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Bee Chronicles

​​4 September 2018

Not much to note in September, seldom is.

Let me back up to 9 August.  I saw my first goldenrod blooming.  This may not be too astounding to the novice beekeeper, but it is important to the honeybees.  Goldenrod is loaded with pollen and some nectar.  It causes the queen to get really excited and lay eggs at the maximum rate.  We have enough moisture the fall flowers will be very good.  There will be 4-5 kinds of asters blooming over the next two months.  They are excellent nectar sources.  We need lots of nectar to feed the crowd of new brood and have enough for the bees to put up extra for winter food stores.

The extra for winter food is where I always get concerned.  How do we know when the bees have enough?  Do we know what enough is?  It will take about 90 lbs. of honey to get a decent population of bees from Thanksgiving to the end of February.  We can expect a “normal” winter.  That means the bees will fly several days every week.  They come home hungry and eat stored honey.

Honeybees don’t make honey when the temperature is under 50 degrees.  On any given day we may have 4-5 hours above 50.  But the bees might eat 6 hours of honey.  By the end of January, they are ready to starve.  Emergency feeding is not the best situation to be in.  They might process the emergency food (fondant, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, peppermint candy, syrup, old honey), but again there may not be enough hours to save the colony.

Now is the time to keep treating your colonies for mites.  You can do mite counts to see if you have very many mites but I don’t waste my time.  Chances are you have mites.  One mite is too many for me!  Pick your favorite treatment and go at it.  It is now cool enough to use the “jelly type” treatments (formic acid and thymol) mita away quick strips and apiguard respectively.  Oxalic acid vapor may be the best treatment.  It is all up to each beekeeper.

I like the oxalic acid fumigation because it is quick and not outside temperature dependent.  The Jelly types need to be between 60-80 degree.  Hot enough to vaporize but not so hot as to gas the bees with excess vapor.  They do work well.

I recommend grease patties for traceo mites.  You don’t hear about this much but the mites are still around.  Make your own patties the size of hamburgers 3/8th inch thick.  Mix Crisco and sugar (powdered or granulated) until you have a consistency thicker than peanut butter.  Place it on the top bars of the brood area.  The bees dislike it so much they will try to remove it form the hive getting themselves greasy.  The traceo mite only gets on the 4 day old bee.  They can tell by smell.   If the bee is greasy it will mask the smell and the mites can’t find her.  The bees will eat a lot of the grease patty because of the sugar, extra food.

Load your bees up on sugar water syrup.  If you are just trying to store honey use 2:1 sugar to water.  Water weighs about 8 lbs. to the gallon so add 4ea. 4 lbs. bags of sugar.  Mix in a 3-5 gallon bucket.  One gallon mixed up is more than a milk jug will hold.

If you are still drawing comb use a 1:1 mixture.  This will stimulate wax drawing versus honey storage.  As it gets colder (in the 30’s) switch to 2  :1.  This will reduce the amount of moisture in the hive as the bees try to dehydrate the raw honey.

I feed until end of December if it is warm.  This allows the replacement of some honey.  You never know when the bees will cluster up and not break the cluster.  This is when you need the most honey in the center of the hive.  You also never know how long this cold spell will last.  We are not in Minnesota so we are only talking 6 weeks at the longest stretch.  They will cluster tightly for 3-4 days frequently throughout the winter.  Then they loosen up the cluster and get a little food for a few hours before clustering up again for the night.

Varroa mite attacking.  Every bee born without the varroa mite attacking it in the cell is a bee that will live longer and work harder.  They also resist the diseases spread by the varroa mite.  The more healthy bees born now equals more healthy bees next spring resulting in sooner start and faster build up.     

FEED FOR THE SPRING IN THE FALL Honey bee Healthy, amino acids, and vitamins can’t hurt.  I don’t know how much they help but I use them just as a guess.  They are expensive but you only use a teaspoon at a time.  You can make your own Honey bee healthy.                          

 


2018 Honey Show Rules


MOUNTAIN BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION - WELCH HONEY COMPETITION
October 13, 2018 at the  Hiawassee Fall Festival.
Fall Festival, North Georgia Fairgrounds, Hwy. 76, Hiawassee, Ga.


Download the PDF entry form here. 

You can also down load our contest rules - 
 

HOST: Mountain Beekeepers Association

CHAIRPERSON: Bob Grant – Contact bobg.rivercg@gmail.com
Send Forms and intent to enter information to Diane Laslie:dfl4393@yahoo.com

ENTRY FEE: Non-MBA members$5.00 per person entering

ARRIVAL TIME: Entries must be dropped off between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 13, at the judging location

JUDGING LOCATION: Exhibit Hall where the history of farm equipment and early crafts are displayed

JUDGING TIME: Sunday, October 13th, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS: LOCATION Farm Exhibition Hall, TIME Oct. 14th 5PM

RELEASE OF ENTRIES TIME: SATURDAY, October 20th between 10 am to 5 PM after that contact Glen Henderson @ 404.290.1311

JUDGES: Gail J. Dean, Robert Brewer and Tom Hanford

SECRETARY: Bob Grant,


General Rules of the Honey Show:
1. The honey show is open to anyone who wishes to enter one or more exhibits, except as otherwise specifically provided for herein. The competition is open to individuals serving as judges, stewards, or show secretaries, and to the spouses, children, parents, or siblings of said individuals. However, judges, stewards and show secretaries will recuse themselves from judging classes that contain these individual’s entries. There is a $5:00 fee per non-MBA entrant.

