June Meeting Notes

The June 23rd, 2016 EDBA meeting was held at the SE Seniors Centre 9350 82 St.

About 30 people were present.  One person came from as far as Entwistle.

Craig Toth, our president, lead a discussion on the tasks needed to be done in the next 6 weeks. The focus was on seeing processes/tasks from the perspectives of new beekeepers.

Listed below is a fragmented summary of comments made:

  • Someone made the comment that bees need to create 6lb of honey in order to create one lb. of wax which the Coop is buying at $4 a pound.
  • People expressed surprise that the Coop was buying wax again.
  • Cor mentioned 2015 was the driest year he had ever seen and probably the strangest winter as beekeepers in some yards lost almost no hives but in other yards not far away (10-20 km. ? ) lost almost every hive. He reported that areas which were very dry last August didn’t have queens laying enough brood by late August and hence there was a large winter kill in those areas. Also in 2015 the dry conditions caused the moisture content of honey to be lower at 15%, not the usual 18%  ( 19% risk of fermentation starts ).
  • Honey with a moisture content of 15% crystalizes faster. The Coop and pet stores ( reptile section?) sell cheap ( $10 gauges ) to measure honey moisture content.
  • The wasps were also terrible last October, killing hives.
  • Eventually conversation drifted to the topic of the night.
  • When uncapping honey, it was suggested that a heat gun as an uncapper is better as it takes off little wax. A paint stripper put on low has a similar effect. Cor mentioned he had a Dakota uncapper.
  • Sara mentioned more honey can be gained by under-supering. Put the new box under the top box. This means the top third box has brood for a few weeks, which will eventually be replaced by honey. The new second box provides space for the queen. It takes bees 12-35 days to make wax.
  • After an August frost the bees start robbing.
  • Keen (?) in Vancouver sells cheap extractors. It’s also possible to buy food safe plastic extractors.
  • Toby suggested that using a food warmer and adding water can cause honey to warm up within 24 hours.
  • There is also a candle maker on 170St. who buys wax from beekeepers.
  • Cor reminded us of the technique of over lapping the third box slightly so bees can fly straight in faster than going through the bottom entrance.
  • It was mentioned that having a top entrance in spring/summer is not recommended as it brings in more daylight and causes the hive to be less warm =  more bees staying inside and fewer going out for honey.
  • submitted by Malcolm Connell
  • Edmonton Bee Forum currently has 172 members.
  • Edmonton Bee Meet Up currently has 92 members but is just used for meeting announcements.