About Robert

Robert got his interested in bees and beekeeping from a 6th grade field trip to a local museum. He kept bees through his junior high school, high school, and college years. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Liberal Arts degree and major in a foreign language-German. He found out during his last semester of college that he was only 3 credits away from earning a minor in Biology after having taken such courses as Zoology, Botany, Human Anatomy & Physiology, and even Plant Geography besides the requisites.
In 2003 and 2004, as well as 2005, he attended the Dr. Marion Ellis’s Midwest Master Beekeeping courses. He took the queen-rearing course taught by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter while in Lincoln, NE in 2005. He has been rearing queens by grafting larvae from his own stock ever since. The American Beekeeping Federation held their national meeting in Kansas City in January 2003 where Robert attended his first national conference and became a member of the ABF. He attended several other ABF meetings and has been at national speaker, giving presentations at Louisville, KY, Sacramento, CA, Reno, NV, and Galveston, TX. His topics included beeswax soap-making and queen rearing and also mead-making.
He has been rearing his own queens for the last 11 years. “Attending the national meetings puts things in a bigger world perspective. I come away with better ideas. I also love running into the authors of all those great articles in both Bee Culture and The American Bee Journal.”
Since 2005, after an invitation from Katherine Kelly Robert has become involved with the urban agricultural farm movement in Kansas City, taking care of the hives as a volunteer at a local nonprofit organization, dedicated to community gardening, and teaching people about growing food in the city. This involvement has given him contacts and ways to expand the locations of several of his bee yards in suburban and urban settings.
Robert has been providing financial leadership, serving as Treasurer for the Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers’ as well as the Kansas Honey Producers’ Associations for over 10 years.

Kansas Honey Producers Assn (KHPA)

2017 Fall Meeting Information

Beekeeping – Good Fellowship   SINCE 1903

Exploring the wonderful world of beekeeping together.

THE KANSAS HONEY PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION

(formerly k.a. The Kansas State Beekeepers’ Association – prior to 1981)

KHPA 2017 Fall Meet Agenda & Reg (download). PENDING when available

Friday and Saturday October 27th & 28th, 2017   

at the Ramada Inn 2700 W 18th St, Emporia KS 66801

Phone for reservations #620-341-9287

The hotel special rate of $65 (double bed) or $75 (king bed) per night plus tax includes free WiFi. This hotel is nearing a complete renovation. Please make reservations by September 27th to get these rates. Mention that you are part of the Kansas Honey Producers group.

We have some really fine guests lined up for this meeting!

One of our guest speakers several of us had the pleasure of hearing speak at the North American Beekeeping Conference. Dr. Yong Park is from the University of Arkansas. His presentation on Honey Bee Morphology and Anatomy was fantastic. He brought in microscopes so that we could all look at the bee parts. He’ll do the same for us! Another presentation he’ll be giving is on Small Hive Beetles. He will be presenting four times.

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Honey Bee Swarm Season 2017 April/May

Swarms are exciting! It is the birth of a new colony.

Before leaving the original colony, honey bees gorge on honey for the journey to move to a new home. They are generally not very defensive but can be enticed to sting. Please, do NOT spray with poisons or try to kill. Swarms are only in a temporary resting place until they rest enough to move on to their final destination. This activity is a very common occurrence in April and May. Many people find them in their yards or around their homes. Swarms can be harmed by high winds, hail, and heavy rains as well as cold, freezing weather.
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Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers Association – 2017 Beekeeping Class

Eager Attendees to the January 2015 Beeswax Soap-making Class

Attendees to the January 2015 Beeswax Soap-making Class held in Lawrence, Kansas

Looking for a Beekeeping Class for 2017? 

Our NEKBA Bee Class (both part I & part II combined) is nearly 10 hours of education for new and those looking for a re-fresher in their early years of beginning beekeeping. Several courses will be presented by our keynote speaker, Keith Delaplane, on the 2nd day or part II of the class. Keith’s book, a field guide, and presenter’s notes are included with each family registration. Additional family members or friends are welcome to attend for a nominal registration fee, which also includes the presentation notebook. We are a non-profit organizations. The fees are calculated to cover the costs of rent, books and materials, as well as shared costs for our keynote speaker.

