Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

President
Roy Funkhouser

jrfunkhouser@hardynet.com

1331 Funkhouser Road

Baker, WV 26801

304 851-6897

Vice President

Larry Lemons

llemons@frontier.com

642 Bethel Rd.

Paw Paw, WV 21434

304 947-5217

Secretary/Treasurer

Kirby Vining
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

October 20, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: President Roy Funkhouser opened the meeting at about 7:15pm and asked if any persons were visiting the club for the first time.  Club member Jeff M’s spouse was visiting and Jeff introduced her  -- definitely not new to beekeeping!  She was welcomed.

2. Guest speaker: none

3. Secretary report: Kirby Vining brought copies of the September minutes, noting that they are also posted on the club web page, and asked for any changes/comments, without which he asked for a motion to approve the September minutes with any proposed changes.  Motion made, seconded, passed unanimously.

 

4. Treasurer’s report: Kirby Vining reported the club bank balance as $1,125.83, reflecting a $10 deposit for dues (Kessel – which, having paid 2016 dues already, this will be kept to pay their 2017 dues in February). One cleared check, #123 for $32 to pay WVBA for the income from sale of WVBA raffle tickets.  No other transactions.  Motion to approve October Treasurer’s report, seconded, passed unanimously.  No dues collected.  Check for $88.45 written to Italian Touch Pizza for pizza/drinks for the club, as agreed in a motion at the September meeting. Receipt on hand.

 

5. Old business:

- Three volunteers to add their names to the WVBA roster of people willing to gather swarms or do cut-outs:   Bill R.: swarm capture.  Roy Funkhouser: swarm capture and cut-outs.  Larry Lemons: swarm capture.  Names and contacts forwarded to Debbie Martin of the WVBA who is maintaining the swarm/cut-out list.  

- Roy received a call from the WVBA to gather a colony and did so.

 

6. New business:

                                                                                                      

-        Elections:  At the September meeting, an appointed nomination committee of three proposed that the three current PHBA officers be nominated for re-election.  This was adopted unanimously and the committee disbanded.  Elections opened with a request for additional nominations from the floor.  None heard, motion to close nominations was passed unanimously.  Current PHBA officers, running unopposed, were all re-elected.  Secretary/Treasurer Kirby noted that our bylaws state that we have one position for Secretary/Treasurer, though in practice the club has often had two separate positions, and we could do this again if the club wishes.  No suggestion was made to separate these two positions at this time.

 

-        Meet through the winter months?  At the September meeting, it was proposed that we discuss at this meeting whether the club would meet through the winter as we did last year though traditionally and according to the bylaws the club does not meet November-February.  In discussion, a point was raised that if our next meeting is in March, that’s too late for club orders and sharing of information concerning availability of bee packages, etc.  The club thus voted to hold a meeting in February, but no meeting in November, December, or January.  So the next club meeting will be in February.

 

-        Kirby explained the WVBA speaker voucher program as received from WVBA Treasurer Steve Roth.

 

-        The club oxalic acid vaporizer rotates among club members, and currently is in the possession of David Ours.  Both David and one other club member used the vaporizer to treat their hives three times, one week apart, and the vaporizer has been returned to David.  Club members were advised to contact David (phone/email on club roster page) if they wish to use it, advised to return it to David clean when done.  Those who used the vaporizer were pleased with the use of the device, finding the instructions clear.  One did an initial count of dead mites on two hives.  One club member mentioned mixing Apivar liquid with canola oil for an anti-mite mixture that apparently also kills hive beetles.

 

-        Reminder of the club’s Saturday, November 12th basic beekeeping class, in this room at the Bank of Romney Community Center, 9am, runs for about 8 hours.  No books or advance registration required, but a $10 fee is requested payable on the day of the class.

 

-        Fall hive management: One member lost two colonies of bees to swarming and wondered if this could be due to mites.  Another member commented that swarms could be caused by the viruses that mites carry, and perhaps the hive was infected before the mites were killed. Another member commented that Russian and Carnolian colonies seem to have a different reaction to the presence of mites, Russians sometimes pausing in brood production only to resume later, perhaps thereby breaking the mite cycle.

 

-        President Roy mentioned that Charles Walters, who is an excellent source for clean packages of bees, may need to have orders placed considerably earlier than our February meeting and said he would post on Facebook whatever quantity and dates Charles Walters has for this. Last year he produced about 200 nucs for late April early May, in cardboard boxes, at approximately $150 each.  This year’s price is not known. His nucs are some in deep frames, some in medium.

 

-        WVBA Treasurer Steve Roth noted that WVBA will accept dues in 2017, so I mentioned that after our February meeting we likely would have some 2017 dues.

 

-        Discussion of a group fondant order.  Following members indicated commitment to purchasing all or part of a 50lb box: Lewis B. 25lbs with Missy B. 25lbs (one box); Bill/Janet R. 25, with David O. 25, (one box); Jeff M. one box  50lbs; Dan D, one box, 50 lbs.  Total of 200lbs or four 50lb boxes.  One later order for two boxes was seen on Facebook from Nick.

 

7. Meeting was adjourned at about 8:45 for pizza, drinks, and some additional snacks brought by members.

 

8. Next meeting: Third Thursday in February, 2017, which is February 16th at the Bank of Romney Community Center.  Kirby will call Donna Lynch at the Bank of Romney to cancel the Nov/Dec/Jan meetings and schedule both the February 16th meeting and reconfirm the November 12th class at the community center.

 

9. No refreshments requested for this next meeting because it is still so far off.               

                                                                                                                            

10.  See you in the new year!

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

President
Roy Funkhouser

jrfunkhouser@hardynet.com

1331 Funkhouser Road

Baker, WV 26801

304 851-6897

Vice President

Larry Lemons

llemons@frontier.com

642 Bethel Rd.

Paw Paw, WV 21434

304 947-5217

Secretary

Kirby Vining
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(Kirby Vining

is acting/interim

Treasurer.)

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

September 15, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

   noted that there were no first-time visitors to the club this time.

1. Opening and Welcome: President Roy Funkhouser opened the meeting about 7pm and

     

2.  Guest speaker: Jennifer King of Eversweet Apiaries spoke about fall and winter hive

    management, a summary of which follows (this is my attempt to capture a lot of detail.

        I may not have been entirely accurate, so please bring any obvious errors to my

        attention for correction – mistakes here are likely NOT Jennifer’s, they’re mine!):

                  

           September: Remove supers, start feeding 1:1 sugar:water and pollen patties.  Complete

                  Varroa mite treatment (Oxalic Acid/Apigard, etc.).  Jennifer mentioned they’re

                  alternating OA treatment last year with Apigard this year to try to prevent

                  tracheal mites as well as varroa.  Reduce the opening to the hive (Jennifer

                  mentioned that she leaves a narrow hive opening all year long as it helps

                  the bees defend against robbers).  Move good drawn comb near the brood

                  nest because this time of year the bees should be raising young and gathering

                  nectar, not building comb.        Install mouse guards.  If you see dead bees, they

                  may be drones as the hive often begins to kill them this time of year.  If a weak

                  hive does not take the sugar water, possibly due to presence of mites.  Check

                  for deformed wings on bees.  PMS: Parasitic mite syndrome involves varroa

                  mites but results in shotgun pattern brood and perforated brood caps.  Mites are

                  often on the bees’ belly and thus hard to see, but they’re also in capped brood.

