The new beekeeper class had a great first night with 6 brand new beekeepers attending.
Election for board of directors was held. Denise Budde and Wade Hutcheson were voted in as advisors to the board of directors. Sandy Coontz was voted in as the secretary for the board of directors.
Honeybee Festival in LaFayette on June 1st. Volunteers are needed for the Education Booth. If you are interested, please contact Larry Little or Denise Budde. If you would like a booth to sell honey or crafts more information is available on their website. http://www.mycityoflafayettega.org/residents/events/honeybee_festival
Kenneth Vanhorn gave a great presentation on Queen Rearing.
The first thing to knowing how to rear a queen is understanding the bee biology and bee math.
The Queen Biology
The queen bee is the dominant adult female bee that is the mother of almost all the bees in the hive. A newly hatched queen begins her life in a dual to the death with any other queens in the colony. She must also kill potential queens hatching in their cells. Once established as queen she will take her mating flight. Queen bees only leave their hive for two reasons. The first time they leave is for their mating flight and the only other time is when a colony swarms. During the mating flight the queen will fly to a “drone congregation” and mate with 7 to 15 drones. The survival of the colony rest on the queen’s ability to lay eggs and increase their population. The queen will lay thousands of eggs each year. The queen is the only honeybee whose stinger will remain intact after stinging and it is only used to sting new potential queens.
Bees rear queens because of one of four conditions:
Emergency. There is suddenly no queen so a new queen is made from some existing worker larvae.
Supersedure The bees think the queen is failing so they rear a new one.
Reproductive swarming The bees decide there are enough bees, and enough stores and enough of the season left to cast a swarm that has a good chance of building up enough to survive the winter without endangering the survival of the colony.
Overcrowding swarm The bees decide that there are too many bees and not enough room or not enough stores to continue under the current conditions, so they cast an overcrowding swarm as population control. This swarm doesn't have the best chance of survival but the colony believes it improves the colony's chances of survival.
A beekeeper can easily get a queen simply by making a queenless split with the appropriate aged larvae.
Kenneth discussed each of the queen rearing methods. Alley Method, Smith Method, Miller Method, Hopkins Method, Dolittle Method and Brother Adams / Michael Palmer Methods.
Our next meeting will be May 20, 2019.