Club Meeting Minutes

March 18, 2014 Bee Club


Annual Meeting Business:
Elect Officers
– Draft By-laws, decide about bank account

Old Business:
- I’ve started a page on our club for sharing recipes. Send me your favorites and I’ll post them and activate the page (it’s a draft right now)

New Business:
– Fundraising: is there interest in paying someone to bring a Swarm Trap workshop to our area?
– Do you want me to try to get Tony J to speak in April or May?

February, 2014 Bee Club SNOWED OUT !!

January, 2014 Bee Club

– with much humility, I apologize again. Need to find and type in these minutes.

December, 2013 no meeting

September-November, 2013 Bee Club

– apologies, I need to catch up on these minutes

June through August, no meetings – no minutes. Summertime Open Hives!

May 7, 2013 Bee Club

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram, Maine.

Mike Smith, Bob & Lister, Mary Hannaford, Skip Estes

7:10 p.m. start

  • Open Hives – discussed, confirmed schedule. Need days and topics for July and August.
    • Saturday, May 18 – Mary will install a package. Adult Ed class will be invited. We’ll see if we can get Larry there to help
    • Saturday, June 29 – Karen will demonstrate splits
    • July – Tims family will host
    • Sunday noon, August – Barbi will host, invite a master beekeeper – subject TBD
  • We like the Horizons Building for meetings, although it might be worth finding an alternative location for speakers.
  • Confirmed next year’s schedule:
    • September, November, January, March– try to have speakers
    • October,  February, April – club business and general conversation
    • Special meetings:
      • December will be annual meeting.
      • May schedule out Open Hives

Notes from discussion:

Nosema – treat in the fall rather than winter

Speaker at Cumberland County – doing mites and beneficial mites. Gretchen Voigt and David Homa

Coordinate with other clubs for speakers & classes

8:30 p.m. early end. A few people had to go early and we had covered the agenda.

April 5, 2013 7-9 p.m.

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram, Maine.

Speaker:  Brian Pride

Brian did a presentation about queens, swarm management, and making nucs.

This meeting was great too!  I hope you took notes because there was a LOT to learn.

March 5, 2013 7-9 p.m.

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram, Maine.

Speaker: Tony Jadczak

Tony did a presentation about late winter and disease management. 21 people were on the sign-up sheet for the talk and 2 new members joined on the spot. 2 more members joined via mail before the next meeting.

We found out the day of the meeting that there was another baseball sign-up from 6:30-7:30 p.m. We worked around it and found out who to contact at the District to get better information.

The meeting was great!!! and I hope you took notes because there was a LOT to learn.

SVBC February 5, 2013 meeting

Present: Skip Estes, Jim Foley (?new), Jim and Mary Hannaford, Karen Harter, Christine Hensley, Barbi Ives,  Colleen Tims. Michael Wilkerson.

Location: Horizon Building kitchen.

Promotion for upcoming speakers:

  • Shopping Guide
  • Other club’s FB pages
  • Posters?

Next meeting, people should bring snacks. Mary volunteered. Others will too.

Club decided to start a general year-long schedule:

  • September, November, January, March– try to have speakers
  • October,  February, April – club business and general conversation
  • Special meetings:
    • December will be annual meeting.
    • May schedule out Open Hives

When we have general meetings, we will have an agenda

Draft open hives planning:

  • May – Mary will install a package. Adult Ed class will be invited. We’ll see if we can get Larry there to help
  • June – Karen will demonstrate splits
  • July – Tims family will host
  • August – Barbi will host, invite  a master beekeeper – subject TBD

The Sacopee Rec Council was using the building for a sports sign-up during our meeting tonight. We were not notified. Barbi will contact Peter Zack to make sure this DOESN’T happen next month when Tony is speaking.

Next meeting: Tony Jadczak.


  • Membership forms (Barbi)
  • Snacks & drinks (Mary H and others)
  • MSBA information (Erin promises to mail bookmarks to Barbi)


Adjourned around 8:30 p.m.

January 15, 2013 7-9 p.m. Meetings have been changed to the first Tuesday of the month.

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram, Maine.

In attendance: Skip Estes, Mary Hannaford, Karen Harter, Barbi Ives, and Bob & Colleen Tims.

