* With uncertain track of hurricane Irma, there are some important considerations for beekeepers who may be affected by the heavy rain and winds. Please further disseminate to your local network of beekeepers.
- First, make sure hive equipment is secured to resist strong winds. A simple brick on the top lid is likely to be insufficient to keep the lid from flying off in winds above 50 mph. A lidless hive can cause problems for the bees by introducing moisture and letting heat escape. Strapping the lid down with ratchet straps or securing with duct tape might be in order, particularly for outlying yards. The same is true for hive boxes, particularly if they are relatively new (i.e., the bees have not yet propolized them together sufficiently). Also consider removing unnecessary boxes (e.g., top-hive feeders) to minimize the wind profile.
- Second, be sure to have the hives on sturdy stands or level ground. Entire beehives can be blown over by strong winds, particularly when they are fairly tall with many honey supers or are otherwise top heavy. If the hives are on tall or insecure stands, you can move them onto (dry) level ground temporarily to lessen the chances that they topple. Importantly, if you’re using solid bottom boards, be sure to have your hives tilting forward so that rain water does not pool and collect on the floor of the hive.
- Third, beware of falling trees and tree limbs. These can be particularly problematic for beehives since they can completely crush all equipment and kill the entire colony. It is also hard to prevent with some sort of barrier or cover because of the sheer weight of many trees, so if you apiary is in a wooded location you may need to move the hives temporarily.
- Fourth, make sure the hives are not in low-lying areas or those prone to flooding. River banks can be useful apiary locations because of their proximity to fresh water, but in flooding conditions entire apiaries can be tragically swept away. Be sure to move any beehives in flood plains until the waters have subsided. Beehives on the ground but in recessed areas can cause water to flood the entrances and may even suffocate the bees if not given an upper entrance.
- Finally, following heavy rains like hurricanes, various local and state agencies have traditionally sprayed regions with stagnant water to control mosquito outbreaks. While important for public health, such insecticides can be extremely problematic for honey bees. If you are registered through the NCDA&CS, you will be contacted directly if your beehives are in an area schedule to be sprayed. If you are not registered, however, the state has no means to notify you and your bees may be at risk to insecticide exposure. Please consult the Agricultural Chemical manual for information and advice about how to mitigate exposure to pesticides.
David R. Tarpy
Professor and Extension Apiculturist
Department of Entomology, Campus Box 7613
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7613
TEL: (919) 515-1660
FAX: (919) 515-7746
LAB: (919) 513-7702
The NCSBA’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ncbeekeepers) is now being managed by two volunteer editors, Whitney Barnes of the Person County Beekeepers and Christi Henthorn of the Granville County Beekeepers. Chapters are encouraged to designate someone to submit their event information to the editors for posting. Beekeepers can become members of the group page and share ideas and photos. There are some rules and expectations for posting on NCSBA’s Facebook page. Please log on to Facebook and read the information that the editors have posted about the events page as well as the group page. Thank you to Whitney and Christi for keeping the NCSBA connected!
Many of us have heard about the Beehive Grant Fund which was approved this year by the NC General Assembly. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund officials have asked the NCSBA to forward information concerning the fund and how to submit an application to the members of the NCSBA. Information has been posted at www.ncbeekeepers.org and the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association Facebook page. Interested persons should read this information in its entirety and email any questions to the Born and Bred Program chairman Paul Newbold at email@example.com
* The next regular meeting of the ACBA will be on October 12, 2017. The meeting will feature Greg Fariss who will speak on winter preparation.
* This month's meeting will be held at the Ashe County Agricultural Center Office, located at 134 Government Center Drive in Jefferson, NC.
March 9 - Randy Baldwin will talk about nucs (Door Prize - "Harry B Healthy" made by Maggie McClelland
April 13 - B. Townes, President, Wilkes Bee group, will tak on foragng (Door prize - 1-2 bee-friendly plants potted by Maggie McClelland).
May 11 - Bob Cole wil discuss Swarms: How to manage the capture and use them (Door prize - book from Bob Coles, "First Lessons in Beekeeping"
June 8 - Greg Fariss, NC State Apiary Inspection and E.A.S. Master Beekeeper will speak on pests and diseases.
July 13 - Jime Miles will talk about queen rearing (the old fashioned way) with two hands-on classes at Baldwin bee yard (small fee)
(Saturday - dates to be determined - queen rearing classes at the Baldwin bee yard. Dates dependant on availability of queen cells and the weather.
August 10 - Doug Galloway will speak on treatments for hive health (Door prize - grease patties)
September 7 - discussion on making stuff (recipes/demonstrations if possible) by Maggie McClelland, Helen Baldwin and Joy Lewis. (Door prize - lotion bars, candle, healing salve, etc.)
October 12 - Greg Fariss to speak on winter prep.
November 9 - end of the year potluck dinner and elections.
Parties in Watauga interested in beekeeping, the Allegheny bee group's evening meetings have been changed to the second Tuesday of the month, beginning in March.
* The August ACBA meeting was held on August 10, 2017 at which time Doug Galloway, Master Beekeeper (pictured right) presented information on treatments for hive health.
* The regular meeting was attended by 20 ACBA members. Recorded minutes from the meeting are here.
- Thumbnail pictures:
- H.S. Greene modeling a respirator for use when treating hives using oxalic acid as a fumigant.
- Three photos of the Varroa easyCheck by Veto-pharma which is a simple alcohol wash for use when determining mite loads in a hive.
* After the program concluded, several door prizes were awarded to attendees.