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Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association

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Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association Newsletter

ISSUE NO. 15 - JANUARY 2008

The President Speaks
By: Loyd Luna

One of the highlights of my beekeeping year was to participate in the Scale Hive Measurements of the Honey Bee Nectar Flow. Those of you who attended our February 20, 2007 meeting heard Dr. Wayne Esaias, of Howard County, talk about this groundbreaking program.

A fellow beekeeper, friend, and neighbor, Mike Superczynski, got me a platform scale at a farm sale on the Eastern Shore at practically no cost. I placed a hive on it on March 22, 2007. Not much happened until late April when nectar slowly started to come in. Black Locust opened on May 7th and the ladies brought in 3 pounds on May 8th and 6 pounds on May 9th. Tulip Poplar opened on May 10th and Holly on May 11th and it was off to the races! The biggest one- day gain was 7 pounds. The flow petered out about May 25th. However, on May 20th at about 11:30, I observed lots of bees leaving my backyard apiary and rushed to get my camera and binoculars. By the time I returned, the hive weight was down by 6 pounds! No sign of a swarm anywhere. I bemoaned my mismanagement to your faithful Treasurer who offered little solace. As was my practice, I checked the hive weight late in the day, only to discover that the 6-pound loss had been recovered! The ladies returned and produced a decent crop of comb honey. You can learn more about this at http://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sites.htm and see a photo of my hive and the charted data by clicking on Scale Hive Data and Arnold. Wayne tells me that he has just received approval for a three year funding extension from the Federal government. He is looking for more people to participate in the project. Why don’t you sign up? You will be glad you did.

We had a very successful showing at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium. Thanks to our volunteers who worked on Wednesday, August 29th – Ann Westergard, David Crump, Janet Mackey Dwight Fielder, Bart Smith, Pete Mitchell, Alicia Hardisky, Allen Beadle, Doris Luna, Kathleen Grant, and Dick Van Meter, we collected $434.69 as our share of the honey sales. We also collected another $100 for the best association entry titled: Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association – Comb Honey – A Dying Art?

The County Fair was quite successful as well, thanks to the superb effort by the Chairperson, Amy Jameson, and more than 30 volunteers. Details are short since we were in Croatia and Slovenia looking at honey bees and other attractions.

2008 AABA SCHEDULE
By: Dr. Bart Smith, USDA
Chairman - Programs

We meet on the third Tuesday of every other month, starting in February, at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. The schedule and speakers follow:

Tuesday, February 19: 7:00 P.M.

“Making Nucs for Profit and Pleasure: Jump Starting Your Colonies in the Late Winter for Dividing and/or Honey Production in the Spring”–Bill Troup.

Bill (and wife Nancy) Troup are owners of Honeyfield Apiaries in Williamsport, Maryland, a business that produces and sells nucs, beekeeping supplies, products of the hive, and provides limited pollination services. Both Bill and Nancy are certified Master Beekeepers by the Eastern Apicultural Society. Bill has extensive beekeeping experience that includes maintaining 200 colonies and inspecting bees for the Maryland Department of Agriculture on a part-time basis. Bill is an expert on splitting colonies to make increases and prevent swarming, while still producing honey. Bill and Nancy’s future goal is to commercially raise local queens on a small scale.

“Panel of Experts”

Get answers from the experts about how to manage your bees or deal with any other issue regarding beekeeping. (Time permitting.)

TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2008, 6:30 - 8:30 P.M.

“Open Hive Demo”

Help examine the honey bee colonies at Arlington Echo. You will be able to see the progress of overwintered colonies, and new colonies that were established 10 days earlier from packages during the Short Course.

“Spring Beekeeping Management” – David Smith

David started keeping bees in 1946 and won his first blue ribbon the following year. His time in the nuclear submarine service hindered his pursuit of beekeeping, but he resumed in earnest in 1980. As an Eastern Apicultural Society certified Master Beekeeper and past president of the Maryland State Beekeeper’s Association, he will be sharing some of his views of beekeeping.

TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008, 6:30 - 8:30 P.M. “Open Hive Demo”

Examine the honey bee colonies at Arlington Echo and observe the results of the May honey flow. Also, see the continued progress of new colonies that were established from packages during the Short Course.