                  A good test for mites is the three-day sticky board test, or the alcohol method,

                  or sugar rolls.  Alcohol with about 300 bees is likely the most reliable.  It’s too late

                  now to requeen, acceptance of queens this late in the year is poor, suggest combine

                  small colonies with larger colonies with the newspaper method.

 

  August/September: Bees born during this period are the ones that will over-winter

           in your hive, SO FEED THEM WELL!  There is not a strong fall nectar flow,

                  goldenrod and maybe alfalfa if you’re lucky.  Because of a lack of nectar, bees

                  may cannibalize brood for protein.

                  Swarms start processing about 3-4 weeks before the actual swarm date and swarms

                  are not at all uncommon at this time of year.

 

  October:  You need about 30,000 bees to make it through the winter, about 60-80lbs of honey.

                  Feed 2:1 sugar:water mixture.  For nosema treatment, suggest adding a bit of cider

                  vinegar to the food.  You need at least one medium hive body of bees.  Start feeding

                  fondant, but do not use fondant that contains corn starch!  No marshmallows!  Jennifer

                  gets fondant from C.L. Nolt in PA and recommends 6lbs per hive per winter season.

 

  November/December: When it’s cold, remove the sugar water feeders.  Hives need ventilation to

                  Keep out moisture and Jennifer recommends the use of a V-notch inner cover for this purpose.

                  Put fondant directly over the brood box, right over the cluster of bees, so they can find it.

                  When it’s really cold, they won’t travel far to find food, and will starve if food’s not very

                  close by.  Do not put fondant on top of a super.  Candyboard is a good feeding tool.

                  40 degrees and up, check inside the hive, but don’t do so under 40 degrees.  50 degrees

                  and up, move fondant and/or honey frames close to the bee cluster.  Jennifer uses burlap on

                  the inner hive cover to help reduce moisture, which can cause mold and kill bees.  You want

                  ventilation but no moisture.  Bees can take the cold but not wet cold.

                  Consider using a sugar slurry on wax paper with a hole in it and/or inside a 1” frame or directly

Into empty comb.  Sugar slurry is a very rich paste of sugar and water (but I didn’t hear a specific

recipe).

 

    January/February: Bees need air, consider drilling holes in the top of the hive.  Start feeding pollen

                  patty and use hopguard (sp.?) strips to control phoretic mites.

 

        March: Provide sugar slurry to prevent starvation.  Put feeders back on when the temperature is

                  above freezing.  Pollen patties provide carbohydrates and protein, both of which are necessary.

                  4-5 days after an egg is laid in a cell, the young larva are fed royal jelly (before that, the larva

                  live on the equivalent of the egg yolk).  The larva swim in this royal jelly, so a dry cell is

                  not good.

                  Some questions about fondant placement in the hive….(presentation ended about 8:35).

           

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the July minutes have

   been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

   minutes if no changes were proposed.  Please forward any additions or corrections

   to Kirby at any time for the minutes for any month. Accepted by unanimous vote.

   

4. Treasurer Report: Treasurer Kirby Vining reported the Current Bank of Romney

   account statement, dated August 31: balance $1,147.63.  That figure reflects deposits

   of $42 ($32 from sales of WVBA raffle tickets, $10 new member dues (Sager).  This

        was deposited in the Bank of Romney night depository.  Checks 123 and 124 were

        written to the WVBA, one for $32 for the WVBA raffle, one for $6 for the WVBA membership

        for the new member (Sager).  Two more new memberships were received at the

             Tri-County Fair (Hollar and Boyd), $110 deposited at the bank, and check #125 for $66  for

        the two new memberships (Boyd is a lifetime membership) was sent to the WVBA.  Club

        member Nick donated $20 to the club, a portion of his sales of honey at the Tri-County

        Fair.  One club member (Kessel) renewed membership.  Kirby gave guest speaker

        Jennifer King $20 cash to defray her travel expenses, and the officers suggested that

        Kirby take $20 of the cash on hand as reimbursement for that, and deposit the remaining

        $10 (membership renewal), and that was done. //Kirby just discovered that the Kessell

    Membership is up to date, so he’ll return the Kessell’s $10 at the next meeting.

        Kirby reported from the WVBA Executive Board meeting that our club’s 501©3 status

        Is not yet complete, soon.

 

5. Old Business: Swarm capture and cut-out contacts, for our club and the WVBA.

                 WVBA Fall Conference is September 23 and 24 at Jackson’s Mill,

                       Information on the WVBA web page WVBA trying to find out why so

                       few people come to the Fall Conference.

         

6. New Business:

                  President noted that our bylaws say that a nominating committee should have been appointed

                  so that we could hold elections tonight.  He apologized for missing this, but suggested that

                  he name a nominating committee of three to propose names for elections next month.  The

                  named nominating committee suggested that the three incumbent officers be nominated

                  for re-election.  This was approved by the membership and the nomination committee

                  thus dissolved.  It was agreed that during the October meeting elections nominations can

                  be made from the floor, in addition to this slate of nominees. It was also agreed by

                  acclamation that we decide during the October meeting if we will meet during

                  the winter (like we did last year) or not again until March.  It was also agreed that in lieu

                  of snacks for the October meeting, the club would order pizza/drinks from the pizza shop

                  just up the road in Romney, order after the meeting begins in order to estimate how much

                  pizza is necessary, and that this would be paid for by the club from the club bank account.

 

                  Kirby presented the club with the banner that was made for the Tri-County Fair and said that

                  it would be appropriate to keep it somewhere nearby where it would be available for use

                  by club members at appropriate events.  This was agreed upon and club VP Larry Lemons

                  volunteered to keep the banner at his home.

 

                  Kirby also presented to the club the oxalic acid vaporizer given to the club at the

                  September WVBA Executive Board meeting, along with directions, etc.  He also

                  suggested that this should be kept somewhere convenient for club members’ use, and

                  club member David Ours volunteered to keep it at his home, asking that people who want

                  to use it contact him by Facebook or the phone/email listed on the club roster.  The

                  club member holding these items will change as appropriate or necessary and these

                  positionings of the materials are a start.

 

           Kirby brought up the following notes from the WVBA September Executive Board

                  meeting:

                         -WVBA Fall Conference is 23-24 September at Jackson’s Mill, details on the

                                WVBA web page.  WVBA is considering a new location in Fairmont for

                                 next year.

 

-        WVBA is seeking nominations for WV beekeeper of the year, and also seeking information

about the history of beekeeping in  WV for the WVBA spring conference which will be the

100th anniversary of the WVBA.  Steve Roth/WVBA is point of contact.

 

-        WVBA sells “WV Beekeeper” license plates to clubs for $3.50, suggests the clubs

Selling them to members for $5.00 to make a bit of club income.

