Category Archives: 2018 Meetings

November 27, 2018

Bill Hesbach: Over-wintering

Bill Hesbach

Bill Hesbach

In this talk Bill will cover thermoregulation during the winter months and discuss  insulation and ventilation, two different methods beekeepers use, and how they differ in both principle and effect. Questions will be welcomed during the presentation.

About the Speaker
Bill Hesbach is an EAS certified Master Beekeeper and a graduate of the University of Montana’s master beekeeping program. He is an active educator in local area bee clubs and the president of the Connecticut Queen Breeders Cooperative. For the past several years, Bill has been both presenter and leader of the BYBA pre-meeting covering timely ‘special topics’ before the monthly meetings. In addition to running Wing Dance Apiary where he produces artisanal honey, he is an author and his writings on different aspects of beekeeping can be found in Bee Culture, ABJ and Bee Craft magazines. He is an advocate of sustainable beekeeping and assists the Connecticut Beekeepers Association in their statewide efforts to educate beekeepers. Among his many interests in beekeeping, bee biology and two-queen systems are among his favorites. As a bee ambassador, Bill conducts educational seminars in local schools, area universities, and other regional bee clubs.

October 30, 2018

Dewey Caron: Working toward Natural/Treatment-free Colony Management

Dewey Caron

Dewey Caron

How natural was your beekeeping and mite control this season? What can still be done before next season?  Developing a pathway to improve bee health with reduced losses while working toward treatment-free colony management.

About the Speaker
Dr Dewey M. Caron is Emeritus Professor of Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, Univ of Delaware, & Affiliate Professor, Dept Horticulture, Oregon State University. He spent 40+ years teaching, doing bee extension and bee research at Cornell (1967-70), University of MD, College Park (1970-1981) and University of DE, Newark DE (1981-2009).

With retirement in 2009, he moved to Portland, Oregon to be closer to 5 grandkids. He spends 3-4 months each year in Bolivia, where he keeps Africanized bees and teaches beekeeping (in Spanish). The rest of the year he is in the northern hemisphere; his 5 backyard colonies in Tigard OR are docile European bees.

He keeps active giving Bee Short Courses and lectures to various bee clubs and state organizations. He continues active in EAS having been President (1986), Director (both from MD and DE), Chairman of the EAS Board for 8 years, Chair of several Board committees and currently is Advisor for EAS Master Beekeeper program. He was program and Short Course chair for 2016 New Jersey and Program Chair for 2017 Delaware. He was WAS President for the 2010 WAS meeting in Salem, has been OR Board representative and is assisting with the 2019 Program and meeting.

Once an annual “regular” to BYBA, he returns after several years this fall.

September 25, 2018

Richard Cowles: The Queen of Your Dreams

Richard Cowles

Richard Cowles

Packages of bees with queens obtained from the South can be expected to be more prone to carry varroa mites and higher virus loads than locally raised queens because there may be no break in brood production in warmer climates.  This may contribute to a vicious cycle, in which beekeepers purchase packages each spring, only to have their colonies die that winter.   My queen rearing program, funded by the CT Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program, investigated three main sources of genetics for beekeepers in CT to rear their own hygienic bees (1) commercially available hygienic queens from various breeding programs around the country, (2) feral bees obtained by setting swarm traps in CT forests, and (3) feral bees taken from buildings in New England.  This presentation will discuss the outcome of these approaches, the current status of the queen production efforts, and the needs for continuing these efforts.

About the Speaker
Dr. Cowles has been working at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for almost 24 years, where he is known for his efforts to resolve many insect and mite pest problems. Rich obtained his graduate degrees in entomology from Cornell and Michigan State Universities.  Although he helped his dad keep bees while growing up in Massachusetts and took Roger Morse’s class in Introduction to Beekeeping at Cornell, he didn’t revive those interests until after having read Tom Seeley’s book “Following the Wild Bees.”  That book served as an inspiration to try and help Connecticut beekeepers by starting a local queen bee rearing program.

