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

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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

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.

Swan’s Honey Open Hive Day: May 7, 2016

Swan’s Honey is having an Open Hive Day:
Saturday May 7th, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
332 Bessey Ridge Road
Albion, ME 04910

There will be live bees on the premises!
The event is free and open to anyone interested in beekeeping.  Demonstrations and hands-on workshops held hourly on different topics include:
  • Splitting bees
  • Evaluating Queens and Nucleus Hives
  • Introducing mated queens
  • Mite monitoring
  • Mite treatment applications including oxalic acid, Mite Away Quick Strips, and Apivar
  • Tours of honey extracting and processing

All events are free, lunch is included, and there will be door prizes!

The Swan supply store will be open 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM for bee equipment purchases.

RSVP by email to swanshoney@roadrunner.com

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.