Newsletters

July 2021

there will be no July meeting. SCBA (SC State Beekeepers Association) Summer Conference 2021 will be held July 22-24 in Charleston, SC. This conference is for everyone! Online registration is now open. Conference Schedule, Registration & More!

June 2021

– food provided by Bennie Copeland & Ken Milem

Due to unforeseen circumstances a June newsletter has not been published

 

This month we had a demonstration on how to use the club’s honey extractor.  Anyone wishing to rent the extractor will need to have had prior training. To rent either the electric or manual extractor you will need to contact Ron Fletcher at (803) 366-0150 to reserve your date. The cost is $10 per day.

May 2021

food provided by Aaron & Kim Hughes

Due to unforeseen circumstances a May newsletter has not been published

 

Our guest speaker was Cameron Spath from HoneyStrong on Having Fun Beekeeping. Certificates for 2021 Bee School students who attended the field day were handed out.

April 2021

– food provided by Ed & Estelle Prinsloo

Sorry, working on getting the correct link

 

What’s up in the hives this month?

 

Wondering what to plant and what not to plant to attract honeybees to your yard? Read this issue of the newsletter to find out! Avoid anything with Neonics. 
Read the complete report

Beekeeping through the eyes of a Biologist: from the hive-learning from Randy Oliver Scientific Beekeeping. Mite control while honey is on the hive, Part 4.
http://Scientificbeekeeping.com

March 2021

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What’s up in the hives this month?

A chance to review cliffsnotes from our Feb speaker, Ben Powell with Clemson University. Ben is a Clemson Apiculture and Pollinator Specialist who discussed Honeybee Swarming! Ben said that he gleaned most of his information from the book Honeybee Democracy. Purchase Book here.

Honeybee Decision Making video by Thomas D. Seeley, Professor Neurobiology and Behavior  Watch Video
Honey Bee Democracy video by Thomas D. Seeley Watch Video
Lives of Bees video by Thomas D. Seeley  Watch Video

 

Read the interview with our very own Jackie Kirkland of YCBA in this newsletter!

February 2021

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What’s up in the hives this month?

Ben Powell with Clemson University will be our speaker this month. Ben is a Clemson Apiculture and Pollinator Specialist and will discuss Honeybee Swarms!

 

Read the current and past issues of CAPPings; Happenings of Clemson Apiculture and Pollinator Program written by Ben Powell with Clemson University. https://blogs.clemson.edu/clemsonpollinators/2021/02/18/cappings-jan-feb-2021/

January 2021

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What’s up in the hives this month?

John Williams, Ron Fletcher and Benny Copeland lead an open question panel.

We are creating a mentor list!  Please respond in the link below if you are willing to share your knowledge. https://forms.gle/u4FQGsWuiZbxbSeU6

Enjoy our Holiday party pictures!
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rXrv9cfpsOHLVh_5rWUUeGjPqthiuZgSrAj8DwUyMCs/edit?usp=sharing

November 2020

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What’s up in the hives this month?

Continue to combine weaker colonies and make “double sure” all queens are accepted and present. Queenless colonies should be combined with queen-right colonies. This is the time of year to feed as much syrup as you can get them to take so they can insulate the brood nest with honey.

Randy Oliver discusses the “Multiplier Effect” from the feeding of sugar syrup.

Here is a link to the Clemson Newsletter:  https://clemson.edu/extension/pollinators/apiculture/index.html
And a link to the Clemson Beekeeper Website:  http://Clemson Apiculture and Pollinator Program | Cappings-Sep 2020

September 2020

Sorry, I don’t have the Newsletter link.

 

What’s up in the hives this month?

Hive population continues to drop and drones start to disappear. The queen is laying fewer eggs. Some or all colonies may need feeding. Some or all colonies may need re-queening.

Powered Sugar Dusting is a way to control Varroa Mites. This involves dusting the bees with powdered sugar (note it’s best to find a powdered sugar without added corn starch, although some claim this is not so critical. Play it safe and ask your bee supplier for a pure powdered sugar.

August 2020

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What’s up in the hives this month?

The colony’s growth is diminishing in numbers and the honey flow is coming to an end. When bees stop producing honey, remove all honey supers (except one)! Remember to leave one full super of honey for the bees. This is what they will live on during the winter. No more chance of swarming and the honey dearth will appear. Weaker colonies may get robbed of their honey so entrance reducers should be placed on weak colonies or move weak colonies to another bee yard.

Feeding Bees and Sugar Syrup Recipes

Sugar syrup can be made in three different formulas, each has its own special purpose and is used at a specific time of the year which I’ll describe below. Warning you must become bakers at this point. Using cups won’t work so well. Think in pounds and ounces. We recommend using white granulated cane sugar if possible. Avoid brown sugar, beat sugar, powder sugar, or honey.  Remember the beekeeper code; never feed the bees while honey supers are in place.

Spring: March-April-May

1:2 This formula is a very light syrup, it is made using one part of sugar to two parts of water. For example, 1 pound sugar to 2 pounds of water. It is used in late winter and early spring to stimulate the queen to lay eggs and helps the bees draw more comb.

Summer June-July-August

1:1This formula is a medium weight syrup, it is made using one part of sugar to one part of water. For example, 1 pound of sugar to 1 pound of water. It is used as an artificial nectar to feed brood larvae in spring and summer or to get the bees to draw  more comb.