“Back-up Pollinators: Bumble Bees and Other Solitary Bees” – Mike Embrey

Mike is a member of the entomology department at the University of Maryland where he works on developing integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for crops and bee pests, and conducts beekeeping extension work. He has extensive experience managing bees on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and in other parts of the world. Mike has been doing honey bee consulting work internationally since 2001 for Winrock International and ACDI/VOCA in the countries of Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia, and Turkmenistan. His latest assignment has involved working with Bangladesh beekeepers, teaching them modern methods of beekeeping, hygienic production of honey, and marketing.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2008, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. “Marketing Products of the Hive – Inside Tips from an Expert” – Lori Titus

Lori is a veteran beekeeper with about 20 colonies in Howard County. She manages the family operation called Bee Folks that has 25 seasonal employees. Lori specializes in varietal honey and has her own line of soaps, hand creams, and lip balms. She currently markets her products via the Internet and at the Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida Renaissance Festivals. Last year, sales topped a quarter million dollars! Lori hopes to someday rival Burt's Bees in both size and household name. During her talk, Lori will discuss how to find your own niche market for selling honey, beeswax, and value-added products. The information provided will be useful for everyone, no matter if you want to make a few dollars, make lots of money, or simply want to make a nice presentation of your honey.

“Panel of Experts”

Get answers from the experts about how to manage your bees or deal with any other issue regarding beekeeping. (Time permitting.)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2008: “Maryland State Beekeeper’s Association Annual Meeting and Honey Show”

The MSBA will hold their annual meeting and honey show at the Maryland Department of Agriculture Headquarters, 50 Harry Truman Parkway, Annapolis, Maryland. The meeting will include national speakers that will present expert advice on beekeeping and related topics. Additionally, the program will include a honey and honey cookery show with entries from beekeepers and the general public. Members and non-members are welcome to attend so don’t miss this top-notch meeting. Additional information about the MSBA and future meetings can be found at http://www.msbeea.org/main/home.html

2008 SHORT COURSE By: Loyd Luna

This will be our twelfth year to offer a Short Course--Beekeeping, A Honey of A Hobby. Last year 50 people completed the course. The fees for this year's course remain the same -- $25 for individuals, $30 for family, and $5 for students.

Here is the schedule:

Session 1 (March 11) - Introduction – Peter Quinton; Bee Equipment Familiarization – Dave Polk; Honey Bee Biology - Rick Derrick.

Session 2 (March 18) - Spring and Summer Management - Peter Quinton.

Session 3 (March 25) - Fall and Winter Management - Steve McDaniel.

Session 4 (April 1) - Maintaining Healthy Bees - Bart Smith; Nectar Sources - Bart Smith.

Session 5 (April 5) - Honey Extracting - Jon Clulow; Products of the Hive - Bart Smith; Equipment Assembly - Free State Bees; Hive Management/Manipulation - Bart Smith; Installing Packaged Bees - Jon Clulow.

An application form is below.

Sessions 1 - 4 are 7 -9 P.M.; Session 5 is 9 A.M. - 1 P.M.

The course coordinator is Loyd Luna (410) 757-5797; wlluna@verizon.net.

FONDANT FOR FEEDING HONEY BEES By Loyd Luna

Because of the drought, there was no Fall honey flow. I fed my colonies sugar syrup from the end of August until about Thanksgiving. Then on New Years day, they were out of food. So I began feeding fondant to keep them from starving. They can’t break the cluster to take sugar syrup when it is below freezing. But fondant can be placed on the frames right over the cluster giving them easy access to food. There seem to be as many recipes for making fondant as there are cooks, or beekeepers. After trying many of them, and failing more often than not, I’ve settled on one that worked for me in early January 2008. Some recipes call for corn syrup, cream of tartar, and other ingredients, all of which are objectionable to purists or political correctors. Vinegar, which is volatized in the heating process, is a replacement, which purportedly chemically aids the process.

Here is my preferred recipe:

Bring one quart of water to a boil in a large pot. Turn off the heat and add five pounds of granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon vinegar for each pound of sugar (1 ¼ teaspoons), stirring constantly. When it is completely dissolved, bring the water back to a boil and keep stirring until boiling commences. Boil without stirring for three minutes, covered. Insert a candy thermometer and boil uncovered until 250F is reached. Then place the pot in a sink of cold water. Use a small electric hand mixer to stir the molten candy, measuring the temperature as it cools. At about 190F pour the mixture into rimmed metal cookie sheets, which are lined with wax paper. Don’t use glass containers since it is more difficult to remove. The flexibility of metal makes it easier. Allow it to cool undisturbed; when it is firm to the touch you can score it with a knife to permit easy handling and storage. Place it between sheets of wax paper in a zip-loc bag and fondant will keep almost indefinitely in the freezer.

