The Gilmer County Beekeepers' Association met on Tues., Mar. 17 in the Robert F. Kidd Library on the campus of Glenville State College.
One of the first things brought up for discussion was whether or not the association would join the West Virginia Beekeepers' Association (WVBA) as a group, or if individuals would join on their own. It was decided that some would like to join WVBA as individuals only. WVBA provides certain free services and goods to beekeepers who are members, whether as individuals or in groups.
Much of the GCBA's meeting involved the discussion of large hive losses during the winter. The extreme and sudden changes in weather this season have wreaked havoc with local bee populations, with some beekeepers losing as much as 50-percent of their hives.
This will most likely cause the prices of local honey to increase, due to low production.
In an effort to help out one another, the GCBA decided to use the money collected from dues to
buy replacement bees for those with hive losses. Replacing dead bees is a costly endeavor, with "swarms" (approximately three pounds of bees plus a queen) costing as much as $100 to $150 dollars, and queens commanding up to $35 each on their own.
The weather has affected the bee populations in some of the states where GCBA members purchase their bees, and many avenues used to replenish local colonies are now closed for the time being.
A further effort to raise money for the group produced the idea to organize and hold a raffle. The group discussed raffling off a nice gun, and members are investigating the best means of accomplishing this.
Though there were only fourteen in attendance at the most recent meeting, the GCBA has 64 dues-paying members from four other counties: Calhoun, Doddridge, Braxton and Lewis Counties. The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month.
The next meeting of the GCBA will take place on April 21.