West Georgia Beekeepers Association
Tom Rearick - Speaker this month
Tom Rearick, Master Beekeeper
Beekeeping for me started out as a choice between honey or fresh eggs. Honey won out because bees take up less space and are much cleaner than chickens. What I never expected was that beekeeping would also feed my intellectual curiosity.
In my professional life, I am an engineer and serial software entrepreneur. I've worked on computer vision and artificial intelligence projects at General Electric and Lockheed. I started and sold two companies based on artificial intelligence technologies. So I became intrigued as I learned about the intelligent behaviors of bees and their colonies. I was also humbled because - even with the unlimited resources of large defense contractors - we never created anything as smart as a bee.
I enjoy sharing my passion with others in classrooms, clubs, public demonstrations, and as a mentor. I serve as the webmaster for the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association and have written for Bee Culture magazine. My interest in the intersection between beekeeping and technology is expressed in my blog, Beehacker.com . I also enjoy cooking, woodworking, building & flying multirotors, and Airstreaming.
Beekeeping School for Beginners and Intermediates
November 11, 2017 from 8 AM to 4 PM
Our annual beekeeping school will be on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The second phase of the school is a hands on hive inspection in March, 2018 at the apiary at The University of West GA. Date depends on weather.
Non-members $50 - Members $25
The registration fee includes your first year membership in West Georgia Beekeepers Association.
All instructors are certified beekeepers. Continental breakfast and lunch is provided. You will receive a free book and other literature to help get you started. What a deal!
When the temperatures drop and your girls stop taking sugar syrup, have some fondant ready to feed them. After you've made the fondant and it has cooled and set up on a paper plate - place it on top of the frames on the top super of your hive. The bees will chew up the paper and eat the fondant.
5 pounds of sugar
2-1/2 cups of water
1 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice
Honeybee Healthy or essential oils if desired (add when you beat the syrup)
Add everything except the Honeybee Healthy to a pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. After coming to a boil, stir occasionally. Cook the mixture to a temperature of 234 degrees for a soft fondant. I prefer to cook mine to 240 degrees - a little harder. DO NOT OVERCOOK AND CARMELIZE THE SUGAR - BAD FOR THE BEES.
Add a teaspoon of Honeybee Healthy or essential oil and begin to mix with a hand held mixer. Start on a slow speed and increase the speed slowly to maximum for your mixer. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO SPLASH THE HOT SUGAR ON YOURSELF. IT BURNS LIKE CRAZY (Ask me how I know that). Mix continuously until the mixture starts to turn white. Then immediately pour onto paper plates - makes about 6 dinner plates. Allow to cool. You can store it just like sugar. Put wax paper between the plates if you stack them to prevent them from sticking together.
Your bees will be very appreciative on those cold winter days.
Prevent wax moths on your drawn frames
How To Report Pesticide Kills
In order to get the legislation's attention, bee kills must be reported. If you find your bees dead in a huge pile in front of your hive, you have a bee kill. You can and should report your bee kills to both state and national agencies.
In Georgia, bee kills should be reported to the Georgia Department of Agriculture: Nancy Hall 404-656-7371. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a federal level, report to the EPA by emailing email@example.com. If you want to learn more about reporting bee kills, check out the Honey Bee Health Coalition Quick Guide to Reporting a Bee Kill Incident.
The Pollinator Stewardship Council can be of great help in reporting bee kill incidences.
Treating Varroa with Oxalic Acid
Oxalic acid is approved for treating Varroa mites by the dribble method or the vaporization method by the EPA and the state of Georgia. The glycerin shop towel method of delivery is not yet approved by the EPA or the State of Georgia.
Randy Oliver ("The scientific beekeeper") is pursuing the development and EPA approval for the "Shop towel / Glycerin" method of delivery of oxalic acid for the treatment of varroa mites on honeybees. Jennifer Berry (head of the UGA beelab) is researching this application method of oxalic acid for the treatment of varroa mites.
This information is presented for your information only and West Georgia Beekeepers Association does not condone the use of oxalic acid in a manner that is not legally approved by the EPA and the State of Georgia.
Now is the Time
Prepare for winter - FEED FEED FEED
Pretty much a dearth now. One has to be careful when feeding syrup, especially if you add an essential oil, honey bee healthy, etc. Robbing will occurr quickly and violently.
The bees need about 20 pounds of honey to make it through the winter in our area. That's a deep super with a small honey super on top. If you don't have that, feed 1:1 sugar syrup. When it gets to cold for them to take the syrup (45 - 50 degrees), switch to fondant.
Don't forget fall mite treatment. Best time for OAV is when the brood is at its smallest - probably in early to mid December.
Treat your hives or suffer the losses. Oxalic acid is an excellent method. Click on the link above for Randy Oliver's update page on Oxalic acid / Glycerin / Shop towels. Check out the oxalic acid page on this site. You can also use the oxalic acid dribble method or the oxalic acid vaporization method. Apivar is another proven treatment method.
IT IS TOO LATE TO DO SPLITS. If you have to, you'll have to buy or supply a queen. Even then, it's iffy.
If you need help, call your mentor - if you don't have a mentor - click here - Mentoring
Master Beekeeper Program
Alabama Master Beekeeper Program
Certified Master Beekeepers: Marilynn Parker, Jerry Miller 2014, Mary Cahill Roberts
Certified Welch Honey Judge: Mary Cahill Roberts
Certified Journeyman Beekeepers: Jan Sprayberry 2016, John McDaniel, Dan Scales 2017
Certified Apprentice Beekeepers: Betty Cosgrove, Earl Cosgrove 2016
Mark Dean, Crescent Beckwith, Lynda Shaw, Broderick Peters, Alex Szecsey 2017
Georgia Master Beekeeping Program:
Certified Beekeeper: John Foran 2016