March 2012 Meeting Minutes

March 2012 - Regular Meeting Minutes



Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association

March 2012– Regular Meeting Minutes

3-2-12     7:07 PM

Minutes of the February meeting were approved.

Guest Speaker, Ms. Stephany Alvarez-Ventura;  Measuring Impacts of Neem Oil and Amitraz on Varroa Destructor in Honey Bee Colonies. Ms. Alvarez-Ventura attended the Agro-Ecology Program at Florida International University.

Neem Oil:  is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of neem,( Azadi-rachta indica), an evergreen tree which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and has been introduced to many other areas in the tropic.  It is perhaps, the most important of the commercially available products of neem for organic farming and medicines.  Its color is red as blood, and has a rather strong odour that is said to combine the odours of peanut and garlic.  Neem oil also contains steroids.

The study is conducted at an organic agricultural site vs two conventional agricultural sites.  Its purpose, to improve honey bee and other pollinators' well being, to assist beekeepers in controlling Varroa mite, to reduce contamination of hive products, and to assist with USDA pollinator programs.

Apis mellifera - origin in South and South East Asia, honey production and pollen,(in the U.S.), decline 50% in 50 yrs., due to Varroa mite and recently CCD, decline in all pollinators.  

Varroa reproduction - seen in the life-cycle of the honey bee.  The spread of Varroa destructor Southeast Asia, China, Russia, occurred with the trans rail road, and trade.  Varroa control - 140 chemicals tested:  Fluvalinate, Apistan, Checkmite (Pyrethroid).

Essential Oils - strong vs mild chemotypes, influenced to composition, more than 150 essential oils examined:  wintergreen, controls Varroa mite within 48 hours.  Good results.  In a field study, 10% neem oil provided between 50 - 80% reduction in mite population. 

Amitraz - triazapentadiene compound, slightly toxic, breaks down very rapidly, half-life is 1 day, if resistance - beekeepers increased their dosage.

Objectives of the Research: green fecundity, honey yield, and mite loss.

Hypothesis - is most effective at controlling mite levels, colony strength is increased in organic farms.

Methodology - 4 farms sites:  ex:  South West, Miami Dade...etc., 48 full hives.  Twelve hives in each site, treatment: neem oil with amitraz, and/or amitraz alone.

Preparation - neem oil 15%, almitraz 3.125%.  Mixture of both:  neem oil 15% and 3.125% of almitraz.  Treatment procedure:  ex:  each beehive, treatment once with strip of cotton material.

Performed a sampling procedure:  measured the queen productivity, excellent 85% increased of frame covered, number of dead mite fallen during treatment.

Step 1 - white cardboard sprayed with oil.

Step 2 - place under beehive.

Step 3 - 3 days and count number of dead mites.

Powdered sugar dusting can also be another method of counting dead mite.

Equation:  Rate of efficacy %:   number of mites               x 100

                                                 number of dead mites


Used one-way ANOVA for treatment effectiveness.

Queen fecundity tested:  before treatment, after treatment.

Total Honey yield before treatment and after season - 5 months.

Two organic farms - higher honey yield.


Treatment effectiveness:  some beehives need to be treated, no difference in mite loss if hives are placed in organic farms and conventional farms, NA was most effective; mites in So. Florida are not resistant to Amitraz but are showing signs of increased tolerance, aggressive chewing behavior was noticed in the 3 neem oil treated hives in cycle 1, hygienic genes , food source availability, neem oil causes agitation.

Experiments done in winter; 2 cold fronts were experienced.  Two untreated hives, results:  2 dead hives.

This was also probably caused by:  mite infestation, lack of treatment, short resource availability, and lack of protection from the frost.

Notes:  Neem Oil:  from India, neem cake used as fertilizer and has more than 210 uses.  Steve Corniffe, beekeeper that provided with beehives for experiment.

Treasurer’s Report: $  12,227.43

Old Business: 

Membership Annual dues: $20.00, continued to be collected by treasurer, Sara White.  If membership dues have not been paid, the PBCBA will drop member from the Yahoo Group.

Bee College, March 9th and 10th, 2012.  (Must have one beehive registered with the Dept. of Agriculture for the Master Beekeeper program).

Saturday, March 10th, 2012, Top Bar Bee Hive Tour, Sam Comfort in Vero Beach from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Contact Sam if interested or write your name on list.

Sara, informed members of plans for a picnic to include all members.  At this time no definite answer was obtained from members. 

Al Salopek, explained about the "Pay it Forward" web site, a not-for-profit organization to educate about bees.  Al has set-up a social network to post relating issues about bee hives.  You will be able to post photos, videos, and will be able to communicate as a group.  Al Salopek obtained a grant and purchased 65 bee hives from B. Harvey.  Beginners or members interested in becoming caretakers, Bee Understanding will supply a beehive, top deep box, frames, queen, etc., and supplies for splitting.  Bee Understanding has purchased 60 bee hives, 700 frames.  These need to be assembled and painted.  Suggestions are being accepted by Al.  Volunteers interested, please see Al Salopek.  This is all free of charge.  Donations are accepted. 

Outreach requests:

Tuesday, March 13th, 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, Marsh Pointe Elementary Ecopalooza.  Breanna Avers, Tel. (561) 215-8201, is the contact.  Chris Swartz and Sara White have volunteered to support this event.

