May 2017 ABC Meeting

 

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, May 10th, Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation. The meeting will be held at the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd, Auburn, ME 04210. All are welcome.  For more information about the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club, please visit our website at http://androscogginbeekeepers.org.

David Spicer, VP of the Maine State Beekeepers Association, President of the Knox/Lincoln Beekeepers and co-owner of Spicer Bees will be visiting us. 

David and his wife Susan are an educational resource for beekeepers across Maine but especially to those in the mid-coast area.  Come with questions and a desire to learn more about how we can best manage our local hives.  
 http://spicerbees.com/
[207 549-480spicertree@aol.com ]

Stay tuned!   This is the last official meeting of the season.  Open Hive events will be planned and posted.

April 2017 Androscoggin Beekeepers Club Meeting

Androscoggin Beekeepers Club

April 2017 Meeting Announcement 

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, April 12th, Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation. The meeting will be held at the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd, Auburn, ME 04210. All are welcome.  For more information about the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club, please visit our website at http://androscogginbeekeepers.org.

Elissa Ballman will be speaking on Pesticide Exposure to Honey Bees in Maine
Volunteer bee keepers across the state collected pollen for a pesticide analysis in a
University of Maine study. Twenty seven volunteers from every county in Maine were represented in this study. The pollen was screened for 192 different pesticides by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Twenty five pesticides were detected with an average of 2.9 detections per site. Findings were further analyzed by landscape type including blueberry agriculture, other agriculture, and non-agriculture, as well as by pesticide type.    
Elissa Ballman grew up in Texas and obtained her Bachelor of Science from St. Edward’s University in Austin where she studied ground nesting wasps and invasive ants. She received her Master of Science in Entomology from the University of California-Riverside where she studied vibrational communication in sharpshooters. Since 2012 she has worked for the University of Maine as a research associate primarily studying invasive species and insects associated with blueberry. She spends her free time gardening and playing roller derby.Upcoming Meetings:

  • May 10th:  David Spicer, President, Knox-Lincoln Beekeepers.  Master bee-keeper and co-owner of Spicer Bees, a firm founded when Rick Cooper retired, to offer his same services to the mid-coast and central Maine.  Topic TBA, but David was the organizer of the MSBA conferences for the last two years. http://spicerbees.com/  [207 549-5480spicertree@aol.com ]

Sonya Sampson ABC Vice President

worker@androscogginbeekeeper.org

 

March 2017 Meeting Announcement

The next Androscoggin Beekeepers meeting will be held:  March 8th, at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd, Auburn, ME  04210. Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by a discussion with visiting outdoor educator Grace Kenney.  Grace will offer her presentation on “The Birds and the Bees“.

Grace Kenney, originally from North Haven, Connecticut, first arrived in Lewiston-Auburn as a student at Bates College. There, she pursued a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geology, greatly enjoying her schoolwork and appreciating all the chances it gave her to play—or learn, ahem…— in the great outdoors. Sad to leave Maine after graduating, she kept her work boots on as she tromped back to southern Connecticut and began working full time for a small-scale (albeit the state’s largest!) commercial beekeeper. What began as an internship the summer before her senior year offered the unique opportunity to dive head-on into the world of honeybees—lots of honeybees. With roughly four hundred hives to tend to amidst ever-changing seasons, it seems as though there is always more to learn in the life of a beekeeper.

While no one should assume her days of beekeeping are past, Grace has also begun a new endeavor as an environmental educator for the Connecticut Audubon Society. Teaching outdoor, hands-on programs to school groups, scout troops, and other visitors to the center in Glastonbury, she is excited to play a more active role in fostering an understanding of and appreciation for the natural world right at people’s fingertips, right by their homes. This is a super-cool way of saying that Grace has found her dream job where she combines nature, science, storytelling, and compassion, and gets to keep her boots on, too.

In her presentation humorously named “The Birds and the Bees,” she will take that famous saying a little more literally than usual. Discussing her transition from college life to working for a commercial beekeeping business and then the Connecticut Audubon Society all in just one year, Grace reflects on her experiences and the core values she has brought from one phase of life to another.

** Our meetings are the second Wednesday of each month from September to May, with hive openings during the warm months. We meet at 6:30 for a brief business meeting and informal sharing on what is happening in our hives, and then have a program at 7, which usually lasts an hour, including questions. We meet at the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd, Auburn, ME 04210. For more information about the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club, please visit our website at http:// androscogginbeekeepers.org.

 

Tips from State of Maine Entomologists on Eliminating Browntail Caterpillars.

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Eliminate Browntail Caterpillars Now!

