Beekeepers of the Bitterroot

Meeting Notes

August 12, 2017


Club extractor – Contact Loren Stormo if you’d like to use the club’s honey extractor.


Varroa monitoring – If you haven’t done a mite count this season, go! Do it now! Treat right away if mite counts have reached the treatment threshold (40 mites on a sticky board in 24 hours). Most treatments have to be used within certain temperature ranges and without honey supers in place.


Winterizing – Plan ahead and be prepared for cold weather. Here are a few things to consider for winterizing your colonies:

  • Hive should consist of two deep boxes, a solid bottom board, an inner cover (if you use one), a lid and a reduced entrance.

  • A colony needs 100 pounds of honey (10 full, deep frames) to make it through the winter. Borrow from more productive colonies if needed.

  • Insulating a hive is a matter of personal preference; ask your mentor or a club officer for more information. Those who do insulate their hives wait until flight has stopped, usually in October.


Fair tickets – More info from Tracie Norman soon regarding fair tickets for members who will be volunteering at the bee club booth.


Q&A overview

  • Laying workers – Richard Norman and Jerry Bromenshank agree that the best way to deal with laying workers is to shake them off of the brood frames 100+ yards away from the hive. They don’t fly and won’t be able to find their way back to the hive. The book The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver by James E. Tew says this does not work.

  • Pollen patties – Feed in the fall or not? Some say no because they stimulate brood production and fall is not the time for that. Others say yes because it’s good to “fatten” the bees up before winter. Patties with lower protein (4%) are for fall feeding, and higher protein patties (15%) are for spring feeding.

  • Requeening vs. letting the colony raise a new queen – General discussion. Most agreed it’s a bit late in the season now for colony to raise its own queen.

  • Crystals in honey – There is nothing wrong with crystalized honey! Crystallization is a natural occurrence and seems to depend on the type of nectar the bees stored. Alfalfa, clover and canola honeys crystalize the fastest. If your honey crystalizes, just warm it gently to liquefy it.

  • Lots of other great questions and discussion. Remember, there is exactly one correct answer for every beekeeping question. That answer is: “It depends.”