Pinellas Beekeepers

Pinellas Beekeepers Association Inc, A Tampa Bay Area Beekeeping Club

Leave a comment

SPC Apiary T&E Day on Saturday January 28th, 2017

The Pinellas Beekeepers Association will have its Apiary Training and Education Day at the SPC Apiary on Saturday January 28th, 2017 at 8:30 am (weather permitting). Come join us as we look at what is going on in the PBA Honey bee hives. Bring your protective clothing to wear. A limited supply of gear is available on a first come first serve basis. A SPC & PBA waiver must be signed for anyone attending.

Leave a comment

Next Meeting at SPC is Thursday January 26th, 2017

The next meeting of the Pinellas Beekeepers Association will be held at ST Pete College – Seminole Campus on Thursday January 26th, 2017 at 7pm. The Newbee Meeting is from 7-7:30 with the general meeting starting at 7:30. Barnabus Bela will share briefly what you need to enter your honey in the State Fair in February. Johnny Walker will demonstrate how to make bee patties for feeding our bees.

As a note starting January 2017 all MLNC and SPC Newbee and General Meetings are being video recorded.

Business Meeting is held at 9pm. (Members only please) This meeting is not video recorded.

Leave a comment

SPC General Meeting Notes – 10-27-16

Pinellas Beekeepers Association
General Meeting Notes by Emily Varner
Thursday October 27, 2016
St Pete College Seminole Campus

New bee 7:00pm

*This is not the time to start a hive/get bees
>fall bloom is ending
*One member had her hive swarm day before Hermine
>One swarm went to a tree closeby
>Now has two hives
*Hive that bees swarmed FROM is the hive you need to keep an eye on because they need to make a new queen
>if you see a hive swarm, don’t bother it for a week-2weeks
>queen cells are beginning to hatch
>don’t disturb new queen for ten days
>then make sure there is a main queen in the hive
*One member has seen “robbing”
>dead bees
This time of year, be careful about going into hive
>exposing honey “smell” to the open can cause robbing
*Should you open your hive if you see drones coming and leaving?
>should be fine, just an active time right now
*If you have a weak hive, consider an entrance reducer (to help them protect themselves from robbing)
*3 weeks ago, member replaced a super and bees ignored new/empty super on top
>suggest mixing full frames into the brand new supers to draw bees up.
To prevent wax months:
>Can freeze frames
>Let them sit out/get rained on
*One member had white milky substance in one full frame
>could be royal jelly primed?
>not sure hive could have more than one queen
>Queen up = not a good phrase if you have a queen excluder: queen has gotten around queen excluder
and is laying brood in honey
*Lots of swarms
>they happen
>means you have a healthy hive
>hives split to reproduce
>make sure young hives have plenty of food
>Malnutrition kills lots of hives
>Feed them if you need to: paddies or sugar water
*Mites: spread a bunch of viruses, crinkled wing
>check drone brood cells by popping them out for mite count
>best time to do treatment? When honey is not on it/some people don’t treat
>typically would be now
Black mangrove produces a white flower that gives bees nectar
>blooms June/July
>good honey producer
*Screen bottom boards
>don’t need to cover them up (FL doesn’t get cold enough in winter to need to cover them)
*Mix in split hives with old hives in apiary, shouldn’t be a problem.

Guest announcement: Duane Steiner
*Noticed FL has a lot of pests in hives and viruses>>need to eliminate these
>Suggested adding new DNA has a source from Canada who can provide queens but needs a minimum
order of 50 queens
>Would arrive in May
>Email Duane at if interested

1. Great American Teach-In
a. Please sign up to a classroom presentation
b. There is an extra observation hive if someone wants to take it to a school
2. November meeting moved to Nov. 17 (third Thursday of the month)Lawrence Cutts speaking
3. December 9th Friday night PBA Holiday Party at Moccasin Lake – Covered Dish
4. Honey extractor rental available: a. go to website or call Johnny Walker
5. Florida state fair (Nov. 10-13) at England Bros. Park
We need volunteers to maintain booth- sign up
i. Can sell your honey for $10/lb. $1 goes to club
ii. If selling must sign up for specific time
6. Great Bay distributors Apiary is open to rent a space to place a hive for members
7. Next Apiary day 10/29/16 at 8:30am
8. Next Moccasin Lake Meeting will be on 11/9/16 Jim Steele presenting


