Meeting minutes

MAY 15TH, 2014

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00pm on Thursday, May 15th, 2014. The meeting was attended by 25 members.

President Steve Roth chaired the meeting and welcomed all new members and/or visitors in attendance.

Steve reminded all members who have not yet paid dues for 2014, to please see John Welty in the back of the room who will be happy to receive your payments. Dues are $15.00/year per household

Steve reminded those members who ordered bee packages, that the shipper would like to have the shipping boxes back. (not the queen cages…). Please coordinate the return of those boxes with Steve.

Steve mentioned that our club would be very interested and honored to house the WV Beekeepers Association Spring conference held the first week in April 2015. In order to house the event, we need a site capable of seating 225 people for conference, break out classes, and lunch serving. If anyone in the club has any ideas for a site PLEASE contact Steve.

The club now owns a 6 frame honey extractor that can be borrowed by club members. We only wish that you return it as you found it. John Welty is coordinating the check in check out and if you need to use it please call him at (304) 280-6813.

Steve noted that he contacted Rural King and they do not STOCK beekeeping supplies. Those supplies ARE available by catalog only.

Steve asked that if anyone is interested in swarm retrieval, please let him or John know and they will put you on a calling list.

Upcoming meetings:

JUNE 21st, 2014 - Saturday meeting featuring an open hive demonstration/social starting at 1:00pm, weather permitting. Location is at Steve’s house. We will email directions. We will also e-mail if it has to be cancelled. If you do not receive email you can call for confirmation at (304) 242-9867

AUG 21st, 2014 - Summer will conclude with our annual club picnic at the Bethlehem Park, on Thursday night Aug 21st.

September 18th, 2014 - John Grafton will be speaking on a topic to be determined.

November 16th, 2014 - Mead wine production. This meeting will also be open for show and tell. Paul Bradshaw will review hive wrapping.

With no additional business, the club watched a very interesting movie titled “More than Honey”.

At the conclusion of the movie, the meeting adjourned and was followed by a short social.

MARCH 20 2014

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00pm on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 The meeting was attended by 30 members.

President Steve Roth was unable to attend the meeting and Secretary/Treasurer, John Welty chaired the meeting and welcomed all new members and/or visitors in attendance.

John reminded all members who have not yet paid dues for 2014, to please see Ralph Seward in the back of the room who will be happy to receive your payments. Dues are $15.00/year per household. John added that he will be happy to e-mail all paying members a paid receipt and will mail out through snail-mail a receipt those members who do not have an e-mail address listed with us.

For those members who have ordered 3-pound bee packages, the packages are scheduled to be shipped the third week of April, weather dependent. When they come in, you will be notified and they can be promptly picked up at Steve Roth’s house in Bethlehem. Directions to Steve’s house are on the table. Bee packages are $120 each and checks are to be made out to Steve Roth. (All bee packages are sold out at this time).

The 5-frame nucs are scheduled to be shipped in the mid to last week of April, again, weather dependent. Just as packages, when they arrive, you will be notified for pickup at Steve’s house. Nucs are $130 and checks are also to be made out to Steve. (nucs are also sold out at this time).

Please remember that once the bees arrive, you are asked to pick them up on the day of arrival. Anyone who has ordered packages or nucs can pay Ralph at the registration table.

John reported that we have held our first weekly class of our Novice Program and will continue each Tuesday thru April 5th. We have 17 attending the class. John added that we will need mentors to volunteer for helping and guiding these newbees. Please let John/Steve know if you would be willing to assist. John pointed that there are a number of bee supply catalogs left over from the class, displayed at the meeting, and invited any member to take as many as they would like.

John reminded the club members of the spring conference of the WV Beekeepers Association which will be held on Saturday, April 5th in Fairmont, WV. Speakers will include Kim Flottum, the editor of Bee Culture Magazine, and Jeff Harris, research professor at Mississippi State University. Info on the course can be found in the spring 2014 WV Beekeepers Association newsletter or by calling Nancy Postlethwait at (304) 366-9938. Various vendors will be attending including: Blue Sky Beekeeping, Dadant, Geezer Ridge Farm, Reid Apiaries, and Walter T. Kelly. Ordering your supplies WELL in advance for pickup will save you shipping costs!