2. Entries must be received between during the entry time stated above.  No entries will be accepted after this deadline.

3. Each Exhibitor must agree that each entry he or she submits was produced by the Exhibitor in conformity with the rules set forth herein.

4. Each Exhibitor may make only one entry per class. Duplication (same product) of entries by families is also prohibited.

5. All exhibits must be produced by the exhibitor within the last calendar year with the exception of artworks, crafts, gadgets, & photography. Any exhibit previously submitted for consideration in any prior Fall Festival is not eligible for this competition.

6. In instances where the exhibit may qualify for consideration in multiple classes, the exhibitor shall have the final decision as to which class to enter the exhibit. This selection will not be overturned by the judge(s). Said exhibit will be judged based on the criteria set forth in the selected class.

7. Once exhibits have been accepted into the competition by the Steward or Show Secretary, they may not be altered in any way. At the point of acceptance, all entries are in the control of the judges.

8. After submitting entries to the Stewards or Show Secretary, exhibitors may not enter the area where the exhibits have been placed, until the judging is completed and the awards are announced.

9. The Show Secretary, Stewards or Judges are the only persons who may enter the honey judging area.

10. Judges will enter the honey show area after the close of exhibitor acceptance. This is to ensure as close to a blind judging as possible.

11. Exhibits and other items not retrieved by the deadline posted for pick-up, shall be deemed abandoned, and shall be donated to the Mountain Beekeepers Association for future use or disposal. Mountain Beekeepers Association is not responsible for any items left after the pick-up deadline. For other pickup arrangements contact Glenn Henderson, President, Mountain Beekeepers Association at abletinker@windstream.net.

Prizes & Awards:

It is the intention that ribbons will be given in all classes even if there is only one entry in the class. However, in order to receive an award that entry must be worthy of the appropriate placement. Entry into a class does not guarantee an award. The decisions of the judges are final.

After the announcement of awards, any exhibitor may meet with the class judge to discuss their entry and ask questions. The show administrator will appoint a Referee who shall have final say in any matter pertaining to the contest if called upon.

Exhibitors found willfully cheating, or purposefully altering or disfiguring an entry for the purpose of influencing the validity of judging will be disqualified from the contest, as well as from any future honey shows sponsored by Mountain Beekeepers Association for a period of not less than three (3) years.

Ribbons will be awarded to Best of Show, First, Second and Third place winners in each class. Only first place winners are eligible for the Best of Show award. Both Best of Show and first place awards (excluding Black Jar and Novice classes) will also receive a cash prize.  Black Jar and Novice categories will only have a First Place award. Prize cards with point values for participants in the Welsh Honey Judging Program will be awarded to the Best in Show winner and all First through Six place winners in all classes as follows:

  • Best is Show = 6 points
  • First Place = 6 points 
  • Second Place = 5 points
  • Third Place = 4 points 
  • Very Highly Commendable= 3 point 
  • Highly Commendable = 2 points 
  • Commendable = 1 point


The following Classes and categories will be accepted and judged at the Honey Show:
Class 1: Extracted Honey

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Dark

Class 2: Chunk Comb Honey
Class 3: Novice
Class 4: Black jar
Class 5:Molded Tapered Beeswax Candles
Class 6: Molded Ornamental Beeswax Candles
Class 7: Artwork Related to Beekeeping
Class 8: Crafts Related to Beekeeping
Class 9: Beekeeping Gadgets
Class 10: Photographs Related to Beekeeping


Rules for Individual Classes:

Class 1: Extracted Honey - (A) Light (B) Medium and (C) Dark
Extracted honey is judged in three classes: (A) light, (B) medium, and (C) dark. Entrants may submit one entry in each of these three classes. One entry of extracted honey is defined as two (2) one-pound jars. All forms of extracted honey are to be presented in one-pound queen line glass or plastic jars without tamper proof seals. Closures may be of metal or plastic. There shall be no labels on the jars. Judges evaluate entries on the following: cleanliness of the jar and lid; correct fill level; uniformity of the two (2) jars that comprise the entry; cleanliness and clarity of the honey; moisture content (only if needed); and aroma and flavor (for off aromas and or flavors).

