Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Wishing you all a Beeutiful Valentines Day!

Love is in the Air
and soon so will our bees!

Wishing you all the sweetest Valentines Day.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

An interesting Article on Bee Deaths

There's a new clue about what's killing honeybees around the world

Bees are at risk from a deadly virus spread by the Varroa mite.
One question that has had scientists buzzing in recent years is, "What is killing the bees?" Many reports have documented the mysterious decline in honeybee populations around the world, with research focusing on possible causes including parasites, a type of pesticide called neonicotinoids, and other factors. Now, research out of the University of Exeter in the UK and the University of California, Berkeley, reveals another explanation: the spread of a viral disease, inadvertently helped along by humans.
The study, published in the journal Science, found that European honeybees are the main source of Deformed Wing Virus, which has spread through bee hives around the world. The researchers determined that the spread of this insect pandemic is largely fueled by human trade and transportation of bees.

How does it spread? The Varroa mite carries the disease, feeding on bee larvae, then the virus itself kills off the bees.
The study's lead author, Dr. Lena Wilfert, of the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation, said they found evidence that human involvement has played a key role in the epidemic.
"If the spread was naturally occurring, we would expect to see transmission between countries that are close to each other, but we found that, for example, the New Zealand virus population originated in Europe. This significantly strengthens the theory that human transportation of bees is responsible for the spread of this devastating disease," she said in a press statement.

The research team examined sequence data of the virus samples collected from around the world from bees and the mites that carry the virus. They used this data to construct a path of how the virus spread, determining that it traveled from Europe to North America, Australia, and New Zealand. There was no movement between Asia and Australia, but there was some back-and-forth between Europe and Asia. While they examined other species of bees, they determined that the European honeybee was the main culprit for the virus's spread.
"We must now maintain strict limits on the movement of bees, whether they are known to carry Varroa or not. It's also really important that beekeepers at all levels take steps to control Varroa in their hives, as this viral disease can also affect wild pollinators," Wilfert said.
Scientists are concerned about the impact these mass bee deaths could have, not just on biodiversity, but on human health and global agriculture.
"Domesticated honeybee colonies are hugely important for our agriculture systems, but this study shows the risks of moving animals and plants around the world," co-author Roger Butlin, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Sheffield, said. "The consequences can be devastating, both for domestic animals and for wildlife. The risk of introducing viruses or other pathogens is just one of many potential dangers."

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Picture of Bees on a January? Day!

We sure are having a warm winter this year here in New England.

Here is a photo of some girls enjoying the lovely weather.

Thanks Mark!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Some Valentine Chocolate Love

This looks delightful and sweet.

Valentines Day 
Honey Chocolate Pudding

This oh, so easy, decadent and yet healthy pudding 
uses only 3 ingredients!
It is sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free!


Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6-8 *

1 ripe avocados
2 medium ripe banana
3 tsp of pure cacao powder

Chia seeds
Yogurt or sour cream
Coconut shredded
Anything goes here honest!

Place all ingredients n a food processor and mix until a rich velvety pudding. You're done! 

Scoop generous portions into bowls, top with any of the above 
toppings or your favorite....Serve with a smile!

Stays in refrigerator for 2 days, cover pudding direct contact 
with plastic wrap to prevent avocado from browning.

*This pudding is very rich so portions are to your liking.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 21 HCBA Bee School Meeting

Howdy All you Beautiful Beekeepers!

Our next meeting is right around the corner-

January 21, 2016 7-9pm

be there promptly please!

Tom Flebotte will be speaking about sources for bees and installation into the hive.
If you feel inclined to bring a treat, please feel free!

Willimansett Heights Improvement League
118 Mount Vernon Road
WHIL, Chicopee MA, 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Tastes of Honey

This looks like a fun thing to do as we endure the winter months.

February 2016 CT: American Honey Tasting Society presents, Honey 101: Introduction to Honey Tasting (1st Graduating Class) with Instructors Carla Marina Marchese & Raffaele Dall’Olio (Albo Nazionale Esperti di Analisi Sensoriale del Miele) February 2-3 or 6-7, 2016 Norfield Grange, 12 Goodhill Rd, Weston, CT Info: americanhoneytastingsociety.com Email: HoneyTasting@optonline.net

Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 HCBA Bee School off to a roaring start!

What a great start to Bee School!

We had a full house for our 1st class of Bee School

Ken Warchol was our delightful  guest speaker .

It was so good to see all our new students interested in our beloved honeybees.

And equally delightful to see so many members come out for the evening.

Monday, December 28, 2015

HCBA 2016 Bee School Begins

Well here we go again...Looking forward to a great new year of bee talk.

