August 2022 Newsletter
…And now for the sticky part... Honey harvest is upon us! Pulling supers is only the beginning of the stickiness to come. It’s at this time of the year that I remind myself I was going to try to go back to trying the comb honey production of my childhood. Although not easier, it is perhaps a little less messy. There’s no uncapping tank, extractor, filters, collection buckets and fewer yards and yards of drop cloths, and the power washer doesn’t get a workout. There is, however, a great deal of time and monitoring involved. Either way, you cut it, this hobby is not for the weak-hearted, there’s ALWAYS lots of work to be done! Speaking of which, be sure to get those entries ready for the MINNESOTA STATE FAIR!
As you contemplate honey harvesting and extraction, consider renting or sharing some of the more expensive equipment ( like an extractor). Some of us gather together a few beekeepers and hold an EXTRACTION Party as a way to share the labor while having fun! Reach out via our Facebook page to find out about communal extraction, or sharing or renting equipment!
Sadly I missed July’s Member Meeting. However, rave reviews were shared about Dr. Marla Spivaks’ wonderful presentation on Honey Bee Anatomy for Hobby Beekeepers. Even some of the most seasoned beekeepers said they learned something new! I continue to feel so grateful for the education, knowledge, and support we receive from Marla Spivak, Katie Lee, Jessica Helgen, Bridget Mendel, and other researchers and educators at the UMN Bee Lab. As a way of expressing our appreciation to the UMN Bee Lab, we invite you to attend this year’s BANQUET! On October 15th the Banquet will be held at the Minnesota Science Museum! All auction proceeds benefit the UMN Bee Lab! Please look for BANQUET registration information in this newsletter.
Please note that our August 9th PICNIC will be held in place of the August member meeting. Please be advised: There is no Hive Demonstration in August.
Looking forward to seeing all of you at the Picnic and the Banquet!
Reminder: Our annual picnic (Tuesday, August 9th) takes the place of our normal monthly membership meeting. In other words, there is no regular meeting at the U of M or on Zoom this month. We are looking forward to dining and conversations with the 75 people who signed up to attend the picnic. If you have any last-minute questions about the picnic, please email [email protected]
Better Beekeeping Through Education
Tuesday, August 9th, 6:00 PM
MN Fair Grounds - Bee & Honey Exhibit
Canceled due to the MHBA picnic at 6pm
Click here for directions.
8/9 @ 6 PM
See the announcement below.
8/25 - 5/9
See volunteer needs below.
9/13 @ 7 PM
James Wolfin with Lawns to Legumes.
10/11 @ 7 PM
Meghan Milbrath with the University of Michigan.
Director NOMINATION DEADLINE
The MHBA is seeking a Hospitality Chair. We hope to eventually return to providing refreshments at our meetings, however we are in need of a Hospitality Chair!
- Preparing coffee and lemonade for in person meetings.
- Monthly securing member volunteers to provide treats such as cookies and bars
- Organizing cups, napkins, paper plates and supplies as needed.
Interested? Please contact Susan Bornstein [email protected]
Management, July 2022
Good news! Our annual picnic is on August 9th. Instead of a meeting, we have a picnic. We will not be having the hive demo this month.
August is MITES, Mites, and mites. Specifically, varroa mites
The first thing you should do this month if you have not already done so is to check your mite levels. Hopefully, you have been testing monthly throughout the season. I know you must remove the supers to get a brood frame but, this is important information to monitor. To get an accurate reading you must get the sample of bees from a brood frame. If your mite levels are below 2 per 100 bees, you can relax for a bit (check again as soon as the supers come off). If mite levels are above 2 per 100 bees consider removing the supers and extracting as soon as possible (for sure by the end of August) and treat for mites. You need to get the mite levels low before your winter bees are raised so they are healthy to live through the winter.
During the summer bees live only 6 weeks. Bees raised at the end of the season live through winter and have to live for 6 months. Honey bees raised in fall are physiologically different to make this possible. Pupating bees with varroa mites feeding on them have a 10-15% shorter lifespan (30x6x.15=27). This means the bee with a varroa mite in her cell will only live about 5 months. This is one of the causes of weakened colonies in spring.
(30x6x.15=27) In case this is driving you nuts. Thirty days in a month times 6 months times 15% = number of days less a bee lives if it had mites in the cell with it.
Another issue caused by varroa is vectoring (transferring) of viruses from one bee to another. The more mites in a colony the higher the transfer rate. This spread of viruses resulting in bee deaths is a cause of the late fall - early winter deaths “from varroa”.
Test your mite levels. I suggest the powder sugar roll. For information on the powered sugar roll test visit Z.umn.edu/freebee and/or Z.umn.edu/mitekit.
Make sure your honey is below 18.6% moisture before extracting. If at least 80% of the frames are capped it should be ok. If possible, test with a refractometer. Remember, you are looking for an average of <18.6%. This means even if some honey reads 17% and there is enough at 20% it will balance out and your harvest should be fine. Assuming you are mixing it all together when you extract.
Even if the honey was dry enough when you removed the supers, storing them before extracting is important. If they are stored in a humid environment they will absorb moisture from the air. Therefore, if not extracting immediately be sure to store it in a warm (>75dF) dry (<50% humidity) room. Keeping it warm, makes it easier to extract than a cooler thicker honey. If the moisture is high, dry it in the frames by circulating warm dry air through the supers. If there is a possibility of small hive beetles in your colonies, do not store supers for more than three days before extracting. The small hive beetles lay eggs and hatch in 3 days. The larvae will destroy your honey and your wax comb. All things considered, I think it is best to keep the supers on the colony until you are ready to extract.
