Organizational Notes

President: Rick Walls

Vice President: Keith Lynn

Secretary-Treasurer:  Marshall Standifer  

A&M University Pollination Program

pic2.jpg (5123 bytes) Drs. Mr. and Mrs. Ken Ward present an outstanding program on the results of the study of the effect of honeybees as cross pollinators of BT cotton. CLICK HERE for the latest test results.

This is a very large file and may take some time to download.

pic1.jpg (4399 bytes)




The state of Alabama requires that all colonies of honeybees kept in Alabama be registered with the state Department of Agriculture and Industries by October 31 each year (yep, you got to register every year). You can be fined by the state if found in violation of this requirement. The fee for registration is a very small as follows:

Number of Colonies Maximum Registration Fee
1-9 $4
10-24 $8
25-49 $12
50-99 $17
100-249 $25
250-499 $40
500 or more colonies $60

NOTE: This is not the official State Website.   Please check with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry (Chapter 14 (Honey Bees and Apiaries). ) for latest fee schedule.

To register your colonies, CLICK ON and print the form.  Fill out the form, attach your check, and send it to the address on the form.







In the past, I have strongly recommended that all Alabama beekeepers purchase their package bees and queen from Alabama state certified producers that produce their bees within the state of Alabama.    This was primarily because of our "closed border" law.   

Each year a list of those suppliers that had been certified for that year were listed here on

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry will no longer furnish the list of Alabama beekeepers that have been inspected by the state apiculturist.    The 2004 list that was previously published here has been removed because it is surely very out of date.

Since the State Department of Agriculture and Industry will no longer furnish an updated list I have to assume that either some quirky Homeland Security rule prohibits publishing the list or no one was inspected or no one passed inspection.  

Maybe it does not really matter anymore because the closed boarder law is apparently still on the books but exceptions have been made by the Department of Agriculture and Industry to allow Alabama beekeepers to ship their bees out of state and back for pollinating out of state crops.    This negates my reason for recommending the purchase of Alabama bees.

Therefore I do not recommend Alabama Packages and Queens over any other state.    I recommend purchasing packages and queens from what ever state that will meet our delivery / price needs.

Bob Fanning 4/1/07



Methods of feeding:
I started feeding with Boardman feeders. I believe everyone knows what those are, just a quart jar turned up on a little plastic holder, wedged in the entrance. I like these, as you can see at a glance how much feed is in the jar without having to open the hive. The three drawbacks with these, is 1; they don’t hold much, 2; they promote robbing, and 3; the bees won’t go to them in cold weather. 

Another kind of feeder is what they call the division board feeder, which is a feeder you put in the hive in place of a frame. Some are made of wood, and Amazonite, and you can also buy plastic ones from the bee supply houses. They have a rough interior to enable bees to go down to the level of the syrup, and then be able to climb back up. The main drawback on these is you have to open the hive to fill, and check the supply of feed. These work well in cold weather, as the feed is close to the cluster.

Another kind is the Miller type feeder. I never have used these, but it is simply a shallow super, with two compartments in it filled with feed. It has an opening in the center of the bottom, where the bees climb up into the chamber on screen, (for footing) to feed. Some use syrup on one end, and the other end fill with artificial pollen. They will hold about 3 gallons of syrup. The drawback on these is the bees have to climb up to the top of the dam, then back down to the level of the feed.  The simplest and cheapest way I have found is called "baggie feeding". You make a ring over the top of your cluster, to make room for your baggie. This ring only needs to be about 2 inches high. This can be made of an old rotted super. Cut the old super down to the height you want. Or, go first class and make them new out of strips of lumber. Whatever way you do, you want room over your cluster to place a 1 gallon baggie, filled full of syrup. Place it on the top bars by brushing the bees out of the way with the bottom of the bag. Take your knife, and cut a slit about 2 inches long in the bag, push a little on the bag to force some syrup out of the bag, to help them find their free meal. What ever you do make sure the bag is sealed. I had a bag that had a bad zipper, and I lost 2 quarts of syrup down my leg all the way into my shoe, I even had it in my pocket. You do that once, and you will check every bag from then on. 

Submitted by Lyle Greenwood Madison Co. Beekeepers Assoc.

Other comments on feeding methods:

If you use "baggie feeders" per the above instructions you might consider not placing them directly the top bars but instead place a queen excluder there and put the "baggie feeder" on top of it.  This will make it much easier to move the "baggie" if the need arises.   You can easily pick up the plastic bag full of liquid with holes in it if it is on an excluder.  Good luck moving it otherwise!  Also a tip (from Bill Mullins) for filling the "zip lock bag" is to place the empty bag inside a 2 lb empty coffee can (or equal).  Then fill the bag to the top of the coffee can, zip it and remove it.  This serves two purposes:

  1. It is hard to fill a flimsy plastic bag with liquid (especially on the tail gate, in the field - from a 5 gallon jug) but it is not that tough to fill a 2 lb coffee can.
  2. It makes it easier to get the right amount of fluid inside the bag and makes all bags uniform in volume.