Election results for president:
49 signatures/ballots
Tom: 16
Johnny: 33

Leave a comment

MLNC General Meeting Notes (10-11-16)

Pinellas Beekeepers Association
General Meeting Notes
October 11, 2016
Moccasin Lake Nature Center

 New bees presented by Johnny Walker
-I put 12 supers on Sunday a week ago.
-I put 7 more supers on today.
-The girls are bringing in the nectar.
-Mostly Brazilian Pepper trees but Rain trees are blooming like crazy as well.
-I generally do not go into the hives during this time of year.
-Do not want to harm queen during this time.
-Yes, I run queen excluders I do not want her breeding in the supers.
-Be careful adding supers and placement of the queen excluder. If you need to move the queen excluder be careful as again, you do not want breeding going on where the honey is being stored.
-Winter slow time in Florida is probably July & August.
-More sunlight on your hives is better than less.
-Last meeting an attendee mentioned that their brood was not doing much and now the queen is laying like crazy during the honey flow.
-Generally we will be all done by November. We have 2-3 more weeks.
-The GB Apiary has 8 association hives. SPC has 14 hives. A goal of 20 hives by the end of our first year was set by PBA and we have achieved that goal.
-It was asked if anyone had a flow hive. It was discussed that at the SPC September meeting a frame was shown and discussed.
-If you are going to make a split do it right now!

Jim Lane will take absentee ballots for 2017 officers tonight if you can not attend the SPC meeting on October 27th.

We are going to pass around a sign-up sheet for help. Refreshments, etc.

We are going to pass around a sign-up sheet to work the PBA booth at the Pinellas County Fair. Members will be allowed to sell their honey. A price of $10 a pound has been established with $1 going to PBA. If you sign up for a Saturday or Sunday we would ask you to also take a not so favorable time slot. The observation hive will be there.

 Johnny Walker – President of PBA

Introduction of Board Members and Appointed Positions
            Becky Dineen – Vice President
Dodie Bonds – Treasurer
Carl Lewis – Secretary
Dan Mobberley – GB Liaison
Michael Carnahan – Webmaster
Jim Lane – GB Apiary Manager
Gyula Bela – Librarian

Absentee ballots are available.
Board positions are unopposed except for President. Johnny Walker and Tom Troiani are running for this position.


-Join PBA for half price – $7.50 for the rest of the year.
-PBA name tags are available for $8 or $10.
-PBA t-shirts are available for $15.00. The shirts are available for ladies and men in different sizes and colors.
-50/50 tickets available.
-Currently seeking mentors and anyone who can speak at local schools, clubs and willing to be an answer board.
-Pinellas County Fair is November 10-13 at England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park. Becky is looking for a coordinator and NEED VOLUNTEERS.
-Lawrence Cutts inventor of Beetle Blaster will be at the Seminole meeting November 17th. This is the third Thursday of the month as the fourth Thursday is Thanksgiving and SPC is closed.
-December 9th at 7pm PBA will have our Christmas party here at Moccasin Lake with a White Elephant Gift exchange – $15 limit. Bring a potluck dish. PBA will supply pulled pork.
-Honey Extractor is ready to rent.
-Great Bay Apiary is open to members.
-SPC Meeting 10-27 – Bee Jeopardy and 2017 Board Elections
-SPC Apiary T&E day 10-29

Each Candidate for the office of President will be given a three minute opportunity to speak.