 

- WVBA changed the rules regarding use of WVBA funds to pay speakers to visit

Local clubs.  WVBA pays $60 and local club matches that with $15, total $75, for

Each of two speakers per year.  Rules were changed by vote to allow any club to

Be reimbursed up to $120,  on the condition that the club chip in $30, for a total of

$150, to use for as many or few speakers as the club wishes.  Also, the restriction that

the speaker be from WV was dropped.

 

-        Spring WVBA newsletter articles due February 15th

 

-        WV Dept of Agriculture has 8 extractors, locations of these extractors will be put on

The WVBA web page soon – spent months locating them!

 

-        WV Apiarist Wade Stiltner said that while a couple valley locations had a good

Honey harvest, “This is the worst year I can remember for beekeeping in WV.”

 

-        WVBA is trying to improve communications and is thinking of working in a way to have

a person in each of the six regions be point of contact for contacting clubs in those

regions.  Paul Cappas can only do so much, this would help him and the WVBA.

 

                  Roy noted that the basic beekeeping class that was offered at Eastern WV Community and

                  Technical College in Moorefield was cancelled because not enough students signed up for

                  the class.  It was noted also that the class was not at all well advertised.  Roy mentioned

                  that Jennifer was willing to teach a basic class wherever the club wanted, and the date of

                      Saturday, October 22nd was suggested.  Roy put this information on Facebook and said that

                  details about the location would be determined by persons who registered, but perhaps  at

                  either the Bank of Romney Community Center (if this space is available on Saturdays) or

                  perhaps at the Romney Public Library, or some third location, depending.

 

7. Next meeting: Thursday, October 20th, Bank of Romney Community Center, 7pm,

                  elections, pizza, and a decision about winter meetings or not.

 

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Pizza instead, but Larry/Christa Lemons and

                  Michelle suggested they might bring some extras as well.

 

9. Presentation: None, elections instead.

 

10. Meeting adjourned at about 9:20pm for excellent snacks. Thank you to all who

     provided snacks! Roy shared samples of his honey harvest with the group!

 

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

President
Roy Funkhouser

jrfunkhouser@hardynet.com

1331 Funkhouser Road

Baker, WV 26801

304 851-6897

Vice President

Larry Lemons

llemons@frontier.com

642 Bethel Rd.

Paw Paw, WV 21434

304 947-5217

Secretary

Kirby Vining
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(Kirby Vining

is acting/interim

Treasurer.)

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

July 21, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: President Roy Funkhouser opened the meeting about 7:05 and

     welcomed three new visitors to the club.  

       

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the June minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Please forward any additions or corrections

    to Kirby at any time for the minutes for any month. Accepted by unanimous vote.

    WVBA has extended an invitation to the PHBA to join the WVBA’s tax exempt

    501c3 status.  Club voted to approve that at the June meeting, our paperwork

    has been submitted, but no response from WVBA on that yet -- we are not

    a tax exempt organization until that paperwork is received.

   

4. Treasurer Report: Acting Treasurer Kirby Vining reported the Current Bank of Romney

    account statement, dated June 30th: balance $1,068.63.  That figure reflects a check for

    $12 sent to the WVBA for two new  memberships from the May meeting, number 122 for

    $12 which has finally cleared. No new account activity in May other than that. The current

     PHBA officers are now all signatories on the PHBA account. Request for a vote to approve

    The Treasurer’s report, approved by unanimous vote.

    One new member paid to join PHBA/WVBA, $10 cash received.

    32 WVBA raffle tickets have been sold, total.  Kirby will send a PHBA check for $38

    to the WVBA -- $32 for raffle ticket payments received, $6 for the WVBA membership

    fee for the one new member -- and will send the remaining 18 unpurchased raffle

    tickets to the WVBA.  $42 cash on hand at the end of the meeting ($32 from raffle

    ticket sales, $10 from a new membership) deposited at the Bank of Romney night depository

    after the meeting. Sent check #123 for $32 to the WVBA treasurer for raffle tickets, #124 for

   $6 to Steve Roth to cover the WVBA membership for our new club member.

5. Old Business:

    See raffle ticket sales above.  WVBA 23-24 September Fall Conference and September 10

    Executive board meeting announced.

         

6. New Business:

                President announced that our club can have two tables at the WV Dept. of Agriculture

               section of the exhibits hall at the Tri-County Fair in Petersburg, WV, 1-6 August, if

                 the club is interested.  Motion to participate in the fair, seconded, vote unanimous.

                Related, it was suggested that the club order a 2’x6’ vinyl banner costing about $30 to

                use both at this fair and for any future events.  Motion to accept this proposed purchase,

                seconded, vote unanimous. There was discussion about elaborating on the message on the

                proposed banner, but given the short time we have to get a banner there was not time for

                discussion via email of changes to the proposed design.  So we’ll get this banner and if

                we want another different banner we’ll decide on how this one works at the fair.

                Discussion of persons to man the tables at the fair, 4-10pm Monday - Friday, 2-10pm

              Saturday..  Kirby will be there throughout to make sure there are no gaps.  Larry/Christa Lemons

                volunteered for Thursday and Friday evening, Elvin/Janet Rose volunteered for Friday

                evening, Roy indicated he would be available Monday and Tuesday only because of other

                committments at the fair later in the week, Lewis/Dawn Brison said they could help on

             Wednesday evening.  Notice of our participation put on Facebook.

                Petersburg beekeeper Jim Boyd who runs Middle Mountain Apiary in  has

                indicated he’d like to join our table at the fair, and there was general agreement that his

                Participation would be good.  A couple members noted that he was not yet a member, but

                Kirby indicated that Jim has long wanted to join but has not yet been able to attend a

                meeting and thus would join as soon as we could see him in person on that.  Jim will

                present some of the things he does and has at his shop with the notion that this

                Is an educational event but if anyone wishes to contact him concerning sales of products

                available at his shop, that is a good function for the outreach of our efforts at the fair too.

 

                Roy will bring an observation hive full of bees, Kirby will bring the club banner and a new

                but empty hive to display along with a bee suit and gloves, Jim has some literature on

                bees and beekeeping, other materials and information for our table welcome.

                Membership was asked if we would like to hold a picnic in lieu of our August meeting.

                Motion, seconded, vote unanimous for a picnic instead of a meeting.  Roy proposed

                Saturday August 20th as a good date, this was approved by the majority.  Roy will

                Check a couple of public parks because no homes were volunteered for the event.

                More information on Facebook on proposed locations, etc.

 

7. Next meeting: No August meeting (see above), so the next meeting would

    be Thursday, September 15th at  Bank of Romney Community Center.  

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Because we have no August meeting, no

    Refreshments were offered or solicited, will do that on Facebook closer to the meeting.

9. Presentation: none

10. Meeting adjourned at about 8:20pm for excellent snacks. Thank you to all who

      provided snacks!

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

President
Roy Funkhouser

jrfunkhouser@hardynet.com

1331 Funkhouser Road

Baker, WV 26801

304 851-6897

Vice President

Larry Lemons

llemons@frontier.com

642 Bethel Rd.

Paw Paw, WV 21434

304 947-5217

Secretary

Kirby Vining
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(Kirby Vining

is acting/interim

Treasurer.)

