ABC May 2016 Meeting Announcement

May 2016 speaker

ABC member Dan Kary will present “Strategies to equalize hives, increase colonies, grow your bee business and prevent early season swarms” to the club on May 11, 2016

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, May 11 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 “Strategies to equalize hives, increase colonies, grow your bee business and prevent early season swarms”.

Our May speaker will be local beekeeper and ABC member Dan Kary of Green, ME. Dan provided the following Bio:

As a child, I was fascinated by all of nature. I turned over rocks and logs and dreamed of becoming a naturalist. I am now in my sixth year as a bee keeper. As a retired physician, I have more time to dedicate to my apiary and have more opportunities for observation and study of these amazing insects.
I have learned a great deal from other beekeepers who are always willing to share information and their experience. I wish to share my thoughts and experiences as well.

Dan’s presentation will be of particular interest to beekeepers with hives that have successfully survived the winter. However, the topics covered promise to be of interest to all. His ABC sponsored presentation is open to the public.

April 2016 ABC Meeting Announcement

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MSBA President Richard McLaughlin will present “Honey bee colony removal from buildings” to the ABC on April 13, 2016.

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, April 13 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 “Honey Bee Colony Removals from Buildings”.

Our April speaker will be Maine State Beekeepers Association President Richard McLaughlin of Springvale, ME. Richard has been keeping bees since 2009 and maintains 20-25 colonies across York County. He is currently the MSBA President and has been serving the board since 2010. He is a member and past president of the York County Beekeepers Association (YCBA), a member of the Cumberland County Beekeepers, and the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS).

As an EAS Master Beekeeper, Richard is involved in beekeeper and community education and the mentoring of new beekeepers. He is an active member of the MSBA and YCBA swarm teams and removes honey bee colonies from buildings and high places. He will be presenting the topic of “Honey Bee Colony Removals from Buildings.” The presentation answers the questions: Where do honey bees go when they move into a building? What does the natural colony look like without the structure the beekeeper gives them? Is it dangerous to remove bees from a structure? and What is involved in the task?

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

March 2016 ABC Meeting Announcement

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A Honey of a Potluck Supper
The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, March 9 at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210.  Note that we will no longer be meeting at Edward Little High School in Auburn.  This casual gathering will run from ~6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

As discussed at the February meeting, members of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club are hosting a potluck supper for those interested in hearing more about bee-keeping.  All the dishes at the supper will include honey as an ingredient, and are being prepared by members of our Club.  Open to the public, and intended for people interested in considering bee-keeping to have a delicious supper and then an informal conversation and Q&A with our beekeeper club members.  No charge, but donations accepted.

This will be a great opportunity to chat with beekeepers of many stripes.  Club members will also have more time to chat among themselves than we do on nights with scheduled presentations.  With Spring fast approaching, there is a lot to talk about!

And, of course, this is also the perfect opportunity to try out that honey-infused recipe you’ve been saving!

If you have any questions about this event, feel free to contact Club President Bill Hiss at whiss@bates.edu.

February 2016 ABC Meeting Announcement

Chris beekeeping pic

 

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, February 10 at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210.  Note that we will no longer be meeting at Edward Little High School in Auburn.  Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation “Spring Hive Management for Maine Beekeepers”.

Our February speaker will be Chris Rogers of Backwoods Bee Farm in Windham, Maine.  Chris is an Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) certified master beekeeper who has spoken to the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club several times.  He is a fantastic speaker and teacher who has generously agreed to speak to the ABC again.  As the co-owner of Backwoods Bee Farm in Windham, Chris plays a valuable role as a source of both information and beekeeping equipment.  During his presentation “Spring Hive Management for Maine Beekeepers”, Chris will describe the necessary activities beekeepers in southern Maine must consider as we enter Spring.

Chris’ ABC sponsored presentation is open to the public.

January 2016 ABC Meeting Announcement

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The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held  Wednesday, January 13th at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210.  Note that we will no longer be meeting at Edward Little High School in Auburn). Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation by professional beekeeper Tony Batchelder.

