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Message from the Queen Bee
Beekeepers of Volusia County FL Club Officers:
President: Nick Johnston
Vice President: Geordie Rahaim
Treasurer: Timothy Blodgett
Secretary: Rhonda Rector
Website: Curt Riley
This year is already BOOMING. I’ve had 4 swarms already, so keep an eye in your hives for swarm cells and manage accordingly. We have a change of plans for the meeting this Wednesday, so mark your calendars. We had planned to have a demonstration by Donna Athearn about cosmetics from the apiary, but instead we will be hearing from our State Bee Inspector for our district, Lisa Reynes. She will be talking about swarm prevention and legally recognized and best practices for varroa mite treatments, so have your questions ready for her. For those of you who don’t know her, she has a wealth of knowledge that she shares FREELY. She sees a lot of hives every day and can give you valuable insight on what is going on in your hives if you need help. That’s her job – a government employee that gets paid to give back to the (registered) beekeeping community.
Touching base from last meeting, I want to remind everyone that the Deland Wildflower Festival will be next weekend, on Saturday, March 26, 2022. We will be setting up at 7 AM and the festival begins at 9AM and will go until 3PM. WE NEED HELP from the club to support and promote club membership! Remember that the more we grow the club, the more fun we can all have, and the more opportunity we get from people learning new skills and finding their niche. (There is a lot of untapped opportunity in the beekeeping world). This is one of the biggest events in the county and there will be a lot of foot traffic.
For those that were with us in spirit last month, we had our planning meeting to set up what will be taking place in and around the meetings for the year to come. For the meetings within the next few months, we have this month’s talk about Swarming by Lisa Reynes, April will be about making splits by Marlin Athearn and a day in the bee yard and member swap meet at their place. The following month, May, is another day in the bee yard (DITBY) with Larry, details to follow. With the change of plans for March’s meeting and Lisa Covering Swarm control (the planned topic for May) I will schedule another talk for us to enjoy and gain valuable insight to for better hive planning for the months to follow (June, July, August).
This past meeting, we had 30 people as part of our meeting, 26 in attendance, and 4 on zoom. I was so glad to see everyone make it. If you missed it, Bee College was this past weekend (March 11-12) and it was a BLAST. I will touch on some of the big things I learned and welcome commentary from other members of the club to share what they learned and thought to be most interesting.
If you haven’t signed up for a committee, please consider signing up for one, as this has been a great, proven way to make the club run smoothly, increase involvement, and create opportunity. Sign up sheets will be available at the meeting in the back.
FYI, we have permission to do “business” for club related purposes within the club at the AG center, so if you have anything to sell that you don’t use anymore, you are free to bring it and offer it for sale, or for donation to raise money for the club.
April DITBY Athearn, Splits – Marlin
May DITBY Hurt, Ag meeting – Meeting details TBA
June Apitherapy – Breathing Beehive Air
July Queen Rearing – Speaker TBA
August DITBY Athearn, Hive Detective – Marlin
September Fair Materials/Entry Forms Due – Meeting details TBA
October Fair Prep – Meeting Details TBA
November Volusia County Fair – 10 days
December Christmas party – TBA
The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 PM
Helpful tip: If you want to hone a new skill in the apiary, consider trying sections of that practice. For example, I have been wanting to get better at queen production, but haven’t grafted in a while (a necessary step for production). Since it is swarm season, I cut swarm cells and put them in queen mating nucs. I practiced a portion of the whole procedure and got a better handle on one step of the process. Try thinking of ways you can do that in your own apiary and beekeeping management practices. And remember, you only gain a new skill by not reading about it and watching, but by actually DOING. Have fun, y’all.
I can’t wait to see you all at the next meeting. A zoom link will be sent out for those that can’t attend the March meeting one day prior as another quick reminder of the meeting. We are in for a treat and I look forward to learning with all of you soon.