Beekeepers in the Bluegrass
Association Meeting Information

The Bluegrass Beekeepers meet monthly throughout the year excluding January and August. The meetings are the second Monday of each month and include an always fabulous potluck starting at 7:00 p.m. The meetings are held at the Fayette County Extension Office in Lexington, Kentucky.

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TheQueenBee

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Crowd Source Beekeeping© (Bluegrass Beekeepers)
September, 2017

Local is good.  Crowd Source Beekeeping© is a poll of those attending the September meeting of the Bluegrass Beekeepers on what we all are doing with our bees at that time. There is wisdom and guidance in our pooled answers to questions; but, the poll is not intended to tell you how to best keep bees. You must determine that based on your particular goals, energy, and near environment.

The big news from the September poll:

Beekeepers talk to their bees!
Many of us are discouraged as beekeepers.
Most of us are paying attention to what is blooming here in the Fall.
More of us than in July are taking steps to get ready for Winter by treating for varroa.
Fewer of us than in July are inspecting all the way down.
Many are installing Swiffer pads for SHB.
Many are using frames 5 years and older (toxin buildup in the wax is the concern).
Many want all of their supers off by mid-September.
Few are tipping hives for weight or installing mouse guards.

All questions were prefaced with the phrase, ‘Raise your hand if you…” A dash below (-) means that question was not asked at one meeting or the other; so, comparison is not possible.
                                                                                                   Sept (July)
Split a hive this past week.                                                         – (1) 
Were stung this past week – no matter how lightly              – (9)
Know your bees swarmed within the past week.                   – (0)
Took off at least one super this past week.                             – (6)
Extracted honey in the past 10 days                                         – (8)
Saw hive beetles in any hive                                                      – (25)
Saw robbing among your bees this past week                        5 (4)
Inspected the lowest deep of at least one hive this week. 15 (24)
Are reasonably sure that all our hives are queen-right.    23 (36)
Fed bees this past week.                                                           28 (24)
Treated for varroa this past week                                           10 (2)
Talk to your bees                                                                         32 (-)
Noted bees arriving with orange pollen                                 22 (-)
Have supers on hives                                                                  24 (-)
Tipped all of your hives                                                                6 (-)
Combined hives within the past few weeks                              3 (-)
Remove all supers by mid-Sept                                                 11 (-)
Installed Swiffer pads in every hive                                          15 (-)
Noted Golden Rod and Iron Weed are blooming                   31 (-)
Mouse Guards installed                                                                 3 (-)
Feel discouraged as a beekeeper                                                10 (-)
Some hives have an odd odor                                                       1 (-)
Some frames are more than 5 years old.                                  12 (-)

You have permission to publish Crowd Source Beekeeping with credit to Gregory Brock.

Crowd Source Beekeeping© (Bluegrass Beekeepers)

Local is good.  That’s why Crowd Source Beekeeping©, where we poll what we all are doing with our bees is so helpful. There is wisdom and guidance in our pooled answers to timely questions.

This past month (second week of July), we responded to 11 questions, here are the results. Not all 57 of those attending responded. All questions were prefaced with the phrase, ‘Raise your hand if you…”

  • Inspected the lowest deep of at least one hive this week. 24
  • Split a hive this past week.   1 
  • Fed bees this past week.  24
  • Treated for varroa this past week 2
  • Were stung this past week – no matter how lightly 9
  • Saw robbing among your bees this past week    4
  • Know your bees swarmed within the past week.    0
  • Are reasonably sure that all our hives are queen-right.    36
  • Took off at least one super this past week.   6
  • Extracted honey in the past 10 days    8
  • Saw hive beetles in any hive 25

Take away:

Most of us are:

  • Sure all our hives are queen-right.
  • Inspect at least some of our hives weekly, all the way down.
  • Feeding some hives now.
  • Infected with hive beetles.
  • Unaware when and if our hives swarm

Some of us are:

  • Seeing robbing.
  • Taking off supers and extracting.
  • Getting stung (Beekeepers get stung)

A few of us are:

  • Treating for varroa now.
  • Splitting hives.

    Crowd Source Beekeeping is not meant to market any particular way to manage bees. Look at the number of responses to each question and decide whether you are in-step with what others are doing or whether you, for whatever reason, think or are doing differently. The key is to think and act mindfully about what we are doing.

Mary Sheldon is doing a study involving whether there is an increase in pesticides in honey from urban beekeepers from companies spraying for “Zika mosquitoes”.  She needs some samples from beekeepers. Below is the link for the application to get your honey tested. She needs about a pound of honey to test from everyone. There are only 20 spots available for the tests but the tests are free. 

Letter-to-beekeepers

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