Category Archives: Education

Mite Management

At the May 2020 meeting of the club April Kustov, Wisconsin State Apiary Inspector joined our meeting via Zoom to present Mite Management. The video is over an hour long but is very comprehensive about mite management and treatments.

In the video April refers to different mite treatments and the Wisconsin recommended treatments. Here is the sheet to which she refers. If you would like the Power Point presentation click here. You will need Power Point to view the slides.

BCBA Educational posters now available

BCBA now has educational posters available for club events or programs. These posters cover important topics such as whats in the bee hive, bee anatomy, how honey is made and the life cycle of bees. Other posters available cover basic pollinators and seeds and endangered pollinators. These posters will make it fun and easy for us as we explain the importance of bees and bee biology.

Baggie Feeding

During one of the club’s virtual meetings about installing and feeding nucs and packages the question came up about feeding using a zip top bag. No one in the meeting had any feedback so Carl Fisher has done some internet research and come up with the following.

  • A very cost effective way to feed the bees. No extra equipment to buy except for zip top bags and a sharp knife but you probably already have those.
  • Most folks use a gallon zip top freezer bag. Don’t see any reason a quart size wouldn’t work.
  • Mix sugar water just like you would for other types of feeders. One part water to one part sugar (or 2 x 2).
  • Fill the bag half way with the sugar solution.
  • Gently lay the bag directly on top of the frames taking care not to smash your bees.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice several one inch slits in the bag so the bees have access to the mixture. Don’t press too hard when cutting or you will have a sugary mess.
  • Place a spacer on the hive.
  • Replace the inner and outer covers.

Installing a Nuc and Package

Join Brown County Beekeepers Association President Dave Elsen and Vice President Julie Mazzoleni as they demonstrate how to install a nuc and a package of new honey bees. They also take questions from club members on lots of related topics to include feeding the new bees. The presentation is an hour long but well worth it.

Powdered Sugar Mite Test

During the April 15, 2020 virtual club meeting the subject of performing a sugar roll to check mite load came up. The Minnesota Bee Squad does a lot of good work in the area of mite testing and controls. The only issue with this video, in the club’s opinion, is the person is only wearing head protection. She is not wearing gloves or arm protection. The club always recommends taking the level of personal protection you are comfortable with.

CANCELLED – Brown County Library, DENMARK branch hosts “Beginning Beekeeping”

We are hopeful this event will be rescheduled, however, at this time it has to be CANCELLED.

The Brown County Library – Denmark Branch, is hosting the Brown County Beekeepers Association in a one hour presentation on BEGINNING BEEKEEPING. The presentation will be on Monday April 13th at 6:00 PM and will cover : equipment, cost and time.

LOCATION: Brown County Library – 450 N Wall St, Denmark, WI 54208

TIME: 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Tilt the Hive Forward to Assess Colonie Health

A quick assessment of overall hive health before a full inspection can be done by tilting the hive forward on the bottom board. In this way you get a feel for the weight of the hive, colonie size, and a critical look at the bottom board. Read the full article by Bee Informed Partnership here

Learning Opportunity – Wausau WI

The Marathon County Beekeepers Association is presenting a full day of speakers in Wausau WI on the campus of North Central Technical College. Registration is now open. Cost is $49 until February 29, 2020 and then it is $59. NOTE: If you are over 62 years of age the cost is only $21.90. The discount is given at checkout. For more information or to register.

Last year 6 BCBA club members carpooled to Wausau. There are already 3 folks from BCBA have signed up and are planning to carpool again. If you would like to carpool contact the club P president, Dave Elsen.

Honey Bee Jobs

Within a hive there are three types of bees. The queen, drones, and worker bees. There is only one queen in a hive, is female, and lays eggs to produce more bees. About 15% of the hive population are drone bees which are male and their only job is to mate with a different queen. Finally about 85% of the bees are female worker bees and they do all of the work around the hive. They take care of the brood, clean and defend the hive, and gather pollen and nectar.

Hive Location

There are numerous factors to consider when determining where to place your hive(s) which include they physical location, bee needs, and human needs. A good starting point is to do an internet search to determine if your local community has set guidelines for maintaining hives. Allouez Wisconsin, for one, has a number of rules to be followed.

Location

  • South facing is optimal – early morning wake-up to start foraging
  • Shade in the PM – so the hive doesn’t overheat in summer
  • Access to water – needed to make honey
  • Good air ventilation – so the hive doesn’t get damp
  • Wind block – can be man-made or natural to help hive survive the winter

Bee Needs

  • No obstruction in front of hive – bees like to exit and fly up
  • Slight lean to the front – so rainwater can drain out
  • Pollen and Nectar Sources – for honey production
  • Level side to side – bees don’t care but could hurt honey production

Human Needs

  • Accessible by vehicle or cart – honey and equipment are heavy
  • Permission – check local ordinances and neighbors
  • Accessible from the back of hive – best to work from the back of hive
  • Weeds and Mowing – keep the hive weed free and trimmed