Hives, Research, and Honey!
The July meeting started with the unveiling of a hive that member Joe Hyla built and donated to the UESBA! Thanks so much, Joe! The hive will be raffled off this fall and the proceeds will go to the association.
Robin Van Meter spoke about a tour of the USDA Bee Research Lab for our monthly "Buzz." Robin and three other members visited the lab in Beltsville, MD to take a tour of the facility and to learn about the department. She said they learned about how to submit samples for diagnosis, how the stress from mites may impact disease susceptibility, and how pesticides affect bee metabolism. They also learned about how shipping temperatures affect the sperm viability in queens. For more information about how to submit bee samples, go to: https://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472.
Our monthly speaker, David Smith spoke about harvesting honey and things to keep in mind when you are deciding when and how much honey to harvest. David said that a hive is at its peak weight at the end of June (may vary with weather), which means the ideal time to harvest honey is early June. After June, the hive weight decreases gradually and the bees are not replenishing their honey supplies as quickly. You should always make sure that your hive has at least one medium box (about 40 pounds of honey) for the bees to use during winter. He recommends overwintering your hive with two boxes allowed for brood and one for honey for the bees. David also spoke about judging the quality of honey. The honey should be between 15.5%-18.6% moisture content and you can generally tell by flipping the jar upside down and watching how fast the air bubble rises to the top. Jarred honey should not have lint, wax, dirt, foam. Honey is also considered better without crystals (the higher the concentration of glucose, the more crystals/impurities).
David Smith suggests watching this video by Wyatt Mangum. It demonstrates crystallization in honey.