Class 2: Chunk Comb Honey
One entry of chunk honey is defined as two (2) one-pound jars. Chunk honey must be displayed in straight sided, glass, wide mouth, jars. The glass should not be embossed. Such jars are available from many commercial beekeeping suppliers. Only one chunk of comb should be in each jar for competition. The chunk of comb must be in one piece, with a straight mid rib and of uniform thickness. The cuts should be clean and uniform. The chunk comb should be cut and sized to appropriately fit the container. The honey should fill the rest of the jar to the appropriate fill line. The comb should be oriented in the container as found naturally in the hive. Comb with watery cappings should be avoided. The comb should extend the length of the jar. The chunk of comb should account for at least fifty percent (50%) of the internal volume of the jar. Comb is judged for equal amounts on either side of the center rib. The criteria stated above for judging extracted honey applies to judging chunk honey as well.

Class 3: Novice
An entry consists of one (1) one-pound queen line glassor plastic jars of extracted honey. Judging criteria is the same as that for extracted honey. This class is only open only to exhibitors who have never won first prize in any honey category at any prior honey show.

Class 4: Black Jar
An entry consists of one jar of honey. Entries must be unmarked and unlabeled, or identifiable in anyway. Judges evaluate entries on the following: An entry is judged for flavor only.

Class 5: Moulded Tapered Beeswax Candles
Moulded Tapers (spiral, octagon or straight sided accepted): An entry for molded tapers is defined as two (2) candles. Molded tapers must have flat finished bases with wicks well centered.

The minimum length of all taper candles is eight (8) inches. One of the candles in each entry will be burned (If time and conditions allow). Wicks must trimmed to one-half inch in length.

Class 6: Moulded Ornamental Beeswax Candles
An entry is defined as two (2) candles. Wicks must be trimmed to one-half inch in length. The form must have a flat finished base with wicks well centered. Candles will be judged on the above criteria as well casting flaws and sharpness of detail.

Class 7: Artwork Related to Beekeeping
Artwork is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, often in a visual form such as (but no way limited to) painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. An Exhibitor may submit one example of any beekeeping-related artwork of their own composition. The artwork must be related to some aspect of apiculture, must be the original composition of the Exhibitor. The artwork must be mounted or freestanding in design. Judges evaluate entries on the following: subject matter, aesthetic appeal, technical proficiency, creativity, and originality.

*A 3" x 5" white card with a description of the item must accompany each entry and can include a brief “story” behind the piece. No name or identifying mark(s) should appear on the either the card or the exhibit. If the exhibit is already signed or marked in some identifying way, the exhibitor may obscure the signature or identifying mark.

Class 8: Crafts Related to Beekeeping
A craft is a pastime or a profession that requires particular skill and knowledge of a specialized field or subject. Craftsmanship typically denotes experience, knowledge, skill, and expertise in making things by hand. An Exhibitor may submit one example of any beekeeping-related craftwork of their own composition. The craftwork must be related to some aspect of apiculture, and must be the original composition of the Exhibitor. The craftwork must be mounted or freestanding in design. Judges evaluate entries on the following: subject matter, aesthetic appeal, technical proficiency, creativity, and originality.

*A 3" x 5" white card with a description of the item must accompany each entry and can include a brief “story” behind the piece. No name or identifying mark(s) should appear on the either the card or the exhibit. If the exhibit is already signed or marked in some identifying way, the exhibitor may obscure the signature or identifying mark.

Class 9: Beekeeping Gadgets
A gadget is a mechanical or electronic device or tool, especially one of an ingenious or novel nature. An Exhibitor may submit one example of any beekeeping-related gadget of their own creation. The gadget must be related to some aspect of apiculture and must be the original creation of the Exhibitor. Judges evaluate entries on the following: craftsmanship, ingenuity, functionality, creativity, and originality.

*A 3" x 5" white card with a description of the item and its operation must accompany each entry. No name or identifying mark(s) should appear on the card or on the exhibit itself.

Class 10: Photographs Related to Beekeeping
An Exhibitor may submit one example of any beekeeping-related photography of their own composition. The photograph must be related to some aspect of apiculture, and must be the original composition of the Exhibitor. The photograph must be mounted and in a free-standing frame. Judges evaluate entries on the following: subject matter, aesthetic appeal, technical proficiency, creativity, and originality.

*A 3" x 5" white card with a description of the item must accompany each entry and can include a brief “story” behind the piece. No name or identifying mark(s) should appear on the card or on the exhibit itself.


Please remember non-MBA members will have a $5.00 entry fee.

Official printed forms must be used in making application for entry by the participant. 
All participants will certify that their honey was produced by their bees within the past 6 months.
Participants must be current members in good standing of the Mountain Beekeepers Association or will pay a $5 entry fee.
All entries will be given labels identifying their entry number to be affixed on the bottles in the proper location ¼ inch above the bottom of the jar. It will be the responsibility of the participant to see that entries are correctly classified and tagged by the Steward.

Fall Festival, North Georgia Fairgrounds, Hwy. 76, Hiawassee, Ga.