February notes

NBBA Update

Tue 2/7/2017 9:34

1) Mass Bee is looking for donations of 1/2 lb jars of honey. They are hoping to get 2 cases of honey from every beekeeping organization. The honey is given out at Agriculture Day at the State house in Boston to the State Legislators. The honey is representative of agriculturalproducts produced throughout the state. Massachusetts Agriculture Day is on March 24th this year and is the one day a year where farmers come together to focus on agricultural legislation.

So, if you are interested in donating honey, please bring it to the February mtg. Please put your own label on the jars.

Some background: “The Massachusetts Beekeepers Association represents over 1200 beekeepers across the state ranging from hobbyists with 1-2 hives to commercial beekeepers with several hundred hives. MassBee has representatives serving on the Eastern Apicultural Society Board, the National Honey board, and Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom. Our representatives to these organizations are the voice of beekeeping in Massachusetts.”

2) Mass Bee also would like to know if our club wants to take a stance on the spraying of pesticides throughout the state (mosquito control). A “Yes” vote will mean, we will go along with other clubs fight the use of pesticides, a “No” vote will leave things as they are. We will vote with a show of hands at the February meeting.

3) The Worcester County Beekeepers Club has invited us to their SPECIAL March 4th meeting. Dr. Tom Seeley and Dr. Dennis vanEngelsldorp will be presenting. The cost is $10 for non-WCBA members and free to WCBA members. Lunch must be ordered in advance and the cost is $10.

Please note that we are anticipating a large turnout and therefore we have switched from our normal meeting location to a much larger facility- Quabbin High School in Barre MA.

More information can be found on our website:

Mary- WCBA President

AGENDA & TOPICS: 8:00–9:00 Free Coffee, Danish & Bee talk 9:00 WCBA President’s Welcome—Mary Duane
9:15–10:30 DR. TOM SEELEY The bee colony as a honey factory We will explore how a colony of honey bees operates as an factory that produces honey efficiently despite tremendous day-to-day swings in the supply of nectar, the raw material for making honey. An important feature of the organization of the honey production process is a division of labor between the nectar foragers, elderly workers who toil outside the hive collecting the nectar, and the nectar receivers, middle-age workers who toil inside the hive converting the nectar into honey. For this talk, I will draw heavily on material reported in my book “The Wisdom of the Hive.”
10:30–12:00 DR. DENNIS VANENGELSDORP Drivers of colony losses Managed colonies have been dying at rates that are unacceptably high. Why? There is growing consensus that these losses are driven by three major factors: parasites and pathogens—principle among them Varroa and the viruses they vector; pesticides—both beekeeper and farmer applied; and poor nutrition. These factors can work alone or in synergy to reduce colony health. Here we explore the evidence for each, with an eye on how to reduce unacceptably high rates of colony losses.
12:00-1:00 Lunch (Register for lunch using the form on page 4, or bring your own)
1:00–2:15 DR. TOM SEELEY How does a honeybee colony regulate its water collection Water collection is essential to two parts of a honey bee colony’s well-being: thermoregulation of the broodnest and nutrition of the immature bees. When overheating of the broodnest threatens on a hot day, a colony increases its water intake. And when a colony is not able to gather much nectar, it must raise its water intake to produce the watery food given to the young larvae, which is 70-80% water. We will look at how a colony controls it collection of water to meet its needs.
2:15–3:30 DR. DENNIS VANENGELSDORP Data Driven Management: Practices that work The Bee Informed Partnership has been conducting annual loss and management surveys for 5 years. This data can now be used to help model ideal management practices. Here we will look at practices that have consistently correlated with increased survivorship, with the aim of developing generalized best management practices that are regionally and operationally appropriate.
3:30 Closing and Raffle

Meet our Guest Speakers: Dr. Tom Seeley has a degree in chemistry from Dartmouth College and his PhD from Harvard University. He held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows at Harvard until 1980, when he accepted a faculty position at Yale University. He remained there until 1986, when he joined the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Prize, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, received a Gold Medal Book Award from Apimondia for The Wisdom of the Hive, and been elected a Fellow of both the Animal Behavior Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most enduring honor, though, is to have had a species of bee named after him: Neocorynurella seeleyi
Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp is an Asst Professor at the University of Maryland’s Department of Entomology and an internationally known honey bee epidemiologist. He graduated with his master’s in apiculture at Guelph, worked for the Canadian Gov. as a consultant to the Antigua Beekeepers Cooperative in the West Indies. He returned north to work at Cornell University as an extension agent before working as the Acting State Apiarist for PA, through a contract with Penn State, where he earned his PhD. Among other postitions, he has served as the President of the Apiary Inspectors of America, is a founding member of the Colony Collapse Working Group and is the President of the Bee Informed Partnership, Inc. Dennis has written extensively, been widely interviewed and has given well over 300 talks on beekeeping, including a TED talk on bee losses.

