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

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