Well, 2020 is going to go in the record books as an interesting beekeeping year. Some beekeepers are saying, for the first time in a decade they were able to get maple tree honey. Their hives were that strong coming out of winter! The downside is, we are seeing very strong hives swarming at levels that we also haven’t been seen in a long time. Unfortunately, the new spring queens were hampered by bad mating weather, as well as inconsistent temperatures.
For our personal yards, the black locust and tulip poplar are blooming at the same time. Our supers are filling, and the bees are working all day long.
Many Maryland County clubs' new beekeeper classes were interrupted by COVID-19, and some finished completely online. Others are in limbo. We are all becoming used to Zoom meetings, Face timing with our mentees, and limiting bee yard helpers this year. I allow people to work bees with me, but only fully veiled and in very small groups.
We have a great success story with our support for the Puerto Rico bees. This was the work of many people, and I thank Crystal Lehmanking for seeing the need, and leading the effort. There is nice article in this BeeLine on what was accomplished.
For the first time ever, the Maryland State Beekeepers Association will be offering our June meeting completely online. Our keynote speaker, Dr. David Tarpy has agreed to a 3 hour long zoom meeting. Join us! Fred Smith has worked to make an interesting meeting for all of us.
Our Honey Show Judging class has been delayed. This must be hands-on instruction, and until our state allows meetings of 50 people it will continue to be postponed. Check in at our website to see status. If you have a topic you want offered in an advanced workshop, let me and Fred Smith, our First Vice President, know.
We will host Randy Oliver on Saturday, November 7the for our winter meeting. A face to face meeting is preferred, but we must have a site that allows us to safely meet following the health guidelines of our state. Your MSBA board will work the details, for now just set the time aside for another great meeting on that Saturday, regardless of the format.
Meanwhile, the bees continue to gather nectar, raise brood, and cure honey. They just want to succeed and continue their lives. Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us to slow down, concentrate on what is important, and remember to do what we have control over. As beekeepers, listen to your bees, do your mite checks, report them into the mite survey, and register your hives for free with Cybil Preston, our State Apiary Inspector.
Remember to sit and enjoy watching/hearing the ladies in your yards. That is one of the joys of keeping bees!
by Kim Mehalick