April News and Announcements

New Committee

The TVBA board is pleased to report that we have formed a new committee to work on getting incorporation for the club. Bruce Bonnett, our current secretary, will serve as chair of the committee. Stay tuned for details on our progress.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have several upcoming opportunities to spend time with your fellow TVBA members, educate the public, and have fun!

  • BeeWeaver bee pick up day at Trinity Haymarket, April 22. Several volunteers are needed to help check in customers, load nucs and packages, and promote TVBA.
  • Native Plants and Prairies Day at Bath House Cultural Center, White Rock Lake, May 6. Volunteers needed to man our booth, chatting about bees and letting people know about the club.
  • Cub Scout presentation, date TBD between June 12 and 15. Volunteer needed to present information about bees and beekeeping to Cub Scouts.

To volunteer for any of these events or to serve on a TV Bees committee, contact Ryan at ryan@tvbees.org

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April Meeting: Spring Management with Les Crowder

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Theater class starts at 6 pm, Q&A starts at 6:45 pm, and main meeting runs from 7-9 pm.

The Point at C C Young (map)

This month we are extremely lucky to have Les Crowder, author of “Top Bar-Beekeeping: Organic Practices For Honeybee Health,” coming to Dallas to talk to us about Spring Management: swarm prevention and swarm encouragment, the causes of swarming, and how to trigger your favorite hive to make queen cells for the sake of making splits. This topic will be helpful to all levels of beekeeper and all hive styles.

Les Crowder began keeping bees (he often states they began keeping him) in Bernalillo, New Mexico, 40+ years ago. He began looking for ways to raise bees without antibiotics in his teenage years and has been breeding honeybees for disease and parasite resistance since then. He also began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease. This led him to experiment with topbar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business with beehives in New Mexico that also did some California almond pollination with topbar hives.

He has been president of the New Mexico Beekeepers Association many years, has been a honey bee inspector for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years. He and Heather Harrell coauthored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012 and soon to be published in Spanish. He continues to teach and advocate nontoxic management of beehives, these days around Austin, Texas.

In addition to our main presentation, we will have our “Bee Plant of the Month” and our monthly “In the Hive”.

Theater class starts at 6pm, Q&A starts at 6:45, and the meeting officially starts at 7:00pm. Our meetings are always free and open to the public. Feel free to attend even if you don’t know anything about beekeeping–it’s a great chance to meet people and see what it’s all about!

The Point at C.C. Young Campus
4847 W. Lawther Drive, Dallas, TX

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April Pre-Meeting Class: Intro to Native Texas Bee Species

April 11, 2017 6-6:45 pm

The Point at C C Young, 4847 W Lawther Dr, Dallas

This month’s “Trophallaxis in the Theater” class is free, and will be presented by Ryan Giesecke of Honey Bee Relocation Services.

This class will introduce you to many of our native bees. Honey bees were brought to North America from Europe in the mid 1600’s, but there are over 700 species of bees native to Texas, and over 4000 in the United States.

Most are important pollinators to native plants and to agriculture. Many can easily be provided with nesting sites, and some can even be managed for population growth and pollination. Bumble bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and many more will all be specifically discussed.

Credits to “The Bees In Your Backyard” for the event photo.

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Beekeeping for Beginners: Pests and Diseases

Saturday, April 29, 2017 10 am-12 pm

Trinity Haymarket

This year Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association is offering a 6-part “Beekeeping For Beginners” series. These classes are offered as individual sessions ($35 per family) and discounted for Trinity Valley members ($25), so please consider becoming a member. Classroom classes will be at Trinity Haymarket (https://www.facebook.com/TrinityHaymarket).

This, our fourth class in the series, will educate you on pest & disease issues that can affect your honey bee colony. This will include how to inspect for and recognize problems, as well as both naturalistic and intervention-oriented approaches to managing healthy bees. Though not the most cheerful of topics, this class will include some must-have instruction for being able to sustainably keep healthy and productive hives.

Recommended reading material for this series is “The Beekeeper’s Handbook” by Diana Sammataro or “First Lessons in Beekeeping” by C.P. Dadant.

A great selection of beekeeping equipment, as well as these books, will be available for purchase at Trinity Haymarket, so be sure to plan some time to shop while you’re there.

For more information on this class series, and to sign up, please visit http://www.tvbees.org/beekeeping-for-beginners-class/

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TBA Beekeeping Survey

Joe and Lolita Bader, Hill Country beekeepers, are volunteering their time to put together a survey for the Texas Beekeepers Association. They are asking local clubs to take a brief survey, and they plan to compile regional and statewide results to give a snapshot of Texas beekeeping in 2016.

If you had at least one hive in 2016, please consider taking this three-question anonymous survey. We will share their results in a month or so once the surveys have been tallied.

Please click here to take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J26RGRW

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Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association Adopts Resolution to Oppose HB1293

The membership of Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association overwhelming adopted a resolution to oppose Texas Legislature House Bill 1293 during the March monthly meeting.

HB1293 proposes to amend Chapter 131 of the agriculture code.  Members of TVBA have been studying this bill and have found 7 major issues with HB1293 that are published on website  http://www.savetexasbeekeepers.org/2017/03/02/opponents-deliver-list .  The list of issues was delivered to both the TBA board and the bill’s sponsor, Tracy O. King on March 6th.