We talked about how to increase membership and club attendance. We will do a number of things, as follows:

  • Mary Hannaford and Barbi Ives are offering a free class at SAD55 Adult Ed for people considering beekeeping. Strong emphasis will be put on joining a club, taking beginning classes, and visiting apiaries. Mary will demonstrate installing a package in the spring as part of the class, date TBA.
  • We will invite Larry Peiffer to speak in April, following Tony Jadczak. Once we know if we have Larry, we’ll put an ad in the Shopping Guide. We’ll also advertise on our FB, the MSBA FB page, and the MSBA club page.
  • We will raise our annual dues to $5/year for a person and $10/year for a family.
  • Since we don’t have by-laws, we don’t have an official Annual meeting or rules about officers. In the absence of by-laws, we decided to re-elect Colleen Tims as treasurer and elected Barbi Ives as president. (We need a secretary). Also, we’ll ask YCBC for a copy of their by-laws and permission to use them as a template for our own.
  • Barbi will start soliciting volunteers to host Open Hives this summer.
  • Promotional plans: advertise speakers and open hives, and continue to update meetings in the Events section of the Shopping Guide.  Put up posters for speakers and open hives. Use our FB page and MSBA club page, and the MSBA FB page.

The Tims’ offered to do the ads and poster. Mary Hannaford and Barbi Ives have offered to put more money in the pot for the Shopping Guide. Everyone at the meeting paid 2013 dues, but we could sure use some more!

December – no meeting

September – November, 2012 7-9 p.m. Meetings were held at the Horizon Building. No official minutes. We talked about bees, building the club, and other topics. No club business.

 August 23, 2012 7-9 p.m. This meeting was held one week after the regular time because members were at the Eastern Apiculture Society meeting and other places.

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram Maine.

In attendance:  Larry Peiffer, Mick Cardin, Barbi Ives, Mary Hunter, Dennis Doughty

We started by talking a little about the EAS conference, which Barbi and Larry had attended. Larry placed in some competitions for photos and honey, but the really big news is that he passed the final exam to make him a MASTER BEEKEEPER. Congratulations Larry! The conference was a definitely worthwhile event for learning new things about beekeeping and meeting people from all over the country (plus Canada and New Zealand). This year it was in Burlington, Vermont; next year it will be in Philadelphia.


  • Larry brought a frame he took out of one of his own hives with European Foulbrood Disease, to show us what it looks like. You could see the little dried up babies in cells like little brown globs. EFB is treatable with antibiotics.
  • When your hive has dead bees with their probosces sticking out, look for pollen that has a sort of glossy film over it – the combination of these signs means pesticide poisoning. BTW, Round-up kills bees.
  • Mick had found some dead bees and called Larry to inspect. They noted pollen in his hives that looked shiny. The bees apparently cap off pollen that they know has something wrong (i.e. pesticide) on it, and they don’t eat it for a while. But if they run out of other stores, they’ll eventually eat it. Advice: if you see pollen that looks shiny and think your bees may have collected pesticides, completely cut that area out of the frame. You don’t want them to eat it.
  • Basic tip, not really related to disease: wash your hands between inspecting hives. You remove any alarm pheromones that might be building up and disturbing hives and you move down your row.

Preparing for Winter

  • The important thing you want to see during inspections before going into winter is a strong hive: queen-right and disease-free.
  • The colony should move to the bottom in the fall, so they start the winter with the bottom stores and eat their way up through the winter (in the beginners class, Erin told us a medium 8 frame hive should have at least 1 (or even 2) supers full of honey above the 3 colony boxes). If necessary, start moving things around to make a good arrangement for winter – honey and pollen outside the brood frames, and at least a full super above.
  • Check your mite count. Again, in the EAS class, Erin told us to treat in the fall. Period. Mites are the #1 problem for weakening a hive in the winter. Larry brought gloves for any of us to use if we’re doing treatments soon, but none of us was ready.  The York and Cumberland County Clubs sell Api Life Var as fundraisers.
  • Queens will shut down after you treat, but don’t panic. They should start again in a week or two.
  • Time to start the 2/1 syrup!
  • Grease patties can also go in now (prevent and/or treat tracheal mites).
  • Queens may slow down in egg-laying in a honey flow, but by mid-September at the latest, your queens need to be laying again, to build up the winter bees (so it’s time to treat for mites NOW)
  • We won’t be able to schedule a fall OH because Larry is so booked. Barbi will check schedules and let people know when York and Cumberland are having theirs; club members could share travel if they want.
  • Homosote boards are recommended for hive insulation (or layers of newspaper) between the inner & out covers.
  • You can feed them extra by putting in a candy board where the inner cover would go (homosote above that).
  • Get the bees to fill out their honey frames completely. If there are partially filled frames that they are not filling, put those frames in a box above the inner cover and scratch open the honey. They’ll take it down and fill up the boxes below.
  • If that doesn’t work, the “Romano effect” is to put an extra, empty box between incomplete frames above the rest of the hive.

Classes this fall and winter

  • Larry teaches beginning and intermediate Bee School in Sanford.
  • Erin teaches the same in the Portland area (Falmouth last year, Portland the year before).
  • Barbi took videos of Larry doing some great teaching at our OH in July. Technical difficulties have kept her from posting them online, but she will keep trying. They’ll go on the FB page.