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

June 16, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: President Roy Funkhouser opened the meeting about 7:20

    (horrific thunderstorm probably kept attendance low)

   

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the May minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Please forward any additions or corrections

    to Kirby at any time for the minutes for any month. Accepted by vote.

   

4. Treasurer Report: Acting Treasurer Kirby Vining reported as follows:

    Current Bank of Romney account statement, dated May  31st: balance $1,079.83.  

    That figure includes a deposit for $20 for two new memberships from the May

     meeting, and check number 122 for $12 to the WVBA to pay for the WVBA membership for those

     two new members (that check not cleared yet). No new account activity in May other than that. 

     Vote to accept the treasurer’s report: voted unanimously in favor.

   

5. Old Business: Swarm recovery and cut-outs.  

    The WVBA at the most recent executive board meeting indicated strong interest in

    creating and posting a list of persons who are willing and able to recover swarms

    and do cut-outs of bees in building walls. Each club was asked to survey members to

    find folks willing to do this.  The idea is to have a registry so that if a call comes in

    seeking this kind of help, the point of contact person could direct the call to a person

    near the swarm/cut-out location to handle it.  No hands went up at the meeting, but

    this will be a continuing item of interest to the club, and the information shared on

    the club’s Facebook page.  Debbie Martin is apparently leading the effort to gather

    this information for the WVBA.  

         

6. New Business:

   Kirby attended the most recent WVBA executive board meeting at the Waffle Hut

   in Flatwoods, WV, and brought the following questions back:

        offered to include any WVBA member club in this process.  Clubs must fill out a

        form and submit it to Steve Roth at the WVBA before July 1st stating their

        club’s Employee Identification Number or EIN and their interest in participating

        in this process. Kirby pointed out that this would permit the PHBA to purchase

        goods for use by club members or to sell in fundraising events for the club

        tax free.  Kirby could see no down side to this.  Vote taken to ask if Kirby

        should file this paperwork and proceed.  Unanimous positive.  Kirby has

        already provided Steve Roth with the requisite letter, so now we wait to hear

        our acceptance into the program.

         Dislike the location, inconvenient location, date clash with

              Other events, etc.?  

                Two club members who have attended one or more

                fall conferences said that they found the location good,

                accommodations (in Weston) acceptable and not too far,

                but found the food horrible. No mention was made of any

                clash of dates for our club (attendance was low tonight).

                The same two club members and two others suggested that

                the WVBA consider the Days Inn in Sutton because of excellent

                catered food and all-in-one location (conference space and hotel

                  rooms).  They said that they didn’t know about the cost and the

                excellent catered food could be pricey.  They added that it’s just

                across the street from one or more outlet stores that might interest

                persons who attend. This information provided to the WVBA by Kirby.

sold tonight.  Kirby will bring them again to the July meeting.  All left over tickets, stubs,

and the money from their sale must be returned to the WVBA/Steve Roth

by August 15th so that the leftovers can be sold at the Fall Conference.

First prize is $300, second and third prizes are both $100, winner to be

announced at the Fall Conference, winners do NOT have to be present to win.

        the next edition of the WVBA newsletter.  What should we submit?

                It was suggested that we submit the names of  our newly

                elected officers and the fact that the use of oxalic acid to control

                varroa mites is very high in our club.  Kirby will do that.

Mill, no further detail yet available on the WVBA web page. WVBA is considering

other locations and possibly other dates for the 2017 conference because

conference attendance is surprisingly low due to...don’t know exactly what, but

perhaps because of conflicts with the state and county fair dates for the counties.

        at the Waffle Hut in Flatwoods, WV (just off I-79).  Kirby attended the last one and

        was very impressed, strongly urged club officers and members to attend for perhaps

        the broadest exposure to senior WV beekeepers and the issues that concern them.

        Kirby said that he wasn’t sure if the next exec meeting was on the same date

        as the Fall Conference -- but it is not as he later confirmed. The above dates are correct.

        was to be held on Tuesday, June 20th -- Kirby put details on the club’s Facebook page.

        include: Roy mentioned learning from his father that salt with some water in it pushed

        into the entrance to a hive can calm aggressive bees.  Kirby will ask if Roy would

        speak more about this at the next meeting. Never heard of it before.

of me figure out what I meant by that note.  Another about queen rearing with

        no other information.  What did I forget to note down here?

        some beehives in the state, he’s working with the USDA/Beltsville to see what

        he can find out about it.  Visible signs are pupa death, bad smell, teramycin doesn’t

        help it.  But little more known about it.  He’s seen this in long-established colonies,

        so it’s apparently not a recent import.

        on file with the Bank of Romney so that all the club officers have access to the

        club bank account.  In progress.

a club picnic instead, but with so few members present for this June meeting

we decided to bring up the topic of an August picnic at our July meeting.

7. Next meeting: Thursday, July 21st,  Bank of Romney Community Center.  

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: No volunteers to bring snacks/drinks/refreshments

                to the July meeting.  If you’re interested, please suggest something on the club’s

                Facebook page.  

9. Presentation: Undecided

10. Meeting adjourned at about 8:20pm for excellent snacks.

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

President
Roy Funkhouser

jrfunkhouser@hardynet.com

1331 Funkhouser Road

Baker, WV 26801

304 851-6897

Vice President

Larry Lemons

llemons@frontier.com

642 Bethel Rd.

Paw Paw, WV 21434

304 947-5217

Secretary

Kirby Vining
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(Kirby Vining

is acting/interim

Treasurer.)

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

May 19, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: Secretary Kirby Vining opened the meeting at about 7:10, acting president

   

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the April minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Accepted by vote.

   

4. Treasurer Report: Acting Treasurer Kirby Vining reported that there was a beginning

    Balance of $1,055.83, deposit of $30 (two new members, Schray and Chehi, one renewal, Staggs,

    paid at the April meeting), deposited the night of the meeting at the Bank of Romney’s night

    deposit box.  Check 121 for $18, for the WVBA membership dues for the 3 above persons,

    sent to WVBA treasurer but not yet cleared.  Effective current balance: $1,047.83

    Check 120 cleared, ending balance: $1,047.83. Motion to approve treasurer’s report,

    seconded, passed unanimously.  

     

5. Old Business:

    Oxalic acid vaporizers:  Larry said he has no upgrades for his

    homespun vaporizer, working on a handle design. A member reported that

    Ed Forney of Geezer Ridge Farm is not using oxalic acid based on reports

    that while it kills mites the mites come back with a vengeance after that, so he’s using

    Apivar and/or Apigard instead.  No members of the club have this negative experience

    with oxalic acid, but haven’t checked for mites after recent application because of

    the steady rains.  A member said that when he uses a car battery to power his

    electric vaporizer, depending on the length of the cable to the battery, the

    vaporization can take longer, up to 6 minutes instead of just 3 minutes, and suggested practicing

    outside the hive first to see how long it takes to vaporize before putting a batch

    inside the hive. This member also suggested that dipping the vaporizer in water

    to cool it off between usages speeds up the application process -- Larry says he did

    the same thing with his homespun vaporizer - cool the equipment before doing another batch.  

