Beeline Newsletter - Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association

May 2015
Volume 29
Issue 3
Newsletter of the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association (SABA)
Officers of the Board:
President: Chris Cripps,
[email protected], 518-290-3168
1st Vice President: Ian Munger,
[email protected]
2nd Vice President: Gregory
Stoddard, [email protected]
Trish Manning, 518-831-9018
Secretary :
Trisha Driscoll, 518-439-1102
Promotions Officer:
Farial English, 518-882-7238
Webmaster : Bruce Raver,
[email protected]
Beeline Editor : Anne Frey, [email protected]
The County Coordinators:
Albany Stephen Wilson, 518-861-8020
Fulton Dan Kerwood, 518-762-9364
Bruce Blender, 518-698-6700
Rensselaer Tony Antonucci, 518-331-3095
Saratoga Christopher O’Connor,
[email protected]
Schenectady - Walt Wojtowicz,
[email protected]
Schoharie Leo Siemion Jr., 518-287-1408
Warren - Alicia Purzycki,
[email protected]
Washington - Tom Wells,
[email protected]
President’s Column
In school, a professor asked my class if
we had ever taken piano lessons, and
if we liked to practice. Most of the
class answered no, and he then asked
us— why? The answers were mostly
that we just didn’t like to. As he developed this idea more, the real reason he
came to was that we were not very
good at playing the piano. He pointed
out that we tended to do things we
were good at, and we tended to like
doing what we could do well.
Beekeeping is like that. Sure, the little
bugs are fascinating, but then winter
comes with all of its associated problems. How did your bees do over the
winter? If you are sitting there thinking “they did awesome,” then I say
congratulations. I bet that you will
still be keeping bees in the future. If
you are sitting there thinking “Oh,
yeah I should see if anyone has bees
for sale since mine died,” then my gut
feeling is you are more at risk of becoming a beekeeper that tried, did not
like it, and therefore , did not stay
with it.
To help your bees make it through
next winter, start now by thinking
about Varroa Mites and a plan for their
control. These little bugs that live on
our little bugs are fascinating as well,
- by Chris Cripps
but they are deadly to the bees. They
spread disease through their bites.
With enough mites in a hive, an epidemic of viruses affects the bees causing a lot of varying signs.
There are lots of controls that people
practice to keep mites under control.
The general tenets of mite control are
to keep track of the mite numbers, and
if they are getting high, do something
to lower their numbers. Some control
can be done with management like
making splits or otherwise breaking
the brood cycle (where the mites reproduce), and some is done with treatments that range from organic approved chemicals to deadly, waxcontaminating chemicals.
Since we are at the start of a beekeeping “New Year,” please make a resolution to keep track of the tiny bugs living on your bees. You are a mite keeper besides a beekeeper. Hopefully if
you keep these mites under control,
you will have bees that survive the
winter and will be taking part in an
enjoyable and fascinating hobby that
you do well, and will enjoy.
Calendar - Use This to Mark Yours!
Beeyard Visits Scheduled!
May 18 : Membership meeting at cooperative extension, 50 West High St., Ballston Spa.
7pm— Ask a Beek informal Q &A, lending library, dues
renewal, 50/50 raffle ticket sales
7:30 pm — Speaker Presentation
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the upcoming
beeyard visits! This is a great opportunity to visit
other apiaries and collaborate with your fellow
June 13th and 14th: Beeyard Visits. See next column for more information.
So far we have 3 beeyard visits scheduled for June.
The first beeyard visit of the season is being hosted by
Walt Wojtowicz in Delanson. Participants will be helping with a hive inspection. This visit is scheduled for
June 13th from 11:00—2:-00.
June 27: Betterbee Field Day at Washington County Fairgrounds See
July 20th: Membership meeting at cooperative extension, 50 West High St., Ballston Spa.
