Are you a beekeeper in Wayland? Would you love to keep some yourself? Or are you just interested?
Wayland BEElieve is a bee-enthusiast group to support beekeepers, exchange stories, organize to educate the public about bees, help others in Wayland get started, and pool our orders for bees and beekeeping supplies.
Interested? Got ideas? Email us!
For meetings, they will be posted on the main page, or let us know if you want to be on the BEElieve email list.
For hive openings, join the BEELieve beekeepers Google Group to receive notice (usually short).
On 9/11 seven of us met at the Library to show off our honey and honey extraction methods, and to talk Fall hive management, especially the treatments against varroa mites, which are thriving. There may be a problem with either the hive beetle or wax moths as well. But Sister S.s bees superseded successfully (a tongue-twister!).
Kaat blogged about extracting honey with a home-made extractor. Check it out here. So far she has extracted 10 pounds of honey and more is to come. T. and F. already extracted 25 lbs, each!
On July 27, Sister S., T. and Kaat did a hive opening >>>>>>
and found a complicated situation:
queen supersedure cells, when the colony is
- for one reason or another (usually our guess) -
<<<<<<<<<< replacing its queen with a new one.
On April 29, we had a very popular table at the Earth Day is Our Day event. Thank you Tom and Janet for informing the curious public about what we and those bees are up to! (photo by Kaat Vander Straeten) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
<< Kaat shows off the latest beekeeper's fashions at Earth Day. (photo Peg Mallett)
On March 8, we had a Getting Started Meeting at Traditions of Wayland, where we discussed all the hive parts, like frames and foundations and bottom boards and... There's lots of equipment and gadgets. We welcomed four new people to the group at that meeting.
On March 7, Kaat opened her hive for six of the folks in the BEElieve group who are thinking of getting started with bees themselves. A close up sneak peek of a colony is always a good way to get the feel for what you're looking at: read the blog post.
Our first meeting was Thur. Feb. 16. Twelve people (that's a whopping .1% of Wayland's population!) came to our first meeting. The majority was interested in starting or restarting with bees, some have been keeping bees for a couple of years, and we even have a very experienced beekeeper, who started keeping hives in the seventies. There were also gardeners interested in attracting bees for their flowers and vegetables, and their apple trees. We got to know each other and discussed our needs and expectations of the group. Below you can find some of the information we shared about local bee schools (coming up now!), suppliers of bees and equipment, bee clubs and online support. Check out the articles in the Town Crier and in the Patch!
Local Beeschools, Bee, Queen and Equipment suppliers, Bee Clubs, Online Support
UPCOMING LOCAL BEESCHOOLS: HURRY!
Land's Sake Beeschool. For the second year with Land's Sake, Reseska Apiaries will be presenting five hands on classes designed to share their expertise and appreciation for honeybees with other beekeepers. These comprehensive classes are designed to reinforce and instill the techniques and knowledge that help beekeepers manage successful colonies. The program will consist of two indoor classes at the Weston Public Library, and three outdoor workshops with the bee colonies at Land's Sake Farm, in Weston, MA. Educational and reference materials will be provided to all participants. All classes are designed for open dialogue with questions being more than welcome. All outdoor classes are subject to change due to weather. Presenters: Andy Reseska and Nick Delaini. More info and register here
Codman Community Farm in Lincoln may have a bee school instructed by Rick Reault of New England Bees. We are waiting for more information.
LOCAL SUPPLIERS OF BEE PACKAGES, NUCS, QUEENS: HURRY!
(most of list and info by Jean-Claude Bourrut)
Native Queens: from survivor or feral stock or small cell or all of the above, or strains other than Italians adapted to climate or tolerant to
pests. From the most to less local, all reputable beekeepers, many no-treatment, all 'northern' adapted:
Packages: 3 lbs. of bees, can come with a non-local queen, marked or unmarked - Beginner? Marked is advised!
Nucs: usually 5 frames with brood, bees, queen, honey, pollen in a nuc box (easiest way to start, more expensive than packages)
PICK-UP DATE: Available late April
PICK-UP LOCATION: 229 Lowland St., Holliston, MA 01746
PRICE: $130.00 (DEPOSIT OF $75.00 REQUIRED FOR EACH NUC ORDERED)
If you are planning on buying any, let Kaat know and we could do a group purchase and perhaps get a discount.
Both NEBees (in Tyngsboro) and Reseska (in Hopkinton) sell all the beekeeping supplies you will ever need (hive boxes, frames, tools, suits, even medication).
For Top Bar Hives: Goldstar Honeybees (Maine) sells premade Top Bar Hives ($495 each). They also have a free online book on how to get started with top bar (and standard) hives.
LOCAL (ONLINE) SUPPORT
Jean-Claude Bourrut - farmer and beekeeper at the Natick Organic Community Farm - has started a Yahoo Group called the Boston Beekeepers Club, where he and others respond with great expertise to your questions. There is also information about bees and equipment for sale. Some of the information below was provided by Jean-Claude on the group and copied here by me.
There is also support from the discussion groups and experienced beekeepers at the local Beekeeping Associations:
The MCBA has members throughout Middlesex County and the surrounding areas. The theme of our club is "beekeepers helping beekeepers." The MCBA maintains a members only web site to post questions and exchange information between meetings. We welcome new members and offer classes in beginner beekeeping.
Members of MCBA range from beekeeping hobbyists with one or two hives to those who run beekeeping businesses with several hundred hives. All members enjoy the following benefits: access to the club's large library of videos and books on beekeeping, members' interactive web site, the opportunity to learn from established beekeepers' experiences, as well as those of state and regional bee associations, and a subscription to the club's monthly newsletter.
SECOND BOSTON TOUR DE HIVE, June 2012
Jean-Claude: The planning stage for the Second Boston Tour de Hive is off and the initial decision was to route through hives and apiaries in Somerville and Cambridge a Saturday in June. I am looking for beekeepers, new or more experienced who would be willing to open their place to the public in these vicinities. It entails showing your hive(s), sharing about a topic you are confortable with (how i started in beekeeping, diseases management, material in beekeeping, swarm control, dealing with neighbors... You name it) and answering questions from other beekeepers and the general public. You are center stage for 30-45 mns. Last year we had 5 sites, at least 30 biking participants and about 50 through the day, and an excellent coverage from the media.
Honey Bee News
Guardian, January 2012: Honeybee problem nearing a 'critical point' - Unusual honeybee die-offs have become so severe that some US beekeepers will qualify for disaster relief funds.
Colony. No Bees. No Honey. No Work. No Money (2011) captures the struggle within the beekeeping community to save the honeybee and themselves.
Queen of the Sun. What are the bees telling us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.
The Vanishing of the Bees. Filmed across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.