Fall Sept-Oct-Nov

2:1 This formula is a very heavy syrup, it is made using two parts of sugar to one part of water. For example, 2 pound of sugar to 1 pound of water. This is used in fall or early winter as a honey substitute to feed your bees. The bees should add weight and will use these stores throughout winter.  Ideal weight for a typical winter bee hive is about 120-140 pounds.

Making the syrup: All three syrups are simple to make.  Sometimes we call them simple syrups.  Bring proper weight of  water to a boil then reduce heat to low.  Add proper weight of sugar and stir until dissolved.  Never cook your sugar.  In fact suggesting boiling is a bad idea.  Just get all the sugar dissolved . Let cool and then feed.  If you’re adding a feeding stimulant or essential oils add the proper amount as suggested on the bottle, mix well and watch your bees enjoy.

Feeding our bees: from this article (please note that not all our beekeepers believe in feeding sugar water)
https://www.apishive.com/honey-bee-health-2__trashed/how-when-and-why-to-feed-your-honey-bees/

June 2020

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What’s up in the hives this month?

Colonies that did not swarm will be boiling over with bees and the “honey flow” continues. Keep up swarm inspections and continue adding additional space as needed. Spring honey sources start to fade and a short honey dearth may happen between blooming cycles. Rain and weather conditions affect the summer nectar sources greatly. Under good conditions, the bees will continue to make honey. The start and stop honey flow will sometimes cause a few “after swarms”. The pace of honey production slows a bit and the Queen starts to lay fewer eggs. Fully capped honey supers may be removed and extracted.

 

Here is a very interesting resource showing nectar flow from NASA

https://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov/Honeybees/Forage_info.htm

February 2020

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What’s up in the hives this month?

The queen  remains in the cluster and as the days become milder she begins to lay more eggs. The protein stores or (pollen patty) is used to feed young larva. These bees will hatch out of the cell in 21 days. When young bees are being raised and days are warm the bees will consume more food. At this time, the cluster will begin to grow in size. A varroa mite and foulbrood inspection should be done and a proper evaluation of “queen activity”. By mid February, you should see bees carrying natural pollen into the hive. When this occurs, the queen will also begin to lay drone eggs (unfertile eggs). These drones will hatch in 24 days.

 

Resources

Mark Sweatman, a Master Beekeeper, was our February speaker. Mark recommended 3 books and provided 3 pdf’s.

Also check out honey bee health coalition  https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/

Here’s the link to check out an oxalic fogger  https://beekeepclub.com/treating-mites-with-an-oxalic-acid-fogger/

January 2020

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What’s up in the hives this month?

Even less bee activity and cold weather will send the bees back into a cluster. On warm days watch for bees to fly out to make cleansing flights and forage for pollen. Keep the entrances just small enough for two bees to enter.

 

Our Christmas Party Was a Huge Success

Click on the link to view the pictures:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/QBRZhynGoxfVsvGR7

November 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

Even less bee activity and cold weather will send the bees back into a cluster. On warm days watch for bees to fly out to make cleansing flights and forage for pollen. Keep the entrances just small enough for two bees to enter.

September 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

The colony’s growth is diminishing in numbers and the honey flow is coming to an end. Remember to leave one full super of honey for the bees. No more chance of swarming and the honey dearth will appear.

August 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

The varroa mite levels are hight now and an evaluation of Mite levels should be maintained during this time of the year. Some colonies may need food and some small clusters may need additional frames of brood in increase bee numbers.

May 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

The hive is working at high speed. Beekeepers have to hustle to keep up with the working bees by adding empty boxes. In this newsletter John Gardner explains how to install a package of bees

April 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

At a steady pace, bee hives are roaring, new bees are humming with orientation flights and drones are on the hunt. This is when swarming is at an all time high. Swarming generally occurs right before the heavy honey flow. Drones are fully mature for mating and queen cells are hatching.

 

Field Day Pictures:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1vuvVx1sXic82HeVMzIuJj6-I5F9rbdgy

March 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

This is the critical time for starvation. The young bees are hatching daily and the size of the colony increases by almost thousands per day. The worker bees are beginning to forage and drones begin to appear. As the days grow longer, the queen increases her rate of egg production and colonies wishing to swarm may start to raise swarm cells and colonies with failing queens may start superseder cells. Weather permitting, a few early swarms could occur in March.

February 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

The queen still remains in the cluster and as the days become milder she begins to lay more eggs. These bees will hatch out of the cell in 21 days. When young bees are being raised and days are warm the bees will consume more food. At this time, the cluster will begin to grow in size. A varroa mite and foulbrood inspection should be done and a proper evaluation of “queen activity”. By mid February, you should see bees carrying natural pollen into the hive. When this occurs, the queen will also begin to lay drone eggs (unfertile eggs). These drones will hatch in 24 days.

 

Advice for this time of the year: Spray ground around hives for hive beetles.

January 2019

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What’s up in the hives this month?

During colder weather, the queen is surrounded by thousands of worker bees. This is considered the “Winter Cluster.” You should not disturb this cluster, only open the hive and work bees when the cluster is loose. Activity will be apparent on warmer days (45-50 degrees).

November 2018

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Highlights from our question and answer forum.

October 2018

September 2018

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This newsletter includes an interview with Steve McNeely.

July 2018

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YCBA’s very first newsletter.  This newsletter includes an interview with John Gardner.