Thursday, April 29, 2010

ECWBA Newsletter - APRIL

1. Meetings. Here is the list of meeting dates for the remainder of 2010:

* May meeting: May 22, 2010. Start time is at 1:00 pm. This will be the field day at Denise Palkovich’s bee yard (see below for further information and directions).
* July meeting: July 17, 2010. 9:30 am. Fond du Lac County Library.
* September meeting: September 18, 2010. 9:30 am. Ripon Public Library.

2. Presentation Topics. Here are the discussion topics to be covered at the meetings:
* May meeting: Field day at Denise Palkovich’s bee yard – look at beehives and Denise’s beekeeping operation.
* July and September meetings: To be determined.

3. May Meeting. The May, 2010, ECWBA meeting will be at the bee yard of Denise Palkovich. Start time is 1:00 pm. To get there, take State Highway 23 east out of Fond du Lac (Hwy. 23 is Johnson St. in Fond du Lac). Turn left onto Log Tavern Road (which is the first road after County Highway W). Take Log Tavern Road north to Pit Road. Take a right onto Pit Road and an almost immediate left turn to address of the bee yard by the brown ranch style house. The address is W1575 Pit Road, Mt. Calvary, WI.

* Attention: This is a field day, so bring your own bee veil, bee suit, gloves, etc., for safe and comfortable work around bees.
* The rain date for the May meeting is June 5, 2010. The place and time is the same.

4. July Meeting. The July, 2010, ECWBA meeting will be at the Fond du Lac County Library. The library’s address is: 32 Sheboygan Street, Fond du Lac, WI. To get there, take Main Street (north or south) to Sheboygan Street. Take Sheboygan Street east one block to Portland Street. Turn right (south) on to Portland and go about a half block to the library’s parking lot located on the east side of Portland Street.

Beekeeping Notes:
* If you use any medications for the control of diseases (nosema, American foul brood, mites, etc.) now is the time to obtain those. Study and learn how to properly to use those medication. Poorly applied medications can do more harm than good!
* Before things get going too fast in the spring and summer, this would be a good time to check on your honey gathering supplies and equipment. Will you need more honey supers? Queen excluders? Bee escapes? Jars and bottles for honey? Start planning ahead.

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

Best of beekeeping, Jeff Champeau - President, ECWBA
Telephone: 715-330-9969

Monday, April 26, 2010

installing - the NON-SHAKE method

I TRIED THIS! This was an article in Feb/March issue of Bee Culture Magazine (don't remember which)...they called it the KELLY (non-shake) METHOD of installation.

BASICALLY - you're hanging the queen cage (replace cork with marshmallow - you don't want her out just yet) in the box with the 10 frames you've prepared. they suggested a rubber band wrapped around the frame...i just used a thumb tack and stuck it through the queen cage tab and into the top bar. HANG HER "OFFSIDES"! (don't want syrup drowning her!)

place the opened package in an EMPTY bottom box...and the bees will migrate to the frames. the next day or two - take your EMPTY PACKAGE BOX out! (obviously?...take the bottom box out too) your finished hive configuration is the 10 frames on the bottom board, the inner cover and your covered syrup bucket.

ADVANTAGES? MANY MANY LESS BEES flying about!!!! they suggested in the article - this method could be used in the rain...and I'LL ATTEST to that. I didn't have rain - but I had a heck of a wind.

THINGS I LEARNED and/or SUGGEST? when you replace the cork with the marshmallow...don't use a CRUSTY old marshmallow....grab a nice soft piece from the inside...and DON'T STUFF IT FULL!!! you only need to keep her in there long enough to configure the hive.

I myself...was without marshmallow. so - i had to leave the cork in place 'till i got back (day 2) to remove the package. When I removed the bottom box and package - I removed the queen (in cage) I then popped the cork and let her MOSEY into the entrance. I have to say - she took her DARN SWEET TIME! and in ONE installation....SHE ESCAPED!.....before I knew it - I saw her disappearing under the deck board!! luckily - I can both SEE and REACH under there. I grabbed her and stuck her naughtiness into the hive. I CAN ONLY SAY....if you are leery about handling the queen PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE ON DRONES!!!! they can't hurt you and you can get a feel of having that little buzzing body in your fingers.....I PRACTICED when I installed...

DISADVANTAGE? need that "extra" empty deep/brood box...but remember - you can use two empty supers to cover your syrup bucket too!

well wishes for George - our treasurer

For those who would like to send GEORGE WEIGEL, our treasurer, well-wishes as he embarks on his chemotherapy treatment at Frodert.... visit: type in: "georgeweigel" I'm sure he'd rather be out - playing with BEES!