come and share your knowledge with the new folks! These two hours of mentoring are part of what makes our club thrive and grow, and builds a spectacular beekeeping community.


Other important notes

  • If you’ve seen bears, send a note to the list — there are folks keeping track of them. We’ve had to documented bear attacks on nucs and hives in the past week. Keep those electric fences maintained!!
  • The club package order is slated to arrive on May 13. Everyone who’s ordered a package should have received a “how to install” handout. You’ll get more information about pickup times and address closer to next Friday.
  • The club will need a new president! As much as I’ve enjoyed helming this fantastic club, I’m spread too thin, and don’t have the proper time to give to growing the club the way it can grow.

April 17 club meeting

***Please note the venue change or the April meeting!***

On April 17, at 2pm, we will meet at the Dyce Lab on 209 Freese Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. Join us for a primer on why bees die during the winter, with some real-life examples to help hone our analytical skills. We could use one or two more hives as an example, so read the instructions below on how to photograph your deadout for analysis!
You don’t need to have any deadouts to diagnose to attend and learn!
If you feel like bringing some finger foods to share, please do so! Our meetings used to have a fairly decent buffet table provided by all attendees, and it would be fun to resurrect that tradition.
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Diagnosis of your deadout(s) will be more rewarding and more accurate if you follow a standardized approach. You should not just tear the hives apart, instead, as you begin to go through your deadouts in preparation for the Deadout clinic, it’s important that you photograph your hives in a sequential way that allows us to evaluate all possible clues.

Make sure that you take your pictures in the *exact sequence listed below*, and BEFORE brushing off any dead bees.  Also, do not wait until the hive starts to get moldy!  Begin photographing and disassembling your hive as soon as convenient after you notice that they have died.  This is especially imperative in a warm winter like this one:

PHOTOGRAPH in the following order:

1. front of each dead hive including both entrances (this might require two photos).
2. top of inner cover after you lift off the outer cover and before you do anything else.
3. top bars on top hive body immediately under the inner cover.
4. top bars on lower hive body.
5. bottom board after lifting off the overlying box, and before moving or sweeping it.
6. representative frame from last location of the cluster.  Make a note as to where within the hive your bees were clustered when they died.  Make a note as to whether brood was present, and note that location as well. Photograph any brood you find.

SEND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS to Christina Wahl BEFORE the clinic, so that they may be uploaded for our workshop.  Use this email address:  CWL5@cornell.edu

March Meeting Update

As a reminder, there will be NO club meeting at the Cornell Extension building this month. Instead, consider attending the joint Geneva Bee Conference, at Hobart and William Smith college. The schedule is online at http://ontariocountybeekeepers.org/index.php/events-at-gbc/2016-gbc-schedule, and in addition to the honey swap and silent auction, there will be an evening social at 3 Brothers Winery.

April’s meeting will be at the Dyce Lab, where we’ll have an illustrative look into dead hives, why they died, and how we can keep them alive next winter. We don’t need actual hives for the clinic, but check the web site for a specific list of instructions about how to photograph your hive properly if you want to have your deadout analyzed.

See you in Geneva!

April deadout clinic instructions

Our April meeting will be a deadout workshop, held at the Dyce labs. Come analyze why your hives did not overwinter with Bee Wellness-trained instructors. You can also come to observe and learn from other beekeeper’s experiences!


IMPORTANT: if you want to participate (you can also come and observe), then note the following steps to follow so that you can get a good diagnostic!


Diagnosis of your deadout(s) will be more rewarding and more accurate if you follow a standardized approach.  You should not just tear the hives apart, instead, as you begin to go through your deadouts in preparation for the Deadout clinic, it’s important that you photograph your hives in a sequential way that allows us to evaluate all possible clues.

Make sure that you take your pictures in the *exact sequence listed below*, and BEFORE brushing off any dead bees.  Also, do not wait until the hive starts to get moldy!  Begin photographing and disassembling your hive as soon as convenient after you notice that they have died.  This is especially imperative in a warm winter like this one:

PHOTOGRAPH in the following order:

1. front of each dead hive including both entrances (this might require two photos).
2. top of inner cover after you lift off the outer cover and before you do anything else.
3. top bars on top hive body immediately under the inner cover.
4. top bars on lower hive body.
5. bottom board after lifting off the overlying box, and before moving or sweeping it.
6. representative frame from last location of the cluster.  Make a note as to where within the hive your bees were clustered when they died.  Make a note as to whether brood was present, and note that location as well. Photograph any brood you find.

SEND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS to Christina Wahl BEFORE the clinic, so that they may be uploaded for our workshop.  Use this email address:  CWL5@cornell.edu

February meeting and January notes

Thanks to all who attended the January meeting! We heard a great talk from club member Jane-Marie Law on grass roots efforts in Oslo, Norway, to promote public awareness of pollinator loss. There’s a great opportunity for anyone visiting Oslo to hook up with the BYBI group for a little “sister city” beekeeping action!

In addition, the officers appreciate your vote of confidence, electing us for another year of FLBC administration. As Shelley stated at the meeting, it’s her last, final, ultimate, and did we mention last? year as president of the club. If you’re interested in taking the reins of FLBC, or wonder what it takes to be club president, drop Shelley a line at President@FLBeeclub.com. It’s a rewarding position, full of opportunity and satisfaction.


Emma MullenThis month’s meeting, on February 21, at the Extension Building, we have the great pleasure of hearing Emma Mullen, Honey Bee Extension Associate in the Department of Entomology at Cornell speak with us. Emma will talk about the need for bee extension today, the new master beekeeping program, upcoming events and workshops at Dyce lab, and more.


Finally, a word on two upcoming FLBC meetings and workshops. We will have two queen rearing workshops this spring, limited to 8 participants each. (See the info below for details.)

In addition, our April meeting will be a deadout workshop, held at the Dyce labs. Come analyze why your hives did not overwinter with Bee Wellness-trained instructors. IMPORTANT: if you want to participate (you can also come and observe), then note the following steps to follow so that you can get a good diagnostic!

Diagnosis of your deadout(s) will be more rewarding and more accurate if you follow a standardized approach.  You should not just tear the hives apart, instead, as you begin to go through your deadouts in preparation for the Deadout clinic, it’s important that you photograph your hives in a sequential way that allows us to evaluate all possible clues.

Make sure that you take your pictures in the *exact sequence listed below*, and BEFORE brushing off any dead bees.  Also, do not wait until the hive starts to get moldy!  Begin photographing and disassembling your hive as soon as convenient after you notice that they have died.  This is especially imperative in a warm winter like this one:

PHOTOGRAPH in the following order:

1. front of each dead hive including both entrances (this might require two photos).?
2. top of inner cover after you lift off the outer cover and before you do anything else.?
3. top bars on top hive body immediately under the inner cover.?
4. top bars on lower hive body.?
5. bottom board after lifting off the overlying box, and before moving or sweeping it.?
6. representative frame from last location of the cluster.  Make a note as to where within the hive your bees were clustered when they died.  Make a note as to whether brood was present, and note that location as well. Photograph any brood you find.

SEND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS to Christina Wahl BEFORE the clinic, so that they may be uploaded for our workshop.  Use this email address:  CWL5@cornell.edu