Members are welcome to come and enjoy the good company of beekeeps and meet our new class members.

The 2016 beekeepers school will be held at the Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL) 118 Mount Vernon Road, Chicopee, MA, 01013 from 7 – 9 on two Thursday evenings each month, beginning January 7, 2016.  Please arrive before
 7:00 p.m.  Class starts promptly at 7:00.

January 7

Introduction to Hampden County Beekeepers Association

                                              Speaker: HCBA – Board of Directors

Topic 1 & 2

Introduction to Beekeeping

                                              Speaker: Ken Warchol – Worcester

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bee Culture Magazine New Release

Bee Culture Magazine is proud to announce the launch of their brand new beginner’s magazine entitled BEEkeeping Your First Three Years.
A quarterly, newsstand-only offering, the very first issue has articles aimed specifically at brand new, and not quite so brand new beekeepers looking for solid, factual and reliable beekeeping information from sources that they can trust.
“It’s a big day for the Root Company, and for Bee Culture magazine,” said Brad Root, President of Root Candles, publisher of both BEEkeeping and Bee Culture magazines“There hasn’t been a regular, new magazine produced for beginning beekeepers since A.I. Root came out with Gleanings In Bee Culture, more than 140 years ago, and that was aimed directly at the expanding population of brand new and inexperienced beekeepers” he said. “This was the first audience A. I. had, and it’s good to see that tradition return.”
“We’re excited to have another title out there helping beekeepers do what they love doing, better”, exclaimed Rex Mason, CEO of Root Candles. “We know how much work it took our Publications Department to make this happen, and the finished product is something we are all proud of.”
The first issue features Roy Hendrickson on Successful Beekeeping, Buzz Phillis on Finding Beeyards, Ann Harman on What To Do And Why, and, Finding Answers, Kim Flottum on 10 Rules, Les Crowder on Top Bar Hives, Toni Burnham on Urban Beekeeping, New Products, Jim Tew on Beekeeping Equipment and Getting Bees by Phil Craft, and regional reports by Jennifer Berry, Dewey Caron and others.
Available nationwide in TSC Farm stores, Barnes & Noble, Hastings and Books-A-Million Bookstores, and hundreds of independent book stores all over the map, the new Quarterly will arrive on Newsstands the week of December 21, and remain available (unless sold out) until the end of March.
Future issues will focus on using individual pieces of equipment, examining hives, seasonal plants in the various regions of the U.S. and especially seasonal management no matter where you live, and so much, much more to enable new, inexperienced beekeepers be successful and enjoy their endeavor.
“It’s been a challenge to get this up and going, but when that first issue came yesterday, it was all worth it,” said Kim Flottum, Editor. “Our crew took up my challenge of doing even more for the beekeeping community, and I think we’ve exceeded even my wishes. It’s a terrific magazine!”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Weeks before Christmas

It can Bee a busy time for us all.

Just remember to get your membership dues for 2016 to your dedicated secretary.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HCBA Christmas Party!

Well it's almost here!

December 11.2015

Our Annual Christmas Party

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Manuka Honey from New Zealand

Something delicious this way comes.


The biography of an extraordinary honey

Cliff Van Eaton

Not so long ago, in a small island nation in the South Pacific, beekeepers produced a most peculiar honey. It was much darker than the clover honey everyone put on their toast in the morning, and it tasted very different. In fact, the honey was a problem: it was hard to get out of the combs, and even harder for beekeepers to sell.
Today that honey, manuka from New Zealand, is known around the world. It fetches high prices, and beekeepers do everything in their power to produce as much of it as possible. Wound dressings containing manuka honey are used in leading hospitals, and it has saved the lives of patients infected with disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to standard antibiotic drugs. In so doing it has forced the medical profession to rethink its position on the therapeutic properties of natural products.
Manuka: The biography of an extraordinary honey chronicles the remarkable ‘rags-to-riches’ story of manuka honey, as seen through the eyes of a New Zealand beekeeping specialist who watched it unfold from the very beginning. It’s a great tale of science, in which an inquisitive university lecturer found something totally unexpected in a product everyone had written off. It’s also an entertaining account of the way that seemingly simple discovery caught the international media’s attention, helping enterprising New Zealanders to develop manuka honey-based products and take them all around the globe.
But above all else it’s a story of hope for the future, sounding a note of optimism in a world that for good reason feels saddened and sometimes even afraid about the future of the special relationship we humans have always had with those marvellous creatures, the honey bees.