At our previous club meeting, Steve was asked to research the possibility of purchasing a 6-frame electric honey extractor. He found two possibilities: Dadant $722 + $56 for stand + Shipping , and Betterbee $767 + $39 for stand + Shipping. Both of these extractors can hold 6 shallow OR 6 medium frames. If we also intend to purchase related items (an uncapping knife, filters, bucket..etc), we may be looking at a total price of around $1,000. It was suggested that since this purchase would deplete the majority of our bank account, that the club pay for 1/2 of the purchase and we raise the other half. The consensus of the club members agreed with this approach and will think of possible sources of obtaining the additional funds. Since we are not pressured into making a purchase in the immediate future, it was suggested to table any decision until our next meeting.

Upcoming meetings:

APRIL 10, 2014 NOTE THE DATE: April’s meeting is moved to April 10th! Steve Roth will present a talk on “LATE SPRING AND SUMMER MANAGEMENT”.

MAY 15th, 2014  “MOVIE NIGHT” John Welty has found a very informative and entertaining film entitled “MORE THAN HONEY”.

JUNE 21st, 2014 Saturday meeting featuring an open hive demonstration.

AUG 21st, 2014 Summer will conclude with our annual club picnic at the Bethlehem Park, on Thursday night Aug 21st.

Under new business, John noted that Paul Bradshaw brought to our attention that individuals can save SUBSTANTIAL costs on the purchase of an epipen set. If you would go to the site and answer a few basic questions, you can print out a coupon for up to $100 off of the purchase of an epipen set. This discount must be used with a doctor’s written prescription.

John introduced member Paul Bradshaw. As a very young child, Paul remembers his family having beehives on their property to pollinate the fruit trees. Although the bees didn’t last long…Paul always cherished the treat of warm comb honey on toast. Paul moved to Pennsylvania 35 years ago and after collecting his first swarm, had been bitten by the “bee spell”. Today he has around 10 hives and gave a very interesting talk on beekeeping tips and secrets.

After several questions and answers, and there being no additional business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 and was followed by a short social.

February 20, 2014

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00pm on Thursday, February 20th, 2014. The meeting was attended by 35 members.

President Steve Roth welcomed all new members and/or visitors in attendance.

Steve mentioned that club membership dues are now being collected for the 2014 year. As a reminder, dues are $15.00/year per household. This includes $6.00 which goes to the WV Beekeepers Association and $9.00 remaining with our club. A lifetime membership is $60.00. Also, by paying dues by March 31, 2014, you are entitled to any programs offered by the State. Please see John Welty to pay your dues.

Steve noted that Bee packages may be available depending on the response from the Novice Program attendees. The 3# packages are $120 each. Also, Steve ordered 50 five-frame nucs. As of this date, 9 are still available for purchase. Members were asked to let John Welty know by the end of the meeting if they are interested in either bee packages or nucs.

The Novice program will be meeting every Tuesday from March 18th through April 22nd, again located at WV Northern Community College. We currently have 13 individuals registered. The class is being taught by our friend John Grafton. We will need mentors to help the new beekeepers get started. PLEASE find time to assist us.

John Welty gave the Treasurers report. As of this date, we have $1,400 in our checking account. During the past year, we have netted approximately $400 in dues, as well as $75 donation from the Cabell County Beekeepers Association in association with the Queen Rearing Program that was held during the year. We had only minimal expenses such as the reservation for the picnic, the purchase of bee veils, and miscellaneous supplies. John added that at this time, we have no financial commitments, and if members have any requests for Club purchases, to let Steve or John know.

John presented to the members a 2014 Beekeeping Calendar and Beekeeper’s Guide that he compiled from a number of sources. All of the dates are relevant to OUR location. John noted that the dates on the calendar which are noted for specific flowering blooms, were dates that have been compiled over the last 7 years by Steve Roth. Copies of these documents were sent to members via e-mail and if anyone would like additional copies or if they did not receive one, let Steve or John know. Additional copies are also on display at the meeting.

Steve recapped the lecture series for 2014:

MARCH 20th, 2014 Member Paul Bradshaw will be speaking on SUCCESSFUL BEEKEEPING TIPS.