7pm— Ask a Beek informal Q &A, lending library, dues
renewal, 50/50 raffle ticket sales
7:30 pm — Speaker Presentation
The second visit on the calendar is scheduled for June
14th, from 11:00-2:00, and is being hosted by Beth
Ann Shane-Holser in Averill Park, NY. It will include
hive inspections of 2 Langstroth hives, 1 KTBH, and
possibly a new Warre hive. A potluck will be held after
the June 14th apiary visit—please bring a chair and
something to share.
July 21-26: Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa.
See page 5.
August 24-30: Washington County Fair.
Notes from Gregory Stoddard, 1st V.P.
Our third beeyard visit is the Betterbee Field Day
scheduled for June 27th.
Please join us at the May 18th SABA meeting!
7:00 –7:30 pm
* Attendance Sign-In
* Ask A Beekeeper Advice Corner
* Lending Library, Refreshments
* Dues Renewal & Volunteer sign-up sheets
For more information on locations and contact
information, please visit our SABA webpage
( If you are interested in
hosting a bee yard visit, email Amy Carmen at
[email protected]
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Short business meeting, followed by our May
program, “Cut Outs for Fun and Profit”. Ian
Munger will be discussing how to get free bees,
and get paid for doing it! Mr. Munger is SABA
1st Vice President, co-founder of SABA’s bee
school, and one of its instructors.
NOTE: The Meet & Greet will be at Augie's
Restaurant, 17 Low St., Ballston Spa., on May
18th at 5.30.
A fun lunch after the bee yard work. Bring something to
share when you come to a SABA bee yard visit!
Honey Bee Corner Bee Stings at Picnic Time
Summer months are traditional times for picnics.
Among the uninvited picnic guests it’s likely you’ll see
some yellow jackets. Unlike gentle honey bees that are
vegetarians, the aggressive yellow jacket is omnivorous
and eats some insects. That is why they show up just at
the time the delicious aromas of hot dogs and hamburgers
float in the breeze from the grill. They also have a “sweet
tooth” and go after the sugar in your iced tea and soda
pop. Remind the kids to check the edge for bees, especially
if the drink has been left on the table for a while.
by Dick Johnson
and continues to inject venom under your skin for a couple of minutes. It’s best not to leave it there, but to get
the stinger out as soon as possible to prevent getting the
“full dose.” Fortunately many people develop a tolerance
to stings, and their reaction is much reduced after frequent stings. Most people do not experience any symptoms other than a burning sensation for two minutes, a
red spot, and local swelling. Occasionally a mild allergic
reaction may cause itching, a rash, or a light-headed feeling, and these symptoms usually respond to an antihistamine pill.
There are two types of yellow jackets in this area that
build up their populations during late summer and early
fall. The native, most common type makes its nest in the
ground and is actually smaller than a honey bee. The other type is about one inch long, almost double the size of a
honey bee, and native to Europe. It builds a small hanging
nest. Both of these insects are shiny, bright yellow with
black stripes—differing from the honey bee which is tan/
rust with black stripes, and fuzzy.
The dangerous type of reaction is a drop in blood pressure and any difficulty breathing. This may be an anaphylactic reaction and requires immediate medical attention. People who are hypersensitive to insect venom
should carry the pocket sting kit available by prescription. Treatments to desensitize highly sensitive people
are available from specialized allergists.
When a person receives multiple stings there will be
significant swelling, but a healthy adult usually recovers
after even 300 stings. There has been considerable concern about the spread of the “Africanized” honey bees
now found in much of the deep south. These honey bees
are very aggressive but beekeepers in those areas have
adjusted their management to be able to deal with them,
continuing to pollinate crops and produce honey. These
bees originated in the tropics and will not persist in the
north since they cannot survive our cold winters. Don’t
expect any problems with the gentle honey bee, but be
careful with those picnic bees!
The other serious pest at the picnic may be the white
faced hornet. This is a large, shiny black bee with white
markings on the head and white markings near the tail.