    Swarms: Several members commented on the tremendous swarming they’ve seen this

    spring, as did WVBA president Paul Cappas in his note. The horrific amount of rain

    we’ve received lately has greatly altered the spring flower cycle, some members

    commenting that locust is just now coming out, poplar is already producing cones,

    likely related to the swarming we’re seeing as bees try to find nectar sources.

     

6. New Business:

 

   Elections: Kirby noted that according to the Hampshire County Beekeepers Association

   bylaws, which have been taken over by the PHBA, the secretary/treasurer is one position,

   though the PHBA has traditionally had two separate persons fill these two positions.

   For this election Kirby suggested that as he is currently elected secretary and acting

   treasurer that for the sake of continuity and simplicity he would volunteer to retain these two positions

   until the next regular PHBA election. This motion was seconded, vote unanimous.

   Nominations for president: one: Roy Funkhouser.  Nominations for vice president: one:

   Larry Lemons.  Motion to close nominations seconded, carried. As there was only

   one nomination for each of the two vacant positions, there was a motion that the

   two nominees be approved.  Seconded, vote unanimous.  Roy Funkhouser, president,

   replaces Kelly Kipp whose resignation was received earlier this year; Larry Lemons,

   vice president, replaces Charles Boland whose resignation was received earlier this

   year.   Sherryrobin Boland, treasurer, has been replaced by acting treasurer Kirby

   Vining since her resignation was received earlier this year.  The newly elected

   president and vice president were congratulated. Roy commented that his family

   has been in beekeeping for quite a long time, his father was the former head of the beekeeping

   group in Moorefield, but gave up in the 1980s because of huge hive losses due to foul

   brood -- before varroa mites were a problem.  But he’s back into beekeeping more

   recently and fighting with mites.  Larry’s dad kept bees and he got started with a class

   at Allegheny Community College which he highly recommended, with high praise

   for teacher Ben Cooper in all aspects of his beekeeping knowledge.  Classes, as Larry

   Recalled, are given in March and October.  Two new members tonight, Sean Epperson and

   Missy Butts-Foster/Larry Foster, their dues deposited May 19th and the information and a check

   sent to WVBA to add these two memberships to the WVBA on May 21st.  

   Nucs and packages of bees: Roy commented that Charles Walters may have

   nucs available, he’ll check.  Roy further commented that he obtained several

   packages of bees through Charles Walters and was very pleased with the results, having

   earlier given up on the poor quality of bee packages.  Roy recommended these

   package bees highly and suggested that in September or so we might place

   a club order for those interested. Roy also noted that he’ll be ordering buckfast

   queens from a supplier in Canada soon and offered to include member purchases

   with his order -- see details in his Facebook posting on this subject.

   Others commented that Eversweet Apiaries might have nucs available, another

   commented that Ed Barbe had nucs but they’re all gone now.  Another commented

   that Kelly Kipp might be doing nucs, and someone commented that Ed Forney might

   have more nucs soon. Kirby said he’d check with these folks to see if they’re offering

   nucs and if they’re taking orders, and we all agreed to post on Facebook the availability

   of nucs for those interested. A member commented that S & T in Elkins has or had

   packages of bees available for $99.  Concerning other beekeeping equipment,

   one member commented that Angie Heishman of the Honey-B-Hut in Stephans

   City, VA, is now setting up an operation to assemble/build frames and hive bodies,

   not sure if this is done and ready to sell yet or not.  

   A new member indicated interest in starting up a hive and asked how best to do this.

   Some members suggested variously a nuc, purchasing a hive already up and running,

   etc., but it was decided that this question should go on the web page for the new member

   and others to discuss what might be the best thing to do.  The new member and family

   live in the Moorefield area and are now on the club Facebook page where discussion

   has started on this subject.

               

7. Next meeting: Thursday, June 16th,  Bank of Romney Community Center.  

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Michael and Heather Staggs offered to bring

     drinks, Elvin and Janet Rose volunteered to bring snacks if they are able to

     Make the meeting.  

9. Presentation: Undecided

10. Meeting adjourned at about 8:20pm and refreshments provided by

      Michelle were enjoyed immensely -- cakes with strawberries!

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

President
(vacant)

Vice President
(vacant)

Kirby Vining
Secretary
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(vacant, Kirby Vining

is acting Treasurer.)

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

April 21, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: Secretary Kirby Vining opened the meeting, acting president

   

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the March minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Accepted by vote.

   

4. Treasurer Report: Acting Treasurer Kirby Vining reported that there was a beginning

    Balance of $1,007.83, deposit of $30 (two new members, Schray and Chehi, one renewal, Staggs,

    paid at the April meeting),

    Check 120 cleared, ending balance: $1,047.83.

    Night deposit for $30 made at Bank of Romney after the meeting (I will

    Send a check for 3 WVBA memberships -- $18 -- soon).

   

5. Old Business: Oxalic acid vaporizers:  Larry demonstrated his modified/upgraded

    OA vaporizer, fashioned out of pipe pieces, L-shaped.  Larry demonstrated that

    He heats up the ‘barrel’ of the device because otherwise the OA condenses on

    The inside of cold pipe, heats it up with a propane torch.  Gloves, goggles, and

    A facemask used to protect from heat and the vapor.  He uses a vice-grip to hold

    The device to avoid burns and is planning some sort of a handle to make this easier.

    He douses the device with cold water after use to make it cool enough to handle

    To reload.  Larry does one super per application, three applications for the three

    Supers on his hives.  He stuffs up the entrance to the hive with cotton or similar

    Wadding to keep as much of the vapor inside as possible.  2-3 minutes is about

    The time that the vapor should be undisturbed in each super, then go on to the

    Next one.  

   Some members commented on the late frost that did some damage to flowering

   Trees.  

   Brief discussion of offering club officers or other club members who go to various

   Regional beekeeping events a stipend to cover or help with registration costs for

   Such meetings.  It was agreed that this would be a good idea and would be taken

   Up on a case-by-case basis as meetings are happening.  

   One member said that the meeting time was not on the web page...I just checked

   And it is, perhaps my announcement on Facebook didn’t mention it...will check that

   Next month.  

  The secretary just noted that the PHBA application form still has the contact information

   For the former treasurer and this should be changed when a new treasurer is chosen

   In May.  

   

6. New Business:

 

    Administrative: The secretary pointed out that we have only one office at the moment,

    The secretary position, and asked the group what we should do about that.  The

    Secretary said that it would be best for the group to have a representative office

    Who lives in WV for all the right reasons, and also noted that while there is

    Provision in the bylaws for the president (or vice president acting as president) to

    Appoint interim officers, we have neither right now.  Discussion about whether to

    elect/choose interim officers.  Decision was made to vote at our next meeting for

    Officers to serve until our regular October meeting.  Vacant positions at this time

    Are president (chairs our meetings, represents the group to the  outside, and works

    With other officers to form the monthly meeting agenda.  Vice President serves as

    President in the latter’s absence and also contributes to the agenda.  Treasurer keeps

    The books and bank account and handles membership cares, both PHBA and WVBA.

    Secretary keeps the club’s minutes.  NOTE: Although we have four positions right now,

    Our bylaws (dated 2005) combine the position of secretary/treasurer.  The group will

    Decide at the May meeting whether to keep these positions separate or combine them.