Johnny Walker
Hi, I’m Johnny Walker your current President of PBA. In the past I’ve been involved with the Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association. I was their Apiary Manager for a time. I’ve been President and Vice President of that organization. I believe in paying it forward and paying it back. I appreciate the time my mentors spent with me and helped me when I started beekeeping. When you think you know about the bees they will teach you something new. I’m glad to have been here on the ground floor with PBA. We have really grown this last year. Our membership numbers are over a hundred and continuing to grow. We have two bee yards and working to get a third here at Moccasin Lake. We have an Adopt-A-Hive program which I thought would never take off. I was wrong and have picked up two $300 adoptions. We have a lot of accomplishments over this last first year. I have worked with Tom over the years. Whoever works out as President will be good for PBA. Our Vice President and entire board are great folks to work with.

Tom asked about teaming up as President and Vice President. Johnny advised that Becky was running as VP.

Tom requested his three minutes to speak after the presentor. 

Bob Burkard with Introduction to Beekeeping
Several months ago I sat down with the PBA board to discuss this program.
I’ve been a beekeepers since I was a teenager up north.
I’ve had the privilege of teaching.
This is a basic introduction to beekeeping.
Why bees do what they do? Honey

  • Honeybee Anatomy
    • Head, thorax and abdomen
    • One pair of antennae
    • Six legs
    • Two pairs of wings
    • Covered with hair
  • Honeybee Colony (or hive)
    • One Queen
    • 20,000 – 70,000 workers (sisters)
    • 0-2,000 drones

Objective is to keep queen healthy and laying lots of eggs.
When a queen lays an egg the:
Fertilized egg grows into a female
Un-fertilized egg grows into a male

Honeybees are lemon yellow in color to jet black
Metamorphosis is from egg to larvae to pupa. Average number of days:
Egg      Larvae       Pupa   Total
Queen             3             4               9           16
Worker           3           5-6        12-13         21
Drone             3             6             15           24

If African and European honeybees continued to mate after two generations it is believed they would be totally Africanized.

Key Terms and Concepts:

  • Hive – A beehive is an enclosed structure in which honey bees live and raise their young. Natural beehives are naturally-occurring structures occupied by honey bee colonies, while domesticated honey bees live in man-made beehives, often in an apiary.
  • Apiary (beeyard) – Place where bees and beehives are kept.
  • Apiculture (beekeeping) – The cultivation and management of honey bees for agriculture purposes.
  • Brood – Bee larvae
  • Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the hives of honey bees.
  • Honeycomb – a mass of hexagonal cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen.
  • Nectar – a sweet liquid secreted by flowers of various plants.
  • Propolis – a resinous substance that bees collect from tree buds or other botanical sources. It is used to seal cracks and encase things that the bees do not like in the hive.
    • reinforce the structural stability of the hive
    • reduce vibration
    • make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances
    • prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive
    • prevent putrefaction within the hive. Seal waste the bees cannot remove from the hive
  • Frame
    • Has traditionally been four pieces of wood that fit together to hold a sheet of honeycomb within a beehive.
    • Newer frame designs are one-piece, molded frames with foundation, which are lighter, more durable, and produce more brood and honey than old-style wood frames.
  • Foundation
    • Bees can be forced to build a straight honeycomb in a wooden frame by giving them a piece of wax, called foundation, on which the bases of the cells were already embossed.
    • When a hive of bees is given a frame of foundation, they are forced to build the comb where the beekeeper wants it and not where they might otherwise be inclined to build it.
  • Smoke
    • When bees are smoked, they engorge with honey and become gentle.
    • Without smoke to calm a hive, normal manipulation of the frames would not be possible.
  • Royal Jelly
    • Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens.
    • It is secreted from a gland in the heads of young worker bees.
  • Pheromone
    • Definition: any chemical that triggers a natural response in another member of the same species. There are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect behavior or physiology.
    • Honey bee queens produce complex pheromones that “control” the hive.

      Organization of a frame – Brood on the bottom, next ring is pollen and honey is on top.
      Langstroth is credited with finding this out and building the bee hives that are most used today.
      Any new beekeepers have a hard time seeing eggs?
      A few hands went up. You need good eyes.

