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Technical comments may be directed to ljhuston3@charter.net

2014 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2014 REGULAR MEETINGS

Our monthly meetings begin at 7:30 pm on the last Tuesday of the month at the Norfield Church Community Room at 64 Norfield Road, Weston Connecticut. There is usually a meeting designed specifically for new beekeepers at 6:30pm (prior to our regular meetings).  These events are free and open to the public. Our calendar is subject to change, so please check our website for the latest updates (www.backyardbeekeepers.com) or call any members of the Board (see listing of Board members).

In addition, a number of weekend workshops are scheduled each year to give participants a hands-on opportunity to learn new beekeeping skills & techniques and visit other bee yards.

January 28

Howland Blackiston & Marina Marchese

New Bee Books

Two past BYBA presidents and authors will discuss their latest books. Blackiston on his "Building Bee Hives for Dummies" and Marchese on her collaboration with Kim Flottum on "The Honey Connoisseur".

February 25

Michael Johnston

Honey Bee Wellness

Michael Johnston of Johnston’s Honeybee Farm in Eaton, NY on Honey Bee Wellness and what you can do to insure that your bees are doing well.

March 25

Frederique Keller

Apitherapy

Frederique Keller, L.Ac., DOM, President of the American Apitheraphy Society, and owner and operator of BeePharm, will be joining the BYBA at the March club meeting to share her vast knowledge of healing and health products from the hive. She will discuss Apitheraphy: the health benefits from all honeybee produced substances. raw honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and venom from the sting.

April 29

Anne Frey

Swarm Fever

Swarm Fever season is approaching. You may have it now or you may catch it this year. Of course, all our colonies are managed so they don't swarm, but other colonies may swarm, and if you like to chase swarms, Anne teach you how. Swarm Fever may be a lifelong condition, but it can be dealt with if diagnosed early.

May 27

May Berenbaum

Pesticides & Bees

May Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois will discuss the latest research & findings on what is happening with Pesticides & Bees.

June 24

 

Annual Pot Luck Dinner Meeting and Silent Auction

Chair?

The Social, Culinary & Shopping extravaganza of the year!! Join your fellow BYBA members, family & friends for lots of fun, a delicious potluck feast and the very important, very wonderful Silent Auction.

September 30

Christina Grozinger

Honey Bee Health & Bee Pheromone Communication

Christina Grozinger Ph.D. Professor of Entomology Director, Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State Christina Grozinger on honeybee health & bee pheromone communication.

October 28

HoneybeeLives, Chris Harp & Grai St. Claire Rice

Hive Architecture

Comb and Nest Architecture, looking at how honeybees construct comb using their unique physiology. It is both an act of community building and a feat of precise, structural integrity that is invaluable for beekeepers to comprehend.

November 18

Dan Carr

Beekeeping in Uganda

Dan Carr, past BYBA Board on his experiences with a USAid grant working with Beekeepers in Uganda this past year.

NO MEETING IN DECEMBER

2014 WORKSHOPS

Our weekend workshops are scheduled each year to give participants a hands-on opportunity to learn new beekeeping skills & techniques and visit other bee yards.  They are held at various locations, and we ask that those planning to attend contact the host so that if the workshop should be postponed for some reason, the host can contact the attendees.   Please check our website for the latest updates (www.backyardbeekeepers.com) or call the workshop host(s) with any questions.

Saturday February 1

 

Mead Madness

Howland Blackiston

Did you ever wonder how you could make mead at home? Please join fellow BYBA member Howland Blackiston and learn about the craft of mead making. Discover the many different types of mead, and become acquainted with the simple equipment you can use to make delicious honey wines at home. Making mead is fun, easy and deliciously rewarding.  For workshop attendees over 21, Howland will also offer free tasting of a wide array of honeywines, spirits and liquors.  Contact Howland Blackiston at (203) 571-1774 or hblackiston@gmail.com

Sunday March 2  

Bear Fence, Swarms, Cut outs, Wasps, and Bumblebees

Jeff Shwartz

Bear Fence, Swarms, Cut-Outs, and Wasp/Bumblebee Workshop: Come join Jeff Shwartz on March 2 at Norfield Grange, 12 Goodhill Rd., Weston, CT, at 1:00 to learn about keeping the bears out of your bees, retrieving swarms, removing bees from inside walls and other structures, and the lives of wasps and bumblebees. For more information, contact Jeff Shwartz at or Jeff@shwartz.com or 203-426-8620.