These are the ones that build those big round gray nests
hanging from a branch. Yellow jackets and white faced
hornets may be aggressive and can sting multiple times,
unlike the honey bee.
It is unlikely that honey bees will create a problem unless the picnic is in a beekeeper’s yard. Honey bees don’t
want to sting as they lose their life if they do, but they will
sting to protect their hive. Unless you threaten them,
while honey bees are foraging in the flowers, they are usually very gentle. Despite the hysteria associated with bee
stings, they do not cause a medical crisis for 99% of our
The Catskill Mountain Beekeepers meet the second Tuesday of
every month at the Agroforestry Resource Center, home of the
Greene County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 6055 NYS Route
23, Acra, NY 12405 at 7:00 p.m. We have very enthusiastic and
informative members who love to share their beekeeping adventures. You are always welcome. Stop in and say hello.
The honey bee has a barbed stinger that sticks to you
What is that pollen my bees are bringing in?
One of the best parts of spring is watching honeybees starting to bring pollen back to the
hive. Often, you might find yourself wondering what color pollen is coming from which
plants. Jack Rath recently shared a great resource:
Pollen_source. This website has a really nice pollen color chart that is easy to use.
Bee sure to check it out!
EAS 2015 - Ontario, Canada
August 10-14
If the hot, humid days of summer are getting you
down, plan on heading north for this years EAS
conference at the University of Guelph, Ontario,
There will be over 100 workshop sessions to
choose from, as well as fun events such as a pig
roast, auction, and annual banquet. Workshop
sessions include queen rearing, integrated pest
management, introductory beekeeping, mead and
beer making, how to win at honey competitions,
and more.
Seminar Very Educational
Thank you to SABA’s 20 seminar volunteers, who
made the annual seminar on March 21 a success. Led
by Anne Frey, volunteers did such things as host the
speakers and drive them around, set up the atrium,
bring refreshments, staff the check-in table, solicit donations for the fundraiser from vendors, pack goody
packets, sell raffle tickets, and sell T-shirts.
Speakers will include Mark Winston, Robert E. Page
Jr., Phil Craft, Robert Currie, Ernesto Guzman,
Pierre Giovenazzo,Tammy Horn, Zachary Huang,
Greg Hunt, Doug McRory, Heather Mattila, Medhat
Nasr, Gard Otis, Steve Pernal, Nigel Raine and
many, many more.
For more information you can visit the EAS website
Please note: If you are attending the conference,
please plan ahead - you will need a passport to return to the U.S.!
Thank you to John Brownigg for the following pictures of
our conference!
Participants visiting
vendors and exchanging ideas.
We had excellent speakers again this year, including
Megan Milbrath, Allen Dick, and Wyatt Mangum.
The pre-seminar dinner at Carney’s in Ballston Lake
was especially fun this year. Allen Dick and Meghan
Milbrath were present, along with 17 others. This was
a great chance to chat and get to know the speakers a
The day included a very successful raffle, and there was
much excitement while the tickets were being pulled
for prizes. Thank you to everyone who donated items
for the raffle!
Again, thank you to the volunteers: John Brownrigg,
Enjoying lunch!
Mike Coppolla, Brian Cuttler, John Daly, Trisha Driscoll,
Farial & Richard English, Anne Frey, Jack Grimshaw,
Mark Klein, Trish Manning, Aaron Morris, Susan Roberts, Lori Rubaszek, BethAnn Shane-Holser, Bob
Sheedy, Tom Slavin, Austin and Maureen Subcleff, Marsha Williams, Vicki Wills, Stephen Wilson and David
Wood .
Eagerly waiting for
the next speaker.
Got Honey?
The Saratoga County Fair is approaching! SABA
sells honey, comb honey, and creamed honey at
our educational booth at the fair. We are looking
to SABA members to market a variety of honey
products this year at our booth. To sell your honey, honey should be presented in new, clean containers, which are labeled with the beekeeper’s
name and address, and the weight. For members
who work a shift at the booth, SABA takes a 15%
commission on sales. To sell without volunteering,
a 25% commission is taken. Please contact David
Wood and let him know what you would like to
sell (email address: [email protected]).