Finalist - 2015 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize

"Manuka honey is a uniquely New Zealand product, valued here and internationally for its rich taste and therapeutic properties. In this delightful and surprising book Cliff Van Eaton tells the captivating story of the science behind the discovery of the antibiotic effects of manuka honey, with a focus on the scientists and beekeepers who have brought this product to the world." ~Judges' comments

****Silver Medalist at the World Beekeeping Awards 2015****

Always on the look out for a new honey in the world.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Candy Board for Winter Feeding

I received an email asking for more info on candy boards.

Here is another good source.


In the quest for the perfect feeding method, the candy board should be considered as an alternative to feeding either sugar syrup or dry sugar. The candy board is a plywood cover with a wooden rim attached. The rim could be anywhere from three quarters of an inch to two inches deep; the resultant cover will hold from two to five pounds of candy.
The candy board is best used to feed bees during the colder parts of the year in temperate regions.  Humidity is created in a colony as the bees warm the cluster). The resultant moisture becomes incorporated into the candy, making it more accessible.
Constructing the candy board is straightforward. Preparing the candy, however, often calls for experimentation.  One recipe calls for heating a super saturated solution of sugar (12 pounds sugar; 1 1/2 pounds honey; 1 1/4 quart water; 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter) to 238 degrees F.   Others recommend heating the mixture to 300 to 310 degrees F.    After removing it from the heat source and adding cream of tartar, cool to 125 degrees F., then stir until cloudy and pour into the board (cover). 1   
The resultant candy is rock hard. simpler alternative is to wet the board, pour in dry sugar, just barely dampen the mixture and allow it to dry for several weeks.   Nails driven through the rim before the sugar is added will help keep the resultant cake in place. A big advantage of the candy board is that it can be made up ahead of time and stored until needed. Feeding then becomes the simple act of inverting the candy board over the hive, sugar side down. Robbing is also minimized because there is little possibility of spilling sugar syrup in the apiary.  At first glance, the advantages of the candy board are appealing. However, only when a beekeeper sees the fruits of using the candy board mature within their own management style, should its use become doctrine.  Many ideas on this topic can be found on the World Wide Web.
 1.     H. Williams, Beekeeping in Tennessee, Publication 697, Cooperative Extension Service, Knoxville, TN, 1985.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

HCBA Christmas Party!

Hampden County Beekeepers Annual Christmas Party

for membership and family

Friday, December 11,2015

rsvp by November 30 please

cheryl robare 
12 Laurelwood Lane
Springfield, MA 01118


Please bring a wrapped yankee swap gift $15 value.

The Villa Rose
1429 Center Street
Ludlow, MA 01056
This years meal options are 
prime rib
chicken picatta
baked stuffed sole

$10 per person attending

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Honey Lovers Cocktail Fare

Can You Imagine the delight of everyone when you arrive to your holiday party with this?

Andy and I are going to a dinner party tonight, guess what I am putting together.

Along with a delicious french bread!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HCBA November meeting

Come One, Come ALL!!

Please plan on attending the meeting on November 12, 2015 at 7-9pm

We will be welcoming our guest speaker,Kim Skyrm, Ph.D.
Chief Apiary Inspector/Apiary Program Coordinator Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

Look forward to our bee item auction!

It is always a lot of fun with assorted items and what ever is left over from the Big E.

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Road
Chicopee, MA 01013

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Winterizing Your Hives

Everyone has their own way of getting their hives ready for winter.

But as the leaves fall here in New England we all need to be thinking of how to ready our bees for the snowfall.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October HCBA Meeting

Our next HCBA Meeting will be held on

October 15, 2015


We will be reviewing our success at the Big E

Please come and talk bees!

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Road
Chicopee, MA 01013

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Members to visit Topsfield Fair

It looks like a lot of fun for all!

Some of our members are planning a trip to Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, MA.

This upcoming weekend.

They have an entire area devoted just to honey and bee products.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Last Day of Big E 2015

It's been a fun year at the fair.

Thank you to everyone for all their hard work.

Our club is a great representative for bees and beekeeping.

Spreading the good word and enlightening so many about all good things about our dear bees.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Top Bar Hives are HOT!

It's true, Top Bar Hives have been a big topic at the Big E!

Check out Gold Star Honeybees.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ready...Set....GO to the Big E!

It is finally here!

We are getting our booths ready for the fair..there is still lots to do!

We are located in the Mass Building and the Stroh Building (farmarama)

You need to go to the Main Coliseum building to be photographed for your badge.

The fun has just begun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Things are Buzzing for the Big E

We are busy getting things ready for the Big E!

Lots of volunteers have signed up to work our two booths and it looks like it is going to be a sparkling new year with some  fun new things added to educate and enlighten folks about our beloved bees.

