July 2013 Meeting Minutes

July 5, 2013 - Regular Meeting Minutes



Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association

July 2013– Regular Meeting Minutes

07-5-13     7:15 p.m.

Present:  Al Salopek, Al Vazquez, Alexandra V. Kaufman

Absent:  Nedra Obradovich 

Treasure's report:  (Amount available at monthly meeting).

Old Business:

Beehives at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center

Observation Window Beehive at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center


Al Vazquez has blocked some international cruisers because these were crossing our association's ethics.

Speaker:  Sam Comfort from New York, owner of Anarchy Apiaries

Topic:  Top Bar Hives

Sam keeps bees in seven different states for eleven years.  He mentions that now beekeepers are a problem for the bees because beekeepers have gone commercial.  He believes that in the south, bees do not need beekeepers. His lost in the previous year was approximately 1% and last year 2%.  --"large epic bees can produce 200lbs of honey".

He began beekeeping in Vermont, with 1000 hives, was there a couple of months, and says that plastic frames are "absurd".

Travelled to Montana where he placed 4 hives on a palette, moved them with a forklift, placed 500 on a truck and moved them around to different states.  He believes that there is no money in honey selling.  (Major importers of honey are Argentina and China).

He heard about Migratory Pollination needed by orchard growers.  Diverse pollination from diverse nutrition.  Bees had no natural feeding instead were being fed with sugared water or corn syruped water. Major collapse due to disabled bees to survive within their natural environment. 

Had 1500 hives;  moved all lids, used a gastank kind of container with a nozzle to feed them with sugared water or corn syrup, placed cover back.

Spring 2005, east of South Carolina...Tupelo fields.....Varroa Mites - strips - infested with alive varroa mites.  Results:  varroa mites had become resistant.  (Germans invented toxic......used for years.....residue will exist for decades).  Thus, harsh treatment was used...young bees were lost, young brood was lost, queens were lost.

Began Grafting, was 24 years old at the time.  Larvae...used plastic cups.  Tupelo;  the biggest flow of honey spring 2005, last time these bees were treated.  Began a Breeding program, mite resistant....in Fort Myers had 12,000 hives.....now 25,000 hives.  Problems;  small hive beetles, a secondary pest like wax moth - will destroy brood in a very short time.  Beetles could not sting the bees - hard core shell, bees corralled beetles and jailed them in propolis jails.  Now, they turn them on their legs and began to fly away from the hive with them.

Montana again - was grafting 2,000 cells per week...did one more year of migratory pollination.  Colony Collapse Disorder came in existence.  (Bush Farms;  cells are smaller, bees are smaller, therefore, there is only enough room for one beetle in the cell instead of 4 or 5 in each cell.  It can take up to 6 or 7 bees generation.  The closer to the equator, the smaller the bees and vice versa, just like mammals.

Harvey's Honey - Bob Harvey, did queen rearing (mating).  Minnesota....hygienic bees (have fewer varroa mites and are less likely to suffer from bee diseases), on plastic, breaking the brood cycle does wonders for the bees.  Cleaning up mites by breaking the cycle, broodless cycle, no royal jelly, no eggs (3 weeks), nothing to feed, Randy Oliver....."The Rules for Successful Beekeeping".  Using natural broodcomb.

Vero Beach - has a small organic farm.  Before 1851, everyone made their own supplies, everyone had bees, they made their own hives - straw skeps, hollow logs.  Everything was fine until contagious diseases began to travel from apiary to apiary.  American Foulbrood Disease (AFB), caused by the spore forming Paenibacillus larvae, is the most widespread and destructive of the bee brood diseases.  Treated with Terramycin.  If resistant, hives have to be burned completely.

Now, locked into the Lorenzo L. Langstroth (1810 -1895), considered the father of american beekeeping, born in Philadelphia, PA., beehive model.  Every one must purchase a beehive from a certain place - a legal beehive.  Top Bar Hive - 3 or 4 feet long, can provide what bees need the most - clean air, clean water, a clean home.  (First top bar hive with movable comb discovered in Greece in 1862).

Became interested in breeding bees - Vermont - Perk Weston, Michael Bush - Russian bees - natural comb - 3D, brood - entrance to ventilate, honey in the back where it can be guarded.  Sam mentions...has had top bar hives for 8 years now.....no treatment used.  Russian bees make honey in winter....insulation - for cold weather; uses a plastic bag filled with leaves.  Langstroth frames - check boarding, stirr them contantly.  Top bar hive - swarm of bees, nice start, give them the comb by melting wax paste comb.  (Georgia bees - cheap, don't last long.

Splitting - must do it if not they will split themselves.  Split healthy bees, breaking the brood cycle, innoculating, manipulating genetics.

Swarms - indicate good vitality, they have done good, they like their environment, they are showing that they can reproduce by themselves, use bait hives.  Kirk Webster - a master natural queen breeder, Middlebury, Vermont.  Abbe Emile Warre - book;  Beekeeping for All.  He documented his findings and reasons he made the hive the way he did.....a hive that was simple to build, easy to manage, the right size for the bees, all while still producing surplus honey. " You don't have to inspect the hive frequently or agitate the bees as much as a Langstroth hive when adding additional boxes.....".  Visit once per year.....12 x 12 beehive......moving their brood to the newest wax.

Tom Sealy - bait hive....6 ft...10 ft....15 ft......propolized box to obtain free swarms.....bees are going to be our guides to reality.  Russian bees - Charlie Harper, Bob Brockman....small clusters.  Florida bees - bigger clusters.  Italian bees - need food.  Dark, black, vicious bees brought by the Spaniards.


New Business:

From the 200 beehives that the Palm Beach Beekeepers Association distributed among its members, we currently know location of approximately 25 to 35 of these.......the rest have not been reported of their condition.....have they swarmmed....do they still exist.......!

Outreach Requests:

None at this time.

Other business:


Meeting Adjourn at 9:00 p.m. 

Minutes submitted by Alexandra V. Kaufman

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