MSBA WINTER MEETING

The Maryland State Beekeepers Association Winter meeting & Honey Show will be held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD on February 16th. Refreshments are available at 8:30 A.M. and the program begins at 9 A.M. Dr. Gordon Wardell, USDA Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, will talk about Honey Bee Nutrition and the development of the MegaBee Food Supplement. There will be other speakers as well. It is a great learning opportunity.

TREASURERS REPORT FOR 2007 By Doris Luna - Treasurer

We had $1,806.49 in the bank on 1/1/07. Income from 65 of our 125 member dues ($3.00 per annum) was $195, profit from the Short Course was $386, honey sales from the Maryland Stare Fair was $434.69 and $100 prize money from the Maryland State Fair for a total of $1,115.69.

We spent money for speakers fees, refreshments, postage and printing, door prizes, engraving, and office supplies. Total expenses: $1,002.12. The bank balance at the end of the year was $1,920.06, which included some prepayments for the 2008 Short Course.

ELECTION YEAR!

While I doubt that you will hear of much campaigning by these candidates, at our February meeting, you will be asked to cast your ballot for or against the following nice folks who have agreed to stand for office (some reluctantly).

President – Loyd Luna Vice President – Peter Quinton Treasurer – Doris Luna Secretary – Donna McCoy Chairlady, Publicity – Marie Lovelace Chairman, Programs – Dr. Bart Smith Chairlady, Competition – Amy Jameson Chairman, Awards – Dwight Fielder Chairman, Refreshments – Pete Mitchell

The floor will be open for other nominations, and we hope for dozens.

HONEYED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH BASIL By Doris Luna - Treasurer

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each) 1/3 cup honey 3 tablespoons lemon juice Zest of 1 lemon ¼ cup (packed) shredded basil leaves Pinch cayenne pepper

Place the chicken breasts in a stainless steel or glass ovenproof dish. Mix the honey, lemon juice and zest, basil and cayenne and pour over chicken. Marinate in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Preheat broiler or outdoor grill and grill breasts over medium heat, basting with the marinade for 4 minutes. Turn breasts and cook briefly until juice runs clear and breasts are no longer pink when cut.

MDA OPEN HOUSE

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will hold an open house on March 29, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at their headquarters building located at 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401. There will be something for visitors of all ages. Each division or section will have a display with a hands-on demonstration of the function of that unit. There will be many commercial and private exhibits that will be promoting a large variety of agriculture commodities. The open house will include a petting area of animals for the little ones, food booths for the hungry, antique tractors, and many other displays.

The Apiary Section will be very active with an observation hive, a bee swarm (weather permitting), and a honey extracting demonstration throughout the day. The bee dog, trained to detect American foulbrood in colonies, will also be available.

The Maryland State Beekeeper’s Association will have a table in the exhibit room, promoting beekeeping with video's and handouts.

BEE RESEARCH LABORATORY OPEN HOUSE Friday, June 27, 2008

The Bee Research Laboratory will host an open house to highlight honey bee research activities conducted at the nation’s capital by the USDA Agriculture Research Service. Additional information can be found at http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/News.htm?modecode=12-75-05-00 or by contacting Bart.Smith@ars.usda.gov

BEEKEEPING - A HONEY OF A HOBBY

FOR: Anyone interested in bees.

SPONSORED BY: Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center Maryland Department of Agriculture

PLACE: DATES: Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center March 11, 2008 - 7:00 to 9:00 PM 975 Indian Landing Road March 18, 2008 - 7:00 to 9:00 PM Millersville, MD 21108 March 25, 2008 - 7:00 to 9:00 PM April 1, 2008 - 7:00 to 9:00 PM April 5, 2008 - 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

FEES: $25.00 SINGLE $30.00 FAMILY $5.00 STUDENT

OPTIONAL TEXT - BEEKEEPING FOR DUMMIES - $20.00

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Loyd Luna - (410) 757-5797

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: February 28, 2008

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A FIVE SESSION COURSE; YOU SHOULD

PLAN TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Complete and return the application below. Name: ____________________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________________ City: ____________________ State _________ ZIP _______________ Telephone: Home ( ) ________________ Work ( ) ____________ E-Mail ____________________________________________________ I want: Text _____ book(s) @ $20.00 each - Total _____ Course Fee: Individual @ $25.00 each _____ Family @ $30.00 each _____Total number & names of attendees ____ Student @ $5.00 each _____ ___________________________ Grand Total Paid: $ _____ ___________________________

Make checks payable to AABA and return the application and check to: Doris Luna, Treasurer - AABA, 754 Carlisle Drive, Arnold, MD 21012 by February 28, 2008.

BEEKEEPING - A HONEY OF A HOBBY