Dear reader,

It has been a cool and damp Spring, but hopefully everyone has had an opportunity to get into their hives,assess them, and  have completed a spring mite treatment.   Population has been building and soon as we get some nice weather there will be a boom of nectar collecting and swarming.

 If you've attended any of our classes or workshops, we would appreciate if you would kindly write a  review on our website and share your experience. 

Links to stay connected via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are located at the top of the newsletter, thank you for joining us!

If you have any topics, ideas, or questions, feel free to contact us at BeeGroup@HVHiives.com. Please whitelist our email address to ensure proper mail delivery from Hudson Valley Hives.

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May 16th - Preparing for summer

A mild winter has been followed by a cold and wet spring. Don't be fooled though,  the bees work off the lunar calendar and have been increasing their brood rearing since January.  As soon as the weather breaks, they will be in full swing bringing in nectar.  We will discuss prepping your hive for the flow and what to watch for.  For those getting nucs this weekend, we will also cover the important things to watch for as you go through the incredible build up over the next few weeks.  And of course,  an open discussion with those that have questions

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Hands-on Full Day Beginner Course

There are just a couple spots still available.

You have spoken and I have listened.  After many requests at the March meeting, I will be offering a full day hands on beginners course on June 4th at 10 a.m. in Kerhonkson.

There is no better way to learn than in a bee yard where you can get the full experience. This will be a great opportunity to really understand all the parts and characteristics of a bee hive. We will examine frames within a hive reviewing signs of health, brood patterns and stages of their development, queen, worker and drone identification, cell sizes along with their uses, among many other things. You will have a better understanding of hive manipulations, proper inspection methods, and the characteristics within a honey bee colony.  I will demonstrate how to mark a queen and you will have the opportunity to practice on some drones.

This course will be a great place to find answers to all of the questions you may have.

Please bring a veil and any other protection that you feel comfortable in. I also suggest that you pack a lunch and water, perhaps sunscreen and a camera if you wish.

Fee for the course is $50 per person and the class will be limited to 8 participants.  So get your registration in early..... Contact us at BeeGroup@HVHives.com to register.

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Swarm season is here!

 

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Recipe of the Month

Tried and true honey recipes we have found quite delicious!

Spinach Salad with Honey Dressing and Honeyed Pecans

Ingredients:

-1 (6-oz.) package baby spinach
-1 cup quartered fresh strawberries
-1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
-1/2 cup fresh blueberries
-Honey Dressing 
-3 to 4 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
-1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
-Honeyed Pecans
 

Directions:

Honey Dressing-           

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
 

Honeyed Pecans-

1/4 cup honey
1 cup pecan halves
PARCHMENT PAPER
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of ground red pepper
 
~Preheat oven to 325°. Microwave honey in a bowl at HIGH 20 seconds. Stir in pecan halves. Coat a parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan with cooking spray; spread pecans in a single layer on pan. Combine sugar, salt, and a pinch of ground red pepper; sprinkle over pecans. Bake 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring after 8 minutes. Cool completely; break into pieces.
 
Recipe can be found HERE 
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Two Day Bee Improvement workshops w/Roger Patterson

Bee Improvement is please to have Roger Patterson coming from England to run 2 Day hands-on workshops on bee improvement.   Workshops will be held in Gardiner, NY.

Due to limited size of workshops, two different sections will be offered.

1st session will be Thursday June 23rd & Friday June 24th. - more info/register
2nd session will be Saturday June 25th & Sunday June 26th. - more info/register

Roger is a practical beekeeper who has kept bees since 1963. This was directly after the harsh 1962/3 winter when a large number of bees and queens were imported. He quickly realized these imports were not well suited to our climate and conditions. A chance meeting with Beowulf Cooper resulted in him joining VBBA (now renamed BIBBA) in 1965. At one stage he ran 130 colonies, but has now reduced to around 25. He concentrates on teaching the practical aspects of beekeeping at his local BKA where he is the Apiary Manager. He lectures and demonstrates widely and is a regular contributor to the bee press. Roger now owns and maintains Dave Cushman's website www.dave-cushman.net that is widely recognized as one of the world's most comprehensive beekeeping websites. He is the author of "Beekeeping. A Practical Guide". He is a BBKA Trustee and Vice President of Bee Diseases Insurance (BDI). Roger can often be seen in the company of his border collie Nell.

