We just received our copy of a Varroa mite management guide that was produced by the Honey Bee Health Coalition™ (HBHC). This is an extensive and excellent tool written primarily by Dr. Dewey Caron, and it that provides more details than in the one we had produced last year. In particular, they provide more extensive information on each of the chemical treatments available for Varroa control. I highly recommend that beekeepers use both guides when thinking about controlling this key parasite. We have provided PDF files of the HBHC guide and our IPM guide under our Resources heading.
Our annual convention will be held at the Neshoba Coliseum at 12000 HWY 15 N, Philadelphia, MS 39350 (phone: 601-656-5775) on Friday-Saturday (October 31 – November 1, 2014). The Thompsons (Johnny, Kenneth and Joan) became the local program organizers after Derwin Thrash had trouble finding a suitable venue in central Mississippi. As usual, there will be an annual business meeting on the Thursday (October 30) before the convention. This meeting will be at the Dancing Rabbit Inn (13240 HWY 16 W, Choctaw, MS 39350; phone 601-389-6600). Johnny has blocked off about 30 rooms for Thursday night, and this is also the hotel reserved for attendees of the convention staying over on Friday night. The room charge is $69 + tax for Thursday night and $89 + tax for Friday night. To receive the convention rate, use the following room block code when you make your reservations: DGBEE14. The phone number for the reservation desk is 1-866-44-PEARL. The deadline for making your reservations using the group rate is October 9, 2014. Check-in time is 4:00 PM; check-out is 11:00 AM.
If you play golf, this is a chance to play on a pretty nice course. The Dancing Rabbit Golf Course (http://www.dancingrabbitgolf.com/golfrates.html) is offering a twilight package rate of $75 for anyone wishing to play on Thursday afternoon. You can also play on Saturday after the meeting, but you will pay the usual rates. If interested, please book your tee-time way in advance with Sean Racki because the playing slots will fill up long before the meeting.
A local Cattlemen Association will provide beef brisket for lunch on Friday. The Banquet meal (Friday night) will be a southern style Catfish Fry with all the trimmings. Chicken nuggets and beef brisket will also be available for those not wanting catfish.
Johnny invites everyone to come to Broke-T Honey (their home) after the meeting ends on Saturday. It will be an opportunity to mingle and relax with fellow beekeepers and talk bees.
Speakers for the convention will include Blake Shook, Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda and Phil Craft. A registration form is available to download here. Please send your convention registration form and fees to Stan Yeagley, 214 Shadow Wood Dr., Clinton, MS 39056.
The Central Mississippi Beekeepers Association hosted a beginner’s workshop on Saturday, March 15 at the Ag & Forestry Museum. Walter McKay started the event with a hands-on presentation of beekeeping equipment and jargon. He was followed by me with several power point presentations related to bee diseases, nutrition and methods for starting colonies of bees from either nucs or packages. The formal presentations were followed by an on-site lunch, which was provided by a local Boy Scout troop.
After lunch, we assembled in groups to learn how to work colonies of bees. This is almost always the best part of these workshops. For some folks, it was the first time that they had ever seen the inside of a hive. The outside activities were very relaxed and informal, and we covered all of the basics including lighting a smoker, the proper way of working a colony of bees and recognizing abnormal colony conditions.
Many of the > 115 participants told me that they greatly appreciated the day with the bees. All of the CMBA members that helped with the event deserve a round of applause for ensuring an uneventful (in terms of things going wrong) and educational experience for new beekeepers. This is almost always the workshop having the largest attendance each year.
The American Beekeeping Federation and The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees continue to sponsor an annual beekeeping essay contest for 4-H members. The topic for this year’s contest is “Beekeeping in Colonial Times.” Official rules for entry can be found at MSUCares (http://msucares.com/4h_Youth/4hentomology/bee_essay_contest.html).
Essays will be judged by a team of entomologists from Mississippi State University. State winners will receive prize money (1st place – $100, 2nd place – $75, and 3rd place – $50) and a plaque from MBA at our next annual convention. We may even ask the first place winner to read the winning essay at the banquet. The State first place winner will receive a book from the sponsors. National winners will also receive prize money (1st – $750, 2nd – $500 and 3rd – $250). Submit your essay and all required documents to Jeff Harris (JHarris@ext.msstate.edu) by close of business on January 20, 2014.