– Bonnie

January 2017 Newsletter

January 2017 Meeting Notice & Newsletter

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 7 PM at the Adams Visitor Center, Adams, MA

· Topic: Discuss Ordering Bees. If you have any nucs or packages for sale, please let Barb or me know the price and any quantity discounts, before the meeting on Tuesday.
· Bring any questions or ideas you’d like to share.
· Raffle items are always appreciated.
· Let me know if you are willing to bring refreshments to the meeting

Other news:

1) A request came in from an individual in Alford, MA, who is looking for someone interested in placing hives on his property. If you are interested, let me know and I’ll get you his contact info.

2) Some notes from Kim Skrym of the MA Bee Program:

Winter/Spring Inspections 2016/2017: We are getting reports of unanticipated colony losses again this time of year from beekeepers all over MA. Based on what we have seen so far these losses cannot be attributed to CCD, but rather due to low/no pollen stores, low/no brood and high Varroa mite levels. However, this may not be the case for all colony losses so please reach out if you are interested in getting an inspection to evaluate the loss send an email: hive.inspection.request@state.ma.us or leave a message: 617-626-1801 and we will get back to you ASAP.

Colony Collapse Disorder: If you think you have CCD, please note that the USDA specifies that colonies lost to CCD must meet all of the following criteria: 1) Little to no build-up of dead bees in the hive or at the hive entrance; 2) Rapid loss of adult honey bee population despite the presence of queen, capped brood; 3) Absence or delayed robbing of the food reserves; 4) Loss not attributable to Varroa or Nosema loads. If your colony loss fits this definition, please contact us ASAP using the information above.

MA Hive Loss Survey 2017: If you have unfortunately lost a colony this season, please consider reporting it to the MA Hive Loss Survey so that we can collect local data to evaluate these incidences: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfQN4wEBe0x3B6nK-t1llqOTR5yCT6bCMhUsYIAISy20_rVHQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

Inspection Request Form 2017: The Apiary Program website has been updated with an online request submission platform for those wishing to get a jump start on requesting their 2017 inspection – you can find the link here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/farm-products/apiary/mdar-apiary-inspection-request-form.html. If you have not already, I urge you to go ahead and submit your inspection requests for the 2017 season so that we can better plan to meet your needs.

Antibiotics for Foulbrood Treatment 2017: Based on the national changes in veterinary feed and antibiotic usage, please note that you will need a prescription from your veterinarian to purchase the common antibiotics used for foulbrood: Terramycin (oxytetracycline hydrochloride) and Tylan (tylosin): http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.abfnet.org/resource/resmgr/2016_e_buzz_/Dec_2016/ABF_VFD_Letter_12-1-16.pdf

If you suspect that you have American Foulbrood (AFB), please notify us immediately since these colonies are not be treated, but have to be destroyed to prevent the outbreak of infectious disease per state law andregulation. To support veterinarians in this change, we have partnered with the state veterinarian and Tufts University to provide training early next year. However, if your organization is willing and able to make some additional space reserved specifically for veterinarians in your Bee School, please let me know so I can share widely. The veterinarians will need all the support they can get to prepare for this transition.

Bee Well!

Bonnie Frank
NBBA Secretary

August meeting

NBBA August Meeting Notice & Newsletter

Next Meeting: Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 7 PM at the Adams Visitor Center, Adams, MA


– Q&A – Some members have requested that we have an open meeting, so individuals can ask questions. This is it! Bring your questions!

– Show & Tell: Do you have an interesting or unusual beekeeping item? Bring it along to show the group.

– Annual Banquet –

– Officer Selection –

Don’t forget to bring raffle items!!!!

Other news:

1) Notes from our July meeting:

– Many thanks to Wayne Andrews for his lively presentation and demo of making an essential oil supplement for the bees.

