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November 2003


Vol. 14 No. 3                    November 2003

Editor: Jennifer Berry, Agricultural Research Coordinator

The Georgia Beekeeping Association 2003 Fall Meeting

The University of Georgia Honey Bee Lab hosted the 2003 Georgia Beekeeper’s Association fall meeting October 17th and 18th. This year’s event was a successful one with attendance reaching over 100. Superb lectures were provided by Kim Flottum, Charlie Harper, Kent Wolfe, Lee Heine, Steve Forrest, Barry Rentz, Robert Brewer, Jerry Latner, Marlene Thomas, retiring President P.N. Williams and the staff at UGA. Our newest addition to this year’s program was Bryce Tolle from Lakeland Georgia. He was this year’s Georgia Entomology state 4-H winner for his presentation about beekeeping education for young people. This exceptional young man lectures to children about the positive attributes of beekeeping. His presentation at the meeting was well received, and we plan on having him back in the future. Along with our presenters, we also had several vendors in attendance: Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, Dadants, and Rossman Apiaries.

Two new officers were elected during the GBA meeting: Robert Brewer was elected GBA president and Derrell Wainwright as vice president. Evelyn Williams remains treasurer and Jennifer Berry secretary. Bob Binnie received the beekeeper of the year award, and a special recognition plaque was presented to J.M. and Frieda Sikes for their selfless contributions to the beekeepers of this state.

Once again, J.M. and Frieda Sikes provided the best shrimp and crab this side of the Mississippi for their low country boil Friday night.

The location for the spring 2004 GBA meeting will be in Columbus, Georgia, at the Extension office on February 28th. Check the GBA website closer to the date for more information.

In addition to the meeting, there was a ceremony on Friday recognizing the establishment of the Myron Harold Schaer Memorial Endowment for the Support of Honey Bee Research and Education, a fund formed at the behest of the late benefactor, a hobby beekeeper from Rome, Georgia. Myron’s sisters, Dora Barra and Frances Mercer, plus family members from Ohio were in attendance along with UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean Gale Buchanan, Associate Dean Melvin Garber, Assistant Dean Bob Shulstad, Head of Development Keith Barber, and Entomology Department Head Dr. Ray Noblet. Dr. Keith Delaplane, program leader at the UGA honey bee lab, presented a biography of Mr. Schaer as well as an overview of the expected outcome of the funds – nothing less than a new generation of honey bee scientists. Baskets filled with Georgia honey, candles and other hive products were given to the sisters and administrators in appreciation for their support. We again thank the many beekeepers who donated honey and other products for the baskets. A plaque is on permanent display at the University of Georgia Honey Bee Lab in honor of Myron Schaer.

Now let me share with you some information about this generous man’s life and interests.

Myron Harold Schaer was born April 29, 1934, at home near the village of Lockville, Fairfield County, Ohio. Myron received his primary and secondary education in Canal Winchester, Ohio. He was a popular young man and participated in many school activities, the most significant of which were FFA, 4-H, and Grange. Following high school, Myron enlisted in the United States Navy and served as an engineer on the submarine, USS Menhaden that operated in the East and South China Seas, and the eastern and western Pacific Ocean. Once home Myron used the GI Bill to attend The Ohio State University. Receiving a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology in 1962, he was hired by the Bakery Division of Pet Food Corporation where for the next thirty years he worked as quality control supervisor in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida. After his retirement in 1992 from PET Foods, Inc., Myron expanded his beekeeping activities, and Penataka Apiary was established. Hives were set up in Georgia, Alabama, and the home farm in Ohio – and one special hive housed his “guard” bees near the porch at his home in Rome. Prize-winning Penataka honey was sold in stores around Rome and enjoyed by many, including his friends and relatives.

In keeping with his interests in science and technology and to increase his knowledge and skills, Myron attended many seminars presented by the University of Georgia and the Georgia Beekeepers Association. It was this curiosity and concern for the future of bees and their impact on agriculture that led Myron to leave a legacy to the University of Georgia by establishing a fund to support scientific research on honey bees and crop pollination. The interest of the fund is designated to support salaries of UGA graduate students and post-docs. In this manner, Mr. Schaer's gift will help ensure succeeding generations of honey bee scientists and promote a better understanding of the honey bee - a source of pleasure, fascination, and income for thousands of Georgians.

Georgia Receives Approval for the Use of Thymol (Api-Life VAR™) in Beehives for the Control of Varroa Mites

The Environmental Protection Agency has granted a Georgia section 18 emergency use exemption for the use of the formulated product Api-Life VAR. Api-Life Var is an all-natural product used to kill Varroa mites and has been shown in UGA tests to be effective. Api-Life VAR contains 74.08% thymol, 16.0% eucalyptus oil, and 3.7% L-menthol which are impregnated into wafers of vermiculite. If you are interested in purchasing this product contact Brushy Mountain Bee Farms at 1-800-233-7929.

The following are conditions and restrictions for use of Api-Life VAR set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency:

1.      Applications of Api-Life VAR can be made in late summer or fall after the honey harvest is complete. Do not use when honey supers are in place. Use when daily temperatures are between 59º - 69ºF. Do not use Api-Life VAR at temperatures above 90ºF.

2.      Waterproof gloves must be worn when handling tablets. Two treatments per year may be made. A treatment consists of the following:

a.       Take one tablet and break into 2 to 3 equal pieces. Place pieces on the hive body or the four corners of the brood nest. Avoid placing pieces directly above the middle of the brood nest. After 7 – 10 days, replace with a fresh tablet broken into pieces as above. Repeat procedure again 7 – 10 days later and leave last tablet for 12 days. After 12 days, remove residuals from the colony. A maximum allowable treatment consists of three tablets and 32 days.

b.      To prevent the bees from gnawing the tablet either enclose each piece of tablet in an envelope of screen wire (8 mesh/inch) or place the uncovered pieces above a sheet of metal screen that prevents bees from contacting it.

