November 2017 ABC Meeting Cancelled

No November ABC Meeting
Nov 8, 2017
Please note that there will be no meeting for the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club November 2017

Unfortunately the ABC meeting for this month (which would would have been held tonight) will be cancelled.
Due to the late nature of this notice, please alert your friends who were planning to attend tonight’s gathering.

There is a program in place for December and we hope to see you then.

October 2017 ABC Meeting

“Pie and Coffee Brain Dump”
6:30 PM
Wednesday, Oct. 11
Vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church
It seems like a mixed year for many of us, with some hives producing well and others with puzzles.  Rather than have a speaker on a topic, let’s have a brain dump, with members sharing from this season.
We will provide a variety of good pies from Wallingford’s Orchards, coffee and tea and various cold drinks.
We will have the projector and screen set up, so send slides of your hives to Bill (whiss@bates.edu) as email attachments, and he will have them loaded and ready to go, so you can speak to your hive’s issues, plus or minus.  Or bring the slides on a thumb drive, and we can load them at the meeting.
In lieu of a September meeting, we had a very helpful hive opening at the home of Glen and Susie Wendlend in Durham.  They have two first-year hives, using Russian queens. It was an eye-opener for most of us: the hives have been stunningly productive for a first-year effort.
Hoping to see you on Wednesday!

Hive Opening, September 10th, 1 PM

Hive Opening, Sunday, Sept. 10, 1 PM

Gene and Susie Wendland, new members of the Androscoggin Beekeepers, will be hosting a hive opening at their new hives in place of a normal September evening meeting.   We will gather at their home: 824 Royalsborough Road, Durham  04222-5331.  Royalsborough Road is Route 136 from New Auburn down to Freeport.  Their house is about a mile past the country store, and they will have a sign up to show you to turn left off of 136 onto a dirt road right before their house, as their hives are about 30 yards down this dirt road.

Gene and Susie started their hives this spring with Russian Queens from Phil and Meghan Gavin at the Honey Exchange.  Many of you know Phil and Meghan, and will recall that he gave a presentation for the ABC on Russian Queens.  Gene’s and Susie’s bees have taken off like a rocket, and they are in almost perfect location, next to a water source and with ample fields around them.  For those of you interested in learning about Russian Queens, this will be a fine opportunity.

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.

 

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