    Unanimous vote to hold elections in May and announce that fact on our Facebook page

    Immediately.  

    Much discussion of interest in purchasing nucs, but apparently none are available

    Yet, likely we’ll see some folks offering nucs in May.  Beekeepers who moved hives

    To the almond crop are back for a couple weeks now and building nucs from their

    Returned colonies.  A member noted that the WV Market Bulletin has an ad for

    Packages of bees.  

   Member Nick described going to the WVBA Spring Meeting as a vendor, and brought

   Back some published books available there.  One is a republished book about bees

   From the early 1800s with lovely engravings of bee anatomy and hive parts, etc.

   Nick also brought along some of the candles he makes for sale to support veterans,

   Noting that he donates 50% of the profits to veterans.  He also spoke of a meeting

   For Monday, April 25th at Geezer Ridge hosting very senior members of the Dept.

   Of Veterans Affairs and others to try to get some federal government cooperation with

   The veterans to beekeeping projects Ed Forney and others have been working on

   Locally.  

   A note from WVBA president Paul Cappas about the WV Pollinator Protection

   Plan which was posted to our web page, link is:

   http://www.wvbeekeepers.org/index.php/wv-polinator-plan

               

7. Next meeting: Thursday, May 19th,  Bank of Romney Community Center.  

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Michelle’s household will provide snacks,

     Any other drinks or supplements greatly encouraged and most welcome!

9. Presentation: Undecided

10. Meeting adjourned at about 8:45pm and refreshments provided by

      group members were enjoyed.

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

Kelly Kipp
President
happehoneybeefarm@aol.com
94 Back Road
Lost City, WV 26810
304-616-7879

Vice President
(vacant, please let the

group know if you’re

interested in helping out)

Kirby Vining
Secretary
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(vacant, Kirby Vining

is acting Treasurer.

Let us know if you’d

like to consider filling

in as Treasurer).

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

March 17, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: Secretary Kirby Vining opened the meeting acting for

    President Kelly Kipp who was not able to attend

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the February minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Accepted by vote.

   

4. Treasurer Report: Acting Treasurer Kirby Vining reported that there was a beginning

    Balance of $1,007.83, deposit of $20 (two new members paid at the February meeting),

    Checks 117,118, and 119 cleared, ending balance: $1,027.83.

    Two members renewed at the March meeting: Harvey Jones, and

    Christa & Larry Lemons, and three new members: Nicholas Priet, David Ours, and

    Alvin McKee.  Cash/check for these five, $50, deposited the same night at

    The Bank of Romney, preparing to send check #120 to Steve Roth for $30 to

    Cover the $6 per member that is for WVBA membership.  Membership cards

    On hand but not yet handed out: PHBA: Janet & Dwight Kessel, Barbara Gamble,

    WVBA: Jason & Sandra Bowen, Dan Dawson, Lewis Briston, Barbara Gamble,

    Dwight & Janet Kessel, Tina Ladd, Joseph Winebrenner Jr., Ed Myers.  

5. Old Business: Oxalic acid vaporizers: Two presentations from members:

   One member brought a homemade vaporizer, fashioned out of copper

   Tubing and fittings, capped at one end with a ½” copper cap, and intending

   To braze the pieces shut except for a screw-fitting where oxalic acid will

    Be introduced.  The device is designed to be heated with a propane

   Torch at the capped end, the tube end inserted in the hive to release the

    Vapor into the hive.  The designer is considering fashioning a handle for

    The device, otherwise may just use a vicegrip to hold it. Just a couple dollars

   Worth of copper fittings. The ½” copper cap is just about the right size to hold

   Enough oxalic acid for two hive supers.  He buys oxalic acid at Amazon for

   About $15 and advises that only 99% pure oxalic acid should be used.  Goggles

   And an acid mask are highly recommended to keep the vapor out of the

   eyes/mouth/nose because it is toxic.  The member plans to use this on his hives

   Once a week for three weeks to try to stop varroa mites in his hives.

   The other member brought a commercial oxalic acid vaporizer he’d obtained

   From Dlan.com, PO Box 165, Urbana, Ohio, 43078, info@dlan.com.  This

   Device is almost identical to others costing $110 and up from other suppliers.

   It works on a 12v battery, car battery or motorcycle battery.  About 3.5 minutes

   Is all the time it takes from ignition to full vaporization.  The member covers

   The entrance to his hive with a towel for about minutes to keep the

   Vapor inside for that time, then pulls it out, reloads it, and does another hive.

   Information on the supplier, Dlan.com, is posted on the club Facebook page.

   Both members commented that vaporization treatment does not kill anything

   In the hive except mites.  The dribbling method, however, with introduction of

   Liquid form oxalic acid, has been known to kill queens. Be careful!

   

6. New Business:

 

    Two letters from Paul Cappas, WVBA president, presented in brief form at the meeting

    (the full text of both letters is on the PHBA Facebook page) on the progress of

    The WVBA education committee -- raising the honorarium for speakers from

    $50 to $75 and designing a form for the WVBA page in which to list available

    speakers/presenters and clubs desire for specific speakers/presentations.

   Also a note about joint training for veterans and others, also posted to the

   PHBA Facebook page.

   One member discussed the March hive management notes provided by

   Eversweet Apiaries, especially concerning feeding bee colonies during the

   Crucial and difficult month of March.  Several members discussed their

   Use of fondant, with some recipes for fondant discussed, one member

   Making his own directly in disposable plates for introduction into the hive

   Upside-down.  Some members noted that willow trees have blossomed in

   Their areas, after which their bees stopped taking any sugar-based food.

   All noted that bees of course prefer natural sources of nectar to anything

   We provide them.  Another member showed the club a pollen feeder she’d

   Made, based on seeing Billy Davis use a similar device with his bees, and noted

   That she goes through rather large quantities of pollen -- the bees love it -- but

   That her bees are not touching the syrup she provides, since the willow and maple bloomed.

   The member recommended putting such a pollen feeder about 20’ from the hive(s)

   And noted that they can be used all year long as a supplement.

   A couple members discussed putting a mix of drawn-comb frames and

   Frames with no comb into supers, on the theory that this time of year bees might

   Fill drawn-comb frames with sugar water, and giving them some combless frames

   Gives them something to do.  

   Several other items discussed but too quickly for the club secretary to get

   Details down!

   A club member who makes candles from wax cappings and splits the sales profit with veterans

   Groups described his work and raffled off two candles (donation) to the group, one

   Of a bee and another of a lighthouse.  Both were made with silicone molds, and

   He described a variety of scents he uses for his candles.  The one with the bee

   (I’ve neglected to write down the source of that scent) was particularly nice!

   The member was encouraged to bring more of his candles to the club for sale,

   Both to sell to members and to support his own support of veterans.

  Another member brought bags of powdered sugar for any interested, explaining

  That he had a lot of it ?fallen from a truck, I think? For members to use in

  Rolling bees to check for mites or whatever apiary use they might wish.  

           

7. Next meeting: Thursday, April 21st,  Bank of Romney Community Center.  All

    were reminded that if Hampshire County Schools are closed, our meeting is

    cancelled, and February may be the most likely month for this to occur.