This event is for beginning & 2nd or even 3rd year beekeepers or those looking for a re-fresher. We like to say that you’ll learn more the 2nd time around. The class is held on 2 weekends as there is much to offer and learn. Trying to hit on all topics in 1 day is a lot to try to absorb. We want beekeepers to get the most and learn the best way possible. Continue reading

NEKBA Annual Bee Fun Day

Upcoming Activities

 June 2017 Fun day Meeting

Saturday, June 3rd  2017, 8:45 am until 5:00 pm

Douglas County Fairgrounds – just north on Harper Street and K-10 Hwy

Northeastern Kansas Beekeeper’s Funday

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 Registration: 7:45-8:45, Program 8:45-5:00

Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper, Lawrence KS

Fee includes lunch, beverages, snacks, homemade honey ice cream, and a full day of fun!

Bring your hat & veil—we’ll be working through some hives

Cost: $40.00 per person for those pre-registered, $45.00 at the door.                           Walk-ins are welcome! We do appreciate pre-registrations as this helps with our planning for lunch and seating availability. For those pre-registered, by May 25th, there will be a drawing at the end of the event to reimburse 1 (one) pre-registered person for their registration!    Children ages 6-18, $20.00 for those pre-registered, $25.00 at the door.

For those pre-registered (post marked), by May 25th, there will be a drawing at the end of the event to reimburse 1 (one) pre-registered person for their registration!

Click the following links (below) for information and registration. You can mail, if there is time. If not, print, complete, and bring it with you. See you in Lawrence, KS!

TO BE UPDATED IN EARLY 2017

NEKBAFundayflyer2017    

fundayschedule2016 * Subject to change & pending update for 2017

Visit our website at nekba.org for other club information

Mating biology of honey bees – Book Review

Mating biology of honey bees (Apis mellifera), by Gudrun Koeniger and Nikolaus Koeniger with Jamie Ellis and Lawrence Connor  

Wicwas Press

1 edition (December 22, 2014) Hardcover: 155 pages.

51fvsy1vcdl-_sx312_bo1204203200_Review by Robert Burns

I just finished reading the book on honey bee mating biology. Wow! Although sex is usually a ‘hot’ topic, I can really appreciate the research and science that has gone into this work. The book has some excellent photographs and charts and diagrams. There’s lots of great science here that explains the bee mating biology in simple terms.

I don’t believe I have read any other book that is a better culmination of the works on the mating happenstances of our wonderfully under-appreciated honey bees. I have my other queen books Bee Sex and Queen Rearing and other guides. However, there hasn’t been quite any other that is more descriptive, especially of the 3rd caste –Drones. The male bees seem to never get enough attention and respect.

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Oxalic Acid Vaporization

OXALIC ACID SUBLIMATION (OAS) –MY SERENDIPITOUS DISCOVERY OF 2015

I recall being approached last July by another beekeeper about using another treatment in my hives for Varroa Mite control. I recall that when I heard the word ‘acid’, I had immediately responded, “ The last thing I want to do is to put another something with ‘acid’ in my hive as a treatment.”

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Kansas City’s Urban Grown Farm Tours

Cultivate Kansas City’s biennial Urban Grown Tour is slated for June 27-28, 2015 to showcase the good food that is growing our city’s neighborhoods and will celebrate 10 years of growth sinDSC00808ce the first tour in 2005!

In the excitement leading up to our own Cultivate Kansas City’s Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour this June 27-28, 2015, I’d like to post this information on:

Urban Garden Beekeeping

         Urban gardens are great locations for keeping honeybees as they increase the opportunity for the number of beneficial garden pollinators. They also provide and additional source of local whole food.

Small-scale urban beekeeping contributes to the protection of our vital ecosystem. Keeping bees in an urban garden setting is a small but hugely significant way for a community garden to contribute to the diversity, health, and sustainability of our food growing system. It’s a huge way for a small group of people to make a difference on a big environmental issue. If your community garden wants to host honeybees, you can either (1) Arrange with a local beekeeper to place and maintain a hive or two in the garden, or (2) Start a hive to be maintained by the gardeners themselves.

If you are considering beekeeping for your community garden, may I suggest the following guidelines for starting a honeybee hive:

  • Maintain good relations within the garden and with the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Research any beekeeping ordinance that might apply to your garden.
  • Meet the owner of the property where your garden is located in order to get approval to place a hive there.
  • Determine if your garden is a good place for a beehive
  • Decide the best place to put the hive in the community garden.

One or more gardeners should be selected to manage the beehives in the community garden. They are responsible for making sure the hive is maintained properly and for removing the hive, if necessary.  When in doubt, review other Municipalities as a guideline. Some are actually pretty good.