Sunday March 9  

Hands-on Hive set up

Leslie Huston, Board, Mentors

The weekend workshop will have a number of BYBA members demonstrate the basics of assembling equipment and the tools one needs to make your job easier. If you have equipment to assemble, bring it and we’ll help you. Bring your smoker, and we’ll show you the fastest way to clean it! Tips and hints galore! Discussions will include hive site location, Queen selection, and demonstrations of various pieces of beekeeping equipment that you may not have seen or used before. If you have made a piece of equipment that you find useful in your beekeeping, please contact Leslie Huston so that we can make arrangements to display it—you get to explain how it is used. Nothing is too small or too big for this workshop!  Location: Norfield Grange, 12 Goodhill Road, Weston. Time: 11:00 - 2:00 p.m.  Contact Leslie Huston at (203) 417-2023 or ljhuston3@charter.net

Sunday March 16 (Postponed from February 16)

 

Soap Making

Marina Marchese

Marina Marchese, of Red Bee Studio, will demonstrate how to make handmade soap the way your grandma did - using lye, oils such as coconut and palm, beeswax, honey, and natural fragrances. Bring along a waxed cardboard milk carton and towel to wrap it in, and you can bring home some handmade soap to try! Note: we are using lye, so dress accordingly. Not appropriate for children under 12 yrs (must have an adult present). Contact Marina Marchese at redbee@optonline.net

Sunday April 6 (originally scheduled for April 12)

 

Hiving Package Bees

Bobbie Meyzen

Bobbie Meyzen will demonstrate how to hive package bees at the BYBA bee yard at Trout Brook Valley, near Aspetuck Orchards Apple Barn.  This workshop will provide a hands on opportunity to learn and try the proper techniques for transferring a package of live honeybees into a new hive.  It may be a little muddy. Bring a veil. If it’s pouring we’ll do it anyway!. Contact Bobbie Meyzen at (203) 948-3529 or bobbiemey@aol.com
NOTE: date is tentative, and depends on package bee delivery. Stay tuned for more information - and be in touch with Bobbie.

Saturday April 12 (originally scheduled for April 19)

 

Hive Inspection I

Bobbie Meyzen

At the first inspection after hiving a new package, it's important to check that the queen's been released and has started laying eggs, as well as surveying the condition of the newly established colony.  At this workshop Bobbie will check on how the bees hived at last week's workshop are progressing. Contact Bobbie Meyzen at (203) 948-3529 or bobbiemey@aol.com
NOTE: this workshop will be held one week after the "Hiving Package Bees" workshop.

Saturday May 3, 11 a.m.

 

Bee Wellness Workshop #1: Hands on Hive

Bobbie Meyzen & Board

This will be the first of two Bee Wellness workshops. This is the apiary portion, covering proper hive inspection techniques, identifying unhealthy colonies, specimen collection for in-field testing such as mite sugar rolls, and record keeping.
This workshop will be held at the BYBA queen rearing bee yard at Trout Brook Valley, near Aspetuck Orchards Apple Barn.
Contact Bobbie Meyzen at (203) 948-3529 or bobbiemey@aol.com

  1. Please remember that sign-up is required and that registered participants should plan to attend both workshops. Please email or call Bobbie Meyzen to register (bobbiemey@aol.com or 203-948-3529).
  2. The workshops are limited to adults only with one year and overwintering experience under their belt.
  3. The first workshop is hands on so we will also require protective veils and gloves for each participant to bring with them to the yard. We also recommend bringing a folding chair as seats are limited at the bee yard.

Saturday May 10, 11 a.m.

 

Bee Wellness Workshop #2: Microscopy

Bobbie Meyzen & Board

This workshop will be held at the Connecticut Agricultural Extension Station in New Haven. It will provide hands-on experience with preparation of specimens for lab diagnosis, microscope use, and other resources. Contact Bobbie Meyzen at (203) 948-3529 or bobbiemey@aol.com

  1. Please remember that sign-up is required and that registered participants should plan to attend both workshops. Please email or call Bobbie Meyzen to register (bobbiemey@aol.com or 203-948-3529).
  2. The workshops are limited to adults only with one year and overwintering experience under their belt.
  3. The first workshop is hands on so we will also require protective veils and gloves for each participant to bring with them to the yard. We also recommend bringing a folding chair as seats are limited at the bee yard.

Saturday June 1 (originally scheduled for May 17)

 

Bee Yard Open House

David Blocher & Leslie Huston

This workshop will focus on the startup activities for the club's bee yard and pave theway for this year's queen-rearing. General background information will be provided - a tour of the bee yard, and light refreshments. Bring your bee apparel! Some queen-rearing fundamentals will be discussed: reasons and methods for queen rearing, how to set up and provision a colony to raise queen cells, timing, and other equipment that can come in handy when raising queens. 
This workshop will be held at the BYBA bee yard at Trout Brook Valley, near Aspetuck Orchards Apple Barn.  Contact David Blocher at (203) 938-2539 or dblocher@optonline.net or Leslie Huston at (203) 417-2023 or ljhuston3@charter.net

Saturday June 7

 

Hive Inspection II (Including Top Bar Hives)

Dan Carr & Ralph Szur

Board members Dan Carr and Ralph Szur will host this inspection workshop at the Stone Barns Center, Tarrytown, NY, from 10 am to noon. This workshop will include top bar hive: designs, management, harvest,manipulation,and pros and cons vs. Langstroth design. The inspection will focus on the progress of newly hived package bees, early summer activity, and general hive health. Contact Dan Carr at (914) 860-5561 or danc@stonebarnscenter.org, contact Ralph Szur at (845) 228-5635 or ralphsz@comcast.net