Tony is a commercial beekeeper located in Buckfield, Maine who began extracting honey over 40 years ago.  He has supplied honey bees and sage beekeeping advice to local beekeepers for many years. His presentation will focus on his best wisdom regarding the causes behind Maine hive loss–both winter survival of the hives of small hobbyist apiaries and the larger scale problems experienced by commercial hives that come into Maine for spring crop pollination.

 

 

 

December 2015 Meeting Announcement

Carla Essenberg_Hive Opening

December 2015 speaker Dr. Carla Essenberg (right) and ABC club member Rick Drottar (center) look on as Moe Morissette (hand at left) lights a smoker at the August 2015 hive opening.

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, December 9th at the vestry of the West Auburn Congregational Church, 811 West Auburn Road, Auburn, ME 04210.  Note that we will no longer be meeting at Edward Little High School in Auburn). Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation “Rich Resources and the Function of the Waggle Dance“.

Our December speaker will be Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Carla Essenberg of 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 influences plant ecology and evolution and includes ecological field studies, theoretical modeling, and behavioral experiments with bumblebees. She has taught topics ranging from zoology to environmental biology and enjoys discussing science and bees with people of all ages and walks of life.

In her presentation, Dr. Essenberg will tell a story about how honeybee foraging is and is not different from the foraging of other bee species. She will begin with her doctoral research on how the density of flowers affects which species visit the flowers and how often. She found that honeybees were more frequent visitors in dense flower patches, while other bees visited flowers in sparse patches more often. Other researchers have found similar patterns, suggesting that honeybees may be particularly well adapted to use dense resources. Could the honeybees’ dance language be the explanation?

Dr. Essenberg will discuss work by colleagues who removed honeybee colonies’ ability to use the dance language, in order to find out whether that language was helping them to forage more effectively. Surprisingly, colonies that were unable to communicate locations of rewarding patches often did just as well as colonies that could communicate that information! However, the dance language did help honeybees in some situations, and in particular, it was an advantage when there were rich patches of resources available. Dr. Essenberg will conclude by returning to her question about whether the dance language can explain honeybees’ preference for dense flower patches or whether they might prefer them for other reasons.

Dr. Essenberg’s ABC sponsored presentation is open to the public.

November 2015 Meeting Location Change!!

Dr. Alison C. Dibble studying bees on butterfly milkweed (ACDibble photo).

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, November 11th 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 “What Do Bees Want?“.

 
Our November speaker will be Assistant Professor of Biology and Ecology Dr. Alison Dibble of the University of Maine, Orono.   Alison C. Dibble is a conservation biologist who researches native bee diversity and ways in which pollinator habitats can be improved to meet their forage needs. She works with Dr. Frank Drummond on several USDA grants, and they teach a one-week native bee course at Eagle Hill, Steuben. Her background includes a M.S. in Botany and a Ph.D. in Plant Science, both at the University of Maine, Orono. Through her consulting firm, Stewards LLC, she is a certified Technical Service Provider with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and she contracts with farmers across Maine to develop pollinator habitat improvement plans. She also paints, publishes literary suspense fiction (as A. D. Morel), and writes songs about bees and other natural history subjects. She lives with her family in Brooklin, Maine.

Alison will present highlights from a 4-year Maine study of bee behavior on flowers. In field tests of more than 70 plant species, butterfly milkweed, willow, and some asters were visited at a much higher rate than other plants. Honey bees differed from bumble bees and sweat bees in their visitation patterns. These results will help farmers, beekeepers and home gardeners support pollinators more effectively.

Dr. Dibble’s ABC sponsored presentation is open to the public.

October 2015 Meeting Announcement

 

Dr. Scott Dobrin Assistant Professor of Biology University of Maine, Presque Isle

Dr. Scott Dobrin
Assistant Professor of Biology
University of Maine, Presque Isle

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, October 14th at Edward Little High School in Auburn.  Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation “A-maze-ing Bees: Solving mazes, learning faces, and saving the honey bee”.