Club Business

  • Larry reminded the club that we need a membership form. He gave Barbi permission to take the York County one and modify it for our club (which she has since done – it’s available on the Membership page).
  • We talked about speakers for the winter meetings. Larry went through a list and promised to send Barbi contact information. She’s going to work on lining up some speakers for the club.
  • Larry said he’d invite everyone to an email Google group, so we can communicate more easily. Barbi will send him the mailing list.
  • Carol Cottrill is organizing the Western Maine club’s table at the Fryeburg Fair (starts Sept. 30). Barbi will get information to membership of SVBC in case anyone wants to help.


July 18, 2012 7-9 p.m.

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram Maine.

No minutes. Larry presented a very information slide show and lesson about bee diseases.

June 20, 2012, 7-9 p.m.

Location: Horizon Building, South Hiram Maine

In attendance:  Larry Peiffer, Mark Bickford, Bob Tims, Mick and Jenny Cardin, Barbi Ives

We want to promote the club more to increase membership.

  • Barbi will notify the Shopping Guide about our new location
  • We could contact York County Extension services. It might be at Nasson College?
  • Barbi will make a membership form by copying the one from York County

Decisions we made as a group:

  • Open Hives at the Tims’ and Ives’ next Friday, June 29. We’ll do a mite check and talk about disease prevention.

Larry answered general beekeeping questions from the group and how to use the DeMaree Principle to manage swarms:

  • In an 8-frame box, set frames up in this order:

1&8 should be honey & nectar
2&7 should be pollen & nectar
The interior frames should be brood
The queen won’t go above sealed brood, so put open brood @ the bottom and sealed brood up higher.

  • If the queen is not laying at the bottom, bring food down.
  • If bees aren’t drawing comb on the outside of the supers, spray sugar water on the foundation and swap drawn comb to the outer sides.
  • Use a queen excluder if you go on summer vacation for a couple of weeks, to avoid getting brood in supers.
  • When there is a dearth in the summer, they’ll eat the honey in the supers unless you feed them.
  • Bees’ attraction to swimming pools only lasts briefly in the summer, but if your neighbor has a pool, train your bees to drink water you control. Tea and vinegar (2 Tbls/gal) sometimes attract them, although bleach is best if you have a pool nearby.
  • People who live within a mile or so of each other should treat mites at the same time. This discussion led to the decision to check the Tims’ and Ives’ apiaries for mites as part of the OH.


May 16, 2012, 7-9 p.m.

Location: the home of Jeannette & Michael Cardin

In attendance: Mick Cardin, Skip Estes, Karen Harter, Marjorie McKeon, Sue & Mark Faunce, Tim & Colleen Tims, Barbi Ives

Barbi Ives paid membership for the club to be made an official MSBA chapter. The club will need to make a plan for keeping this membership paid every year ($15/year).

Larry Peiffer, a beekeeping teacher and founder of the York Club, advised that the group needs to elect officers and provide contact information that people know how to get in touch with our club.

Decisions we made as a group:

  • We elected officers – Barbi Ives, secretary; Colleen Tims, treasurer. No one volunteered to be president. Barbi will be the Club contact for website and other promotion.
  • Karen Harter will make a Facebook page for the club.
  • Barbi Ives will build up the Club page on MSBA.
  • Membership fees will be $3/year for individuals. We voted $6/year for couples, but the custom is to to have household fees be twice an individual, so that might make sense if we ever get more than one person in a household.
  • We want to meet in a larger, more public location that remains consistent. Some members decided to ask about Baldwin’s library, the Federated Church in Cornish, and the Horizon Building in South Hiram. Location should have good parking, good space for more than 10 people and presentations, and be free.
  • We decided that we should rotate snacks for our meetings.
  • When we were close to leaving, there was a call for Open Hives instead of meetings during the summer. Barbi offered to try to schedule Open Hives online. The Tims’ offered to host the first OH.


April 18, 2012, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Location: Our first meeting was held at the home of Barbi & Geoff Ives

In attendance: Barbi Ives, Jenny and Mick Cardin, Marjorie McKeon

At our first meeting, we made some decisions about how we wanted to get the club started.

  • Monthly meetings will be held at rotating houses until more people join. We decided to have the next meeting at the Cardins’. Hosting meetings will be voluntary.
  • The third Wednesday of the month worked for all of us. It will be the regular meeting time until the club decides otherwise.
  • 7:00-9:00 p.m. is a good time to meet, giving us time to get home from work and travel to each others’ houses.

We talked for a couple of hours about bees and talked about what other clubs do. We’d like to have speakers in the future. Again, we decided that since we hope to get more members, we’ll do some promotion and hope to increase the group before we make a lot of administrative decisions.



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