Sunday June 8

 

Basic Queen Rearing

David Blocher & Leslie Huston

At this workshop we will demonstrate the Miller method of raising queens - a method that requires no special equipment and no special skills (i.e. eagle eyesight!).  Attendees will also have a chance to try their hand at grafting larva into queen cups to raise queens. General background information will also be provided - how to set up and provision a colony to raise queen cells, timing, and other equipment that can come in handy when raising queens.  Bring your bee apparel!
This workshop will be held at the BYBA bee yard at Trout Brook Valley, near Aspetuck Orchards Apple Barn.  Contact David Blocher at (203) 938-2539 or dblocher@optonline.net or Leslie Huston at (203) 417-2023 or ljhuston3@charter.net

Saturday June 14

 

Swarming & Making Splits

Win Baum

Past BYBA President Win Baum and his wife Stefanie will be hosting this back yard bee visit at 500 Papurah Road in Fairfield, Connecticut at 10:30 am. Come and see how Win's bees are doing, and discuss the swarming. Contact Win Baum for directions at (203) 255-9185 or win@winbaum.com

Sunday June 21

 

Other Considerations

David Blocher & Board

This workshop will be held at the BYBA bee yard at Trout Brook Valley, near Aspetuck Orchards Apple Barn. Contact David Blocher at (203) 938-2539 or dblocher@optonline.net

Sunday June 29

 

Over-Wintering Nucs

Bruce Wartlieb

At this workshop we'll be setting up nucs for over-wintering - two nucs in a single hive body. There will be a fee, which will cover materials for making the double-nuc setup, plus two club-raised queens. You will leave with all everything you need to make summer splits from your hives to set up two nucs in your bee yard!
This workshop will be held at the BYBA bee yard at Trout Brook Valley, near Aspetuck Orchards Apple Barn.  Contact Bruce Wartlieb at info@southofthegreenhoney.com

Saturday July 12

 

Hive Inspection III

Mary Howansky

BYBA member Mary Howansky will conduct this bee inspection workshop at 43 Wilton Woods Road, Wilton, CT 06897. There is plenty of parking in front of 43 Wilton Woods Road and on the driveway. This inspection will start at 10 a.m. and will focus on mid-summer activity, ongoing mite inspection and queen evaluation, nectar flow (and/or dearth!).  Contact Mary Howansky for directions at (203) 762-5912 or howansky@optonline.net

Saturday & Sunday, August 2 & 3

 

Honey Harvest

Ellen Zampino

Board member Ellen Zampino will host a honey harvest workshop. We will take honey from the hive, extract it and bottle it. Come see just how it's done. Contact Ellen Zampino at (203) 981-0611 or jazampino3@aol.com

Saturday August 9

 

Fall Preparation Workshop

David Blocher

BYBA Board member and Past President David Blocher will be hosting this fourth inspection and also addressing the important issues of fall preparation. This inspection will look at hives to assess their condition and discuss what actions can be taken to give the bees the best shot at surviving the winter - August is the time to start preparing your hives for winter! Contact David Blocher at (203) 938-2539 or dblocher@optonline.net

Saturday September 6

 

Hive Inspection V

Rick Glover

BYBA board member Rick Glover will conduct this workshop, location TBD. This final inspection workshop of the season will look at hives to assess their preparedness for winter, and point out final touches that can help the bees survive the winter months. The workshop will start at 11 a.m. (no rain date). RSVP to Rick Glover at rglover@webquill.com

Sunday, September 21

 

Colony Evaluation

David Blocher

Join other members in this workshop to evaluate various colonies' strength going into winter. We will be evaluating colonies on 5, 10 and 20 frames, with suggestions on how to winter small colonies and colonies that don't occupy the standard 10 or 20 frames. This workshop will be held at the bee yard at the Aspetuck Land Trust property in Easton. Contact David Blocher at 203-449-8147 or at dblocher@optonline.net if you plan to attend.

Early- or Mid-September

 

Honey Harvest

Ellen Zampino

Board member Ellen Zampino will host a honey harvest workshop. We will take honey from the hive, extract it and bottle it. Come see just how it's done. The workshop will start at 11 a.m. Contact Ellen Zampino at (203) 981-0611 or jazampino3@aol.com

Sunday, November 16

 

Beeswax Workshop

Ellen Zampino, Patty Pulliam & Marina Marchese

Learn how to clean and process beeswax so that it may be utilized for candle and ornament making. Also learn (and get recipes) to prepare your own lip balm and hand creams, and other techniques to create beautiful beeswax crafts. Just in time for you to create your own hand made holiday gifts! Contact Patty Pulliam at (203) 259-4861 or pattpull@optonline.net

Early December

 

Deep Winter Workshop

Alex Papp

Join Alex Papp at his apiary as he readies his hives for winter, including setting up a string of light bulbs that provide each hive with an extra bit of warmth on frigid winter nights. Alex's apiary is at 24 Tremont Street, Cos Cob. Parking on street. RSVP anlex101@aol.com