Hi folks–We will be meeting this Wednesday the 8th at 6:30 for our business meeting and brain dump, and will have a discussion at 7 which carries forward our April agenda, which had to be cancelled. The topic is controlling varroa mites, and especially the various ways to use oxalic acid. Members should bring any materials or tools they want to explain, if possible. As always, coffee and desserts. At the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd in Auburn. See you there! Bill
Friends–I have had an issue with my hip replacement, and will not be able to get up to the West Auburn church to open the vestry building for tonight’s meeting. We will plan to postpone our agenda topic on Oxalic acid for a month. Bill
At our March meeting, after a wonderful Beekeepers’ Potluck Supper (eat your hearts out, those who could not attend), we talked about the various ways to administer oxalic acid as a treatment for varroa mites. Several members of our ABC group are using oxalic acid now, and several others are interested in using it. We decided to have a home-grown meeting for April, with those using oxalic acid bringing samples of their equipment for a “dry run” show and tell, and discussion of the various approaches that we have tried in recent years to keep varroa mites under the best control we can.
As usual. we will start with a “business meeting” and brain dump on general topics at 6:30, with our discussion of administration of oxalic acid first, and then any discussion of other forms of mite control.
As always, coffee and dessert will be supplied, and by then the West Auburn Congregational Church parking lot should be mostly dried out.
Give me a call or email with any questions–576-4497 or email@example.com.
Two or three times over the years we have had a “Beekeepers’ Potluck Supper” for one of our meetings, with a request that people bring a dish in which honey is an ingredient. So we will have another Beekeepers’ Potluck for our March 13th meeting, at 6:30 PM in the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd in Auburn. Perhaps if you can, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know what you would like to bring, so we don’t end up with 15 plates of honey peanut brittle. I will do a big platter with meat, to provide at least one main dish. But in the past, people’s favorites have covered a good variety, so bring what you like to make, and don’t feel that honey is a requirement, just a suggestion. (So bring those lobsters, standing rib of prime rib, or Lafitte-Rothschild ’59 wine, even without the honey ingredient…)
Also, we will have a short presentation from Jonathan Mitschele on a topic probably important for several of us: how to adjust as the heavy weights of deep boxes full of honey become a problem. Below is a description:
Small is Beautiful, Light, and More Successful.
I have realized that I am not really up to lifting 60 lb supers off of the top of a hive that is nearly as tall as I, so I am changing the way I do things with bees. I am running two-queen side-by-side hives that consist of a pair of stacked 4-frame nuc boxes sitting on a modified 10-frame bottom board and covered with a standard 10-frame telescoping outer cover. I find survival is better than it is with standard 10-frame hives and honey production is about the same. The best part, of course, is that a full 4-frame medium nuc box (a) weighs less than 25 lbs, so easily lifted, and (b) has only four frames in each box, so doing an inspection and finding the queen is a breeze. With a table saw, a dado blade, and some scrap lumber you can make your own boxes. Come to the March 13 ABC meeting to learn more.
And, with all of our meetings, they are open to the public, so feel free to invite a friend or bring your family if they would enjoy it, or someone is thinking of taking up beekeeping. We had 25 attending our Feb. meeting with Phil Gaven, so will hope for an equally good turnout for our Potluck.
Androscoggin Beekeepers Club Offers Presentation by Master Beekeeper Phil Gaven
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club will have a presentation by Master Beekeeper Phil Gaven:
A giant step toward sustainable beekeeping can be made by multiplying your number of queens from survivor stock. We will discuss methods for backyard queen rearing with the ultimate goal of spending less money buying bees.
The presentation will be at the Vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road in Auburn. A brief business meeting and brain dump on our hives at 6:30 will be followed by Phil’s presentation at 7:00. Coffee and desserts will be served, and the meeting is open to the public.
Phil Gaven with his wife Meghan and daughters Maura and Caitlin have owned the Honey Exchange in Portland since 2011. Starting with a single hive of bees in 2008, over the several years their enthusiasm grew as they mentored new beekeepers, did presentations at local schools, took classes and kept reading about and studying honeybees.
The Honey Exchange expresses their admiration for all honeybees do for the planet. It is a central place where beekeepers can extract their honey conveniently, and buy the equipment they need for their apiaries. The store gives everyone an opportunity to learn about honeybees, safely see the workings of the bees in their observation hive, and support local beekeepers who sell their honey, beeswax products, and other products of the hive.
I got behind, and now have to have a hip replaced, so will be laid up for much of this month. I will contact Phil Gavin to reschedule him for Feb or March, and we can have our Beekeepers Potluck Supper on the opposite month.
Jen Lund, the Maine State Apiarist, will speak to the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club on Wednesday, Dec, 12 at the Vestry Building of the West Auburn Congregational Church (811 West Auburn Road, Auburn.)
The business meeting and general info swap of what is happening in our hives is at 6:30, and Jen will speak at 7:00. She will speak either on the latest information on how to deal with varroa mites, or how to do a hive autopsy. We all have varroa issues, and at least in my five years in the club, we have never heard how to do a hive autopsy, so either presentation should be intriguing.
Desserts and coffee will be provided.
Call Bill Hiss with any questions: 207-576-4497 or email@example.com
Our January program will either be Phil Gavin from the Honey Exchange in Portland or our annual Beekeepers Pot Luck Supper, with all the dishes including honey. Our Feb. meeting will be the other program of the two.
Sam Whittaker, a Bates senior biology major, will offer the findings from his thesis research to the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club on Wednesday evening, October 10th at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be at the Vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road. The meeting is open to the public, and is especially appropriate for any considering bee-keeping and wanting to meet a group of area beekeepers.
Sam’s research over this past summer has studied bee populations in suburban and urban community and private gardens in the southern Maine area. The intent of the research is to look at the land use around all of the sites, e.g. green space, roads, impermeable surfaces, and see if they influence the genera of bee populations you would find there. The research includes 20 different sites in a numerous cities such as Auburn, Lewiston and Portland, and in rural sites such as Minot. The research is supervised by Dr. Carla Essenberg, Assistant Professor of Biology, whose research is in pollination ecology and plant animal interactions.
Sam Whitaker is an biology major in the Bates Class of 2019. When he isn’t in the field researching, he enjoys singing in his acapella group and playing frisbee with his friends.
Club meetings are normally held on the second Wednesday of each month from September to May, with hive openings for training at member’s locations in the summer.
We keep trying to have a meeting, but maybe the bee gods are angry, or need more good will from us. But we are supposed to get 6″ to a foot of snow tomorrow, starting in mid-day and peaking right at the early evening hour when we had hoped to have our Beekeepers’ Pot Luck. So with regret, we will cancel for Feb. I will be out of the country for our March meeting, but will talk to Charlie and Pete to see if they are able to get our Pot Luck Supper or another program on for the second Wednesday of March.