Pollinator Health and Safety Conference


If you missed this year’s MSBA meeting and are still looking to attend a good meeting about honey bees, you might consider the Pollinator Health and Safety Conference (PHSC) being held on Thursday November 20, 2014 at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks (200 Sable Oaks Drive, South Portland, ME 04106).

Presentation topics include:

  • Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In the US (John Skinner)
  • Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In Maine Agriculture (Tony Jadczak)
  • Status of Native ME Pollinators (Frank Drummond*)
  • Pesticide Risks (Nancy Ostiguy)
  • Use Patterns for Neonicotinoids and Other Pesticides in Maine (Henry Jennings)
  • Best Management Practices For Pollinator Safety (David Epstein)


Note that Frank Drummond will also be the guest speaker at the February 11, 2015 meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club.  Dr. Drummond will describe a four year study he conducted on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Conference registration cost is $50/person on or before October 31 and $75/person after October 31.

For a listing of the tentative schedule and presenter biographies, you can visit the official PHSC webpage here.

November 2014 ABC Meeting Announcement

Karen Thurlow-Kimball

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, November 12 in Room 116 of Edward Little High School in Auburn. Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the public presentation “Re-queening a Honey Bee Colony” from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Karen Thurlow-Kimball started beekeeping on her farm in the 70’s. She is the owner of New Moon Apiary and manages 60 hives of her own in Cumberland County, Maine, along with helping/teaching other beekeepers. She sells package bees, nucleus hives, and queen bees during the beekeeping season. She also sells raw honey and products she makes from her hives such as lotions, salves and lip balms. Karen has worked with “Increase Essentials” author DR Larry Connor learning and assisting queen grafting. She also has been a student of University of Montana professor DR Jerry Bromenshank with whom she studied honey bee anatomy and the effects of pesticides on pollinators.

Karen will speak about re-queening a honey bee colony. Re-queening is an important part of maintaining a colony of bees. A good quality queen means a strong and productive hive. Without a queen a colony cannot survive. You may want to replace a failing queen, calm down a defensive hive, or change the strain of your bees. Karen will cover techniques used to find and replace the queen within the hive as well as methods of queen introduction that result in the greatest acceptance. Her talk will also cover topics such as: When should you let the bees re-queen themselves, use a queen cell or a bred queen? When is the ideal time to re-queen? How do you know you need a new queen?

Karen’s ABC sponsored presentation is open to the public.

October 2014 ABC Meeting Announcement

The first 2014 Fall regular meeting of the Androscoggin Bee Club we be held on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00 PM in Room 116 of Edward Little High School in Auburn. This year’s first get together will be an open discussion meeting with a honey tasting to follow. Because this is an open meeting, we WILL NOT HAVE our usual meeting for club business from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

Last year we noticed that at the end of our meetings members frequently wanted to talk about their own experiences and their own hives, but because of the late hour didn’t have a lot of time to do it. Our hope for this first meeting is that we could provide an opportunity for everyone to talk and to get to know each other a little better by sharing stories about our experiences from the past summer.

One of President Bill's girls watches the ABC members open his hives.

One of President Bill’s girls watches the ABC members open his hives.

ABC Members looking at Bill's hives.

ABC Members looking at Bill’s hives.

Members can come with any topic or situation from the last year that they would like to bring up to share or ask for comments from the members. If a prop from the bee yard would be helpful in telling your tale of victory or woe, please bring it along. Bill, Charlie and Pete will start off with an account of a temporary hive relocation project they directed this summer.

If you are new to beekeeping and want to come to ask questions or listen to others stories, that’s great too!
If you are an active beekeeper and were fortunate enough to harvest some honey this year, please bring a little to share with everyone and we can compare and contrast with other local honey. One idea here is that it might be fun to trade a pint or so with someone else from the club. Club officers will bring spoons, crackers and breads.

We hope to see everyone this Wednesday. As we move forward with the meeting season, you can expect to see announcements about 2 weeks before each meeting. I’ll also start updating the website again with meeting announcements and meeting summaries.