The adopted resolution can be viewed by clicking ->TVBA_ResolutionAgainstHB1293

 

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Beekeeping for Beginners: Hive Setup & Installation

This year Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association is offering a 6-part “Beekeeping For Beginners” series. These classes are offered as individual sessions ($35 per family) or as a package at a discount ($150 per family). Fees are further discounted for Trinity Valley members ($125/$25), so please consider becoming a member. Classroom classes will be at Trinity Haymarket (https://www.facebook.com/TrinityHaymarket).

The third class in the series will be March 25 from 10-12. The class will focus on getting your equipment set up and ready for your bees, installing your nuc or package or swarm into your hive, the what-to-do and what-not-to-do of early inspections, and how to provide feeding supplements for your bees to get your new hive off to a nice strong start.

Recommended reading material for this series is “The Beekeeper’s Handbook” by Diana Sammataro or “First Lessons in Beekeeping” by C.P. Dadant.

A great selection of beekeeping equipment, as well as these books, will be available for purchase at Trinity Haymarket, so be sure to plan some time to shop while you’re there.

For more information on this class series, and to sign up, please visit http://www.tvbees.org/beekeeping-for-beginners-class/

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Texas House Bill 1293: A Threat to Texas Beekeeping

March’s “Trophallaxis in the Theater” presentation before our general meeting is free, and will be presented by some of the local sponsors of SaveTexasBeekeepers.org.

Beekeepers from across the state, including some members of the TVBA board, are coming together to address issues with a new bill (HB 1293) that has been filed this session that proposes changes to Chapter 131 of the Texas Agriculture Code governing beekeeping in Texas.

A few of the problematic changes proposed:
-registration that was traditionally a one-time optional event will become fee-based, annual, and mandatory for many beekeepers
-Texas Apiary Inspection Service is granted jurisdiction over our native bee species, including the power to declare them unwanted and subject to destruction
-state inspections are now made mandatory for most bee producers
-Pest tolerance to pass inspections is dropped to zero, even for commonplace pests like mites and small hive beetles

This class will talk about the pro’s and con’s of 1293, let you know how to make your voice heard on this topic, and update you on what progress is being made towards constructively amending this bill.

The beekeepers behind SaveTexasBeekeepers.org admit that Chapter 131 is in need of change, but believe that H.B. 1293, as initially filed, is a significant step backwards.

This presentation will be held March 14 at 6 pm, prior to our regular monthly meeting, in the small auditorium right next to the room where our meeting is held, in the Point at C.  C. Young.

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March Meeting: UPDATED: Common Mistakes Beekeepers Make

Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 7:00-9:00pm Q&A starts at 6:45
The Point at C. C. Young
4847 W Lawther Dr, Dallas TX

UPDATE: Our originally scheduled speaker, Becky Bender, had to reschedule. This month we are fortunate to have Stan Key speaking to us about hive management and some common mistakes made by both new and experienced beekeepers.

Stan Key is a native Texan and has been a beekeeper since 1977. Besides keeping his own bees and selling honey, Stan began his own equipment company serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He is a frequent speaker to Bee Associations in Texas, has written several articles, and speaks at schools and to other community groups each year. Besides selling honey and equipment, Stan is a bee broker/dealer, a consultant, teaches about bees and beekeeping, and mentors adults and youth in Texas. He is the past President and current Program Director of Metro Beekeepers Association (metrobeekeepers.net) in Fort Worth.

In addition to our main presentation, we will have our “Bee Plant of the Month” and our monthly “In the Hive”. We will also be voting on proposed ammendments to our association bylaws.

Our 6pm “Trophallaxis in the Theater” class this month is free, presented by sponsors of SaveTexasBeekeepers.org and members of our own board. This class will be to educate attendees on the recently filed House Bill 1293 on beekeeping, explain why the TVBA board believes this bill is very detrimental to Texas bees and beekeepers, allow you to form your own opinion, and then provide information on how to make your voice heard on this topic. The board is unanimously opposed to House Bill 1293 as written, and we do sincerely hope you will join us vocally in our opposition to this bill.

Theater class starts at 6pm, Q&A starts at 6:45, and the meeting officially starts at 7:00pm. Our meetings are always free and open to the public. Feel free to attend even if you don’t know anything about beekeeping–it’s a great chance to meet people and see what it’s all about!

The Point at C.C. Young Campus
4847 W. Lawther Drive, Dallas, TX

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Beekeeping For Beginners: Honey Bee Biology

Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association is offering a 6-part “Beekeeping For Beginners” series in 2017. These classes are available as individual sessions ($35 per family) or as a package at a discount ($150 per family). Fees are further discounted for Trinity Valley members ($125/$25), so please consider becoming a member. Classroom classes will be at Trinity Haymarket (https://www.facebook.com/TrinityHaymarket).

The second class in the series will be February 25th from 10 am -12 pm at Trinity Haymarket. This class focuses on honey bee anatomy, biology, and behavior. Basically, this will address everything that these amazing creatures do with or without us. Castes, foraging, wax production, honey production, defensive behavior, mating, individual reproduction, and swarming will all be discussed. An understanding of why bees do what they do will help equip you to make informed management decisions as you start your beekeeping adventure.

Recommended reading material for this series is “The Beekeeper’s Handbook” by Diana Sammataro and “First Lessons in Beekeeping” by C.P. Dadant. A great selection of beekeeping equipment, as well as these books, is available for purchase at Trinity Haymarket, so be sure to plan some time to shop while you’re there.

To sign up or for class schedule information, please visit http://www.tvbees.org/beekeeping-for-beginners-class/

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