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 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 @

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 or Julie Cassiday ( 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

See More

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March 2016 Meeting

Greetings fellow beekeepers. We have another great meeting coming up on Tuesday, March 22nd 2016 at 7pm. Our guest speaker will be Ken Warchol, one of the Massachusetts State bee inspectors.

Ken’s talk will be on “Abnormalities of the Beehive”  This talk will focus on the abnormalities that can occur within a beehive and how they can quickly send the hive into a downward spiral unless we recognize the problem and take the appropriate action.

Please note that this meeting will be at the American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive,  in North Adams MA.

February 2016 meeting

The next meeting of the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association will be on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd at 7 PM.  Our guest speaker will be Kim Skyrm, Ph. D, who is the Chief Apiary Inspector and the Apiary Program Coordinator for the State of Massachusetts.
Topics will include:
– An overview of the MA Apiary Program and a chance to provide feedback as they are in the process of “re-vamping” the program.
– Discuss the MA Bee Kill Program and the Hive Survey that was created to track losses this season.
Other Business:
– We are looking for a volunteer to maintain the NBBA website.
– Don’t forget to bring raffle items.
Other opportunities to volunteer…..
– The Mass Bee Board of Directors are looking for nominations for President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary.
– Kim is putting together a group to review the revised Massachusetts Apiary Regulations.  She’d like to get 1 or 2 beekeeper from each county, if possible.  Meetings will most likely be located in central MA.
Please note that this meeting will be in a new location.
We are meeting at the Adams Visitor Center,  3 Hoosac Street, Adams, MA.   There is plenty of parking next to the building.
The Visitor Center is approximately 7 miles from the Price Chopper location we know so well.  If you are coming from that direction, continue east on Rte. 2 from the Price Chopper and then head South on Rte. 8.   Hoosac Street is a left once you enter Adams.
Bonnie Frank
NBBA Secretary // (518) 794-8450
Northern Berkshire Beekeeping Association

2015-05 NBBA Newsletter

May 26, 2015 NBBA Meeting Notes


  1. Jeff saw two hives beetles in his package from Betterbee. Be on the lookout for them!
  2. Betterbee lost 1/3 of its shipment of bees from down south because of two flat tires – the bees got too hot and died. They are giving people credit for their packages.
  3. We need a new Treasurer because Suzanne Silitch is moving to VA. We’re looking for an interim Treasurer until October, when we will have new elections.

Topic: Bee Diseases and Medications

Varroa Mites
This is the most dangerous disease that bees have right now. If you just got your packages, check your hive in August. You have about 2 years, usually, from when you get your packages before it will really be a problem. Below are some ways to treat.


  • Put on in April/May or in September.
  • Leave on for 5 days.
  • It is OK to have the honey supers on the hive.
  • Don’t use this treatment when it is too warm.
  • Leave the entrance open or push back the top deep.
  • Bees may beard because of the smell but that’s ok.


  • Use in the Fall – do NOT use in the Spring because the queen is laying and she will stop laying with this treatment.
  • Put on brood chamber
  • Use when it is hot outside
  • DO NOT use with honey supers


  • This is a hard chemical, effective for mites and approved by the EPA.
  • Put on in the Fall, when you’re going into Winter
  • Leave on the hive for 42 days.
  • DO NOT use with honey super

Foul Brood – American and European varaties
American foul brood is the worst disease. If you get it, you pretty much have to kill your hives, burn your equipment and/or bury what you can’t burn.

  • American variety is ropy and crusty. It smells terrible.
  • European variety is rubbery. It doesn’t always smell.
  • You can use Terramycin (Oxytetracycline) as a preventative measure. It cannot get rid of American foul brood.
  • You can get rid of European foul brood by changing the queen. Minnesota Hygienic bees are the only bees that have been bred to get rid of this condition.

Tracheal Mites
Found in adult honey bees, you cannot see this mite on the bee. You can tell that your hive has it if you spot “K-Wings” – a deformity of the wings. Ways to treat:

  • Mite-A-Thol
  • Menthol cough drops
  • Grease patties made with essential oils and Halls Menthol cough drops
  • Take the honey super off the hive
  • APIGUARD also treats for this

Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, small microsporidian parasites that live in digestive tract of the bee.

  • Treat with Fumagilin B in the Spring and in the Fall as a preventative measure
  • Mix with 2 gallons of syrup after the honey flow and feed to the bees
  • Keep the mixture out of the sunlight

Honey B Healthy is a good product to keep up bees general health but it won’t cure any of these diseases.