Meetings

General Meetings

  • General Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7PM via Zoom.
  • Meeting details and Zoom links are emailed to current paid members prior to the meeting.
  • There are often in-person, follow-up Apiary Meetings on the second Saturday of the month.
  • All meetings are on the Events Calendar.

Board Meetings

  • Board Meetings are held at least once per quarter, at 6PM prior to the General Meeting. Check the Events Calendar for details.
  • Board Meetings use the same Zoom login as the General Meeting.
  • Board Meeting archives are in the Members Only section of the website.

General Meeting Archive

2024

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  • Hive health and deformed wing virus (DWV).
    • Wings are deformed and shriveled.
    • No cure.
    • Keeping Varroa under control helps.
    • Try re-queening.
  • Treating for Varroa.
    • OA pads.
    • Other options – if not supering: Apivar and others. If supering, then Hopguard
    • Drone comb removal
  • Swarms
    • Arthur has seen multiple queens in swarms this year
      • This can cause an initial swarm to splinter into multiple smaller swarms
      • Those swarms can be indecisive when dropped into a new box
      • ET described relocating the queen to a small Nuc box to avoid swarming.
        • Inspection showed multiple queen cells, so hive was going to swarm soon.
        • Found the queen and moved her (and other bees and frames?) to a separate Nuc box.
        • Queen cells were left behind.
        • Hopefully existing colony re-queens.
    • Someone posted on FB they have a swarm. Peter volunteered to get it.
    • Victoria has setup some very nice accomodation for a swarm, but no one has showed up yet.
      • ET will bring a swarm lure next time he’s at the Apiary.
      • Here’s a little more info about Swarm Lures.
  • ET said it was a difficult year for almond pollination due to rains.
  • Has anyone super’ed?
    • Curt has already added 2 supers to one hive.
    • Both Curt and Steve have had hives swarm because they ran out of room because of honey stores.
  • Podcasts and media
    • Arthur likes the Two Bees in a Podcast.
      • Podcast description: Two Bees in a Podcast is hosted by members of University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. Learn about honey bees, beekeepers, researchers, and specialists from around the world in educational, fun, yet practical episodes!
    • Steve enjoyed The Pollinators.
  • Arthur mentioned Randy Oliver’s Youtube videos.
    • His website is Scientific Beekeeping.
    • He is near Nevada City. His climate is similar to ours, so his research and recommendations are particularly pertinent.
  • ET mentioned OA application studies.
    • University of Florida UF/IFAS – Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory (HBREL).
    • Jamie Ellis and Amy Vu.
  • Extended Release OA is now approved by the USDA, but only from a couple of manufacturers.
  • Arthur mentioned Emily Bonder, Melanie Kirby and Julia Mahood.
  • We still have Nucs for sale, delivery later in April.
    • We will be assembling Nucs at the Apiary on Wednesday 4/3.
  • Arthur: We will have OA pads available for people at the Apiary soon.
  • We will be hosting a Scout Troop and parents on Saturday 4/6 at noon.
    • See here for more about the Insert Merit Badge.
  • Events
  • Mark is giving a presentation to kids at an elementary school.
    • Zana volunteered her presentation.
    • Roark has posters.
    • Girl Next Door Honey
    • Sara and Gondi may also have materials.

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Swarm Catching Class
  • Saturday, March 9th at 10AM at the Apiary.
  • Send us an email if you want to be on the Swarm Removal list: info@gilroybeekeepers.org
Apiary Events
  • April 6th is the target date for picking up Nucs.
  • We will be at the Apiary many times before then preparing Nucs. See Events for dates and details.
  • We will be working on Nucs and splits on Saturday, March 9th at 10AM.
  • Scouting events at the Apiary on March 23 and April 6 at noon. See Events for dates and details.
March
  • Keep an eye on your bees to make sure they are not filling up brood nest areas with honey.
  • Keep an eye on water issues in your hives with recent rains.
  • Swarming has already started.
  • We will be doing splits at the Apiary on Friday, March 8th. Come out if you’d like to learn how.
  • Sustainable Apiary by Michael Palmer.
  • If your hive needs more room, and all frames are full, add a super. Make sure to give your bees space when they need it.
  • Some discussion on frames – making your own with wax foundation vs. using prebuilt foundation or plastic frames.
    • It is very risky to use empty frames… the comb will be fragile and easily fall out of the frame. And they may build crazy comb which is very difficult to maintain.
Treatments
  • Extended Release OA
    • Instructions and recipe.
    • Absorbent pads are available from Amazon here, but Swedish Dishcloths are a less expensive choice if you’re just make a few doses.
    • Club members have extra pads and OA… reach out to fellow members or send an email to info@gilroybeekeepers.org.
  • Drone comb removal.
  • Wax moths
    • Top bar hives
      • Use a follower board, and remove empty frames.
    • BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) work for wax moth larvae.
      • Does not hurt bees or bee larvae.
      • Very effective for wax moths.
      • Available at local hardware stores.
Swarms
  • Swarms are happening.
  • Roark is a great resource for swarm catching and removal.
Announcements
  • Penny lost all her hives over the winter, and offered to host anyone else’s hives.

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We had a great presentation by Harker School student Andrew Liang on his project “BeeWell: Developing an AI-based Bee Health Assessment System Utilizing Computer Vision and Acoustic Signal Processing”.

Also Arthur spoke on swarm control, and described the Demaree Method.

And questions and answers!

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Spring is coming.

2023

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  • How to prepare for upcoming dearth.
  • Q&A

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  • Discussion of dearth and how to minimize the stress on your hives.
  • Q&A

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Presentation by Christine McDonald with Russian River Apiaries, about Social Media and Beekeeping.

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Presentation on Queen Rearing by Melanie Kirby.

The bees found Melanie Kirby in the jungles of South America in 1997 and have since taken her around the globe introducing her to the broader fields of agroecology, conscilience research, and whole systems thinking.

After working for 8 years for several commercial beekeeping and queen producing operations, she established Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute in 2005 in the the southern Rockies of northern New Mexico- her home state- where she is also a registered tribal member of Tortugas Pueblo. ZQB specializes in regionally-adapted and conscientiously bred bees, applied farm research, pollination services, exquisite hive products, and outreach.

After being in the field for 20 years, Melanie returned to academia to pursue a graduate degree from Washington State University and now works as the Extension Educator at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM where she helped to establish the Land-Grant Ag extension department’s Thunder Bee & Pollinator programs.

Melanie serves on several boards including the NM Beekeepers Association, Western Apicultural Society of North America, American Beekeeping Federation, and Ecdysis. She also serves as a co-cooordinator for the national Managed Pollinator Protection Program working group and is the founder and lead facilitator of the Adaptive Bee Breeders Alliance. She is a writer, artist, National Geographic Explorer and Storytelling Fellow as well as a NM Coalition to Enhance Working Lands Fellow.

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Stephanie Elle gave a presentation on making your own skin care products using beeswax and other natural ingredients.

2022

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