      The Worker Bee (sometimes referred to as “the girls”)
      Do everything but lay eggs
      They clean the hive, forage for nectar, pollen, water and propolis, produce royal jelly, feed the larvae, secrete wax and make comb and guard the hive
      They live about 6-7 weeks (in the summer) as follows:
      Day                 Tasks
      1-2                  Cleaning wax cells and keeping hive warm
      3-5                  Feeding old larvae
      6-11                Feeding young larvae and producing royal jelly
      12-17              Producing wax, building comb and moving food within                                                                                           the hive
      18-21              Guarding the hive
      22-                  Visiting flowers: pollinating, collecting nectar, pollen,                                                                                               propolis and water and delivering back to the hive

      Why-When a hive produces a new queen?
      Workers will produce a new queen when they do not get enough pheromones  from the current queen
      A new queen is produced when the hive is overcrowded causing a swarm to occur
      A supercedure will occur when the queen is old, sick, non productive or if the queen suddenly dies
      Queen cells look like a peanut
      The first queen out of the cells will make a piping noise
      She will then go out to kill the other queen cells
      The new queen must make a mating flight as soon as she has killed her sister queen and rested just a bit
      Goes to a DCA (Drone Congregation Area) generally between 10am-2pm on a sunny non windy day
      She will not leave the hive again unless she swarms

      Bee sources of nutrition
      Pollen (protein, lipids, vitamins)
      Nectar (carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins)

    • Resources:
      The Beekeepers’ Handbook
      The Hive and the Honeybee
      Natural Beekeeping by Ross Conrad
      PBA, Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association, Florida State Beekeepers Association
      University of Florida
      UF Bee College
      You Tube has lots of videos on honeybee related topics

      -When you go into your hives, have a plan. What am I going to do?
      -Duke University Red – supposed eats legs off varroa mites.
      -A round of applause was given to Bob.
      Gyula Bela – Librarian
      We have a nice collection of books. My favorite resources are:
      The Biology of the Honey Bee by Mark L Winston
      Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping by Dewey M Caron w/ Lawrence Connor
      Understanding Bee Anatomy-a full color guide by Ian Stell
      Bee by Rose Lynn Fisher

       Show & Tell:
                  Box in frame for cut comb
      One super will hold 28 boxes
      No need to cut apart, although one can
      Available from Kelley Bees

      Tom Troiani
      Johnny and I have worked together in the past. Johnny has done a good job. We all have done a good job. I’d like to be President for just a little time. I like working with people. I like bringing things to you guys. I don’t want to talk about the past. Six months ago I knew most of the faces that attended the meeting here but I do not know so many tonight. That’s all I have to say. Let’s work together. I’d like to see Johnny and I work as one President. Bring in some new ideas. I’d like to see an open mic here where everyone thinks they are involved. Talk about it over and over again. Come to the meeting and discuss it. Bees don’t read books. Learn inspections on bees and how to make splits. I like talking about bees. Vote for me. Vote for Johnny. Get your questions out at the meetings. I want a social club that is all about bees. Vote for me. I’ll kill my bees so you won’t have too. I’ll kill my bees in front of you. 

    • 50/50 paid out $6.50 and it was donated back to PBA
    •  Attendance – 43

Leave a comment

SPC General Meeting Notes for September 22nd

Pinellas Beekeepers Association
General Meeting Minutes
September 22, 2016
St Pete College Seminole Campus 

New bees presented by Johnny Walker
            Jimmy Johnson is with his son on a bachelor trip.

