Well this has been fun! We are all becoming "Zoom comfortable," and are reaching out as beekeepers in new and interesting ways. This week, I participated in a few association meetings, listened to a 2-hour presentation on VitaPharma products, and heard wonderful talks from Zac Lamas, Parks Talley and Daniel Smith. Maureen Jais-Mick has been collecting local county club meeting information and sharing it, so if your club has a presentation they are willing to open up to other MSBA members, please let her know two weeks in advance.
This is one of the best things that has happened due to being in a pandemic. Learning opportunities are opening up, without worrying about driving times, parking, gas. If you are willing to use your computer in the evening, you can participate in multiple club meetings.
Short courses are starting now, and new beekeepers are joining our associations. Please consider reaching out as a mentor to a new local beekeeper. It helps remind us of why we enjoy beekeeping, and helps to make others more successful. At its foundation, MSBA was created to provide EDUCATION. That is our charter, and we endeavor to help spread best beekeeping practices, and new information at all our meetings.
Our latest Board meeting was held Jan 15. In it, the board made several decisions which everyone should be aware of:
- As an association we will donate $1 for every paid member as of February 1 of each year to the Maryland Apiary Inspection Fund. As of today that donation will be $865 (we have 865 paid yearly and lifetime members). This money is only used to provide additional seasonal inspector hours. Our inspectors are an important part of successful beekeeping in this state, and we hope they know MSBA appreciates and supports them.
- We created a small volunteer team (Kim Mehalick, Fred Smith, Jan Day, Debbie Hewitt and David Kyger) to work with Mark Dykes (UMD/Bee Squad) to collaboratively develop more classes for Maryland beekeepers. Our goal to is put 5 new classes in place this year. If you have a specific topic you want explored, please contact email@example.com and mention this effort.
- We are offering a wonderful 2.5 hour workshop on queens with Celia Davis and Adam Finkelstein on February 14 in addition to our regular meeting (see the article here). Celia Davis is such a wonderful speaker, we wanted to pair her with a queen bee breeder. Adam Finkelstein will complete the workshop. It should be fantastic.
Fred Smith has starting laying out the meeting programmes for the next year, and there are some interesting speakers heading our way. Look out for email notices as the classes are announced, and ready.
The dandelions are in bloom in my front yard, along with daffodils. The skunk cabbage is about ready to get started...it is almost time for a new beekeeping season. Spring is my favorite time of beekeeping! Temperatures are moderate, bees are sweet. I love meeting new queens, and assessing their first laying patterns. Go out and enjoy your ladies!