Orchid Bees: The Little Things In Life

Orchid Bees:  The Little Things In Life
I’ve spent over 6 weeks in Costa Rica over the past three years volunteering on a native bee research project with a Dr. Gordon Frankie from UC Berkley. Tropical bees are very different from those we find around here in Maryland. The most common bees in the tropics are stingless bees which form colonies and tend to be very small bees. Oil bees are common in the tropics and I’ve written about them before. Another common group of bees found in the tro...

MCBA Outreach

MCBA Outreach
Beekeepers love to talk about bees, especially honey bees. It's a wonderful to see kids, people of all ages be amazed as they learn about the habits and activities of honeybees. The club’s purpose is to support honey bee keeping in Montgomery County, MD. One of the ways the organization does this is by giving talks/presentations and exhibiting at local events. Club members have done presentation for preschoolers, reading picture books and identify b...

MCBA’s Lending Library

“Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.” 
― John Muir Come to club meetings to talk and hear about bees. Leave club meetings inspired to try something new with your bees. Use club resources to better understand the ways of the bees. Club members may check out books and DVDs at the monthly meetings for one month. Browse the collection and sign out a book – book title, your name & contact (phone or email) and

June MCBA Meeting Recap: Sustainable Honey Bee Program

June MCBA Meeting Recap: Sustainable Honey Bee Program
The first portion of the monthly meeting was a discussion by members about their hives, announcement of upcoming events, the status of our bee yard, requests for speakers at community events and the County Fair (August 12 – 19). After a break, Leon Vandenberg introduced Alex McClellan, Chief Operating Officer of the Sustainable Honeybee Program in Purcellville VA, and his colleague Parks Talley. Alex explained that the Sustainable Honeybee Program (S

MCBA Picnic Fun

MCBA Picnic Fun
The annual MCBA picnic took place on June 12, 2017 behind the Brookside Nature Center.  Beekeepers kicked off the festivities by testing mite loads in the club hives with Tim McMahon.  After working up an appetite in the hives, members feasted on delicious, club-supplied barbecue and member-supplied sides and desserts.  Many a swarm story was overheard. ...

Sunflower Pollen May Boost Honey Bee Health

Sunflower Pollen May Boost Honey Bee Health
If I could take my bees on an outing it would be to the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area off River Road in Poolesville. Thirty acres of sunflowers have been planted just for the wildlife to enjoy. They will bloom early to mid-July. It is sight to see. The blooms all face the sun and are buzzing with bees of all types. In addition to being a plentiful food source for our honey bees, the sunflower pollen may provide defense chemicals that improves bee ...

A Little Honey Bee by Gracie Emerick

A Little Honey Bee by Gracie Emerick
I'm a little honey bee I hope to not die from CCD Me and my un-bee-lievable friends Think our challenges have no ends, 30 to 90 percent of us are gone Because of all that is going on.   I'm a little honey bee I might die from CCD, Most of us have disappeared Because of what we have feared, Pesticides, mite, viruses too, Fungi, bacteria it's like the flu.   I'm a little honey bee I will not die from CCD...

June Honey Bee Power Plant

June Honey Bee Power Plant
Catmint – Nepeta species Catmint is a long-blooming perennial that is easily grown in average to dry, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. They form a spreading clump of stems rising to 36” tall, depending on the species, and spreading up to 36” wide. The tubular blue flowers appear on spikes. Sheer off spent flower spikes to promote continued bloom. Other attributes include: Long bloom time late May – September. No serious insect pes

June Letter from the South

June Letter from the South
We all tell tales about big swarms, the kind that barely fit into your catch box. Well, this morning I was called out to the smallest swarm I have ever seen, and I’ve attached a photo. Catching the swarm was simple enough; I simply pulled up the stake and shook it over my catch box. As to what to do with the swarm, I’m not sure yet. In “Honey bee Biology and Beekeeping”, Dewey Caron gives the smallest size swarm that can successfully develop into a colony ...

May Letter from the South

May Letter from the South
You will recall that at the end of March, I was turning down swarm calls because I had no equipment to spare. What I didn’t know at the time was that a cold and windy spell that hit right after the March swarm burst meant that parent colonies were unable to requeen themselves, so when I checked in on the colonies a few weeks later, some colonies were hopelessly queenless. I combined these queenless colonies with queenright ones, in the process freeing up s...