Thursday, April 16, 2009

Newsletter - April 15, 2009

1. It’s official!!! We are now formally known as the East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association. This decision was made by vote of the general membership at the March meeting. Thanks to everyone that suggested names for our organization.

2. Last meeting. Denise Palkovich started out the meeting with an update on the association’s internet blog along with an explanation of creating a website. For old business, the above organizational name was established. For new business, dates and times were established for the next two meetings (see below). Earl Jewett briefed us on his beekeeping presentation at the Fond du Lac Public Library. Jeff Champeau presented a demonstration on installing package bees.

3. Since the last meeting… Earl Jewett has set up a beekeeping workshop. This is scheduled for April 30th and May 7th for 3 hours each night. This is being co-sponsored by the UW-Extension service and the East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association. Proceeds from the workshop will come back to the association as a fund raiser. For details, check the attached press release at the end of this newsletter.

4. Next meeting. The next meeting will be Saturday, May 16, 2009, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. This will be a field day. This meeting and field day will take place at Jeff Champeau’s bee yard which is at Jeff’s parents’ place near Oakfield, WI. Here’s the exact address: N3415 Highway Y South, Oakfield, WI. Here are the driving directions: Oakfield is located about 10 miles southwest of Fond du Lac. Take Highway Y (same as Oak Street) south out of Oakfield (past Belle Reynolds School) for about a half a mile. The place is on the east side of Highway Y between River Road and Highway F. Some parking is available in the driveway – overflow parking will be along the road. There will be a short meeting followed by a “hands-on” opportunity to explore some beehives. Please bring your own hat & bee veil, gloves, coveralls, strings or something to tie off pants legs, or anything else you think you might need to feel comfortable working around bees. If you need any of these items, both Lapp’s in Reeseville and Dadant’s near Watertown carries a good selection of beekeeper wear. The rain date for this meeting and field day will be Saturday, May 23, 2009.

5. July meeting. The July meeting is scheduled for July 18, 2009. Start time is 9:30 am. The meeting will be at the Ripon Public Library, 120 Jefferson Street, Ripon, WI. A short business meeting will be conducted first, then a presentation. Presentation topic is yet to be determined.

Beekeeping Notes:
* You should be already feeding sugar syrup to hives that survived the winter and to any package bees that you installed this spring.
* Ditto the above for pollen patties (substitute pollen).
* Prepare for new package bee arrivals by assembling any required equipment and selecting new sites.
* Remember for site selection, the hives should have southern or eastern exposure with a western or northern wind break.
* If you are going to need supers for the honey harvest, now is the time to purchase and assemble the supers and honeycomb frames.

If you have any questions, especially about the May meeting, please feel free to call me at 715-330-9969. I’m sometimes hard to contact, but leave a message and I’ll call you back. Or e-mail me at

Happy Beekeeping,

Jeff Champeau
President, E.C.W.B.A.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

beehives at the white house

A couple of links suggested

a couple of links suggested by the program this morning. i will add them to the right bar for future reference as well. one thing mentioned was the "development of POLLINATOR GARDENS" - perhaps this is a "small way" you can get your neighbors and friends to participate in your beekeeping habit, by letting them know which varieties of plants and flowers contribute to the pollination ecosystem .

i currently plant borage (which is an annual - but reseeds itself from year to year). bees ABSOLUTELY love borage. i plant it right in the garden amongst the other vegetables. the veggies are for me - the borage is for them. (and you can eat borage - the leaf tastes a little like cucumber....if you can "get past" the fuzzy leaves.)

CCD discussed on WPR this morning

4/15/09 9:00 am.....A VERY interesting program this morning on Wisconsin Public Radio: Kathleen Dunn: Gene Purcell in for Kathleen Dunn - It's mysteriously wiped out large numbers of the bees that pollinate our crops. After nine, Gene Purcell and his guests discuss Colony Collapse Disorder in bee populations... Guests:- Diana Cox-Foster, professor of entomology, Pennsylvania State University. (type in BEES)

it will take them a bit (a couple of hours) to get a "LISTEN TO AUDIO" link. when it's available - come back and check it out!

