April 19, 2018

TRI-STATE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION

The meeting was called to order with 41 members attending.  Many new attendees were recognized and welcomed.  Members were reminded that this was the last opportunity to pay dues for 2018.  At this point, the official mailing list will be reduced to members only and future benefits such as package and nuc purchases and inclusion on the swarm list will be limited to members only.  All are most welcome to join, but currently we are mailing to over 100 individuals, many of which are no longer affiliated with the group.

An announcement was made that the Tri-State Beekeepers Association was the recipient of the 2017 Kees-Mead Award as the outstanding association in the state.  Steve Roth accepted the award on behalf of the club at the 2018 spring conference at Tamarac on March 24.  Steve in turn thanked all club members for their contributions in attaining this recognition.  In addition to a certificate, the club received a $100 prize.

It was announced that we can still take orders for nucs at $165 each until the first of June at which time we expect delivery.  Packages were received on April 16.

We received a report from member Wayne Shook regarding the bee club at the Belmont Correctional Facility.  They were give two packages of bees and the site on campus is being developed to house the colonies.  Wayne stated that they are unable to receive cash contributions, but a list of needed items is being developed to allow us to make donations.

A call was made for suggestions on how to manage a grant program for local clubs being considered by the WV beekeepers Association.  Local clubs have been asked to survey members for recommendations.  Collectively, we have submitted an outline to include a separate committee to consider requests and submit recommendations to the state board of directors.  We have suggested a cap of $1,000 per request with a maximum of $3,000 granted per year.  Use of the funds to be considered included underwriting education in the state through expanded novice programs and assisting in the production of the spring and fall conferences.  Recommendations were made to help fund equipment of minors participating in novice programs as well as supporting community projects centered on planting bee friendly vegetation.  Also, exploring the possibility of partially funding the cost of an additional state bee inspector was suggested.  The proposal will be submitted to the WV organization for inclusion in their deliberations. 

Members were then encouraged to participate in the ongoing online survey sponsored by the Bee Informed Research Project.  Members can contribute at https://26.selectsurvey.net/beeinformed/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=LMS2018# .

Names were taken to be included on the swarm list for this year and members were reminded that when retrieving a swarm they represent the face of beekeeping in the area.  A professional approach was strongly recommended.

An offer was made the have Wade Stiltner, the chief apiary inspector in WV, inspect members’ apiaries while he was in Wheeling for the open hive day scheduled for May 12.  A list for sign up was made available.

Upcoming events were then outlined to include:

May 12 – Open hive demonstrations at the Good Zoo from 1-4 pm.  Wade Stiltner will be present to conduct the inspections and a pot luck picnic will follow.  The club will provide chicken and members are asked to bring additional dishes.

There will be no May business meeting.

July 21 – Kristin Troyer speaking at the beekeeping club in Scio, Ohio from 9-4.

August 15 – Tri-State Beekeepers annual picnic at the Belmont Community Center at 6 pm

August 24 – 25 WV Beekeepers Association fall conference with Dr. Sammy Ramsey, Fairmont, WV

September 16 – Resumption of monthly club meetings at The Good Zoo Building, 7 pm

The presentation for the evening was given by Joseph Tennant from the Farm Service Agency outlining programs that assist beekeepers in recouping losses from Colony Collapse Syndrome and a variety of weather related disasters.  In addition, Joy Riggle, the farm loan officer for the Farm Service identified several programs intended to offer low interest and cost sharing initiatives to assist farmers in obtaining equipment and site improvements.

Their program was followed by a social in which the new beekeepers availed themselves to an assortment of advice from the more experienced members.  The meeting was then adjourned at 9:30 pm.