October Honey Bee Power Plant – Asters

October Honey Bee Power Plant – Asters
Asters – Symphyotrichum and Eurybia species Asters abound this time of year, whether planted intentionally or naturalized voluntarily. Unfortunately, taxonomist got their hands on Asters back in the 1990s, breaking them up and reclassifying the North American Asters with unpronounceable names. (I think they do it just to confuse us all!) Luckily, most nurseries either ignore the new names or put them in parentheses, so that we can still find these stalw

Here Comes Winter

Here Comes Winter
Are you ready? For me, this is one of the most critical times of the year in beekeeping. I want my hives healthy, strong, and with plenty of food for the winter. If all of this is in place, most of my hives are going to get through the winter. I have been feeding my hives since August. I have done a couple of mite counts and they have varied from good to bad. I have done a couple of treatments and the one I have on currently is Formic Pro (the new Mite ...

September Letter from the South

September Letter from the South
While this letter is being written at home in Alabama, it could be titled “Letter from Colorado”. Mary and I spent August in Durango, Colorado, and not entirely by choice. Mary broke her leg there at the end of July, forcing her to spend August in rehab in Durango (with me staying there with Mary’s brother). On the plus side, if you must break a bone, Durango is a good place to do it, as the winter ski season attracts topnotch orthopedic talent to the area...

Thank You

Thank You
To the many members who helped at the Montgomery County Fair. I could not get over the number of our members who made this event successful. I want to especially thank Jim Fraser and his sons for the tireless work they did, especially in the honey area and the gazebo demonstrations. We take for granted the amount of work Jim does -- both in negotiating with the fair and in overall preparation prior to the fair. Once the fair is upon us, it is Jim who organ...

September Honey Bee Power Plant – Stonecrop

September Honey Bee Power Plant – Stonecrop
Stonecrop – Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Hylotelephium 'Herbstfreude') Autumn Joy Stonecrop is one tough cookie, thriving in average to dry, sandy to gravelly soils in full sun to part shade. Growth will be floppy in too rich soils or too shady situations. The succulent-like green leaves grow in upright clumps. The flowers appear in large, flattened heads that start out looking like broccoli; progressing from green to light pink, then pinkish-red and finally

July Honey Bee Power Plant: Russian Sage

July Honey Bee Power Plant: Russian Sage
Russian Sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia Russian sage, is one tough cookie, easily grown in average to dry, well-drained soils in full sun. It will grow in part shade, but stems will be prone to flopping over. Plants are drought tolerant once established. The gray-green foliage is pungent when crushed, making this one both deer and rabbit resistant. The light blue flowers are arranged in whorls along branched panicles, giving the plant a very light and a

July Meeting Recap: Charm City Meadworks

July Meeting Recap: Charm City Meadworks
Speaker: James Boicourt, beekeeper, meadmaker and co-owner of Charm City Meadworks What is mead? Mead is an alcoholic drink made of honey and water that has been fermented with yeast. It can be flavored with herbs, fruits and other flavorings during the process. James explained the Charm City processes, answered questions, and treated attendees to a mead tasting – an excellent close to a warm July evening. Mead is produced by a cold process, simila...

July Letter from the South

July Letter from the South
Actually this month's letter is being written in Durango, Colorado.  Mary and I were on vacation out here, visiting her brother-in-law, when unfortunately Mary broke her leg.  She is currently in rehab and doing well, but our vacation out here has been extended while she recovers enough to travel back home. Our vacation actually started with the Heartland Apicultural Society meeting in Evansville, Indiana, a very nice three-day conference.  The attached

PAST: It’s time to Party with the Animals! 2017

PAST:  It’s time to Party with the Animals!  2017
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair August 11 – August 19, 2017 Started 72 years ago as a way to provide a county show for the 4-H members in Montgomery County, our local fair is now one of the largest county Fairs in the State of Maryland – and obviously the best! For MCBA members, the Fair provides an opportunity to sell products of the hive, compete for prizes, present live bee demonstrations to the public, and talk about bees with thousands of