Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BURSTING at the seams

Overwintered hives seem to be BURSTING at the seams with the warm weather we're having.  Trees in bloom - if not already at petal drop.

The old saying has got me thinking...  WHAT IS A SWARM IN APRIL WORTH?
A swarm in May - is worth a load of hay.
A swarm in June - is worth a silver spoon.
A swarm in July - isn't worth a fly.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

ECWBA Newsletter March 2012

1.  The ECWBA meeting of February was well attended at the Fond du Lac Library.  Craig Petros, one of Wisconsin’s apiary inspectors, was the guest speaker.  About thirty five members enjoyed Craig’s presentation and his question answering session. 
2.  The Introduction to Beekeeping Class committee has completed the four session class.  The committee hosted 27 students for the introductory class.  The committee has been dissolved. A new committee will be created should the ECWBA membership decide to sponsor another class next year.  This will be something to look at during the July and /or September meetings.
3.  Most of the meeting dates and places for 2012 have been scheduled in.  Here’s what developed so far:
·         Saturday, March 17, 2012, Ripon Public Library, Ripon, WI, 9:30 to 11:00 am.
·         Saturday, May 19, 2012, field day.  Charles Crites’ bee yard.  See note below.
·         Saturday, July 21, 2012, place of meeting to be determined.
·         September meeting to be determined.  (I’m trying to schedule Sept. 8 in Ripon.)
4.  Charles Crites has been generous enough to share his beekeeping operation with us.  He has been keeping bees in top bar hives.  This will be an excellent opportunity to view firsthand how top bar hives are managed.  The address is N6039 Esterbrook Road, Fond du Lac.  Here are the driving directions:  From State Highway 23 west of Fond du Lac, turn south on to Esterbrook Road (by the Hyundai auto dealership).  Drive south on Esterbrook to address.  Charles has two driveways – he asks that you use the driveway located 100 feet north of the fire number.  There is plenty of room in that lot for parking.  The field day this year will be a rain or shine event, there will not be a rain date.
5.  A new ECWBA e-mail address has been established.  This new address will be the general contact address for the organization.  From here on out, all e-mail correspondence directed to the ECWBA can be sent to: .
6.  Membership renewal time is wrapping up.  The membership dues remain at $15.00 for a one year membership.  One membership entitles the member(s) to receive the newsletter, to vote on officer elections and organizational business issues, and to hold a position as an officer.  A membership may include more than one person (e.g. husband/wife, parent/child, etc.), but only one newsletter will be sent out and only one vote may be cast per membership.
Beekeeping Notes
·         You should have ordered package bees by now.
·         Queens!  If you plan to split surviving colonies, develop a plan for additional queens – Are you going to purchase queens?  Are you going to raise your own queens?  Start thinking and planning now.
·         We are closing in on spring fast (really, we are)!  Late winter can be tough on bees.  Be ready to feed the winter survivors.  Stock up on some sugar and dig out the feeders.
·         Since we all love to expand our little beekeeping operations into something bigger, this is a good time to purchase, assemble, and prepare new equipment for the upcoming season.  This is especially true for frames and foundation if you have a frame rotation plan in place.
Best of Beekeeping,
Jeff Champeau
ECWBA President
Membership dues will be collected at the upcoming meetings.  If you are unable to attend one of the next meetings, you may send your dues to one of the following ECWBA officers:
Jeff Champeau
ECWBA President
145 North Wisconsin Street
Berlin, WI  54923
George Weigel
ECWBA Treasurer
268 South Peters Avenue
Fond du Lac, WI  54935
If paying by check, please make check payable to East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association.  A membership card and payment receipt will be returned to you promptly.  Thank-you for your continued support of the East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association.