April 2014 Club Meeting:
As is usually the case, the club meeting was proceeded with informal discussion about the state of our bees and what we should/could expect in the near future. Club President Bill Hiss prompted brief introductions from attendees. He asked everyone who was interested to leave us with their names, email addresses and whether or not they wanted to be or needed a mentor for the upcoming bee keeping season.
It was great to see so many members of the Oxford Hills Honey Bee Club in attendance. There was the typical sense of good will between bee keepers which led to a discussion of future combined events for the two clubs. The OHHB club has a nice web site with some great information and a listing of upcoming events.
For those who missed Kenny Record speak at the ABC (or to see him speak again), you have another chance on May 11at the University of Maine Cooperative, 9 Olson Road in South Paris. Here’s the description from the OHHB club site:
Kenny Record generously shares his unequaled knowledge on bee – havior when it comes to splitting hives. Making your own nucs will also be discussed. Plan on an afternoon of learning, humor and a whole lot of good old common sense delivered in an
Vice President Pete Schlax noted that the Androscoggin beekeepers club website has a functional calendar indicating dates for club events, flower blooms and bee keeping activities. He asked members with suggestions for additional calendar items to pass them along (email@example.com).
Club treasurer Charlie Armstrong provided the Treasure’s report, indicating that our modest balance is sufficient to provide our speakers with a modest honorarium and to maintain our club website. Thanks to all our dues paying members!
Attendance for April 2014:
Attendance was 28 people including our speaker. Although this increase was definitely helped with the turnout from members of the Oxford Hills Honey Bee Club, our “spring increase” continues. As we move into open hive season, it would be great to stabilize at 30-40. That seems like a healthy and sustainable number for Androscoggin County. Tell your friends!
March 2014 Speaker Presentation:
The March 2014 ABC meeting presentation was given by Kenny Record. Interesting, informative and entertaining, Kenny began his talk with the story of how he started beekeeping.
Five year old Kenny had been bee-lining with his father. One day, while his father was at work, Kenny used a glass jar to trap a bee on a flower. He watched the bee sip nectar from the flower and, after a while, he released it and watched it fly up a bit and straight away. A few minutes later, the bee returned, took up nectar, and flew away again. The bee returned a third time, bringing a friend. Kenny told us he watched the bees coming and going from the flower for hours.
When his Dad came home from work, he asked Kenny whether he’d timed the bees. He hadn’t. So Kenny and his Dad used a small stick to dab a little bit of chalk, mixed with water, on the back of one of the bees for identification. They timed the bee’s round trip from the flower, away and back. Three and a half minutes. Kenny told us that it normally takes a bee about a minute and a half to unload at the hive, so it was about a minute flight each way to and from the “swarm” (as colonies were called at the time). The next day, his father took him to the swarm, and Kenny became a beekeeper. Continue reading