Now is the time to consider whether the bees have enough honey for winter. If you kept the bees in 3 deeps and the top box is full of honey you should be good. If you have your bees in 2 deep they will need to get the top box full of honey for winter. Hopefully, it is not full now because they need the brood space to raise a good population of winter bees. Remove the supers by mid-August and hope for a good fall nectar flow to fill the top deep. If that's not the case feed 2:1 sugar syrup.
After getting the mites under control, August is a good time to get your entries ready for the MN State Fair competition. Pre-register everything you want to enter into the honey bee exhibit. The deadline for entries is Monday, August 15 at 4:30 pm. Register for everything you think you want to enter. No penalty if something goes wrong but if it's not registered by 4:30 on August 15th it won't be accepted.
Reproduction of all or part of this article without the author’s permission is prohibited.
SAVE THE DATE
We are busy, busy bees planning our annual banquet & fundraising auction for 2022! It will be held on October 15th at the Science Museum in St. Paul. All proceeds from the auction will go to the UMN Bee Lab’s Scholarship Fund. So, start saving your bee & honey-related items to donate.
I welcome volunteers to help! Please let me know if you are interested at [email protected].
See registration information below.
- Ginger Reuter, Banquet Committee Chair
Used bee equipment
Clean, painted, 10 deep hive boxes, 7 supers, 5 top covers, 5 inner covers, 1 insulating cover, 2 bottom boards, 4 ground frames, some new comb some drawn comb. Good condition, retiring, downsizing. 612-599-0375.
MHBA 2022 Annual Banquet
October 15th starting at 6:00 pm.
Minnesota Science Museum 120 Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, MN
You may come earlier and tour the museum. Admission to the museum will be included for those pre-registered and their guests. There will be a dinner, cash bar and a fundraiser auction to follow.
All proceeds from the auction will go to the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.
Please bring your bee-related auction items to the banquet... we will have people to help you.
Register online - https://mnbeekeepers.com/11186-2/
Register by mail - https://mnbeekeepers.com/wp-content/uploads/Banquet-registration-2.pdf
Members $35 - Non Members $40
Tickets are limited! Get yours today!
All registrations must be received by October 1st, 2022
Volunteer Opportunities at the Minnesota State Fair
State Fair Opportunities!
Hi all! Alex King here, Superintendent of the Bee & Honey Exhibit at the MN State Fair.
Here is an exciting opportunity for all MHBA beekeepers at any level!
I am looking for a few Staff Interpreter positions to be filled for the MN State Fair this year. It is a paid position! Duties include: paying attention to volunteers' needs, filling in for volunteers when necessary, maintaining the exhibit's appearance, helping with the judging of entries, interacting with guests, and of course, "Other duties as they come up". Ideal candidates will be available daily from Saturday, August 20th through Tuesday, September 6th, a general knowledge about beekeeping that includes you too NewBees!) and the ability to enjoy working in the lively environment for the fair! If you are interested in applying or would like more information shoot me an email at [email protected] and in the Subject write: State Fair Bee & Honey Exhibit.
Now to bug you about volunteering! And volunteering at the fair is a blast! You'll meet a lot of interesting folks and learn a lot. We're at almost 60% of the slots filled by our volunteer interpreters, which is great! but there are still plenty of dates and times available. These are 3-hour shifts. You'll sit near an observation hive and answer basic questions from the general fairgoers. Everyone loves the Bee and Honey Exhibit. I will give you free admission to the fair for your volunteer gig and the time flies by really fast. View available slots here https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f4ea9af22a5f85-beehoney1
Honey Extraction demos are also volunteer opportunities. this is an important fundraiser for our association and we still have 7 the 24 slots to fill. There are four extracting demos each day at 1, 2, 4, and 5 pm and take you approximately 15 - 30 minutes. Once again you get free admission to the fair and the rest of the time is yours to enjoy! Even if you have never extracted honey, we encourage you to sign up! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f4ea9af22a5f85-honey1
We're less than a month away! I can't wait to see you all at the fair!
Superintendent: MN State Fair Bee & Honey Exhibit
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Email a photo to Gary Reuter at [email protected] before noon on the day of the member's meeting so he can project it on the screen during “Ask the Expert.” We will all learn from you what you see in your hive.
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We continue to make updates and changes to our website. Recently, we reorganized the Education page.
Stay tuned for no-cost Community-based beekeeping classes & events in the new calendar:
If you are offering a class/event, you may submit the details to have it listed on our website:
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- Renew your membership online with a credit card (preferred).
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The MHBA newsletter welcomes articles, photos, recipes, etc. from members. Please send them to the editor:
If an article is a reprint from another source, permission must be gained if required. The due date for newsletter submission is the 25th of the month for the next month's newsletter.
|Vice President||Alex King|
|Technology Committee||Quintin Holmberg|
|Newsletter Editor||Quintin Holmberg|
|Katie Lee, PhD. (appointed)|
Make 2022 the year to get more involved in your club! To become a Community Outreach volunteer or a Swarm Chaser please complete and submit the appropriate form by visiting:
NOTE: The contents of this Newsletter are the sole property of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (MHBA). NO REPUBLICATION OR USE in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, by any other person or entity without the prior express written permission from MHBA’s Board of Directors is permitted. MHBA may be contacted at [email protected]