August 09, 2020, Vol 1


Club Information

President-Doug Rush                                

Vice President- Richard Ratigan                                     

Secretary-April Johnson

Treasurer-Kip Davis


Meetings are the second Sunday of the month at 1pm

We have been meeting at the Apiary due to Covid restrictions. Masks and distancing adhered to.

For information about becoming a member, please write to jeffcohoneybee@gmail.com

Dues include membership to Colorado State Beekeepers Association

Facebook page- Jefferson County Beekeeper Association; http://jeffcobeekeepers.org/


Last meeting notes

On July 12, 2020 Seth Charbonneau from Front Range Queens, LLC discussed 48-hour queen cells (and virgin queens). He highlighted how simple it is to become a “surrogate queen producer”, and to become a self-sustainable beekeeper. He left us some queen cells one of which we put in a 2 frame nuc. The cell did not develop as hoped. However, we learned so much about the application.  Thank you, Seth for a great presentation and learning experience. We hope to have you back sometime.

We have had other great presentations recently. Bryan Zavada demonstrated and presented a worthwhile presentation about the alcohol wash method for determining mite levels.  We are grateful, because the mite check we did that day on one of the hives was high.  The hive was treated shortly after that presentation.  Thank you, Bryan.

Erik Johnson’s presentation on swarms was fantastic.  He covered everything we need to know about rescuing swarms.  Excellent, thank you Erik.

If there is a topic you want us to provide let us know and we will to our best to get that information. Write to jeffcohoneybee@gmail.com

If you would like to write an article or have something to share let us know. Write to

jeffcohoneybee@gmail.com attention Kathy Gill.



There are many reasons why beekeepers are beekeepers.  What are yours?  To save the bees. For the honey? Or is it a business? Whatever the reasons, we must deal with or manage our hives. If you want to mentor someone or you need a mentor let us know and we will help



Doug Rush was instrumental in getting the Jefferson County Beekeeper Association started. Doug is a remodel and landscape contractor.  He has been keeping bees for 5 years in Langstroth hives.  He currently manages 8 hives.  He will catch swarms and can do cut outs. He has sold bees and can sell start ups with equipment to those who are interested. He has been and is a mentor to others.


What Do You know?


1. What is the principle reason that both upper and lower hive entrances are recommended during the winter?


2. The honeybee undergoes ___ stages of growth during its development.

            a. Six

            b. Four

            c. Seven

            d. Five

            e. Three


The answers are somewhere in the newsletter.


Book Review

By Kathy Gill


The Endangered Honeybee Saving the Honeybee, Saving Humanity by Mathew Krajewski (2015)

The author calls himself a beehealer, who focuses on the energetic side, the spiritual side: all energies that effect the honeybee. He discusses how the problems we faced in 2015, from environmental collapse, individual disease, and the plight of the honeybee are all interconnected. “The only way we can truly survive is to save the honeybee and in doing so, save ourselves.”

            I thought the book was interesting, not knowing what a beehealer is.  The book made me think of the issues we face as beekeepers and how can I really make a difference as a hobby beekeeper.  Do I really think that on such a small scale I can change the course of the environmental collapse, individual disease, and the plight of the honeybee and, all pollinators.  I decided I am not alone in this hobby.  There is a group of hobby beekeepers that are aware of the challenges we face.  This group that I am so proud to be a part of care about the environment and are doing positive things to help.  Planting their yards full of plants for the pollinators, not using pesticides, and educating the public about the challenges. I give this book 4 stars.



Apiary News


We started with two hives from swarms donated by Doug and April. Two splits were done which made up the four hives.  The beautiful art on the hives was done by April Johnson.


Do you have seeds, or plants that could be used at the Apiary?  Any donations would be appreciated, Please e-mail the club at jeffcohoneybee@gmail.com


If you have some time and interested in helping with the hives let April or Kathy know.


Answer 1; The primary reason for having both lower and upper entrances during the winter is to ensure adequate ventilation and release moisture that builds up in the colony during the winter. Ventilation above the brood nest in the winter retards condensation of water vapor, thus keeps the interior of the hive drier. The heat given off by the cluster tends to rise in the hive and will carry some excess moisture with it. An upper entrance will also allow the bees to go on a cleansing flight when the lower entrance is blocked with snow and ice.

Murder Hornets

 by Kathy Gill

            When the Asian giant Hornet was sighted in Canada and the Pacific Northwest in 2019, stories hit the news, alarming the public. I admit, I was concerned at first, So, I went on a search. 

The colony was found on Vancouver Island, British Columbia last September. The colony was destroyed. Then a single, dead hornet was found in Blaine, Washington in December. There is no other evidence of hornets in the area. The Asian Giant hornet, VESPA MANDARINA, is common in Asia.  They are large, and, have an orange head with a black-banded orange body. They will defend their nest if the colony is disrupted. They have longer stingers than the honeybee. The stinger does not break off when they sting.  They can sting through thick clothing and their venom is 8-10 times the amount of the average honeybee.  In most cases, they will not do anything if people are not aggressive towards them, according to Akito Y Kawahara, Associate professor, and curator of insects at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

The hornets are more interested in beehives for the brood.  In the fall season, time is getting short, and workers need protein to feed queens who will shelter during the winter and start new colonies in the Spring. They attack and kill adult honeybees in the hive to get the brood.  The hornets chew the brood into a paste to take back to their hive and feed their larvae.  For more information visit the fact sheet available from Washington State University https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2091/2020/04/AGHPreReview4Factsheet.pdf


Experts on “Murder Hornets.”

By Eric Skougstad

Dr. Samuel “Dr. Bugs” Ramsey, a postdoctoral researcher at the USDA in Maryland, conducted some of his research in Thailand where he conducted some of his research on Asian giant hornet. He describes the appearance as, “It looks like somebody stitched together a bunch of nightmares.”  He describes the bulbous, tear-dropped eyes, and bodies the size of a human thumb.

            Bees in Asia have learned to kill the hornets. The honeybees lure the scout into the hive and form a ball on the hornet. The honeybees begin to vibrate their flight muscles. The friction creates heat, and the heat cooks the hornet alive in its own shell.  The action also creates carbon monoxide, so the hornet also suffocates.  Ramsey believes the “murder hornet” name is warranted, to raise awareness about their possible presence in the United States. 

            On the other side of the argument is Whitney Crenshaw, a Colorado State University professor and extension specialist. Crenshaw does not agree with the shocking nature of the term, “murder hornet.”  “All hornets murder stuff”, he says.  “I mean, what we call a very common insect around here, is technically a black yellowjacket, the bald-faced hornet-it murders insects all day…at this time, it is premature to think that this is going to be a threat.” Answer 2: Five

             Colorado experts have pointed out that the Asian giant hornets have not yet ascended to the elevations of Colorado, so we really have no need to fear then just yet.




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