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Posts about general news relevant to Hardin County Beekeepers Association

Hardin Beekeepers News for October

Hardin County Kentucky Beekeepers AssociationHardin County Beekeepers Association is back!  We will send an announcement on our next meeting very shortly as we are finalizing the location and agenda.

COVID-19 Shutdown

Like its members and the nation, we have struggled during this pandemic.  We cancelled our much-anticipated bee school and have not been able to meet, share stories, or pass along lessons learned.

Resignation and Interim President

Most notably, recently and with heavy heart, David Shockey our President, resigned with an effective date of September 30th for health and personal reasons.  He has left beekeeping to take time to travel this great country.  His leadership, mentorship, and knowledge have been the cornerstone for HCBA and other beekeepers in the state for the past several years. He will be greatly missed!  We wish him Godspeed and safe travels!  With his resignation, David appointed, Duane Keehan as interim president effective October the 1st.

Duane has been very active in HCBA from day one, volunteering to be the HCBA Working Group “go to guy” for our coordination with businesses and logistics.  He was selected by David to be our Interim President because of his enthusiasm for beekeeping and excellent organizational skills.  David expects Duane to help us start the transition of the association into this “new normal” and to bridge the gap until we can elect a new association board – probably in February of next year.  Duane is a retired U.S. Air Force Vietnam Veteran who has been beekeeping for two years.

Duane learned his beekeeping from David, able to work closely with him almost every day for the past two years in his apiary and with the mentoring program.  He has helped many new beekeepers with their hives by routinely visiting or contacting them to ensure success.  His own apiary has seen tremendous growth and success from 4 hives his first year to 27 this past year.  We are excited to have him as Interim President and look forward to our transition with him at the helm.

The other board members have remained the same during this transition:  Burt Thompson is the Vice President, Madison Henry is the Secretary with assistance from Joe Chang, Terry Henry is our Treasurer and Rick LeMarr is our Webmaster.

Upcoming Beekeeping Season

The 2020-21 season is rapidly approaching; we feel it is going to be Hardin County Beekeepers Association’s best year yet.  We look forward to meeting soon to set the course for the new year.  Our first priority for the new year is the election of new board members to keep us on course, continue growth, and increase our visibility in the community.

Way Ahead

Here are a few key ideas for the way ahead.  We would like to make a few changes in the organization, from a more formal newsletter, to increasing our social media presence, to improving our outreach to beekeepers in the community, and content and procedures used in our meetings.  Our goals are to increase our membership and make this organization the “go to” group for beekeepers in the community.  We also intend to increase our reliance on our members to provide assistance with their knowledge, assistance and mentorship.

Additionally, we plan to formalize David’s practice of a monthly email by producing a monthly newsletter through the website, email, and social media.  The newsletter will aim to ensure that we all are using best practices and to provide members an opportunity to pass on their own valuable information to the group.  It will help the members know what is going on in the organization and act as an educational resource.  Most notably, we will greatly increase our social media presence with regular, if not daily posts and tips, instructional videos, and links to the community.  We hope that this increased social media focus, along with our website will help bring more beekeepers to our group.  For our meetings, we intend to bring in guest speakers and improve our coverage of the many new developments in beekeeping and the community.

If you have any questions or need any help please call any one of us – do not suffer in silence.  Remember the only stupid question is the one not asked.

Thank you for being a member of the Hardin County Beekeepers Association, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Hardin County Beekeepers News for July 2020

This has been a daunting Spring and Summer for all of us as we have tried to negotiate through the unknowns of COVID-19. It has impacted us all in ways we could not have imagined. I hope you are all safe, sound and healthy – and your bees too!

  1. As David has indicated in his messages over the past month, we will not be able to hold our meetings until August. HCBA will send out a notification letting you know that we are “a go”, an agenda, and the restrictions necessary to be able to meet. As of now, I know we must plan our meetings requiring social distancing (meaning a maximum number of attendees based on the designated meeting space) as well as being without food or drink – necessary precautions in these COVID times. More to follow…
  2. Please do not hesitate to call one of us for questions with your hives or your beekeeping. We may not be able to come to your apiary that day but we can probably find one of us to do so within a few days. We will do our best to HELP you manage YOUR hives.
  3. As David mentioned, I have a mobile honey extracting service by appointment. I have some ground rules:
    • I am a facilitator, I’ll bring the extraction equipment and I will help YOU harvest YOUR honey.
    • I am available after 5 during the week and usually most weekends.
    • Minimum number of frames for me to come is 4.
    • Charge is $1 per frame for my expertise and supervision – well the equipment anyway since I am neither an expert nor a good supervisor!
    • You will need to provide an adequate space – 10×10 foot area inside the house or garage. Not outside as the smell of honey will draw every bee for miles…
    • You’ll need a tarp or drop cloth to protect your floor
    • You need two honey buckets, at least one with a honey gate
    • You will need to purchase a 5 gallon mesh paint strainer for your cappings from Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, or any other hardware store – call if you’re not sure what I’m talking about
    • Do not pull your frames until we are confirmed for your extraction. If you leave them off the hive too long they can draw critters in your storage area, not to mention moisture… Call if you have questions.
  4. HCBA and KSBA are seeking volunteers for the KY State Fair (20-30 August) to assist with the Honey Booths. Please contact me if you are interested so we can organize a group from HCBA to participate. Information is below. Deadline for interest to me is 1 August.
  5. If you are interested in selling Honey at the fair please see the second attachment to this email. NOTE – your honey labels must meet KY and FDA guidelines to be sold. Contact one of the “old timers” if you have any questions, or go to https://www.honey.com/honey-industry/regulation/honey-labeling or you can contact Leslie Y. Cobb, R.S., Retail Food Program Technical Consultant, Food Labeling Compliance Specialist, KY DPH Food Safety Branch, 275 East Main Street, Mail Stop: HS 1C-F , Frankfort, KY 40621, (502) 564-7181, Email:Leslie.Cobb@ky.govIf you know of anyone interested in beekeeping, please do not hesitate to forward this to them.

Please stay safe and healthy – watch out for those who don’t act in your best interest…

“Bee Happy!”

Burt Thompson
Vice President, Hardin County Beekeepers Association