Our October speaker will be Dr. Scott Dobrin who is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Maine, Presque Isle.   When asked to describe his upcoming presentation, Scott replied:

Humans have long recognized the potential of honey bees as pollinators and in their capacity to produce useful resources, such as honey and wax. There is also a rich tradition of honey bees as a model organism to study learning, memory, and specialized areas of cognition (navigation and group decision making). In this presentation, I will discuss various examples of learning and communication in the honey bee. Do your bees know you? Can they solve a maze? How do they not collide in that dark hive? I’ll review the evidence and discuss how knowledge of these answers can contribute to saving the honey bee.

Dr. Dobrin’s ABC sponsored presentation is open to the public.

Also, as we noted in last month’s meeting announcement email and in the 6:30pm to 7:00pm time for club business, now is the time to become Club President, Vice President or Treasurer.  Please let current club president Bill Hiss (whiss@bates.edu) know by email or at our next meeting of your interest.  Please DON’T reply to this email, but DO email Bill directly.

We hope you can come out for this interesting presentation.

September Meeting: Russian Stock – improving your odds of winter success, the why and how

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, September 9th at Edward Little High School in Auburn.  Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation “Russian Stock – improving your odds of winter success, the why and how.”

Phil the Beekeeper

Our speaker will be Phil Gavin of the Honey Exchange in Portland, Maine.  In the United States, the vast majority of hobbyist and commercial beekeepers manage hives containing the Italian honeybee.  However a small but growing number of beekeepers are moving to other varieties of honeybees.  Phil is an Eastern Apicultural Society certified master beekeeper who keeps stocks of Russian honey bees.  He is also a supplier of Russian bees and educates others in their management. A survey of local beekeepers maintaining approximately 100 hives indicated that about half of the hives succumbed last winter. Phil’s talk will emphasize why Russian bees might help increase survival of hives over the harsh Maine winters.

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

May 2015 ABC Meeting Announcement

Kalyn Bickerman

Androscoggin Beekeepers Club May 2015 Meeting Announcement

The next meeting of the Androscoggin Beekeepers Club (ABC) will be held Wednesday, May 13th at Edward Little High School in Auburn.  Club business will be conducted from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM followed by the presentation “The Status of Native Bumblebees in Maine’s Wild Blueberry Fields” from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Our May speaker will be Kalyn Bickerman.   Kalyn is a Ph.D. student at the University of Maine under the supervision of Dr. Frank Drummond and works on investigating the health of native bumblebees in Maine’s lowbush blueberry fields. Before arriving at UMaine, Kalyn completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Conservation Biology at Columbia University in the City of New York.

Beyond looking for common parasites (conopid flies) and pathogens (the microsporidian Nosema bombi) in the bees, Kalyn has also looked at a the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid and its effect on colony development, along with how well individual bees are able to detoxify themselves when faced with pesticide exposure.
Lowbush blueberries are one of Maine’s most important exports and bumblebees are instrumental in their pollination for successful fruit production. Therefore, it is vital to protect our native pollinators, particularly in a time when our managed pollinator, the honeybee, is facing such grave declines.

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


Because this is the last presentation meeting for the year, it is very important that we line up volunteers for open hives in June, July and August.  For our club “Open Hive” meetings, a club member volunteers to have club members and members come to their hives for 1 -2 hours.  The host will perform a basic hive inspection and attendees can observe and ask questions.  This is a very valuable experience for soon-to-be beekeepers, new beekeepers and experienced beekeepers alike.  We try to schedule one of these open hive meetings to take place on a Saturday or Sunday in June, July and August.

So far this year, all three months are still open.  If you’d like to volunteer, please let me know by email or you can let Bill Hiss know at the next club meeting.  These open hive events are very low key and generally a lot of fun.

I’m also making a Last Call for hive numbers going into and coming out of last winter.  After next week’s meeting, I’ll assume I have all the data I’m going to get and I’ll send it out to everyone in an email and will post in on the club website.  As a reminder, here is the information we are looking for:

1. Your Town
2. Number of hives that went into the Winter of 2014-2015
3. Number of hives that survived until the Spring of 2015.

Feel free to email your hive survival/loss information to: worker@androscogginbeekeepers.org