Helpful tips from State of Maine Entomologists

AUGUSTA- Entomologists from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry say now is the time to eradicate browntail caterpillars in trees that are accessible. Browntail caterpillars cause a rash like poison ivy and they are spreading across more and more of Maine. Contact with caterpillar hairs can cause severe reactions for some individuals.

The caterpillars spend the winter webbed in silken-wrapped leaves on the tips of branches of oak and apple trees. NOW is the time to look for the bright white silk tying a few leaves to the TIPS of your apple, crab apple, plum and oak tree branches. If you see a web CLIP IT OUT and destroy the web by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water, do not just leave it on the ground.

These caterpillar webs can be found regularly from the New Hampshire border to Waldoboro, and  inland to Turner and Waterville. They are worst along the coast from Falmouth to Bristol. The moths have been seen all the way to Kingfield, Millinocket and Topsfield on the New Brunswick border.

A video showing how to clip the webs and a list of arborists who could prune webs can be found at:

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_threats/browntail_moth_info.htm

For More Information: Contact the Maine Forest Service (207) 287-2431 or your local University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office.

BTMWinterWeb

       Next Androscoggin Beekeepers meeting:  March 8th,  with visiting outdoor educator Grace Kenney.  Grace will offer her presentation on “The Birds and the Bees“.  Our meetings are the second Wednesday of each month from September to May, with hive openings during the warm months. We meet at 6:30 for a brief business meeting and informal sharing on what is happening in our hives, and then have a program at 7, which usually lasts an hour, including questions. We meet at the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd, Auburn, ME 04210.  Hope to see you there!

      February 2017 Meeting

      An Evening with the State Apiarist

      The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, February 8th, Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation.

      We will be visiting with, Maine’s new Apiarist, Jennifer Lund.  Ms. Lund will speak to the group on how Maine’s Apiary program helps prevent the introduction and spread of regulated honey bee diseases, parasites, and undesirable genetic material in resident and migratory honey bee colonies.  The meeting will be held at the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Rd, Auburn, ME 04210. All are welcome.

      Jennifer Lund has a Master’s degree in Entomology from the University of Maine and has almost 20 years of entomological experience.  Before becoming the State Apiarist, Jennifer was a research technician in the entomology department at the University of Maine in Orono.

      Some of the honeybee projects she has worked on over the years include a national colony collapse disorder study, honeybee colony health comparisons of top bar and Langstrom hives, integrated Varroa mite control effectiveness, the role of honeybees as vectors of blueberry disease, sub-lethal effects on colonies to low level pesticide exposure, and health of migratory hives arriving in the State of Maine for blueberry pollination.  Jennifer is passionate about honeybee health and helping beekeepers succeed.  Aside from managing the honeybee inspection program and helping Maine beekeepers protect their hives, Jennifer also has several of her own hives that she maintains on her farm in Arglye Township, Maine.
      Upcoming Events:

      • March 8th:  Grace Kenney, Bates ’16, CT Audubon Society.  Topic:  “The Birds and the Bees”. 
      • April 9th:  David Spicer, President, Knox-Lincoln Beekeepers.  Master bee-keeper and co-owner of Spicer Bees, a firm founded when Rick Cooper retired, to offer his same services to the mid-coast and central Maine.  Topic TBA, but David was the organizer of the MSBA conferences for the last two years. http://spicerbees.com/  [207 549-5480, spicertree@aol.com ]

      For more information about the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club, please visit our website at http://androscogginbeekeepers.org.

       

       

      January 2017 Meeting Announcement

      ABC Presents:Potluck Supper…and a Preview of Upcoming Meetings

      The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, January 11, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210.
      Last year we tried a new meeting format, of a bee-themed potluck supper.  People seemed to enjoy it, and we are proposing another potluck for our January 11th meeting.  If you can, bring something with honey as an ingredient, but come even if you haven’t got the energy or ingredients to cook; there will be plenty.  Bill will provide a main dish, and if you can, let him know what you intend to bring: whiss@bates.edu.  The supper will be in our usual meeting spot, the vestry building of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road.  The vestry has a large cook stove, so easy to warm something up. We will also have our usual business meeting, to hear how people’s hives are doing.

      To give you a sense of what’s on tap throughout the rest of Winter 2017, here’s what Bill has lined up for us:

      • Feb. 8th:  Jennifer Lund, Maine State Apiarist.  That’s right! Following the recent retirement of Tony Jadzack, Maine now has a new state apiarist.  Jennifer has accepted an invitation to come out and speak with our Club.  Even is you are a causal attendee to the ABC meetings, this is one you won’t want to miss.
      • March 8th:  Grace Kenney, Bates ’16, CT Audubon Society.  Topic:  “The Birds and the Bees”.
      • April 9th:  David Spicer, President, Knox-Lincoln Beekeepers.  Master bee-keeper and co-owner of Spicer Bees, a firm founded when Rick Cooper retired, to offer his same services to the mid-coast and central Maine.  Topic TBA, but David was the organizer of the MSBA conferences for the last two years. http://spicerbees.com/  [207 549-5480spicertree@aol.com ]
      Happy New Year!