Monday, March 19th, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, West Palm Beach Library.  Education program for children and adults.  Alice Bojanowski, Tel. (561) 234-6008, is the contact.  Jim Chapman will support this request.

Wednesday, March 21st, 11:00 am, The Canadian Club, for approximately 30 min., they need a speaker.  They make a $50.00 donation to the Association.  The speaker is invited for lunch at the Golden Corral, 389 Winchester Park Blvd., Boynton Beach.  

Saturday, April 14th, Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association Conference held at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center.

Saturday, April 28th, Daggerwing Nature Center.  (Without Insurance we cannot sell honey or wax products).  They would still like us to participate with our observation hive and training materials.  Board members have approved pending insurance is obtained.  Members were asked for volunteers to support this outreach activity even if we can’t use it as a fund raiser.

Speakers scheduled as follows:

April, William Steel from Bee Natural Honey.

May, Michael Kantor; Beneficial Properties of Propolis.

June, ________________________________________

July, Mario Jakob from D & J Apiaries, Inc.

Aug. through Dec.  to be scheduled.

Honey Bee Removals:  The Association does not do bee removals but as requests come into the Association the information is shared amongst the members in case someone wants to help out.  The mission statement of the Association is “To promote the general welfare of beekeeping in Palm Beach County, Florida”.  Please keep postings to the Yahoo Group in line with the mission statement.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm. 

March 2012 - Board Meeting Minutes


Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association

March 2012 – Board Meeting Minutes

James Chapman, Al Salopek, Sara White, Alexandra V. Kaufman

3-2-12 at 5:30 PM

Last month’s minutes approved.

Treasurers report: (amount available at mnothly meeting)

Old Business:

 Insurance - this issue is still pending.

Sara will scan pdf of the S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedures) and she will place them on Website for Yahoo Group Members to use.  Hard copies will be available at April's meeting.  

Al Salopek informed the board members that Honey Bear Labels can be ordered at this time.  Sara has decided to order 1,250 labels for $100.00.

Board members have prepared a donation basket for Kristi Moyer from the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, for her silent auction at her annual fund raiser.  Jim will deliver the basket.

Sara will prepare the display table at Bee College (March 9th and 10th). Board members had voted on displaying half a mannequin dressed with the club's T-shirt, April's Conference brochures, club's business cards, etc.

New Business:

Al demonstrated the Pay It Forward web site:  a social network of beekeepers showing how "paying it forward" works, how to register and how it will be progressing with time.  Palm Beach County Beekeepers will have their own group page where they will be able to place their own photos, create their own blog for chatting, add their own videos, and add a calendar for events. (All of this will be related to bees only). This membership will be free of charge and it will represent a virtual community of beehives.  Additionally, a caregiver will take care of one beehive and then perform a "splitting", donating this to a new member.  The care giver will be a person that understands what he is doing and will receive one beehive from Bee Understanding.Org. (New members do not have to accept a beehive if they do not want to.  Maybe this member lives in an apartment, etc).  The overall outcome will be that of a pyramid effect that is, one care giver, one beehive, one splitting, two beehives, one for care giver, one for new member, and so forth.  Bee Understanding. Org, has purchased 50 deep boxes and 700 frames. There will be 60 hives to give away to caregivers.  Volunteers will be needed to assemble and paint.  (If interested please see Al Salopek).

February and March Regular Meetings are being videotaped for inclusion in the Association’s library.  These could be placed on U-tube.  However, we need to obtain authorization through a Release of Information Form from speakers.  Form must be designed first to obtain permission from speakers.

Sara discussed the probability of a PBCBA picnic.  She will bring it up at the regular meeting for discussion with members for its approval or dismissal.

Top Bar Hive Apiary Tour - Vero Beach, conducted by Sam Comfort, March 10, 2012 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  (Attendance list for those interested).


Tuesday, March 13th, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm, Marsh Pointe Elementary Ecopalooza.  This event will be volunteered by Chris Swartz and Sara White.

Monday, March 19th, 2012, 6:00 pm - 8:00pm, West Palm Beach Library.  Education program for children and adults.  Alice Bojanowski, Tel. (561) 234-6008, is the contact.  Jim Chapman will support this request.

The Canadian Club of the Palm Beaches, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 11:00 am, for approximately 30 min., a volunteer speaker is needed.  (They make a $50.00 donation to the Association).  The speaker is invited for lunch at the Golden Corral, 389 Winchester Park Blvd., Boyton Beach.

Saturday, April 14th - Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association Conference conducted at Pine Jog Environmental Education Center.  Approved by members.

Saturday, April 28th - Daggerwing Nature Center.   Without Insurance we cannot sell honey or wax products.  Thus, they would still like us to participate with our observation hive and training materials.  This was approved by the Board and we will ask the members for a volunteer to support this activity..

Guest Speakers for January through May have been selected:

March - Stephany Alvarez-Ventura: Measuring Impacts of Neem Oil and Amitraz on Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies.                                                                                   

April - William Steel from Bee Natural Honey              

May - Michael Kantor; Beneficial properties of propolis 

June - ________________________________________

July - Mario Jakob from D & J Apiary, Inc.

Aug. through December, to be scheduled.                                                        

Close of meeting:

Sara, has filed our annual report with Sunbiz.  New members have been added to the master membership list.

Meeting adjourned at 6:45 PM

Minutes respectfully submitted by: Alexandra V. Kaufman


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