APRIL 10th, 2014 NOTE THE DATE!!!! NOT OUR REGULAR 3rd THURSDAY! President Steve Roth will present a talk on LATE SPRING AND SUMMER MANAGEMENT.

MAY 15TH , 2014 MOVIE NIGHT! John Welty has found a very informative and entertaining film entitled “MORE THAN HONEY”

JUNE 21st, 2014  SATURDAY…We will have an open hive demonstration

JULY: No meeting scheduled

AUGUST 21st, 2014 Summer will conclude with our annual Club Picnic at the Bethlehem Community Park which is scheduled for Thursday evening at 6:00 pm..

Steve noted that the WVBA Spring meeting is being hosted by the Marion County Beekeepers and will be held on April 5th at the Trinity Assembly of God Church just south of Fairmont. Speakers will be Jeff Harris and Kim Flottum.

In addition, the Tri-County Beekeepers Association Spring Workshop is scheduled for February 28th through March 1st in Wooster, Ohio.

Steve reminded the club that there are a number of items available and displayed on the table for member consumption including: Apiary Registration forms, order forms for journals, copies of WV Best Management Practices, and Club Hats and License plated are still available.

Under new topics, it was suggested by club members for the club to investigate the possibility of purchasing our own honey extractor. Steve will look into pricing and get back with the club with his findings.

At this point of the meeting, Steve handed the meeting over to member Rick Johnston. Rick has been keeping bees since 1997 and was one of the Club’s original members. He currently has approximately 10 hives. Rick gave a very informative talk on Late Winter and Early Spring Bee Management. Following questions and answers the meeting concluded with a short social.

There being no additional business, the meeting adjourned at 9:00.

November 21, 2013

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00 pm on NOVEMBER 21, 2013 at the OGLEBAY GOOD ZOO. The meeting was attended by 20 members.

The Business Meeting was opened by President Steve Roth who welcomed all guests and new members.

The initial topic discussed was the late fall/spring agenda for 2014 meetings. Penny Miller, Director of the Good Zoo, has graciously opened the facilities for a February 20, 2014 meeting. This meeting is important as we will inform members of vendors who will have spring packages and nucs, allowing us to order early to insure delivery. We will also develop a list of perspective participants in the spring novice program scheduled for March 18 through April 22. Dues for 2014 will be accepted at the meeting. Steve reminded members that yearly dues are $15.00 per household, $6.00 of which goes to the WV Beekeepers Association. A lifetime membership to the WV Beekeepers Association is $60.  As weather may be a factor, members were informed that if the weather is questionable, we will follow the schedule for Wheeling Park High School. If the school is open on February 20, we will hold the meeting. If the school is closed due to inclement weather, the bee club meeting will be cancelled.

Members were then asked for suggestions of topics for the coming year to be presented at the monthly meetings. Several voiced a desire to return to the basics of beekeeping, hearing talks regarding seasonal management in advance of the respective season, allowing appropriate preparation. In an attempt to fulfill the request, our member Rick Johnston has agreed to speak on LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING MANAGEMENT at the February meeting. Member Paul Bradshaw will follow in March, offering SUCCESSFUL BEEKEEPING TIPS. The March and April meetings will be developed along similar instructional lines. Steve pointed out that the third Thursday of April falls in Holy Week and the Easter services. As a result, the program will be postponed until the following Thursday, April 24.

Major changes in the website have been carried out by our member Ralph Seward. The Information/Links section have been greatly expanded to include almost all sources of information needed by members including sites to register apiaries, local, state, and national sites, informational, research, and educational sites, and sources of catalogues, journals, and bee suppliers. The revisions have taken much work to organize and install, and with that, the website is a production of which we call all be proud. Heartfelt thanks to Ralph!!! Steve confessed that he is behind slightly in updating the site and promised that revisions will be made shortly. All were reminded to follow the site for pertinent club information.

Steve informed the members that the State inspector for this region, Joyce Frey, has resigned to seek other employment, and the head State inspector, Paul Poling will retire in February 2014. Both have been longtime friends of the club and both will be sadly missed by all of us. To date, a replacement inspector for our region has not yet been named.