-Be checking your hives.
-In the next few weeks it is possible that you may need to add a super a week.
-Brazilian Pepper plants are starting to bloom.
-Do not let your bees get honey bound. They will swarm. Have extra supers ready.
-Johnny my honey looks like antifreeze? True Brazilian pepper honey when extracted will behave like burnt motor oil.
-Johnny I’ve got ants, tiny, tiny ants? Use a white powder under and around hives. Ants will go thru it and will kill them. Cinnamon will work as well. Borax and grape jelly will work in a bowl trap.
-Queen cell will hatch in 17 to 18 days.
-When making splits honeybees will go back to original hive not split hive.
-Johnny what books are available for new beekeepers? Beekeepers for Dummies. First Lessons in Beekeeping by Dadant. Use PBA website and look for library.
-We are celebrating PBA’s one year anniversary tonight. PBA has 14 working hives in the SPC Apiary. The Great Bay Apiary is ready to open.
-Hives should have a brood box and super. Johnny says he robs from above that.
-You can not put anything back in the hive as good as the honeybee has made.
-Easier to keep healthy bee if they are eating their own honey.
-Yes, use a queen excluder. If you do not the queen will go thru honey
-Honeybees will uncap honey and eat it during the winter.
-Scrap the capped honey and the queen will get excited and start laying eggs and get the hive going.
-Johnny my bees are bringing in black nectar? Also white and fluorescent orange.
-Is there genetic concerns with re-queening? When the hive re-queens again and mates the drones may
not all be of “good” stock.
-Africanized honeybees are generally hot and volatile.
-I-4 has been known as the dividing line in Florida.
-Show and tell of a plastic honey brood box super out of a flow hive.
Wrench to agitate inside on plastic frame.
Lower area has drain plug for hose that goes thru box to drain.
Divider lines in each section.
Ramped up plasticell. 

Johnny Walker – President of PBA

We have received a message saying that the author did not think it necessary. Discussion. With raise of hands. Majority rule. We will continue.
Introduction of guests

We will work in the apiary Saturday starting at 8:30am re-queening the hives. This is a rain or shine workday.

As we mentioned earlier PBA is celebrating our one year anniversary of incorporation.

Visit our website to see history articles of Pinellas Beekeepers from 1921 to 1950’s.


Come on back and have a piece of cake. 

-Join PBA for half price – $7.50 for the rest of the year.
-PBA name tags are available for $8 or $10.
-PBA t-shirts are available for $15.00. Ladies and men sizes and different colors.
– 50/50 raffle.
-October 11 MLNC speaker will be Bob Burkard on Bee Biology.
-November 10-13 Pinellas County Fair. Need volunteers.
-November 17th (3rd Thursday of month) Lawrence Cutts inventor of the Beetle Blaster will speak.
-PBA Christmas party is Friday December 9th. There is a $15 max white elephant gift exchange.
-There is a $10 raffle for FSBA Annual Conference.
-PBA has a honey extractor available to members.
-The Great Bay Apiary is open. Basics are $75 a year for a stand that will hold 5 full hives. No double hive stacking. 

Guest Speaker – Josh Harris on Cut Honey Comb
-Buzzing beehive is calming experience for me.
-I sell my honey in St Pete.
-There are 1,000 ways to do things in beekeeping.
-I suggest you find what works for you.
-I have a memory of traveling and getting a jar of honey containing comb honey in an old country store on a summer vacation.
-Why make comb honey?
It is a beautiful product. There is no better advertising. Everyone has honey but not everyone has comb honey.
It makes great gifts. It can be very   profitable. I believe comb honey is a cash cow. For a super or 36 cups I can
get $900 with comb versus $475 just honey.
-Quality of comb is dependent on new wax which should be soft, tender, light and pretty.
-Harvest as soon as the honey bees cap the honey.
-Cut the comb straight.
-How do I produce quality comb honey?
Starter strip on frame should be thin simple foundation that is clear white wax.
Honeybee will build and fill down from there.
Other option is to use a full sheet. This option can cause curving.
Use a full sheet and cut bottom so it’s open. Use small amount of melted wax to hold sheet in place.
I run medium supers.
Wait till there is a strong nectar flow and a strong colony of bees.
You must use queen excluder when making comb honey.
Strong colony of bees with super starting to go up the hive. I will place my comb super under honey super.
Instead of making a full super of comb honey just make two or three frames.
You can checker board by putting a honey comb frame in between regular frames.
It is important to pull the frames as soon as they are capped.
I use a flat tray that a frame of honey will fit in.
Place freezer or wax paper on the tray.
Use a serrated knife or a knife that has been placed in hot water.
Cut out comb from around edge of the frame.
I buy these cups (trays with fold over lid) from Mann Lake.
Cut comb to pieces 3-3/4” X 3-3/4”.
Move cut pieces to another tray with rack on it with cookie spatula.
Cover with freezer paper and allow to dry for 24 hours.
Place in containers.
Put in deep freeze for 2 days to kill any beetle eggs.
Chunk comb placed in a honey jar does not have to freeze because honey is all around it.
How do you pour the melted wax on the frame?
Copper pipe and use like a straw. You tube – Fat Bee Man.
Turkey baster.
When placing comb honey in jar melt a little comb wax to keep the honey in place.