Friday, April 10, 2009

what do other beekeepers do?

if you haven't already....go to the side bar of this blog and "visit some other bee blogs". haven't you wondered about what beekeepers do in CANADA? or how do bees fare in the Carolinas? whether it's for fun or you're in need of some technical bit of information - it's all out there on the information superhighway.

Time change/update for next meeting

The time for our May meeting (the field day) scheduled on the calendar should be 1:00 pm for a one and a half to two hour event. It's best to check bees in the afternoon. Don't forget your Hat/Veil, overalls, gloves - whatever you need to feel comfortable.

Introduction to Beekeeping Program Offered

written by:
Crops and Soils Agent
UW Extension - Fond du Lac County

Introduction to Beekeeping Program Offered
Individuals interested in pursuing beekeeping as a hobby or side business venture are encouraged to attend a six-hour "Introduction to Beekeeping" program being offered on April 30 and May 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. Classes will be held at UW-Fond du Lac in room 205/206 of the Administration Extension Building.
The classes are being taught by local beekeepers Earl Jewett and Hank Miller. Participants will learn about bee biology, beekeeping equipment, hive management, honey extraction and marketing, overwintering bees, and beekeeping resources.
The program is sponsored by the East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association and UW-Extension. The cost to attend the program is $8 per person. Checks should be made payable to the East Central WI Beekeepers Assn. and mailed to: UW-Extension Beekeeping Program, 400 University Dr., Fond du Lac, WI 54935. Pre-registration by Monday, April 27 is required. For more information contact the Fond du Lac Co. UW-Extension office at 920-929-3171.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

on WPT

this In Wisconsin show is re-broadcast Sunday 4-4:30 PM

Honey Study

April 02, 2009

Some 24 million people in the United States cope with issues of managing diabetes. One of the most difficult problems affects about 15% of patients – sores that won’t heal. Dr. Jennifer Eddy at UW Health’s Family Medicine Clinic in Eau Claire is running a double blind clinical trial using honey to treat these foot sores. We have an update this week on Jay Burrow’s… who could have faced amputation of his foot.
If you’d like to find out more about the clinical trial call (715) 855-5683.

More info:

Today, an alternative treatment based on a remedy used since antiquity is getting increased attention -- smearing wounds with honey.

Manuka Honey, a medicinal honey harvested from beekeepers in New Zealand, is now being marketed for application on wounds. In June, Health Canada approved it under the brand name Medihoney for use as a wound dressing and antimicrobial. In July, the Food and Drug Administration cleared it for use in wounds and burns in the U.S.

The effects of treating wounds with honey have been noted mostly in anecdotal reports and case histories, making it hard for scientists to know whether the remedy compares favorably with standard wound dressings such as hydrogels, silver-impregnated gauzes or topical antibiotics.

But in recent years, larger studies have shown promising results, and more are underway.

"In the last few years, a lot of good science has been done in the area," says Shona Blair, a microbiologist at the University of Sydney, Australia, who studies the antibacterial properties of honey.

Chronic wounds -- most commonly diabetic foot ulcers but also burn wounds, venous pressure ulcers, arterial leg ulcers and bedsores -- are a growing medical problem. An estimated 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from pressure ulcers, or bedsores. Each year, an estimated 100,000 diabetics will lose a limb through amputation, mostly as a result of nonhealing wounds. With diabetes on the rise, doctors expect to see a lot more diabetic foot ulcers.

Acute wounds are usually treated by keeping them moist and sterile, which promotes the innate wound-healing ability of the body. But in patients with underlying conditions such as diabetes, a small crack in the skin often fails to heal and can develop into a chronic wound.

Such a wound runs a great risk of becoming infected, which in turn reduces the chance of healing -- a vicious cycle that can lead to severe infection, even down to the bone. Chronic wounds are sometimes treated surgically, by removing dead skin to promote healing. Patients are also treated with off-loading orthotic shoes to prevent applying pressure on the wound, but these are cumbersome and rarely efficiently used.