Meeting Minutes - Oct 25, 2018

Red Deer Beekeepers Association

Meeting Minutes – October 25, 2018


Meeting called to order at 7:05 pm.


Introductions and quorum count

Members introduced themselves and provided summaries of their beekeeping season.


Review of last meeting minutes

No questions/concerns. Approved Alison, Charity seconded


Additions/revisions to agenda

Calvin added - Bylaws


Approval of meeting agenda



President’s Report

Inform Alberta

Red Deer Beekeepers now listed in AB directory under swarm catchers, events and classes, main association and membership (call 211 for contact information). Working on ‘adopt a beekeeper’ program; will go into classified ads for membership, only. Plan to add mentorship forms for members. May add advertising space – retailers asking to advertise on our website and will pay for same (e.g. Hivetronics).


Website update

Front page more organized. Marketplace – put ads in monthly newsletters


City of Red Deer Bylaw Update

Sent an email to Ken and Diane (City Councilors) re: keeping hives in the city. No progress as yet.


Provincial/Canadian Beekeeping Update

Alberta Beekeepers Commission Conference and Trade Show coming up in Edmonton: November 5-7, 2018. Good speakers. Registration $340.00/person.

Fumagilin – B shortage – need prescription from a Vet after Dec. 1.

Other prevention strategies:

  • Change comb regularly
  • Don’t transfer combs between hives
  • Clean your tools
  • Minimize squishing of bees
  • Quality, locally-produced and resistant stock
  • Minimize stress
  • Avoid conditions that promote dysentery (late liquid feedings, etc.)

More brood cycles = more varroa. (Oregon example).

Canadian Honey Council research programs include Global Warming (given low priority). – example: gave bees mycelium reduction (Reishi mushrooms) resulted in a 75% reduction in deformed wing virus


Yearly schedule proposal

Eight meetings/year, third Thursday every month.

March (AGM), April, May, June (BBQ, only), August (Bees and Beers), Sept. and Oct.


Treasurer’s update

Eileen provided update: Total = $4098.90: $2557.70 in checking account and $1541.20 in Paypal account.


Members insurance review

James getting a quote from an Insurance agency that provides services to non-profit organizations. Will revisit this at the AGM next March.


Bumblebee rescue season review (Carol Hoskin)

Carol had one dozen calls for Bumblebees this past season. She encourages people to leave them alone. If the nest is difficult to remove, she charges more. Her usual fee $50.00, provided the nest is accessible. She transplants the bees into small boxes and moves the bees to another location. Charity asked to collect sample bees for her project and offered to accompany Carol on rescues next summer. Carol reported that the survival rate was nearly 100%. Many members interested in adopting future rescued bumblebees. Member offered to make boxes in return for some student mentoring.


Update - Charity Briere (Entomologist)

Charity is working on her Masters degree with a focus on native bees. Bumblebees are social – they live in colony. Other native bees may be semi-social but are frequently solitary. There are twenty different species of bumblebees. Charity offered to provide a more in-depth presentation on types of bees at a future meeting. Bumblebees do not collect more nectar than they need. New queens mate then hibernate for the winter and start new colonies in the spring. Important to have strong queens for them to survive the winter. Other bees use ¼-inch diameter tubes to lay individual eggs with food attached to them. Some bees emerge when a specific plant/flower blooms and go into hibernation again when flower dies out. Charity provided information about a new organization – Alberta Native Bee Society which is forming and providing resources to educate the public to foster native bee populations. Honeybees can have an impact on native bee populations when there is excessive competition for food sources. Charity is going to study bumblebee trends in Red Deer City. Pollinator diversity is higher in the city than in the outlying areas. Charity will have a page on the website to update the membership on her studies. A member expressed interest in attending another native bee workshop.


Overwintering your hives (Calvin)

Bees cluster at 12-13 degrees Celsius and maintain temp in the cluster at 33 degrees.

Treat with Oxalic (2-3 weekly treatments to cover mite life cycle)

Apivar for 6 weeks maximum

Feeding should be done by now. Bees need time to evaporate the moisture in the hive.

Using blue Ceracell top feeders with good results (less drowning, better access for bees to syrup and can use to feed dry sugar). Purchased at Beemaid.

Ensure equipment in good shape

Protect hive from wind

Watch for ice damming at front entrance

Use mouse guard, if needed

Good sign if you see bee poop on outside of the hive during the winter

Should notice dead bees on the landing board on warm days – clear them out of the way, periodically. Note what the dead bees look like (if see body parts, may indicate mites)

Can tap on side of hive on warm days to stimulate bees (will warm up internal environment).


Horizontal hives

James plans to share information about different hive types at the upcoming AGM.

Advantage of horizontal hive is accessibility (no lifting)

Was prolific, but bees very aggressive.

Original package from Honey House

Split hive five times.


Update from Steve Schults (LTCHS Beewise Program)

Steve Schultz shared that they built a Warre/Langstroth hybrid hive and offered to share one for the AGM demo.

Steve shared information about the Whole Kids Foundation (from US) – moving into Canada and our area. Will provide educational institutions with a hive and observation hive, free of charge.

Putting on a workshop with the County of Lacombe in November - $20 fee to attend. Offering workshops to Central Alberta municipalities on beekeeping. He also shared information about additional projects he and his students are working on.


Society Bylaws (Calvin)

Quorum is 30% of membership to make decisions that affect bylaws. Need approximately 18 people with current membership.

Bylaws will be revised/developed and brought to spring AGM


Meeting adjourned at 9:05.

Written by : Administrator