Round of applause for Josh 

-Adopt-A-Beehive program discussed.

-50/50 paid out $20.00

Attendance – 56



Leave a comment

MLNC General Meeting Notes

Pinellas Beekeepers Association
General Meeting Minutes
September 13, 2016
Moccasin Lake Nature Center 

New bees presented by Johnny Walker

-Anybody pulling honey?
-Leave one super on your hive for the girls.
-Feed in winter. Use a 50/50 blend – 1 pound sugar to 1 pound water.
-Christmas time might need pollen patties. Patties should be big enough for the girls to eat in a week. You should remove down to and including queen excluder, place patty on top of brood frames, replace queen excluder and above.
-There are tupelo trees in Pinellas County. Not exactly the same as up north in the panhandle. Tupelo trees grow in swamp. It is a Cyprus type tree with a white flower. Some say it is better for folks with type II diabetes.
-Honey can be used for burns. Some mentioned they had heard honey has been used to cure cancer on the arm.
-Wax Moths. 3-5 days to show up. When you first see them appear you can freeze the frames for 3-4 days, then replace back on the supers.
-A new queen can change a hive around 150 percent.

Mario & Shelly Jakob of D&J Apiary

-Third generation beekeeper.
-David Westfield is my dad; some of you may know him.
-We own 3000 hive commercially.
-Asked my wide to quit her job and start the supply business.
-Woodenware is from Mann Lake.
-Florida in the summertime is like winter time up north.
-Feed your bees.
-We have been thru 660,000 pounds of sugar already this year feeding the honeybees.
-Got into the queen business so I would have queens when I needed them.
-I sell nucs and queens for pick-up only. I DO NOT SHIP. I can bring your order next time I come or monthly when I go to the Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association meeting.
-Right now the backyard beekeepers voice is very prominent and commercial less.
-Ten beekeepers will give you eleven different answers.
-Get a mentor.
-Where you get your information is very important.
-I’m selling Carniola queens for $25 each.
-Five frame nucs are $150.
-Taking orders for spring 2017 now.
-We will be coming quarterly with the trailer.
-Shelly passed out catalogs for anyone who wanted one.
-There was a big round of applause. 

Break – Meet & Greet

-Buy your 50/50 raffle tickets, $1 each, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10.

Johnny Walker – President of PBA


Carman Fraccica – Florida Dept of Agriculture Inspector

I am here tonight as a fellow beekeeper. Power Point presentation

-What is the queen bee?
-Queen honey bees result from fertilized eggs that are destined to become female, but not otherwise
predetermined to be either queen or a worker bee.
-The decision to make a female larvae a queen or a worker bee lies with the colonies worker bees.
-Worker bees in the nest take a female larva that emerges from a fertilized egg and direct her to royalty by
feeding her more and better food – Royal Jelly.
-Caste determination of the female larvae becomes final on the larvae’s third day after emergence, at which
time the workers begin to offer the developing monarchs copious amounts of royal jelly.
-This rich food ensures rapid growth of the developing larvae, whose weight increases 600 fold during the
first six days of life.

