President’s Message, November 2019

My term as MSBA President will end on December 31, so this is my last message. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as President and working with the MSBA Board. I especially want to thank those who have done most, if not all, of the hard work, Kim Mehalick (VP) for all of the great speakers, Toni Burnham (Secretary) for keeping me on track, and Allen Hayes for the advice and guidance. All of you have made me look good.

I hope everyone has been waging war against the mites in their hives and feeding your bees to get them set for the coming winter months. I know that “war” sounds like a harsh way to describe the mite problem, but if you’re not serious about killing mites, it is unlikely that you will have many hives left in the spring. I would like Maryland to be the state that reports 10% hive losses instead of 60% or higher next year.

In my opinion the two biggest threats to honey bees in Maryland are mites and inattentive beekeepers. If you educate yourself about the honey bee, pay attention to your bees, monitor and control the mite population in your hives and feed them when necessary, you can keep your bees alive. Enough time on the soap box.

Our 111th Annual Fall Meeting is just around the corner, and we have a great program lined up.

Dr. Gene Robinson will talk about “TheGenetic Roots of Social Life, including bee aggression” and "the Interplay between Basic and Applied Honey Bee Research;" and

Dr. David B.K. Golden will be speaking about “Bee Sting Allergies,” Epi-Pen Guidelines, and Good Samaritan Laws.

Along with the great speakers, we will be holding annual Elections and the 83rd MSBA Honey Show. I encourage you to participate. Show off the products of your hive and join in the friendly competition.

EAS 2019: The Eastern Apicultural Society held its annual conference July 15-19 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Once again they provided an unrivaled opportunity for beginners, intermediate, and advanced beekeepers to immerse themselves in everything about honey bees. The Maryland beekeepers in attendance at EAS this year wowed the crowds with their beekeeping abilities (more details available in a separate article). Next year the conference will be in Orono, Maine, August 3-7. I hope to see you there. More information can be found at

One more last thought:

MSBA has three meetings a year so the ability to educate ourselves to be better beekeepers is limited. MSBA plans to add more classes and learning opportunities to the schedule, but most of the beekeeping clubs in the state meet 9-10 months out of the year. What a great opportunity to learn! If you think you already know everything there is to know about beekeeping, please help teach other beekeepers. Every club needs more volunteers, teachers, helpers, etc. If nothing else, just go to the meetings. Who knows, you might learn something. The better educated, informed, and active our beekeepers are in Maryland, the better our honey bees will “bee.”