Another good and possibly the best feeding option:

With a round hole saw, cut a "jar top size" round hole in the center of you inner cover.  Take a standard Boardman Feeder setup and don't use the plastic feeder.  With the inner cover on the hive to be fed, insert the jar of feed just as you would in the Boardman feeder, except put it in the hole in the inner cover.  Then add an empty super to space the outer cover up and replace the outer cover.  I have also stood 4 brick on end to act like piers instead of a super and placed the outer cover on that.  Works well but is not weather tight.  Obviously, you cut the hole in the inner cover the same diameter as the hole in the Boardman feeder.  If you prefer to purchase the perforated jar lid, it is Walter T. Kelley Catalog No. 162.

Hold on to the Boardman feeder as they work well as feeders in warm weather if you put them on top of the inner cover and let the bees come through the inner cover vent hole to get to the feed.  You can feed pretty fast with this method because you can use several Boardman feeders on the same hive.

Boardman feeders work better for me on top on the inner cover than in the entrance as designed to work.  The bees can get to them better in cool weather, they don't leak on the ground attracting ants and robbers and they may even be a little warmer in cool weather.  

By the way, if you buy or build inner covers with only the round hole instead of the standard oval vent hole should you ever need to stop it up (like to prevent robbing) just put a jar lid in it.   Not related but if you have menthol bags (with menthol) and robber bees are trying to get in the inner cover vent hole, just place the menthol in the bag over it and they will soon abandon the effort.   Seems they don't like the smell and it probably mask the stress pheromone odor and or honey smell.

Submitted by Bob Fanning 11/19/05


Beekeeping Suppliers  

(NST is No Sales Tax to MCBA Members)


Dadant & Sons Inc.
51 South 2nd Street
Hamilton, IL 62341
Phone: (800) 637-7468
Fax: (217) 847-3660
Rossman Apiaries Inc.NST
P.O. Box 905
Moultrie, GA 31776
Phone: (800) 333-7677
Fax: (502) 242-4801
Mann Lake Ltd. NST
County Road 40 & First Street
Hackensack, MN 56452
Phone: (800) 233-6663
Betterbee Inc.
R.R. #4, Box 4070
Greenwich, NY 12834
Phone: (800) 632-3379
Fax: (518) 692-9669       Email:
Walter T. Kelley Co., Inc.NST P.O. Box 240
807 West Main Street
Clarkson , KY   42726
Phone 1-800-233-2899
Fax: 1-270- 242-4801
A.I. Root Company
P.O. Box 706
Medina, OH 44258
Phone: (800) 289-7668 Ext.3219

Jason Dodson Honey Farms    Beekeeping Supplies NST
Columbia TN  45min fm Hsvl

Office 931 388 2420

Cell    931 698 4959

Maxant Industries, Inc.
28 Harvard Road
P.O. Box 454
Ayer, MA 01432
Phone: (508) 772-0576
Fax: (508) 772-6365
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm
610 Bethany Church Road
Moravian Falls, NC 28654
Phone: (800) 233-7929
Fax: (910) 921-2681

Updated 11/19/05 B. Fanning



Instructions for making creamed honey.

First some definitions;
A starter is a small amount of crystallized honey that is used to begin the crystallization process. It need not be fine grain. Any crystallized honey will do.
Living starter:
Living starter is honey that after an optimum treatment contains a large amount of crystal's seeds. Living in the meaning that the crystallization process has not ended.

The process
To make a living starter:
1. Liquid honey is mixed with 10% crystallized honey (starter) at 20-25 degrees C.
2. The mixture is cooled to 10 degrees and vigorously stirred during 1 minute, then left in 10 degrees.
3. The stirring is repeated every 12 hours until the honey becomes firm and creamy.

The living starter is now ready to be used. The keeping qualities are such that the starter has to be used within the next few days. When the crystallization process ends the small seeds start to move towards each other and form larger crystals that will make the finished honey less fine-grained.

Using the living starter
To secure an optimum result the starter must not be heated before poured into the liquid honey. When the starter is heated, the crystals also start to move against each other to form larger units.
To avoid this, liquid honey is first added to the 10-degree starter during continuous stirring. To add the same amount of liquid honey as the starter is sufficient. Now the living starter is ready to use.

Approximately 6% of the diluted starter is now added to the liquid honey during mixing. The mixing continues until the starter is completely mixed into the honey. The liquid honey should not be warmer than 27 degrees C when the starter is added.