Below is a link to the City of Overland Park, Kansas, which is where I am from. It’s not the best but it is pretty good. There is a requirement for water for bees, which should stipulate that water should be supplied from March thru October.

http://www.opkansas.org/city-government/overland-park-municipal-code/

 TITLE 06 – Animals

6.14 Beekeeping

 

 

Beekeeping with Slatted Racks in the Midwest.

 

FALL 2014

Looking at the extended 3-4 month weather forecasts, and I’m wondering what I can be doing to be prepared for an anticipated cooler than average fall.

I’ve decided to give slatted racks a try. They have been around since the 1970’s. I’ve been doing some research. I have a pretty good base in the screened bottom boards that I use. Rather than going back to solid bottom boards and making that investment for the winter weather, I decided to use a sampling for the racks on a few hives.

Here is some of the research that I’ve come across so far re slatted racks:

“The original idea for a slatted resting place below the brood chamber was developed by Dr. C. C. Miller in 1900 and refined by Carl Killion in 1950.  The wide board in the front of the hive directs any incoming air to go up through the cluster so reducing cold air going up past the cluster. Bees cluster in the 3/8″ spaces thus controlling air movement up through the cluster resulting in a larger cluster going into winter and a warmer colony in the spring – if the bee colony is large enough. The extra space produced by the slatted rack is said to keep a beehive warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer by creating dead air space. The rack allows the bees to control air movement, and swarm queen cells can be found on the bottom bars of the bottom brood nest because it is warmer above the rack. This results in larger colonies and faster buildup in the spring provided the queens and colony size is optimal for other reasons.”

http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-use-a-slatted-rack/

I will let you know how they work out. For now, it’s getting them primed, painted, and on a the hives.

http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/slatted-bottom-rack/

CHARLES J. KOOVER
Altadena, Calif.
GLEANINGS IN BEE CULTURE – June, 1968

“To the late Dr. C. C. Miller belongs the credit of realizing that bees need more room under the bottom bars. Sound as it was, the idea was never accepted by the beekeeping industry. He made two-inch-deep bottom boards and used them as long as he kept bees. Soon he discovered that bees build comb underneath the bottom bars, so the idea of a slatted rack under the frames was conceived. This served the purpose very well.

Carl E. Killion, one of his successors in comb honey production, discovered the principle of the four-inch-wide solid board instead of slats near the entrance. This was a most important improvement and it did away with bees chewing the combs along the bottom bars.

Still the deep bottom board and rack did not become the accepted standard of the industry. The reasons are easy to see. It takes two special pieces of equipment. The rack is fragile and is time-consuming to make. Furthermore, spacers have to be attached to prevent the bees from propolizing it to the bottom board.

In a moment of ingenious thinking, Richard F. Bovard of Honolulu, Hawaii, has eliminated all these objections and has created the ideal entrance to the hive without changing in any way the equipment now in use. He has come up with the idea of a two-inch-deep frame of the same dimensions as the hive body, 16-1/4 x 20 inches. In this are fitted the four-inch-wide board and a number of 3/4-inch-wide slats. Proper space of 5/16th inch is maintained between bottom bars and slats and between the slats themselves. That’s all there is to it. It is simplicity itself. It fits under the brood chamber on top of the bottom board. It is strong and asks no favors. It can be easily attached to the brood chamber and bottom board for migratory purposes. The Western beekeeper with his standard 3/8th inch entrance can use it and so can the Eastern beekeeper with his choice of a 3/8th or 7/8th inch entrance. This rack provides a single wide entrance clear across the front of the hive instead of three separate entrances as with the Miller rack. It protects the combs four inches back from the front entrance against robbers, wax moths and winds. There is nothing to be propolized onto the bottom board. And it is free from any objections, even the most critical beekeeper might raise. It adds but little weight to the hive, three pounds to be exact.

Here is a piece of equipment that should be universally accepted, just as the inner cover and telescope cover are part of a hive. It is easy to manufacture and simple in its assembly. It can be sold in the flat unassembled or factory assembled. It is hoped that hive manufacturers will add it to their line of bee supplies.

Beekeepers are notoriously slow in accepting new ideas, they still live in the horse and buggy days as far as their bee equipment goes, yet for their personal comfort they expect the latest gimmicks in their automobiles and trucks.

This-easy-to-use slatted rack ends once and for all poor ventilation and excess moisture. It is up to the beekeepers now to discover for themselves a whole new phase in beekeeping.”

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