Volunteers Needed for the
Saratoga County Fair
Let’s face it: beekeeping is a fascinating adventure. One great way to share the fun and wonder
of beekeeping is to volunteer at the Saratoga County Fair SABA booth. During fair week (July 21-26)
volunteers are needed to staff our club’s booth for
a four hour shift (10 AM – 2 PM, 2 PM – 6 PM, 6 PM
– 10 PM). There will be 2 workers per shift. In return for volunteering you get: 1) free fair admission, $10 value, 2) a raffle entry for one of 4 Betterbee “thank you” gift certificates, 3) the fun of talking with folks about beekeeping, and 4) satisfaction in knowing you helped the club.
Don’t forget that SABA will also
be at the Washington County
Fair, August 24-30! Stay tuned
for more details!
Booth volunteers will sell honey, give out “I found
the queen!” stickers, hand out free honey candy,
and keep an eye on the observation beehive. No
experience needed!
A sign up sheet will be available at our May meeting, and you can also e-mail David Wood at [email protected] .
Observation Beehives
Photo by Anne Frey
Observation beehives always bring in the crowds to the
Saratoga and Washington County fairs. Can you help?
Do you have an observation beehive you could lend for
fair use? Even if it was for a day or two it would be a
big help! If an empty observation hive is available,
could you loan some frames of brood and a queen? If
you can help or have some ideas, let’s talk! David Wood
Q and A: Nucs or packages, and how to use and store honey from deadouts.
Hi Anne,
Hi Trisha,
One of my hives died so I was wondering about a
nuc or package—which option is recommended?
I understand that nucs build out faster, but I was
wondering if there are other advantages such as;
are they healthier, do they tend to survive the
winter better, do they produce more honey,
etc.? One person said that since I have honey and
built out foundation he recommended saving the
money, getting the package, and then possibly upgrading the queen later in the year. (I'm not sure I
have the skills to do that). Another beekeeper recommended a nuc. If you do recommend a package, I'm wondering if it's better to get the package
with an Italian Queen or one with the Carniolan
Nucs and packages equalize over the summer to
about the same strength. If you are at all concerned about possible disease in combs being
bought with your nuc, go with a package, if they
are available. They are also cheaper. Finally,
you have drawn comb, which will make a package grow even faster than a package on plain
Carniolan queens are my favorite. But any new
queen should be a good layer. It’s important to
see that she is released, and watch her progress,
to know how good she is. Carniolans are reputed to be better winter survivors.
Honey from deadouts, or any winter stored honey, will not extract. It’s crystallized in the
cells. Use it for bees. They take it out of cells
very well with their little tongues, and make it
into liquid honey again, and redeposit it above
brood, feed it to brood, or eat it. If you have supers on, and a lot of old honey, they may fill up
the supers fast with it as they open up an area
for the queen to lay eggs in.
Another question is, I plan to feed the remaining
honey to my bees but if there is more left over will
it last thru the summer/fall/winter or should I try
to extract it? If I do store it, is in the basement
OK? Should it be in a plastic bag or other container?
Don’t store any beekeeping equipment in a plastic bag, since then you will get mold. It’s best to
store it on little blocks, with a metal queen excluder under the bottom box, and another metal
QE at the top. Then no mice get in, but air can
circulate. This should all be in a place that bees
can’t get to, or sometime you may have a robbing frenzy at the stack.
Honeybee Haiku
The bee emerging
from deep within the peony
departs reluctantly.
(from Narrow Road to the Interior, by Matsuo Basho)
Submitted by Anne Frey
In Thoreau’s Woods,
That’s because some of the plants and animals whose
life cycles have been interwoven for centuries do not
respond to warming temperatures in the same way
that others do, essentially throwing the ecosystem out
of whack.
