September’s Ramblings of a Bee Bumbler, from your President

Well Cuba is behind me and so is El Salvador. Both trips were exciting to say the least and very informative. While the Cuban visit to a honey processing facility was cancelled I did get to see a hive of Cuba’s stingless bees at work. In El Salvador I did get to talk to and visit Fausto. He and his family run a ninety-colony operation. We went to two different apiaries and went through some of his hives. Africanized? I don’t think so. A little smoke and a home-made veil was all the protection we wore. They are still using galvanized extracting equipment but not for long. Their honey buyer told Fausto if he does not get a stainless-steel extractor he could no longer buy his honey. Fausto will have a new 9-18, radial, Mann Lake extractor in October due to the generosity of several Louisiana and Arkansas beekeepers. Thank you all in advance. I look forward to seeing Fausto’s new extractor in operation next year.

There will be a meeting of the Louisiana beekeeping club presidents September 29 at 11:00 a.m. The meeting will be held at Prejean’s on I-49 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Lunch will be provided and we are hoping for a good turn-out. We, the leadership of the LBA, want to take this opportunity to meet the presidents and to hear first- hand the concerns and issues that the various clubs round the state may have. We hope this networking will bring the local clubs and the state organization into a closer working relationship. If the club president cannot attend, we hope a representative of the club will fill in for them.

The fall field day is planned for the 21st of October. There will be something for all levels of beekeepers and gives the public a chance to see just what types of research is going on there. As in the past, lunch will be included in the registration costs. The registration information has been posted on the new LBA website along with a lot of other helpful information. Our Facebook page has also had some revamping and we are doing all we can to keep you, the beekeepers of the state, informed.

The 2018 LBA convention will be held in Pineville, Louisiana this year November 30-December 2, 2017. Registration will open November 1st after we close the books on the field day. While the field day closes us for 2017, the convention starts our fiscal year of 2018. The Thursday start will allow the commercial beekeepers a chance to get an early start and there will be a meet and greet that evening. Our vendors will be setting up Thursday and Friday morning. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

I know several beekeepers have lost hives due to the hurricane and flooding. And yes we need to keep these fellow beekeepers in our prayers as well as all those that have lost their houses and livelihood. I recommend that beekeepers check with their local FSA office to see about disaster aid due to flooding and colony loss.

Here is hoping for a good fall honey flow. I will start pulling off all honey supers next week and preparing my colonies for winter. Honey prices seem to be climbing a little and hive prices too. I know many of you do not like the aster and goldenrod honey but the bees’ sure do and it makes for good winter stores. A few notes to remember. What is your varroa count? Do you need to treat and what will you use? Have you or are you leaving enough honey stores to get your bees through the winter? Will you be feeding pollen patties, sugar syrup or corn? Are you going to combine weak hives or take a chance they will make it to spring? Have you considered increasing your operation next year and do you have queens lined up? Have you stored your supers correctly and ensured that they are safe from wax moth damage? And then there are always new boxes and frames to buy and assemble. May your honey supers be full, your hives healthy and God bless you and your family.

Randy Fair-LBA President                                                                                                                          

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