– Here’s the “recipe” Wayne shared with us… Add 3-4 drops each of lemongrass, spearmint, Tea tree, and thymol essential oils to 1 quart of a 1 to 1 sugar syrup. He also adds 1/4 teaspoon fumagillin. He recommends using a high speed blender (like a Ninja) so the oils stay mixed in. He treats his bees with this mixture early in the Spring (April) and again in the fall.

2) Apiary Demo At UMass, Friday August 26th (10AM – Noon). They will be talking about fall management/winter prep and will be able to answer any questions folks have on the topic.

Location: 911 North Pleasant St, Amherst, Ma

June meeting

June 2016 NBBA Newsletter
Next Meeting: Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 7 PM at the Adams Visitor Center, Adams, MA
Speaker: Jeff Burdick will be talking on the subject of “Making Splits” this month.
Don’t forget to bring raffle items!!!!
– The Aggie Fair will be Aug. 5-7. A few folks signed up to help at the May meeting. We are looking for a few more volunteers to help with the NBBA booth this year.
Other news:
1) Notes from our May meeting:
– Many thanks to Amie Collins from Betterbee for an interesting presentation on Swarming. It has certainly been a year for swarms!

May 2016 notes

Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 7 PM at the Adams Visitor Center, Adams, MA

Speaker: Amie Collins from Betterbee will be joining us this month. Topic: Swarming

NOTE: Amie has offered to bring orders with her. If you want to take advantage of this, place your order ahead of time and tell them that Amie will be bringing the order to the Berkshire Beekeepers Meeting on 5/24. She has limited space in her Outback, so she might not be able to bring every order, if there are a lot of them.

Don’t forget to bring raffle items!!!!

– The Aggie Fair will be Aug. 5-7. We are looking for volunteers to organize the NBBA booth this year.

Other news:

1) Notes from our April meeting:

– Many thanks to Nate Buckhout for an interesting presentation on Bears. His number one request is for folks to restrain from feeding the bears, either intentionally or unintentionally.

2) Other Beekeeping News

2a) Mass Bee Day will be June 18th in Deerfield, MA. They are looking for speakers and topics at this time. If you are interested, please let Barbara Laureyns know. Barbara’s email is Bblynn@nycap.rr.com. She will consolidate a response for the Club.

2b) Winter Nuc Presentation by Antoine Fahey will be on June 18th at Sheep Hill, Williamstown. Queens will be available for sale but have to be pre ordered. To register (and optionally order queens for this date), contact Russ @ berkshirecountybeekeepers@hotmail.com

2c) 14Th Annual Betterbee Field Day will be on June 25th, 8AM-3PM.
Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda will be the featured speaker. Dr. Tsuruda is the Apiculture Specialist at Clemson University. She has studied genetic markers associated with hygienic behavior of honey bees and will discuss this in relation to varorra control. We also welcome Emma Mullen, Cornell Honey Bee Extension Associate to discuss their new Master Beekeeping Course.

8:00 AM: Arrive, Pickup Orders, Chat with Staff
9 AM: Betterbee Welcome
9:15 AM: Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, Apiculture Specialist at Clemson University
11:40 AM: Emma Mullen, Cornell Honey Bee Extension Associate
12 Noon: Raffle Drawing
12:30 PM: Lunch
1:30 PM: Open Hive Demos & Breakout Sessions
2d) Bennington Beekeepers Club Workshop: Honey Bee Pest and Pathogen Intermediate Workshop, June 16, 6:30 – 8:30PM, VT Veterans Home, $6 fee and no potluck supper. Presenters- Samantha Alger and Alex Burnham UVM graduate students.

The workshop will include a slide-show of common bee diseases and pathogens. There will be several stations where participants will get hands-on experience looking at pathogens under microscopes. We expect to have examples of Nosema, waxworms, small hive beetles and hopefully foulbrood. There will be a demonstrations of how to do standardized mite load counts.

The $6 fees will be directly used to help fund Samantha and Alex’s research studying pathogens in bumble bees and honey bees. Alex and Samantha are funding all of their own research on small grants.

Call or email Jeanne Davis(802-823-7955 jdavisbwheat@comcast.net or Julie Cassiday (jcassida@williams.edu) to reserve your spot.

Bee Well!

Bonnie Frank
NBBA Secretary

April 2016 Meeting

April NBBA Newsletter

Next Meeting: Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 7 PM
Location: Adams Visitor Center
Speaker: Nate Buckhout, Western District Wildlife Biologist

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