3.      Remove Api-Life Var tablets from hive at least 5 months (150 days) prior to harvesting the honey.

It is the third provision above that has caused controversy on this particular section 18 exemption. The 150-day withdrawal interval is the time between the last Api-Life treatment and subsequent marketable nectar flow. For much of south Georgia which receives significant nectar flows as early as March (especially if one moves to Florida citrus), this means the last Api-Life wafers must be removed no later than the first of October. This also means the treatment must begin no later than 32 days previous in order to receive a full treatment. This regimen is possible for most of Georgia, but it will require careful attention to timing.

The USA registrant, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, advises us that negotiations with EPA are occurring to shorten the 150-day withdrawal interval, and the Florida state label was successfully amended to 30 days.

Virginia Webb Sweeps the 2003 British National Honey Show in London

Long-time Georgia beekeeper and past president of the Georgia Beekeepers Association, Virginia Webb traveled to London this month to compete in the 2003 British National Honey show. She competed in many categories and placed in most of them. Here are the results of her awards:

1st in honey for tasting, 1st in artistic display (beeswax and flowers), 1st in 1#oz beeswax blocks, 2nd in straight candles, 2nd in molded candles, 3rd in beeswax cake, Highly Commendable in Embroidery.

The British National represents the acme of honey shows, and this recognition is a remarkable accomplishment, and perhaps the first of its kind by an American. Congratulations Virginia!

Electronic Delivery of Georgia Bee Letter

If you would like to receive Georgia Bee Letter via email, send me your address at If you have sent me your address and not received GBL, please send again. I have had some computer virus troubles lately. Also, notify me if there are changes to your club meeting times or contact persons.

How to Get Georgia Bee Letter

Ask your county Extension agent to put you on the mail list. GBL can be received electronically by emailing your request to . If you receive multiple copies, please tell your county Extension agent.


Regular Meetings


7:00 bimonthly, second Monday

Oxbow Meadows Nature Center, Columbus


7:00 third Thursday

Cherokee County Justice Building, Canton

Coastal Area

7:00 second Monday

Southbridge Tennis Complex, Savannah

Eastern Piedmont

7:30 first Monday

Bishop Community Center, Bishop

Heart of Georgia

7:00 second Monday

GA Farm Bureau, 1620 Bass Rd., Macon

Metro Atlanta

7:00 second Tuesday

Dunwoody Nature Center, Dunwoody

Northeast Mountain

7:00 second Thursday

Clarksville Library, Clarksville

Northwest Georgia

7:00 second Monday, June & Sept

Civic Center, Rock Springs

Southeast Georgia

7:00 fourth Tuesday, Aug-March

Wacona School Building, Waycross

Southwest Georgia

7:30 last Tuesday even months

Swords Apiaries, Moultrie

Tara (Clayton Co. area)

7:30 third Monday

Reynolds Nature Preservation


Beekeeping Subscriptions

American Bee Journal, Hamilton, Illinois 62341 (217) 847-3324
Bee Culture, 623 W. Liberty Street, Medina, Ohio 44256 (330) 725-6677
The Speedy Bee, P.O. Box 998, Jesup, Georgia 31598-0998 (912) 427-4018


Resource People for Georgia Beekeeping

Chattahoochee Valley Beekeepers Assoc.

Jim Harris, President
34333 Pontiac Drive
Columbus, GA 31907
(706) 563-4186

Cherokee Bee Club

Jim Driggers, President
1672 Hillside St
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 973-5639

Coastal Empire Beekeepers Association

Greg Stewart, President
124 St. Ives Way
Savannah, GA 31419
(912) 232-6734

Coweta Beekeepers Assoc.

Contact County Agent for information

East Central Georgia Bee Club

Edwin S. Stephens, President
522 Pine Needle Rd.
Waynesboro, GA 30830

Eastern Piedmont Beekeepers Assoc.

Paul Smith, President
(706) 548-6196

Forsyth County Beekeepers

Jan Payne
2926 Pruitt Road
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 781-2959

Georgia Dept. of Agriculture

Barry Smith, Manager
Apiary Program
P.O. Box 114
Tifton, GA 31793
(912) 386-3464

Metro Atlanta Beekeepers

Robert Pokowitz, President

Mountain Beekeepers Association

Larry Sams, President
158 Needlemore Drive
Hayesville, NC

Northeast Mountain Beekeepers Association

John Haaseth, President
(706) 865-1085

Northwest Georgia Beekeepers Association

Richard Wright, President
3492 Trion Highway
LaFayette, GA 30728
(706) 638-1354

Southeastern Georgia Beekeepers Association

Bobby Colson
945 Sinkhole Rd.
Register, GA 30452
(912) 852-5124

S.W. Georgia Beekeepers

Sonny Swords
5 - 28th Avenue N.W.
Moultrie, GA 31768
(912) 941-5752

Tara Beekeepers Association

Bill Lynch, President
60 Yates Road
Hampton, GA 30228
(770) 707-2627

Town County Coordinator

Robert Brewer
Georgia Master Beekeeper Coordinator
PO Box 369
Hiawassee Ga 30546
(706) 896-2024

University of Georgia

Jennifer Berry
Apicultural Research Coordinator
1221 Hog Mountain Rd.
Watkinsville, GA 30677
(706) 769-1736

University of Georgia

Keith S. Delaplane
Professor of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-2816