I can't wait to see everyone up there!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ahh Vacation...

The Isner's have been having a great time away.

This is just a little piece of paradise.

Just lovely.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Small Hive Beetle Worms

Well I know this is not a pretty picture, but someone was asking about Worms in the Hive.

So I found a lovely picture o fSmall Hive Beetle Worms, we had one show up once a couple of years ago 

and I recall I totally freaked out!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Iowa State Fair

Mark Lantzakis is enjoying the midwestern bees!

Looks like a lot of fun to me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Better than a Sting

Tom Flebotte got some great ink!

I am not that brave for sure.

 It looks just awesome Tom!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Beeing Grateful

A huge THANK YOU for all the happy workers at last nights meeting.

We couldn't have done it without you all and in record time!

Those sweet packages of honey candy are all ready for happy folks at the Big E.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

HCBA August meeting

August 13th, Thursday at 7pm

WHIL in Chicopee, MA

This is our honey candy packaging night, so don't miss out on the fun!

We will also have the labels for those who are selling honey this year.

Many hands make light work, just like in a hive..well not hands there but you know what i mean.

Come package those delicious honey candies,enjoy some lemonade and pizza and some treats.

Oh yes, and to add to the fun we will have a hard copy for Big E shifts to add to the mix.

See you there!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

That Darn Mite!

Mark Lantzakis took this up close picture...then...found an interloper..pesty little things on such a beautiful bee.

Thanks Mark!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bees with attitude

Some reasons bees act the way bees do.

A•Bee•Cs Beginning Beekeeping BEE-ATTITUDES You’re causally strolling the back 40 when, bam! Out of nowhere a stinger pierces your right cheek. Someone’s got a bad attitude! Attitudes of honey bees vary dramatically dependent upon environmental conditions and seemingly astrological positions of the celestial bodies. In other words, no one is really certain what the colonies occupants are considering at any one specific point in time. There are general guidelines though. I suggest we all bee-aware and attempt to understand and honor the BeeAttitudes of a hive. BAD BEE-ATTITUDES 1. Bees bouncing off your veil (warning you to keep a safe distance) may be caused by: • Bumping or moving hives • Using an overabundance of smoke • Smoker fuel which is petroleum or wax based (cardboard) • Leaving colonies open too long • Inclement, cold, violent or unsettled weather • Dropping frames • Queen-less hives or those housing a failing queen • Toxic chemical applications • The aftermath of skunks severely depleting bee stocks • Diseased colonies • Too much perfume or deodorant • Human breath • Cigarette smoke: evidently hives don’t have non-smoking sections • You! When you haven’t greeted them properly—smiling while snapping a ‘selfie’ 2. Bees aggressive behavior (with major stinging) may be caused by: • Hives targeted by vehicles or pelted with foreign objects cast by bored or drunken joy-riders • Cavorting cows knocking hives over in their quest for the perfect back scratcher • Honey flow dwindling If you have a question you would like to share, email it to Editor@KelleyBees.com by Phill Remick

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hotels are Buzzing!

Buzz worthy: 5 top luxury hotels that have taken up beekeeping

(CNN)What do London's Buckingham Palace, New York's Whitney Museum of American Art and the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris all have in common?
They're all keepers of honeybees, part of a growing collection of bee-friendly landmarks around the world.
In recent years, global hotels have joined the urban bee-keeping trend too, bringing their own honey direct to their tables.
That's good news, considering the well documented decline in the bee population in certain geographical areas, notably North America and Europe.
A number of factors, including disease, pesticides and habitat degradation are attributed to diminishing bee numbers, and the losses are significant.
September is St. Ermin's Hotel's annual honey month, when its house-made amber nectar is celebrated through food and cocktail menus. During the same month, the hotel also hosts an urban beekeeping workshop with their expert, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.These sweet creatures are the globe's most prolific insect pollinators, whose combined annual economic value to agriculture worldwide is estimated at $167 billion.
Here's a look at five top luxury hotels creating a buzz in their local communities.