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Christa & Larry Lemons would bring snacks,

     No volunteers thus far for drinks.

9. Presentation: Undecided

10. Meeting adjourned at about 9:00pm and refreshments provided by

      group members were enjoyed.

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

Kelly Kipp
President
happehoneybeefarm@aol.com
94 Back Road
Lost City, WV 26810
304-616-7879

Vice President
(vacant, please let the

group know if you’re

interested in helping out)

Kirby Vining
Secretary
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Treasurer
(vacant, Kirby Vining

is acting Treasurer.

Let us know if you’d

like to consider filling

in as Treasurer).

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

February 18, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: President Kelly Kipp brought the meeting to order about 6:55pm.  

    Total of thirteen persons in attendance, two for the first time and one who was the orginal founder of

    the Hampshire County Beekeepers Association (our group’s old name) rejoined us.

   

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the January minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Accepted by vote.

   

    The Secretary noted with regret that the PHBA has received the resignation of the Vice President,

    Charles Boland, and the Treasurer, Sherryrobin Boland.  Kirby will serve as acting Treasurer and

    volunteers for both positions are encouraged.  

4. Treasurer Report: Acting Treasurer Kirby Vining reported, based on materials provided

     by out-going Treasurer Sherryrobin Boland, that there is  $1,019.70 in the PHBA account,

     including two new memberships paid and one disbursement of $72 to the WVBA, passing along

     to the WVBA that portion of 12 new and renewed membership fees. One check for $22.12,

     noted in the January minutes, has not cleared yet.  

5. Old Business:

    The president expressed apologies and regrets for an incident at the January

    meeting after which a visitor became upset and left.  The president expressed

    deep personal concern at this and said that we need to know

    more about how we can help vets, a feeling widely shared in the room, beekeeping

    itself  in this case perhaps being the easy part, and said we’d like some help in this

    because we want to help those who have risked their lives to serve our country.  

    Discussion of swarm recovery and bee removal: the names and contacts of three

    persons were apparently provided to 911 and the local fire department.  

6. New Business:

 

    Two letters from Paul Cappas, WVBA president, presented in brief form at the meeting

    (the full text of both letters is on the PHBA Facebook page).  

   

   (NOTE: THE FOLLOWING BRIEF NOTES ARE AN ATTEMPT TO

    CAPTURE THE BROAD RANGE OF TOPICS DISCUSSED AT THE MEETING,

    BUT FULL DETAILS OF THESE TECHNIQUES WOULD REQUIRE MORE

    THOROUGH DESCRIPTION THAN MY NOTES CONTAIN. SO THESE

    NOTES ARE A SAMPLING OF METHODS AND MATERIALS USED BY

    MEMBERS SUCCESSFULLY IN THEIR OWN APIARIES.)

    Discussion of so-called ankle-biter queens, many questions about how they do

    what they do, question about whether any other aspects of hive behavior with

    these queens are different, or not, compared with Carnolian and Italian and

    Russian queens and hive activity we’re more familiar with.

    Discussion of the fact that a so-called walk-away split is easy, but it takes

    time for the bees to raise a new queen from scratch.

    The Forward Looking Infra-red (FLIR) camera app that is available for iPhones,

    discussed at the January meeting,  is available in at least one android product,

    not an app but an installed feature on the phone.  Steve Martin just posted to

    our Facebook page a bit of info on that.

    Discussion of what members will do this coming weekend when 60 degree weather

    is expected.  Feed the bees is the short answer.  One will be feeding 1:1 ratio

    sugar/water mixture, spread loose pollen, others spreading a pollen substitute.

    One member said that he doesn’t like the various patties that are available

    because they attract hive beetles in his experience, so prefers feeding powders.

    Discussion of making fondant, one recommending mixing pollen powder and

    Honey-B-Healthy and Amino-B in with the fondant.  One fondant recipe that was

    mentioned is: 12 cups sugar, 3 cups water, 1 tsp. vinegar, then make a paste

    with Honey-B-Healthy.  Cooking temperature mentioned was 235 degrees, and

    suggestion of making this in paper plates for insertion directly into the hive, while

    mention was made of using parchment paper for the same purpose. Some mentioned

    mixing corn syrup with their fondant recipes to keep it from hardening, noting that

    the bees seem to prefer a softer product. A 1:1 sugar/water ratio, it was noted,

    works out to 8 lbs. of sugar to one gallon of water.

    Brief discussion of the use of wintergreen and cinnamon to keep hive beetles

    out, one mentioned planting spearmint and/or peppermint under the hives to

    keep beetles away.  One mentioned that cinnamon keeps ants out, but might

    be found offensive to bees.  

   The president noted the availability of basswood tree saplings from Michigan,

   3’ trees from Cold Stream Farm.  These trees flower in 5-7 years.  

   Discussion of various kinds of feeders, some using internal feeders instead of

   top feeders, describing one of these as having little ladders down which the

   bees crawl and thereby preventing some of the drowning that occurs with

   the more common top feeder.  These little ladders apparently have small

   floats and thus keep the ladder on top of the sugar water mixture.  

   Oxalic acid and equipment for applying it is available from Brushy Mountain

   in Pennsylvania -- apparently the only local source for this equipment other

   than a firm called ?Bellion? (sp.?).  Use of oxalic acid to treat for mites is

   legal now all over the U.S.  Brief discussion of whether to use

   oxalic acid in vapor form (very effective, but the vapor is quite dangerous,

   Brushy Mountain has vaporizing equipment) or drenching/dribbling (this can kill

   queens but several persons said this is even more effective than vaporizing

   at killing mites).  One user said he does this treatment three times a year and

   noted that it seems to kill hive beetles as well, and recommended treating

   when there was little or no brood in the hive.  The cost of the dribble method

   is just pennies per hive and others recommended doing this treatment in

   the spring and fall but not in between.  Vaporizing equipment is a bit

   more, $100-$150 was I believe the range of prices, other than home-made

   equipment.

   Two persons said that they tilt their hives forward just a bit, ¾” or so, to

   help any condensation roll out the front of the hive.  Water on the floor

   of our hives is a cause of unhealthy conditions.

   One beekeeper said that he clips one half of one wing of the queen so that

   she can’t fly, thus any swarm would be on the ground in front of the hive.

   Clipping any more than part of one wing apparently causes the hive

   to kill the queen because she’s unrecognizable as their own.  

   Paul Cappas, WVBA president, brought to our attention a queen rearing

   class in Elkins on February 22nd, and at least one club member expressed

   interest in attending.  Details in the “Breaking News” article from Paul on

   the PHBA Facebook page.  

   One person offered to volunteer to share his methods of queen rearing perhaps

   on one Saturday in the future, saying that he planned to start raising queens in

   March so that they’re ready to fly and mate as early as possible.  As soon as

   the locust is in bloom you can raise queens, and they’ll mate as soon as it gets

   warm.  Five days to two weeks after mating they’ll start laying eggs.  

7. Next meeting: Thursday, March 17th,  Bank of Romney Community Center.  All

    were reminded that if Hampshire County Schools are closed, our meeting is

    cancelled, and February may be the most likely month for this to occur.