-Life of a Queen:
-Egg – 3 days
-Larvae – 5-1/2 days
-Cell Capped – 7-1/2 Days
-Pupa – 8 days
-Average Developmental Period – 16 days
-Start to Fertility – Approximately 23 days
-Life span – Approximately 2-3 years

-Drone Congregation Areas (DCA)

-Queens need to mate.
-The DCA is a place where drones fly most of the time after leaving the nest.
-The DCA is 100-650 feet in diameter and 50-150 feet above the ground.
-Drones fly back and forth in this area producing an audible sound similar to a swarm of bees.
-Drones can choose among many DCA’s near the apiary.
-Sometimes more than one DCA may be visited by the same drone on any one day.
-Mean flight distances of drones are about a half mile but drones have been found in DCA’s up to
4.5 miles away and have crossed mountain ridges 2,600 to 3,300 feet in elevation.

-Races of Honey Bees in North America

-There are four races of Honey bees in North America. They are Italian, Carniolan, Russian and Caucasian.
-The Italian. Apis mellifera ligustica. This is the most popular bee in North American, a great beginners bee.
These, as all of the commercial bees, are gentle and good producers. They use less propolis than some of the
darker bees. They usually have bands on their abdomen of brown to yellow color. Their biggest weakness is
that they are prone to rob and drift, have higher   mite levels. They build up quickly but will tear thru their
honey quickly when there is not enough nectar to feed on. Most of these (as all of the queens) are bred and
raised in the south, but you can find some northern breeders.
-The Carniolan. Apis mellifera carnica. These are darker brown to black. They fly in slightly cooler weather
and in theory are better in northern climates.   They are reputed by some to be less productive than Italians,
but can be very productive and very frugal for the winter. They winter in small clusters and   shut down brood
rearing when there are dearths. They are more defensive but easier to control with smoke. They have fewer
mites and are my favorite.
-The Russian. They came from the Primorksy region. They were used for breeding mite resistance because
they were already surviving the mites.   They are a bit defensive, but in odd ways. They tend to head butt a
lot while not stinging any more. Swarminess and productivity are a bit more unpredictable. Traits are not
well fixed. They were brought to the USA by the USDA in June of 1997, studied on an island in Louisiana
and then field testing   in other states in 1999. They went on sale to the general public in 2000.
-The Caucasian. They are a silver gray to dark brown color. They do propolis excessively. It is a sticky propolis
rather than a hard propolis. They build up a little slower in the spring than the Italians. They are reputed to
be gentler than the Italians and rob less. In theory they are less productive than Italians. They are fond of
propolis and often coat everything in a sticky kind of  propolis, like fly paper. They are used more in
commercial settings.
-The “Mutt”. I knew we forgot one. The Africanized Honey Bee.  They originated throughout east Africa. In the
1950s, this race was imported to Brazil and began migrating northward. Compared to European races, this
bee and its hybrids are extremely defensive, have smaller nests and swarm more frequently. Africanized honey
bees began colonizing the southwest regions of the United States in the 1990s.

-What is the Point of Swarming?

-To reproduce. Honey bee swarms are a normal sign of a productive and strong honey bee colony.
– Swarms are colony-level reproduction, which differs from individual bee reproduction (i.e., when more bees
are produced within a colony).
-Workers will stop feeding queen two days prior to flight.
-They leave as a ball.
-When a colony swarms, the colony splits into two colonies.
-The population of honey bees in the environment grows and genes are exchanged as the new queen in the
parent colony mates with drones from other colonies in the surrounding environment.
-Unfortunately, we beekeepers do not like this activity as it conflicts with our goal of robbing and eating honey.
-Hive population temporarily decreases in the parent colony, which can adversely impact honey production.
-Brood rearing is interrupted while the new queen matures, mates, and begins to lay eggs.
-The swarm that leaves the colony with the old queen can become a nuisance as we the beekeepers try to find
wench they went.

