Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

February 27, 2010

5th NEBA Chautauqua 2010

The North Escambia Bee Association Chautauqua was held on February 20, 2010 and was a success!! We had, at my count, 80 people. Over half were new beekeepers attending for the first time. I think there would have been more if the road signs had have been put out. I had places for 12 signs, but only about 6 actually were set out. Oh, well. “Best laid plans of Mice and Men ……”.

It was held at the Northview High School in Bratt, FL.  The FFA were gracious enough to let us use their facilities and the school’s Principal, Mrs. Gayle Weaver, has always been supportive of our association. I personally do volunteer work with the FFA’ s bees and students. Not to toot my own horn, but last year, the FFA brought me in as an Honorary Member of the FFA Alumni for my work with the students.

We had Dr. Lilia de Guzman, Head Small Hive Beetle Researcher at the USDA Bee Lab, Baton Rouge, LA., speak on her work. She spoke on Russian Bees telling of their good and bad points. Good far outweighed the bad.

David Westervelt, Environmental Specialist I, Apiary Research, Bureau of Plant and Apiary inspection, Division of Plant Industry at Gainesville, FL., gave a talk on “Getting ready for the Spring Honey Flow.”

He also gave a rundown on how the Lab checks for Africanized bees, I made that one. He told how they dissected a number of bees and measured numerous points under the microscope to determine the size of the bees, wings, and hind legs. if small then they are African. or appear to be Africanized. If larger, then they should be European. Takes around four hours to 8 hours to make this determination.

Virginia Webb and her husband, Carl, from Northeast GA. came and showed their beeswax exhibit, And Virginia showed how she made wax figurines from molded wax and answered lot of questions about how to melt, clean, and use wax.

Laurence Cutts, retired, assistant Apiary inspector for the state of Florida, and past president of the FSBA was there to answer questions about bees, honey, pollination, and apiary in general.

Dan Mullins, Extension Agent, Santa Rosa County, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Honey Plants of North Florida. It was well received by the attendees.

Mr. Dexton Spears, Pesticide Compliance Officer for North Florida, gave a talk on the importance of following the label. Rule of Thumb, THE LABEL IS THE LAW.

Doug Corbin, FL. State Apiary Inspector for Northwest FL., gave a PowerPoint presentation on Diseases and Pests of the hive. As always, Doug was very informative and also fielded lots of questions.

Our NEBA President, Wayne Miller, gave a hands on demonstration on the proper way to put boxes and frames together. He had many new beekeepers in both of his classes.

And last but not least our Vice-president, Ron Harper, was the Master of Ceremony and did a very wonderful job of keeping the Chautauqua on schedule. Without him, the meeting would have faltered and probably would not have gone as smooth as it did. Thank you, Ron, and all the committee for your hard work in making this the best year ever.

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