      No ABC Meeting Scheduled for December 2016

      Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues, there will be no meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club this December.  Normally, we would meet on the second Wednesday of the month (i.e. December 14).  However, scheduling issues with the speaker have caused us to cancel this month’s meeting.

      Be safe digging out from Monday’s storm and, assuming scheduling works out, we hope to see everyone in the new year for our January 2017 meeting.

      November 2016 ABC Meeting Announcement

      carlaessenbergwbees

      Photograph credit Johnathan Neufeld.

      The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, November 9 at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210.  Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation “Cooperation and conflict between plants and their pollinators”.

      Our November speaker will be Dr. Carla Essenberg.  Dr. Essenberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Bates College. She completed a BA in Music and Philosophy at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, did her PhD in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at the University of California-Riverside, and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona. Her research explores ways in which pollinator foraging behavior influence plant ecology and evolution and includes ecological field studies, theoretical modeling, and behavioral experiments with bumblebees. She teaches statistics and ecology and enjoys discussing science and bees with people of all ages and walks of life.

      Dr. Essenberg’s presentation will give a plant’s perspective on pollinators and explore, in plants, characteristics that we may be used to thinking of as uniquely human: cheating and cooperation, deception and honesty. Usually, plants and their pollinators cooperate with each other: the plants give their pollinators food, such as nectar and pollen, and the pollinators carry the plants’ pollen from one individual to another, allowing them to mate with each other. However, some plant species (possibly including some of your favorite orchids) are deceptive cheats that lure pollinators to themselves with showy flowers but provide no rewards. Many other species seem to have taken a more subtle approach to cheating: they make some flowers that are rewarding and others that are not. However, things get really interesting when you look closely at the flowers of these species, because in many cases, they provide pollinators with information about how rewarding (or unrewarding) they are.

      Why should plants reveal to pollinators that some of their flowers are not worth visiting? Dr. Essenberg will describe the efforts she and her students have made to explain this puzzling example of honesty.

      October 2016 Meeting Announcement and Open Hive Reminder

      Androscoggin Beekeepers ClubOctober 2016 Meeting Announcement and Open Hive Reminder

      Fall Open Hive:

      First, please remember that this Sunday (October 2), Moe Morissette has graciously volunteered to host an open hive at his apiary.  As we have traditionally done these in the summer, this could be a good time to see what someone else’s hives look like going into Fall/Winter.  Here are the details:

      Who: Moe Morissette

      When: 10:30 am Sunday October 2
      Where: 81 Leeds Junction Rd, Leeds, ME 04263

      And, if that were not already enough…

      First Official Club Meeting for the Fall of 2016:

      The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held:

      When: Wednesday, October 5

      Where: At the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church

      811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210

      Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation focusing on advice about mite treatments going into Fall/Winter.  Light refreshments will be provided.
      Our October speaker will be Chris Rogers of Backwoods Bee Farm in Windham: http://www.backwoodsbeefarm.com/.  Chris is an EAS master beekeeper who has spoken to the club several times in the past and has graciously agreed to do so again.  As with similar visits, if you contact Chris before the meeting about any beekeeping supplies you need, he can bring them to the meeting and you can pay for them there.  Very convenient.

      A Call for New Club Officers (President and Vice President):

      Lastly, please be thinking about volunteering to be an ABC club officer.  I think both Bill (Club President) and I (Vice President) are seeing the end of the calendar year as a good place to turn over the reigns to the next crew.  To this point there have been about three distinct phases for the club and it feels right that we should be planning for a fresh group to take over.  If we don’t get any volunteers, there’s even a good chance that we might approach some of you directly.  😉

      No ABC Meeting September 14, 2016

      The Androscoggin Beekeepers Club will not be having a formal meeting next Wednesday (September 14). 

      Initially, we’d planned to change things up by having a pair of fall open hive meetings (one in September and another in October).  In the past, we’ve had these open hive meetings in the summer and we thought doing it in the early/mid fall would allow us all to see and talk about a different stage of the beekeeping season.

      After lining up locations to host each open hive, our September volunteer had to withdraw.  So, unless someone else would like to volunteer to host a hive opening on either September 24 or 25, this leaves us with an empty plate for September. 

      If you’d like to host, please contact Bill Hiss at whiss@bates.edu.

      We are set for October, however, and we will gather at:

      The apiary of Moe Morissette

      332 Leeds Junction Road
      Wales, Maine

      Sunday, October 2, 2016

       10:30 AM