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Undecided

9. Presentation: Undecided

10. Meeting adjourned at about 9:00pm and refreshments provided by

      group members were enjoyed.

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association (PHBA)
www.potomachighlandsbeekeepers.weebly.com

PHBA Meeting Summaries 2016

Kelly Kipp
President
happehoneybeefarm@aol.com
94 Back Road
Lost City, WV 26810
304-616-7879

Charles Boland
Vice President
wvchairwright@gmail.com
P.O. Box 435

Springfield, WV  26763

304-822-7505

Kirby Vining
Secretary
secretary.phba@gmail.com
16 Franklin St NE
Washington, DC 20002
202-213-2690

Sherryrobin Boland
Treasurer
sbstrega694@yahoo.com
P.O. Box 435

Springfield, WV  26763

304-822-7505

Meeting Summary

Potomac Highlands Beekeepers Association Meeting

January 21, 2016, 7-9pm, Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney

1. Opening and Welcome: President Kelly Kipp brought the meeting to order about 7:10pm.  

    Total of eleven persons in attendance, two for the first time.

2.  Guest speaker: none.

3. Secretary Report: Secretary Kirby Vining noted that the December minutes have

    been circulated and posted on Facebook and requested acceptance of those

    minutes if no changes were proposed.  Accepted by acclaim.

4. Treasurer Report: Treasurer Sherryrobin Boland reported $1,081.80 in the PHBA account, including one new

     membership paid and one disbursement for $22.12 to help a club member attend the Billy Davis Sustainable

     Beekeeping workshop in Purcellville, VA recently.

5. Old Business: Five confirmations were received that annual apiary registrations

     filed by our club had been received and processed by the WV Dept. Agriculture.  

     The Treasurer is keeping track of apiaries we have registered with the state. Registration

     is not mandatory, though reimbursement for bear damage to hives does require registration.  

     MD and PA require registration, and there was discussion that it would be good to mandate

     it in WV so that the state has some record of how many hives are out there and where they are.

     The powerpoint that Billy Davis is producing in conjunction with his sustainable

     beekeeping project is not yet completed.  

     Concerning the vets to beekeeping program(s), Charles said that about 260 persons

     have been through Ed Forney’s program in WV and efforts are being made to match

     up these graduates with local bee clubs.  Nine WVBA member clubs have been

     contacted in this effort so far.  Note was made that Ed Forney is responsible for this

     program east of the Mississippi.  Note was also made that there is a separate Boots

     to Bees program in Wheeling, WV, separate apparently because of the extreme

     distance of the people in that program from the rest of the state.

6. New Business: Discussion of the disappearance of some of our bee colonies.

    Kelly lost 16 hives of bees and sent samples of comb from some of those hives to Beltsville for

    analysis.  Beltsville found high quantities of toxins, suggestive of herbicide

    application locally, but only on three of the hives. So while that may be an

    apparent contributing factor, the other colony losses are apparently due to

    something else.  Two companies in our area have contracts to spray herbicide

    on roadsides and in power line cuts and suspicion is that that may be where the

    toxins are coming from.  However, one of the two companies contacts locals before

    spraying to ask about potential damage to crops, livestock (including of course bees).

    A theory (theory only) discussed was that the extraordinarily warm weather we

    had in November and December caused a bit of a pollen flow -- bees were seen

    returning to hives with pollen -- but perhaps because there was no nectar available

    the bees left in search of it.  There was also discussion of our need to feed our bees

    as soon as warm weather returns because of the brood laid during the late warm

    spell.  

    Kelly and Charles spoke of using an I-phone 5 app called a Forward Looking

    Infra-red camera (FLIR) to check where the clusters of bees are in a hive,

    a non-invasive way of inspecting especially in winter.  They noted that the queen

    is readily visible because her body temperature is hotter than the other

    bees and she shows up white, inspiring several to remark at what a great

    advantage this would be to locate the queen or queens, or her absence in

    a hive in a non-invasive way.  There is work on producing this app for an

    android phone but it’s not available yet.  Billy Davis has a FLIR camera,

    which costs about $250 apparently. The app is of course much cheaper,

    apparently about $150 or so.

    Brief discussion of the observation that starvation and moisture are main

    enemies in trying to keep a hive alive through the winter.  

    Swarm recovery roster: Charles said that in previous years the club has

    given 911 a list of club members for swarm recovery.  However, this

    year he wants to provide a list only of persons able and willing to do so,

    which, based on the meeting, may be Charles and Kelly, with others

    interested in helping out.  Charles also suggested giving this list to

    the fire department as that is the government entity often contacted

    directly by the public in this kind of emergency.  Note was made that

    often yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps are mistaken for bees,

    in which case the homeowner can be advised either to exterminate them

    themselves or contact a private exterminator, as swarm recovery is intended

    to capture bees for use and propagation and these other insects have no

    such use.  

    Group discussion on goals for the new year:  Kelly indicated that he intends

    to try to raise new queens from a very productive feral queen he has.  

    Discussion included the new “ankle-biter” queens and questions about

    how to breed those, given that we have little or no control over the drones

    our queens will mate with following the artificial insemination that

    produces them.  Careful splits of hives and careful production of nucs from

    brood obtained from desirable queens was discussed as among the best ways

    we can try to produce our own queens, suited to this climate, and avoid buying

    queens that are not suited to our environment.  The mite cycle and the 28 days

    that are required to build a queen from scratch were seen as obstacles slowing

    down this process in our climate.  Brief discussion of mite control: Kelly said

    that his positive experience with oxalic acid vaporization method (100% mite free hives)

    was so inspiring that he’s planning to do that and no longer use the commercial

    mite-control strips.  (This method was the subject of a talk late last year).  

    Kirby presented the text of a letter from the WVBA Education Committee which

    seeks to match clubs with expertise and skill in various aspects of beekeeping

    with other clubs seeking a guest speaker on those topics.  A separate part of

    the program would try to send out experts on queen grafting to the three

    WVBA regional areas once this year. The club members present expressed interest

    and so Kirby suggested putting this information on the club Facebook and/or web

    page and will coordinate with Charles and Steve to do so.  Kirby indicated that this

    is just starting, a lot of clubs don’t meet during the winter and so will likely not address

    this until March or so.  A likely outcome would be a spreadsheet or similar matrix

    listing the skills and expertise available, and a separate part where a member club

    could list the desired guest speaker topics to fill, and match them up.  However, this

    level of detail, and WVBA funding, are not yet complete.

7. Next meeting: Thursday, February 18th,  Bank of Romney Community Center.  All

    were reminded that if Hampshire County Schools are closed, our meeting is

    cancelled, and February may be the most likely month for this to occur.

8.  Refreshments for the next meeting: Charles and SherryRobin offered to bring drinks,  

     Kelly offered to bring some snacks, others welcome to contribute!

9. Presentation: Suggested general discussion of how our bees are making it through

      the winter, and the Trees for Bees program.

10. Meeting adjourned at about 9:30pm and refreshments provided by

      group members were enjoyed.

Prepared by: Kirby Vining, PHBA Secretary