Greetings fellow Beekeepers and soon-to-be beekeepers.....or, as many of our friends refer to us, those crazy people who stick their heads in a beehive. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I pray you have a blessed 2010. It's not too early to start preparing for the upcoming beekeeping season and it's not to late to try to help your bees through this winter. If you haven't provided a supplemental source for your bees to make it through the winter, i.e. candy boards or sugar, you still can. Many hives not provided this source make it through most of the winter only to die of starvation in March. What a heartbreaking thought. Of course, not all hives will need this extra feed, but it doesn't hurt to have it available to them if they do. It's also a good idea to make sure your hives are protected from strong northwest winds by providing a windbreak. There is evidence that a tar paper wrap around the hive can make it possible for the bees to break out of their cluster on a sunny day to feed on frames further away from the center of the hive. You should have an upper entrance to provide ventilation and a way for bees to come and go when the lower entrance becomes blocked with snow and ice. Lastly, it couldn't hurt to send up a prayer to the God of your choice. If your an atheist....well, I don't know. Are there any atheists in beekeeping? I think beehives can be scary sometimes like foxholes which, we know, contain no atheists.
Now for some good news. To help you prepare for the new season we have Bob Hollis from Golden Harvest Apiaries coming to this months meeting. Bob will be taking orders for new equipment and offering a 5% discount for orders paid for before February 1st and he will deliver the order to the Feb meeting if there is enough interest. I'm pretty sure this will be the case because I'm ordering seven or eight hundred dollars worth of stuff myself....as long as my wife doesn't find out and beat me to death first. This discount does not apply to bulk frames. If you can't attend the meeting you can still take advantage of this special provided you get the money to Bob before Feb 1st. His phone number is: home 810-673-3058 cell 810-338-1523.
Also at the February meeting we have Dave Anthony of Anthony Bee Farms to speak about ordering bees. He will have a price list for his bees and he will also be providing information about other sources of obtaining bees. For those of you who don't know Dave he was the previous president of Michigan Beekeepers Association and has a wealth of information about all aspects of keeping bees.
Finally, as your new president (que music) I ask for your indulgence for my inexperience in this position. I will be leaning heavily on Jim Dodder for his advice. I am also seeking ideas for topics you would like to have covered as we move ahead. We have to keep in mind that we have both new and experienced beekeepers and I would like to have content which has something for everyone. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the meeting tomorrow night, January 7 at 7:00 at the Richfield Township Hall.
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