by Jim Fraser
A new year, 2019, is upon us and I hope it brings good things to you and the rest of our fellow beekeepers. We have experienced a fairly mild winter so far, yet as I write this it is freezing outside and they are predicting at least one Polar Vortex event. When you have time, “bee” sure to check your bees for adequate food stores. My bees are consuming fondant at a very fast pace. Don’t lose your bees now because you thought they were ok. I am spending my time cleaning, repairing and painting equipment, looking through bee catalogs and web sites and dreaming of the fantastic harvest this year will bring.
A new year always brings some changes and the biggest change for this year is the online only registration/renewal of memberships for MSBA. This change eliminates hundreds of hours of “hand” record keeping for our Treasurer, Secretary and Webmaster. As we approach the 1,000 member mark, the job of maintaining accurate records for dues, mailings, emails, etc. are much easier with the computers’ help.
Let’s talk about education. Even if you are the best beekeeper in the state of Maryland I am sure there is something you could learn. Take a class. If you don’t need to learn anything, then you can help teach a class. Almost every beekeeping club, association, or group in our state offers a beginning beekeeping class. You should help out: offer to teach, be a greeter, help set up tables and chairs, mentor a new beekeeper. Don’t just be a member of your bee club, be an active participant in the activities of your club.
MSBA is planning to offer several educational opportunities this year, including another “Honey Judging Class” and “Making Nucs and Splits.” There will be more information about these classes in the near future.
I am looking forward to our next meeting, February 2, 2019 at Harford Community College. Our main speakers will be Bill Sprenkle of Log Cabin Bee Farm on hygienic (VSH) queen rearing and Dr. Samuel Ramsey on the dreaded Varroa Mite, Tropilaelaps. There will be vendors, refreshments and your fellow beekeepers to visit with.
Check on your bees food supplies, dream about what a great year 2019 will be for the bees, help with a bee class, and I will see you in February.