West 104th Street Garden

October 28, 2013

Workday Meeting Minutes for October 19, 2013

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 5:16 pm
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104 Garden Workday Meeting Minutes

Date: 10/19/13

Lead by Ann Levine – Steering Committee

1. Announcement of 2nd citation for rat infestation:
Follow–up by Melissa Nichols from Green Thumb.  Discussed possible ways to reduce rodents in garden area: harassment–fill holes with dirt and/or copper mesh, end cat and bird food on sidewalk by large gate and hang “pigeon” poster.  Noted that Maria (owner of now closed pet store on W. 100 St.) was seen putting food out for birds and cats. She needs to be contacted at her home, 435 CPW.
Melissa will contact Green Thumb about acquiring the “pigeon” poster to hang on the outside fence.

2. Private Event Proposal:

Noted proposal was sent to all garden members to review with only a reply from one gardener.  Decided that proposal will be reviewed and edited over the winter interim and presented at the first meeting of 2014 for a vote.

Anna (last name?) suggested we contact NYBotanical Gardens for events procedures/policies and similar venues; agreed to help with the proposal.

3. Stage

Stage “committee” (list members) goal to have final plans completed by the end of ’13.

Cindy (last name?) is an industrial designer and agreed to help with drawings if needed.

4. Website Redesign

Lead by Noreen, with Craig, Dinorah; volunteers welcome.  Will do redesign over the winter interim.

5. New Members Orientation

Proposal by Lou to have mandatory orientation for all new members.  No member will be given a plot unless they have completed the orientation.  Lou volunteered to lead the first orientation meetings. Suggested a handbook could be written (or an old existing one edited) to provide members with garden rules, procedures ( with monitor checklist) and plant and gardening guidance. Put orientation dates on the calendar.  Set up “bookkeeping form for member to sign and attach to application for confirmation of completed orientation.  VOTE:  27/yes, 3/no, 1abstain

6. Budget

Noted over $8,000 in coffers (includes $1,000 stage grant).  Garden has kept expenses low in 2013 and made some money from several flea markets.

Ariel mentioned Block Associations caution to keep our account under $10,000 for tax reasons, but it was concluded that was not really a concern.

7. Motion to move butterfly bush in the East garden to the SE coner of the garden by Katy. VOTE:  25/yes, 3/no.  Bush will be moved by Katy and any volunteers this fall.

9. Work day projects and minor announcements:

  • Plant daffodils (not in SW corner of West garden or under tree)
  • Clean grill
  • Turn off water harvesting
  • Add bleach to water system.
  • Do not prune canes near herb garden

October 27, 2013

Queen Code 12012

Filed under: Bees,News — by west104garden @ 11:08 am

It’s not a zip code, it’s the number of queen bees living in my hive at various times between May and October 2013.  The first queen (1) went into the new hive in May; five weeks later, a second queen was spotted in the hive but I didn’t know where she came from (12). I gave this second one to a fellow beekeeper and a week later, my remaining queen was also gone (120). My last report was about the new queen purchased (1201). This new queen, hived in early September, laid eggs for only two weeks and then stopped for unknown reasons. The honeybee farm that provided her (Johnston’s Honey Bee Farm in upstate NY) graciously replaced her at no cost, and that new queen was active immediately. In early October, Tobias Heller (garden member and new beekeeper) and I discovered some very interesting and good news about the hive when we did a complete hive inspection with Barbara Heller’s help.

1) a queen was laying regularly as evidenced by larvae of different ages visible in the honeycomb
2) we did not see the new marked queen from Johnston’s (with a pink dot for identification) but saw evidence of queen activity (larvae)
3) there was a large amount of capped brood – meaning that eggs had been laid in these cells at least a week earlier
4) there was lots of honey to feed the bees over the winter
5) a good amount of pollen was stored in the hive; pollen is needed to ‘build bees’ so the bees were preparing food for the new population
6) the bee population was noticeably higher than before, another good sign the hive would overwinter successfully; we guesstimated about 15,000 bees – about 10,000 is a minimum winter population needed to keep the hive warm enough
7) there was an empty queen cell attached to one of the frames in the middle hive box, indicating that the hive had raised their own queen from one of the worker larvae and that she had successfully emerged from the cell
8) we DID find another queen (12012), just by her very large size, that was most likely the one produced by the hive and that emerged from the queen cell; there is some chance she was fertilized on a nuptial flight in the neighborhood but we don’t know.
9) we have repeatedly found no diseases or parasites of any kind in the hive although other beekeepers on the upper west side have had such problems.

We hope the hive continues to thrive for the remainder of the fall and through the winter. Minimal inspection will be done from now until March or April and that only to see if the bees need additional food and are healthy

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