WCOBA has officially scheduled two beginning beekeeping courses for the 2014 Winter / Spring season. Join us on January 25, 2014 or March 15, 2014 in Urbana, OH for a full day course on the basics of beekeeping.
Check out our Beginning Beekeeping Schools page for more information on upcoming classes and to register online.
A group of passionate and dedicated queen producers, researchers and beekeepers gathered in Cookeville, TN on July 12, 2013 to form the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative. The HHBBC will be an independent organization to function as a link connecting the work of the various state, club and university level queen breeding initiatives in the heartland states. Representatives from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky connected during the 2013 HAS conference to form the regional cooperative.
On May 10th & 11th WCOBA kick-started the Great Nuc & Queen project with an Introduction to the Doolittle Method of Queen Rearing. Twenty four WCOBA members attended this queen rearing course led by respected author and entomologist Dr. Larry Connor. Connor led students through two days of instruction covering the queen rearing process, queen & drone management, hands on practice at grafting day old larva, and setting up queen cell starters and finishers.
Note to our first year beekeepers:
For those that have attended our classes and meetings and are in the process of moving forward with your first colonies this year, remember to register with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Honey bees are regulated in part under the state agriculture codes. State and local inspectors will routinely inspect colonies for general condition and to check for diseases and other issues. Registration is quick and inexpensive.
A “Nuc” (short for Nucleus Colony) is a fully functional miniature size bee colony. Nucs are used for many purposes in beekeeping. They are growing in popularity for use as a small starter colony for the beginning beekeeper. Nucs may range from 3 frames to 10 frames in size but are most commonly 5 frames when purposed as a starter colony.
In support of Earth Day 2013 and in response to the growing community of urban dwellers interested in beekeeping, we have compiled some information from the residential zoning regulations for some of the cities in our region that officially allow beekeeping. Greene County beekeepers Bill Starrett and Terry Lieberman-Smith have worked succesfully with local city councils the past few years to add beekeeper friendly zoning ordinaces.
We're less than a month away from Dr. Larry Connor's queen rearing course for WCOBA members, and we know many of you are starting to plan and prep for the Great Nuc & Queen initiative this summer. Whether you plan to make one split, rear a few queens for your own use, or overwinter several hundred Nucs, here's some inspiration to get you started toward a successful season.
In the Summer of 2013, WCOBA will be working with our club sites, beekeepers and affiliates to launch and coordinate a Nuc & Queen project. Our goal will be to create a self supporting system of locally adapted, mite resistant bees and queens for our club members and the region. We'll devote a small portion of our monthly agenda to these topics and will be posting additional information on our website and forums for deeper exploration.
The winter of 2012 / 2013 seems determined to leave its mark on the American beekeeping industry. The drought of 2012 combined with a long and cold winter in the north is contributing to winter losses in many regions in the 40% to 50% range. But the risk is not yet over for the beekeepers of west central Ohio.