-Comparison of European Honey Bees to Africanized Honey Bees with regards to Hive Defense and Stinging, Swarming and Absconding and Selection of Nest Sites

European Honey Bees                                     Africanized Honey Bees

-May send out 10-20 guard bees                 -May send out several hundred in response
In response to disturbance up to               to disturbance up to 40 yards away.
20 feet away.
-Once agitated, will usually calm down       -Once agitated, may remain defensive for
Within 1-2 hours.                                            days.
-Disturbed colony will result in 10-20        -Disturbed colony may sting 6-10 times
stings.                                                                more.
-Swarm 1-2 times a year.                               -Can swarm 10 times or more per year.
-40,000 in swarm size.                                  -20,000 or below in swarm size.
-Rarely Abscond from nesting location.     -Abscond often and relocate to more
suitable nesting location.
-Look for large cavities about 10 gallons   -Will nest in smaller 1-5 gallon cavities
in size.                                                             (e.g. water meter boxes)
-Typically nest in cavities above ground,   -Often nest in underground cavities, do not
clean and dry.                                                 discriminate between moist and dry
-Look for protected locations.                     -Will nest completely exposed.
-Due to larger amount of bees starting      -Due to smaller amount, nests are more
colony, nest are easier to detect.               difficult to detect.

-How I Requeen my Hives…

  • 1. Determine which hives need to be split or requeened for specific reason.
  • 2. Choose race and reputable queen breeder.
  • 3.   Split the hive or cull current queen 5 days before receiving new queen. This allows time for all eggs to hatch and queen cells to be drawn out.
  • 4. Once queen has arrived go into the hive and remove all drawn queen cells. This forces the bees to accept the new queen since they can no longer make one from eggs or cells.
  • 5. Place cap or tape over candy on queen cage prior to installation for two days. This allows more time for any missed cells to be noticed for removal and better acceptance of installed queen.
  • 6. After the two days remove caps or tape over candy and gives the queen additional time to establish pheromones within the hive. By this time the bees should have accepted the queen.
  • 7. DO NOT enter hive for a minimum of ten days. Allow time for the queen to be released and start laying. Once the brood pheromone has been established chances of balling are slim. Let nature takes its course. If she has not been accepted then add a frame of eggs from a stronger colony and Requeen next season.
    *I have had a 100% acceptance rate with this method.*
  • -Q&A
    -Go thru your brood box every two weeks.
    -Look for K wing disease.
    -When you go into your hives, have a plan. What am I going to do?
    -Mite populations are at their peak right now.
    -Swarm season all the time in Florida.
    -A queen will hatch in 14 days in an Africanized colony versus 16 in a European.
    -Sugar water sprayed on bees will calm them down also.
    -To calm down a hive you can spray a garden hose on it to simulate rain.
    -I’m sorry you’ll have to ask your state inspector that question.
    -Green drone comb forces more drones in order to kill mites.
    -Queens go out to DCA’s from 1 to 4 or 5 in the afternoon for mating purposes.
    -Look for drones – scrap out if too many.
    -Look for eggs first.
  • -A great BIG round of applause was given to Carmen.

    -Join PBA for half price – $7.50 for the rest of the year.
    -PBA name tags are available for $8 or $10.
    -PBA t-shirts are available for $15.00. The shirts are available for ladies and men in different sizes and colors.
    -Upcoming elections next month.
    -Pinellas County Fair is November 10-13 at England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park. Looking for a coordinator and NEED VOLUNTEERS.
    -December 9th at 7pm PBA will have our Christmas party here at Moccasin Lake with a White Elephant Gist exchange – $15 limit.
    -Honey Extractor is ready to rent.
    -Lawrence Cutts inventor of Beetle Blaster will be at the Seminole meeting November 17th.
    -2016 Florida Beekeepers Association’s annual convention will be held at the Hilton in Gainesville, FL October 21st thru the 23rd. Tours of the site and plans for the new Bee Lab will be offered along with a host of speakers, vendors and convention activities.
    -Currently seeking mentors and anyone who can speak at local schools, clubs and willing to be an answer board.

  • 50/50 paid out $20.00
  •  Attendance – 45