Members interested in selling honey or honey products such as wax, retrieving swarms or removal of colonies from buildings were asked to register with Steve to be placed on a call list. The club receives numerous calls throughout the year from people seeking bee products or colony removal and we would like to have names of individuals who can provided such products and services.

For the benefit of any members who missed the original presentation on Sting Allergy by Chris Urval, MD, a demonstration of Epi pens was given. Dr. Urval, speaking about the potential severity of reactions, strongly suggested that all beekeepers have a pen when working with the bees. Members were informed that the primary physician will write the prescription upon request. Members were also informed of the potentially high cost if insurance policies do not cover the item. A pen has been obtained for club functions.

Members were reminded of the HONEY BEE EXPO 2014, sponsored by the WVU Extension Services and The Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers’ Association will be held at the WVU campus in Parkersburg on Saturday, January 18, 2014. The program runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Early registration is $20.00 per person if received before January 3 and $25.00 at the door. For information, members can call (304) 375-4919 or go to

No other items were offered from the floor and the business meeting was followed by a presentation from John Grafton. John graduated from the Ohio State University then joined the Ohio Department of Agriculture retiring in 2008 after spending 32 years with the apiary inspection program. He started keeping bees in 1964 with a 4-H project and has had bees ever since. Two of the awards John has received are the Ohio State Beekeepers Association’s Ohio Beekeeper of the year award and the Exceptional Service Award presented by the Apiary Inspectors of America. John has held various offices in OSBA and is a past president of the organization.  He recently worked with Jim Tew to develop a series of videos for the beginning beekeeper that may be viewed on the OSBA web site. John and his wife Katie reside near Bloomingdale, OH in Jefferson County with their children Amanda and Clinton nearby.

John’s presentation was entitled HOW TO AUTOPSEY A DEAD COLONY. He started with a description of common causes of death of the colony including malnutrition, diseases, parasites, chemical poisoning, environmental stress, and poor management on the part of the beekeeper. He then examined how each possible cause would manifest itself when examining the hive. He also stressed that early recognition is imperative in saving the hive from death and underscored the need to be vigilant. Members were left with a greater appreciation of their responsibilities as a beekeeper in tending the hives.

Following his presentation a social followed and we finally departed at 9:30 p.m.

OCTOBER 17TH, 2013

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00 pm on October 17th, 2013 at the Oglebay Good Zoo. The meeting was attended by 23 members.

The Business Meeting was opened by President Steve Roth who welcomed all guests and new members.

Steve noted the next monthly will be held on November, 21st and will feature John Grafton presenting “How to Autopsy a Dead Colony”.

Steve added that although we normally do not meet in the months of December, January or February, this year we are attempting to schedule a February 20th meeting. Due to the possibility of bad weather, we won’t schedule a guest speaker at this meeting, but would keep it open as a general discussion meeting. We need a meeting early in the year to begin collection of dues, order bees, and to plan the upcoming season. We will have the finalized information by our November meeting.

Steve has had conversation with Walt Helmick of the WV Department of Agriculture who reports that the Department is working on being more “bee friendly” by seeding reclamation sites, pipeline areas, and highway projects with vegetation favorable to bees. Also, attempts are being made to persuade timberland owners to lease 100 acres to a beekeeper for a flat charge of $10.00. Walt also noted that the Department is planning on providing beekeepers with electric fencing for bear protection. Steve added that as club members (and beekeepers), we are encouraged to work with city and county boards to encourage their use of bee friendly vegetation when landscaping.

Steve noted that bee-friendly Linden trees are available for purchase from the Arbor Day Foundation. He thinks that they were charging $6.98 per tree with a possible discount for volume.

Steve and John Welty have received a number of inquiries from individuals searching for a beekeeper interested in installing a hive on their property. If any club member is interested in housing one or more hives elsewhere, please let Steve or John know.

Also, Steve is always receiving requests for individuals wanting to purchase local honey, or beeswax, as well as requests for swarm removal or removal of colonies from buildings. Please give John Welty your name if you are interested.

Steve remarked that after last month’s interesting meeting on the subject of sting allergies, he went out and purchased a couple of EPI Pens. He added that they are very important to have, but they aren’t cheap and only are recommended to last for one year!!!