Timing is Everything
by Art Jahnke
(reprinted with permission from the Summer 2014 issue
of Bostonia)
The Primack team found that on average, insects and
plants are responding to warming temperatures
Thank you to Amy Carman for sending this article!
As plants leaf out earlier, the natural food
web may lose its balance.
No, a blueberry is not just a blueberry. Not when it’s
attached to a blueberry bush, whose tender new leaves
each spring provide food for insects, which pollinate
flowers and themselves often become food for birds,
which litter the forest with seeds, and yes, sometimes
become food for bigger birds, which...You get the picture. A blueberry is one representative of a complex
ecosystem, one that can be thrown out of balance when
a single element, like the timing of spring leaf-out, begins to fluctuate.
similarly (ticks, for example are emerging earlier to
feed on white-footed mice and suburban hikers), and
they are staying in sync with each other.
Songbirds are not. Many migratory birds, such as the
pine warbler and the gray catbird, have been found to
have a much weaker response to local temperature
changes, instead taking their behavioral cues from the
climate in other parts of the country or world, where
they winter. This, says Gallinat, could spell trouble for
songbirds if they miss the abundance of insects that
accompanies the peak of spring leaf-out. Warmer
springs also mean earlier flowering times. Gallinat
warns that if species like the lowbush blueberry flower
early in response to warmer temperatures, but the insects that help pollinate them don’t have the same response, the reproductive capacity of the blueberry
could suffer. And so could populations of its pollinators, including honey bees, bumble bees and other insects.
Flowers arrive early, but
That, according to Richard Primack, a College of Arts
& Sciences biology professor, is exactly what is happening in the woods of Concord, Mass. Primack and graduate students Caroline Polgar (GRS ‘13) and Amanda
Gallinat (GRS ‘17) have been tracking the changing leafout times of trees and shrubs at Walden Pond, starting
with dates first noted by Henry David Thoreau in the
1850s. The team has determined that the contemporary leaf-out dates are on average 18 days earlier than
they were when Thoreau made his observations.
At Bostonia’s request, Primack’s team pushed their
data one step further to predict leaf-out times for one
particularly sensitive species, the low-bush blueberry
(Vaccinium angustifolium), through the end of the 65st
century. The lowbush blueberry’s projected leaf-out
some songbirds do not.
Earlier leafing out also means a longer photosynthetic growing season, which could change the balance
of power among species by giving an advantage to
trees and shrubs with strong responses to temperature changes. Primack believes that apple trees and
birch trees may thrive, while sugar maple and beech
trees may languish. Invasive shrubs, such as nonnative barberries and honeysuckle, are likely to be the
big winners.
Rising Temperatures Re-set Some Natural Clocks
date at the end of this century will be April 7, about 20
days earlier than this year’s.
While researchers cannot predict the specific impacts
of the blueberry’s earlier leaf-out on other plants and
animals, they can say there will be consequences.
Volume 29, Issue 3, May 2015
Treasurer Trish Manning
442 Van Patten Rd.
Duanesburg, NY 12056
Services/For Sale
For Sale: Summer Five Frame Nucs. From my
Beeline Deadline for the July issue is June
overwintered bees, with new 2015 queens. All
brood in nuc will be from the queen with the
nuc. Ideal for use to invigorate weak hives, replace dead hives, or to over winter for
2015/2016. $130 each. Lloyd Spear 518-5738246 or [email protected]
22. Please submit your articles, photos, announcements, etc. to the Editor via email
[email protected] Photos should be reduced
in size before sending.
For Sale : SABA T-Shirts, $14 each. Proceeds
Online Payment of dues, T-shirt purchases,
from sales go to SABA’s Wolf-Lounsbury Young
Beekeeper Award fund. Choice of green or sapphire. Buy shirts at SABA meetings!
etc. is possible on the SABA website for your convenience.