Who is it aimed at?

This course is aimed at local beekeepers who are looking to become self sufficient and understand the importance of local acclimatized bees. It will suit those who want to raise good quality queens by using “artificial” methods in batches of 6 or more in controlled conditions. The information gained should prepare attendees for producing many more queens on a regular basis if required.
Attendees should know the “basics” of beekeeping, i.e. the life cycles, swarming procedure of a colony, disease recognition, etc., and be able to see eggs and young larvae. This is not a course for raw beginners, although it may suit fairly inexperienced beekeepers who know the “basics”, can handle bees reasonably well and are capable of learning quickly.

Note: If you suffer reactions to being stung by honey bees you are advised not to attend this course. Circumstances vary, where some locations may not be in an area that enjoys a speedy ambulance service. It is also unlikely there will be tutors or attendees who are able to deal with an emergency.

Why should we improve our bees?

Many older beekeepers agree that bees are not as tough or as suitable for our climatic conditions as bees once were. This could be for a number of reasons, including the continued importation of bees and queens, “treatments” and “supplements” that mask problems and the failure of beekeepers to cull the poor doers.
When we look to “improve” our bees, perhaps we should take into account the characteristics that have served honey bees so well since their re-colonization of Britain following the last ice age.
To help make our beekeeping more pleasurable we can select for characteristics that we prefer, such as gentleness. This is a much more rewarding and sustainable approach than simply buying replacement queens that may be imported, which have the added risk of introducing diseases.

What will be covered?

There will be both practical and theoretical elements, with time spent at a number of colonies of bees.
Amongst the topics we hope to cover are:-
Colony handling techniques.
Making up and managing queen mating colonies and nuclei.
Discussing and demonstrating Q/C building methods.
Clipping and marking queens.
Q/C raising colonies.
Assessing colonies and deciding which to raise queens from and which to cull.
Selection criteria.
Recording.
Working with other beekeepers.
Setting up and running a bee improvement group.
Equipment required – buying, making, improvising or modifying.
Drone production.
Q/C distribution.
Queen introduction.
Mating control.
Some of the myths.

What can I expect?

A well run course with a limited number of attendees, so the tutors aren’t overstretched and we can give individual attention.
Experienced tutors who will be teaching from their own experience, not from books or the web. Please accept they may not have experience of all methods – few people have, however, there will be a number of options, so you can make your own mind up which you prefer.
This course will be fun, interactive and full of encouragement to explore the joys of raising your own queens that have the characteristics you want. The knowledge gained will help give you the satisfaction of producing your own queens and the confidence to assess and improve them.
Attendance is not intended to be a quick fix to improve your bees and that is it. Bee improvement is an ongoing part of beekeeping in the same way that honey production is.
We believe that beekeeping should be fun, not a chore. We don’t give attendees loads of information that is based on narrow thinking and difficult to absorb, but tried and tested methods that are simple to understand.
The order in which the course is presented may be adjusted to suit the weather (or the forecast!). If we expect our bees to make the best of our unpredictable climate, then so should we!
These courses are held in a number of locations. Local conditions, apiaries, bees, equipment, personnel and facilities may vary considerably. Please accept and respect that hosts may not keep bees in the same way that you do.

Although not part of the course it is hoped that attendees will meet up for dinner on the first evening, so they can get to know each other and have a chance to relax in the company of others with the same interest.

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Local Northern Queens

Local Northern raised marked queens will be available after June 1st.

more info/order

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Hudson Valley Hives is a beekeeping group that  meets at the Olive Free Library on a monthly basis and discuss all things beekeeping. The meeting starts with a short seasonal appropriate presentation followed by general open discussion. It is very informal and we welcome anyone interested to participate. If you are just thinking about getting started in beekeeping, a new beekeeper, or a seasoned beekeeper, you will benefit from the group discussions.

• What: Bee Group

• Where: Olive Free Library, West Shokan

• When: 3rd Monday of the Month - 6:30PM

Regards,
Rob Overton
Lindsay Brower

 

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