May President’s Message (Spring Management and “The Plan” )

Spring is finally here and the bees are booming.  I got the observation hive in my house restocked and installed and got the new observation hive at Brookside Nature Center, that was donated by our club, all set up.  Well, by now all of us are in full spring mode, watching the bees collect pollen and nectar.  Watching the queen lay and the brood area increase daily.  We see the different color pollen coming in with each worker returning to the hive.  It’s ...

Just How Much “Stuff” Do I Need? by BeeGeorge

[My proofreader, Mrs. BeeGeorgeHoney, wanted to make sure that everyone understands that I am really not complaining but just being my normal sarcastic tongue- in-cheek self].   Come on, this is getting ridiculous.  How much beekeeping equipment do I really need?  Well, let’s talk about feeding because that’s all I’ve been doing lately. I’ve always done fall feeding.  When I had just a few hives I used gallon pickle jars.  There used to be a wonderf

April Letter from the South by Bill Miller

My beekeeping March is best summed up by a phone call I recently made to our County Extension Agent: “Please take me off this year’s swarm catcher list.  All my available slots for new colonies are filled, and all my spare equipment is now in service.  I can’t run an animal rescue shelter for homeless bees”.  For some reason the extension agent thought that last sentence was funny. As for the month’s totals, I normally figure on catching 2 or 3 swarms i...

April President’s Message

Well another month and another snow storm!  Last month as I sat here and wrote this letter it was snowing and now today, it’s snowing again.  I love/hate this weather. What are the advantages of belonging to a beekeeping club such as ours?  Well the answers are many and diverse, but at last month’s meeting another opportunity showed itself to our club.  Our speaker was Izzy Hill, from a group called Bugonia, who talked to us about something that we coul...

March Letter from the South by Bill Miller

I just finished looking at the National Weather Service page for Montgomery County MD, and I see the Winter That Wouldn’t Quit is still in business.  I am reminded of the time I sat on an oral exam board for the EAS Master Beekeeper exam.  We were asking a candidate from Main about early spring management, and he told us that in Maine beekeepers didn’t typically look into their hives until early May.   Take heart – spring will come. To put the winter in...

March President’s Message

First, a warm welcome to all our new members, who are now in the process of taking the Short Course and will soon be operating their very own hives.  Great to have you as new members of the MCBA.  Opening your first hive, installing your first package of bees, the first time you find your own queen running around on a frame, these are some of the best memories that we have as beekeepers.  You newbies are stepping into a new world of experiences that hopefu...

Getting Ready for Spring by BeeGeorge

As I sit here looking out the window at snow, snow and more snow, it is hard to imagine that spring is just around the corner.  It’s toward the end of January as my fingers mash the keyboard.  Temperatures warm up by mid-March as often as not in our area, but it can also stay cold into April. Spring is a wonderful season.  Everything is coming to life.  Bees bring in pollen and a little nectar, birds seeking mates, trees bud, maples, willows, crocus, so...

February Letter from the South by Bill Miller

Accuse me of going soft if you like, but nothing made me appreciate the normally balmy Southern winter quite as much as the recent spate of cold waves.  To put that into perspective, the last time Dothan Alabama schools had a snow day off was before I moved down here 8 years ago.  Last week they had three snow days off. However, in important thing is that we all made it through the cold snaps, and that includes the 14 Miller bee colonies that entered th...

February President’s Message

This is my first article as president of our club and it makes me a little nervous.  You see, I have a long history of learning from my mistakes -- as I make a lot of mistakes -- so I hope you bear with me.  I would like to start by thanking all of those who served last year as officers of our club.  Club members Jeff Beck, Allison Abernathy, Mary Chretien and Jasmin Lizarazo have served for multiple years and have done many great things for our club.  I c...

The Harvest Festival at the Montgomery County Agricultural History Farm Park

On a very hot Saturday in early October, the Harvest Festival was in full swing. The festival was attended by about 3,336 visitors, mostly young kids with moms and dads in tow. The corn maze, the make-your-own bouquet of flowers for mom and the hay rides were big draws for the kids -- as was, of course, the petting zoo. If you’ve never been to this festival before, I would suggest you give it a try next year as the Montgomery County Parks people do a fanta...