Steve commented that the WV Beekeepers Association tries to hold their Spring meeting at different areas throughout the State. If there is interest within our club, he will pursue the possibility of hosting the meeting in Wheeling for 2015. Club members in attendance agreed that it would be a great thing to look into. Penny Miller said she would be happy to discuss the idea further with Steve.

Nominations for the office of club President are due at our November meeting. Steve may be coerced in another 2-year term, but needs assistance in scheduling speakers.

With nothing else to ad for the Business meeting portion of our meeting, Steve introduced Bob Hooker who had a presentation on Pheromones. Bob, who began keeping honey bees thirty years ago, operates Sunflower Homestead Apiaries. He is the President of the Ohio State Beekeepers Association and past president of the Lorain County Beekeepers and the Heartland Beekeepers Association. Bob is pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Oberlin and will retire in June after 37 years of pastoral ministry.

Bob gave a great presentation on the topic of Pheromones, how they affect the bees and how they affect us. Bob noted that most all of the communication between bees is actually chemical as opposed to physical or visual. Bob discussed many of the different types of bee pheromones including Queen, Worker and Drone pheromones. Bob added that the actual study of bee pheromones is truly at its infancy but the research is gaining new, and fascinating information every day.

After Bob’s presentation, the official meeting adjourned to snacks and discussions.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00pm on Thursday, September 12, 2013. The meeting was attended by 30 members.

Due to time conflicts, the meeting began with our guest speaker and concluded with our short Business Meeting. Our guest speaker was Dr. Chris Urval, who spoke on the topic of Bee Sting Allergy.

Dr. Rajai Khoury introduced Dr. Urval. Dr. Khoury informed the Club Members, that a couple of years ago, he himself, had a terrible reaction to a bee sting while at home, and if it weren’t for the quick assistance of his neighbor, Dr. Urval, he probably would not be here today to be able to introduce the person who literally saved his life. Dr. Urval has been a respected authority on allergy and asthma care for over 20 years and is certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Urval gave a tremendously fascinating lecture on the nature of allergies in general, and more specific information on bee sting reactions. In addition to many interesting comments, he stressed how potentially serious a bee sting can be, even to those who have not had previous unusual reactions to stings. He noted that the number of stings received, and also the frequency of stings can greatly increase one’s possibility of having an increased reaction to a bee sting…or possibly, a full anaphylactic reaction. Dr. Urval stressed the importance of always having TWO epi pens handy and immediately obtaining emergency care if the symptoms of a bad reaction to a sting are experienced. We would like to thank Dr. Urval for his time and wonderful discussion.

Steve Roth followed the discussion with a short Business Meeting. Steve noted that our next Club meeting will be held on Thursday, October 17th at 7:00pm at the Good Zoo. The presentation will be given by Bob Hooker on the topic of honey bee colony pheromones.

Following that meeting, our next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 21st featuring our friend, John Grafton discussing how to autopsy a dead bee colony.

Steve noted that Walt Helmick, from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, has mentioned that the department plans to be seeding reclamation sites and highway projects, throughout the state, with vegetation favorable to bees. They also plan to be providing beekeepers (especially in the southern part of the state), with electric fencing for bear protection.

Steve, again offered the club’s honey extractor for the use of any club member on a first come, first serve basis. If any member would like to use the extractor, please let Steve know.

Thanks to Ralph Seward, we have made some nice additions to our web site and associated links. The site is becoming much more user friendly and we appreciate Ralph’s assistance.

Steve noted that at our October meeting, nominations for the office of the President of the club are due with election in November.

There being no additional business, the official meeting adjourned to snacks and discussions.

Minutes from the November 15, 2012 Club Meeting

John Clark's picture

The monthly meeting of the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was called to order at 7:00 pm. on November 15, 2012. The meeting was attended by 31 club members. Following a welcome to new beekeepers that attended a sincere expression of thanks was extended to Brian Roth and Ralph Seward. Their terms of office are expiring and the club wished to express their appreciation for their hours of work on behalf of the club. Their contributions will be missed although Ralph expressed a desire to remain active and available in offering his services. We then moved on to the 2012 elections.


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