Waldorf Astoria New York

On a rooftop 20 stories above Park Avenue, some 360,000 bees produce more than 136 kilograms (300 pounds) of honey, harvested annually, which not only finds its way into the hotel's menus, but also into treatments at the hotel's Guerlain Spa.
"It is an important statement about our concern for the environment, it is educational for our culinary team, and it provides fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers throughout our hotel," says David Garcelon, director of culinary at Waldorf Astoria New York.
With home-harvested honey, the hotel created Waldorf Buzz beer last year in partnership with the Empire brewing Company; a yet-unnamed new brew with lemon verbena and hops from the on-site garden is slated to be launched this fall.
Twice weekly, the hotel's Historical Tour stops off at the garden to see the hives and its more than 60 types of herbs, fruit, vegetables and edible flowers.
On the menu: The "Wax Poetic" and "Leaves of Grass" cocktails at Peacock Alley lobby bar and restaurant are both made with Zubrowka bison grass vodka and house-made honey syrup.
Waldorf Astoria New York | 301 Park Avenue, New York City, NY 10022 | +1 212 355 3000

Mandarin Oriental, Paris

Paris has been a pesticide-free zone for the past 10 years, making the French capital an attractive urban environment for honey bees.
With the help of local organization Apiterra, 50,000 bees reside at the MO rooftop beehive, with last year's sweet haul totaling 25 kilograms.
Guests who can't get enough of the ooey, gooey and very sweet syrup (in the words of Winnie the Pooh) offered through the hotel's F&B menu can opt into the hotel's eco-initiatives -- such as reusing towels -- to receive a jar of honey to keep.
On the menu: The "Homemade Honey" cocktail at Bar 8 is made with Yuzu liqueur, jasmine tea with ginger, Champagne and house-made honey.
Mandarin Oriental, Paris | 251 Rue Saint-Honore, 75001 Paris France | +33 1 70 98 78 88

W Taipei

Following a good eight months of prep work, W Taipei became the first urban beekeeping establishment in Taiwan when it opened up its 32nd floor rooftop to host some 150,000 busy bees in partnership with Syin Lu Social Welfare Foundation.
After six months and two harvests from the Sweet Reward program, the bee colonies were moved to another downtown building as part of the foundation's larger urban beekeeping project.
Whatever honey the hotel chefs and mixologists don't purchase from Syin Lu, the foundation (which produced more than 800 kilograms of honey in the first half of the year from 94 hives) either sells or produces soaps with it in their factory manned by disabled workers.
On the menu: The "Detox Martini" cocktail at WOOBAR is made with green tea-infused Belvedere vodka, Grand Marnier, orange juice, yuzu juice, house-made honey and Sprite.
W Taipei | No.10 Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, Taipei 110 Taiwan | +886 2 7703 8888

Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

From May to September, Fairmont Waterfront guests can join a daily tour of the apiary and rooftop garden with a resident bee butler.
The pioneer of in-house honeybee production and supporting global bee health is Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, whose Bee Sustainable program comprises honeybee apiaries at more than 20 properties across the world.
"By building more than a dozen luxury bee hotels from coast to coast, we are doing our part to build a more sustainable world," says Jane Mackie, Fairmont Brand vice president.
In June this year, the Fairmont Waterfront became one of the first hotels in the group to build a solitary pollinator bee hotel (aptly named Bee & Bee) designed to give busy bees a break between pollination missions.
The hotel also hosts 500,000 resident honeybees in the 195 square meter herb garden on the third floor terrace, which forage over 67 square kilometers and 60 different plants (particular favorites being the pollens from blackberry blossoms and American bamboo blossoms).
From May to September, guests can join a daily tour of the apiary and rooftop garden with a resident bee butler (and have a sneak peek at the bees from the observation hive). Guests can also request to go on a Pollinator Corridor Walk through the city with Hives for Humanity's Julia Common.
On the menu: The "Waterfront Bee's Knees" cocktail at ARC Bar is made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon juice, house-made honey syrup and topped with Earl Grey tea foam.
Fairmont Waterfront | 900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5 Canada | +1 604 691 1991

St. Ermin's Hotel, London

St. Ermin's has been keeping bees for some four years now, first on the main rooftop and later expanding the installation to include a specially planted wildflower terrace where a new bee hotel -- the first hotel in the UK to have one -- now resides.
The hotel had their own honey analyzed, with results showing their bees gather nectar from over 50 different plants and trees within their three-mile forage radius (which includes Buckingham Palace Gardens and St. James' Park).
September is the hotel's annual honey month, when they celebrate their house-made amber nectar through all of the food and cocktail menus. During the same month, the hotel also hosts an urban beekeeping workshop with their expert beekeeper, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.
On the menu: The 'Bowler Hat' cocktail at Caxton Bar is made with dry vermouth, London gin, raw house-made honey and lemon juice.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lost Acres Vineyard

Some beekeepers enjoying a beautiful evening at Lost Acres Vineyard of North Granby, Ct.

Joyce and Maddie loving a little night air and fruit of the vine.

A little friend came for a visit.

Mads and Jenny toasting the night away.

Friday, July 24, 2015

First year beekeepers honey harvest.

Tom and Jane Stanziola are enjoying their first honey harvest.

Happy Happy Beekeepers

Looks good to me!