* The regularly planned meeting of the ACBA will be held on November 8, 2018.
* The meeting will be held at the Ashe County Agricultural Center Office, located at 134 Government Center Drive in Jefferson, NC.
* As with prior years, the last meeting will be our annual potluck...
* Please let Helen Baldwin know that you’re coming (or that you’re not), how many will be in your party, and what dish you plan to bring. The club will provide smoked brisket, but others have brought chicken and fish dishes, and no one complained! Food items to date include:
- Smoked brisket
- Scalloped potatoes
- Loaf of bread
- Apple, pecan, pumpkin pies
- Bottled water
- Sweet iced tea (individual bottles)
* We have plenty of bottled water, and someone is bringing bottles of sweet tea. If you’d like to bring soft drinks, please consider either cans/small bottles and some sort of bucket/container of ice to set them in, unless they’re already cold. For large bottles (1- or 2-liter), please also bring ice and cups if possible; otherwise, let Helen know so we’ll have them.
* Several members are waiting to hear what’s needed before making a commitment, but suggestions include mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, potato salad, green bean/stuffing casserole, and pimiento cheese. Burp.
* We've always ended up with a table full of scrumptious goodies, so come hungry! If needed, there is a stove in the kitchen that can be used to re-heat items if necessary.
* Other important news for the meeting:
* HIDDEN HAPPINESS BEE FARM/WINTERIZING ITEMS. H.S. Greene will be bringing the following items if anyone needs them: winter patties, mouse guards, oxalic acid, and vaporizers. If you have questions for H.S. and/or would like to ask about other items, don’t hesitate to call him at 336-957-0275.
- As of this update, we have had two volunteers ask to fill the positions of Treasurer and Vice-President. We are thrilled but still need to replace several other positions as well: President, Secretary, and three board members.
- The President’s primary job is to facilitate the meetings - he/she does NOT need to be an expert on bees and is not responsible for planning the programs! Guest speakers and fellow beekeepers in attendance will help answer questions that might pop up, and if necessary, a group email can be sent out for input to unanswered questions. Maggie McClelland is our Program Chairperson; while her primary duty is to line up speakers and programs, she will welcomes input from the board to ensure that the year’s agenda is as beneficial as possible to our members and the bees of Ashe. Basically, the meeting includes a welcome, announcements, introduction of the speaker, door prize drawings, and a reminder to leave name tags on the table upon leaving :)
- The duties of the Vice-President and Secretary can be modified if desired to fit strengths and interests of the new officers. As Vice-President, some of what I’ve done might be better suited for the Secretary, or maybe some tasks can be divvied up among the board members if it’s determined to be beneficial for any reason. It’s not hard, and everyone on the board has been agreeable to do whatever!
- Doug Ehrhardt, outgoing Secretary, takes notes during the meetings and tweaks the web site; he has stressed that he will remain a resource for his replacement for the web site work, which he says is EASY. He’ll also retain the ability to work on it himself if necessary.
- It’s an unfortunate coincidence that the terms of all three board members (1-, 2-, and 3-year positions) expire this year. According to the by-laws, the primary duty of these three members is to go over the books at the end of the year. That could be done over a cup of coffee :) The board members can likely be given some other tasks as well to balance out the board members’ responsibilities, but that can be determined by the new board.
- Because most of us also juggle myriad other responsibilities, we’ve been able to hold the number of actual board meetings to a minimum - one (usually in February) before the meetings resume in March to determine the direction of the year, and maybe one more during the year… or not. Most board business has been handled sufficiently via email; for anyone interested in participating who does NOT have email, phone calls will suffice just fine. This is a flexible group! Don’t be concerned that your work schedule and/or other commitments might interfere; we’ve only had all members of the board in attendance for just a handful of board and/or general meetings over the past few years.
- In looking at the Watauga bee group’s web site to confirm a new meeting night this month due to the election, I happened to see this statement and decided to share it here because it also fits our group: Remember this is YOUR club and your participation is needed and appreciated. Think how you can be involved. It is YOUR club. If you don’t help with running it, then who will? Don’t just sit and watch; try to make a difference. If only a few people do all the work, they will eventually get tired; if you want the club to continue and to thrive, please consider giving just a little time and effort to the club to keep it viable!
* Thanks in advance for making sure ACBA continues to assist local beekeepers and our bees however possible by helping on the board! IMPORTANT: We must have a board in place to submit to NCSBA by sometime in December. Without a board, there will be no ACBA.
* With the track of hurricane Florence poised to make a significant impact on North Carolina, 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 and share this link: https://entomology.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/09/protective-measures-of-beehives-during-hurricanes-2/
* 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.
* The regular meeting of the ACBA was held on August 9, 2018. The meeting outline, below, is avalable as a downloadable file.
* Jim Rash (shown right), one of our members, discussed winterizing. Before the meeting at 7:00, pizza and delicious snacks courtesy of Maggie McClelland were enjoyed by all!
* After the meeting, the following were door prizes awarded...
- Jim DeJuneas - liquid soap (donated by Tina Roberts, Orianna Naturals)
- Johnny Parsons - 2 bar soaps (donated by Tina Roberts, Orianna Naturals)
- ACBA cap - Deborah Baldridge
- ACBA t-shirt - Greg Lyons
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.
An Intermediate Beekeeping Class started on September 10th. Classes are held at Wilkes Community College/Ashe. Classes from 6-9 PM each Monday. For more information on ways to register, call Becky Greer - 336-903-3117 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The referenced North Carolina Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom program curriculum, which can be opened using the below, downloadable file, was provided by:
Extension Agent, Agriculture
N.C. Cooperative Extension
Ashe County Center
134 Government Circle, Suite 202
Jefferson, NC 28640
(336) 846-5882 (fax)
* There will be a Beginning Beekeeping class at Wilkes Community College/Ashe campus beginning this Monday (3-19) from 6-9 PM.
* Shelley Felder (The Honey Hole) is teaching the class every Monday for 6 weeks.
* Need more info?? Call 336-846-3900.