President’s Message, February 2020

First, I must give a well-deserved appreciation to outgoing MSBA President Jim Fraser. His willingness to help any beekeeper, share information, and just generally be a great all around ambassador for Maryland beekeepers will be missed. I hope to learn from his example.

Well: this has been an interesting winter. The weather has been up and down so much that our bees have been impacted.  We are seeing bees going through their stores rapidly, and adding sugar blocks at a much higher rate than usual.  Starved bees are the beekeepers fault. Check your hives. The ladies might need some supplemental feeding.

We have new brood in our hives, in small patches, but the queens are starting to lay.  Bees are out on the water sources and generally going after anything in bloom. We have camellias and skunk cabbage both in bloom.  As of this writing, southern Maryland has actually reported maples starting to leaf already.

It is the beginning of a new year and 2020 is time for a new start.  This is the season of repair and dreaming. So we repair our old equipment, build new, and spend a lot of time leafing through catalogs dreaming of a wonderful strong bee year.

MSBA is proud to have offered our Nucs and Splits full day class again in January. It was seven solid hours of information from eight different teachers. (Yes, we will offer it again next winter.)  Meanwhile, this year we offered one free entrance to the class to every bee club in Maryland. Nine clubs sent representatives who will now return to their local clubs and share some of what they learned.  This is part of endeavoring to find more ways to offer education to you, our members.

In May, we will be offering our Honey Show Judging class. Look for the announcement and sign up.

We are trying an experiment with Kim Flottum, our February keynote speaker. He is offering two lectures the day BEFORE our state meeting. One will be during the day at UMD/College Park, and the second will take place in the evening at Howard Community College in Columbia.  I thank Mark Dykes and David Milburn who helped arrange for our meeting rooms.  These lectures will ask for a small donation to help pay for an extra day of traveling expenses.

This is a prototype for the future workshops we hope to hold.

I’d like to remind everyone that EAS is in Orono, Maine this year August, 2 - 7.  Remember to purchase your Maryland Beekeeper t-shirt in Goldenrod yellow. It makes it easier to meet each other at the conference.

There’s nothing like five days of talking bees all day and night to reenergize your beekeeping. There are a few car pool options starting up. So ask around. The one friendly tip is that hotels that say sold out, actually may still have rooms in the reserved block if you call them directly.  They will also have dorm rooms, but personally I gave up a twin bed a long, long time ago …

If you have a topic you want offered in an advanced workshop, let me and Fred Smith, our First Vice President, know!