It is absolutely necessary to immediately mix the starter in the liquid honey. Otherwise, the starter will be destroyed!

Honey is now ready to be packed into jars. Leave to crystallize in 5-15 degrees C. The fastest crystallization is obtained at 10-12 degrees. It takes around 3 weeks to finish the process.
If the honey becomes too hard in the jars, wait 1-2 days after adding the starter before packing and cooling.


National Honey Board finds Honey as Medicine

Honey Best Ointment for Wounds, Biochemist Says

Sept. 18, 1999 Rebecca Wigod The Canadian Press VANCOUVER 

Honey, an ancient Greek balm for sores and abscesses, has fallen into disuse. After all, who wants to drizzle the sweet, sticky, golden goo on a burn or wound? New Zealand biochemist, Peter Molan, for one.

After nearly 20 years of research, Molan has come to the conclusion that honey cleans and heals wounds better than the dressings and ointments used in hospitals. ''I've just been asked to send some honey over to a hospital in Britain where they've got a teenager who has a wound so painful that they have to give him general anesthetic every time they change the dressing,'' he told a ballroom full of rapt beekeepers at Apimondia 99 on Thursday. 

Molan works with doctors and nurses at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand. They are setting up a pilot study to assess honey's efficacy as a treatment for bedsores, diabetic foot ulcers and other hard-to-heal lesions. When he burns himself in his kitchen at home, as happened recently, he automatically reaches for the honey as first aid. About 50 studies, published in the British Journal of Surgery and other journals, attest to honey's ability to maintain a moist healing environment, banish infection, promote new skin growth and prevent scarring. 

Clinicians who are skeptical haven't read the literature, Molan said. ''Most would be surprised to know there have been randomized, controlled trials which have proved that it's more effective than the two most widely used treatments for burns,'' he said. Those treatments are silver sulphadiazine ointment and polyurethane film dressings. Molan said he doesn't have the complete answer to how honey works, but said bees add enzymes to nectar to turn it into honey. ''One of those enzymes produces hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid,'' he said. 

Honey releases its hydrogen peroxide slowly, so it is less damaging to skin tissue than the drugstore type, he said. 

Molan said that in the last 10 years, medical personnel in New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain have rediscovered honey as a wound dressing. 

He has helped design honey-impregnated dressing pads and honey packaged in tubes, so they aren't getting it from grocery-store jars. ''It definitely helps, in getting honey recognized as a medicine, to have it looking like a medicine,'' he said. 

c. The Canadian Press .


   Classifieds  2016 Postings

For Sale


New Beekeepers Woodware For Sale

Need a Beekeeper to install Honeybees for my Orchard  Near HI 53 (Ardmore hiway) - Please call 256 509 5972

Nucs and Queens For Sale

Container Orders for MCBA

Medium Wax Foundation for Sale


HONEY FOR SALE Most all members of the Madison County Beekeepers Association

have honey for sale. The below local beekeepers manage large enough apiary to have

 honey available all year. Feel free to click on any of the email address below to

contact the beekeeper nearest you.


Dale R. Rohe
117 Cline  Dr.              
ph 256 837 2208

Maynard Dalton
861 Scott Rd.
Hazel Green, AL 35750
ph256 828 7963

Henry Rollins
4302 Lakeview Dr.
Huntsville, AL 35810
ph256 859 1747
Lionel Evans
1307 Fern St.
Athens, AL 35613
ph 256 232 9073 
Bob Fanning
1332 Four Mile Post Rd. 
Huntsville, AL 35802
ph256 883 9601
Bill Mullins
8714 Moores Mill Rd.
Meridianville, AL 35759
ph256 682 4372
Lyle Greenwood
310 Frontier Rd.
Arab, AL 35016
ph256 586 2206
Ray Latham
1501 Wynn Rd.
Scottsboro, AL 35769

ph 256 574 5234


  Note to MCBA members, if you would like your name included in the above list and can supply honey all year, contact MCBA President Ricky Walls  



It has been the Madison County Beekeepers Associations’ practice in past years to offer our members the option of participating in a fall group medication purchase.     There are several reasonably large beekeeping operations in the MCBA that place reasonably large medication orders.     By including all members in the group buy, the small users can take advantage of the collective volume pricing.     Another advantage is avoiding minimum buys for example if a 2 hive beekeeper decided to use Menthol and Apistan strips, he or she would need 4 Apistan strips and 2 Menthol bags but there is a 10 piece minimum purchase on each item.     10 pieces is a standard package.

Purchasing “broken packages” can be risky as the package helps to maintain freshness and thus effectiveness.

Due to timing and other technical reasons group purchases are TBD

Click here for a copy of the medication order form

End of file BRF 9/6/10 updated 2/8/11

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