June 26, 2018

Pot Luck Dinner and Silent Auction

Please join us for the BYBA Annual Pot Luck Dinner Meeting & Silent Auction!
Celebrating the club’s 25th Anniversary!

On Tuesday June 26th, 2018 in the Fellowship Hall of Norfield Congregational Church on Norfield Road, in Weston, CT.

A Special 25th Anniversary commemorative gift for all attending members!
(One per membership.)

Please let us know that you are attending, what dish you are bringing (we ask that it serves 8) & how many in your party, or if you’d like to attend & not bring a dish but pay $15.00 at the door.
Contact us by text at 203.722.4789 or at  so that we may prepare accordingly.
Please also let us know if you can help us set up & clean up!

There will be a special prize raffle of a complete medium hive set up for all that have signed up!

Remember that this meeting starts earlier than our usual Monthly.
You may bring your items for donation to Jerry Goodwin for the Silent Auction beginning at 6:00 and the Dinner begins at 7:00.

We hope you join us on this auspicious occasion to celebrate
25 Years of the Back Yard Beekeeper’s Association!

May 22, 2018

Peter Borst: Harvesting Honey, Let Me Count the Ways

Peter Borst

Peter Borst

Peter will be presenting a talk based on his American Bee Journal article titled “Harvesting Honey, Let Me Count the Ways” which covers the many techniques for removing honey frames and supers from bee hives. It will be accompanied by many interesting slides and amusing anecdotes.

About the Speaker
Peter Borst has worked in the beekeeping industry since his first job working as beekeeper’s helper in Wolcott NY, in 1974. In the late 1970s he helped run a beekeeping supply store in the San Diego area, where he served beekeepers of all levels of expertise. In addition to selling equipment and supplies, he was able to get an especially broad viewpoint of their problems and concerns.
Peter was Senior Apiarist at Cornell’s Dyce Lab for Honey Bee Studies for seven years, and worked as an apiary inspector for New York State from 2006 to 2008. He is currently President of the Finger Lakes Bee Club, and has retired from Cornell University.  Peter has published over 40 articles on topics as diverse as beekeeping technique, the composition and value of pollen for bees, and the history of bee breeding. He enjoys presenting on these topics for venues ranging from local elementary schools to organizations in many states.

April 24, 2018

Roberta Glatz: The Biology of Swarming

Please join us for a timely presentation by Roberta Glatz on ‘Why & How Honey Bees Swarm and What You Can Do About It’. Roberta is returning to the club to share her knowledge of the biology of honey bees and what we as beekeepers can do to influence our colonies when it comes to swarming.

About the Speaker
Roberta is currently a member of a 12 person panel for the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, she is on the Apiary Industry Advisory Commission. She is a Master Beekeeper with the Eastern Apicultural Society and a member of the Catskill Mountain and Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Associations.

She is a past President of the Empire State Honey Producers Association. She was named Empire State Beekeeper of the Year and was a visiting fellow in Apicultural Research at Cornell University where she worked with Dr. Morris on squash bee research.

In her most active beekeeping years she was a sideline honey producer managing approximately 125 colonies. A life long teacher, Roberta is no longer a honey producer, instead, she continues to research honey bees and share some of what she’s learned over the years with others such as with BYBA. Please join us to learn from this icon of beekeeping knowledge.

March 27, 2018

Christy Hemenway: Top Bar Hives


Christy Hemenway is a recognized leader in keeping bees in Top Bar Hives. She is a bee business owner, an author, a teacher and a speaker. She maintains the Facebook page Top Bar Hive Beekeeping and reports that the CT group is one of the largest!

Christy founded Gold Star Honeybees in 2007 to support and further the keeping of bees on their own natural wax comb, in light-weight, easy to manage top bar hives.  Gold Star Honeybees now produces the Gold Star top bar hive and other quality tools and accessories for top bar beekeeping.

Christy has written two books – “The Thinking Beekeeper-A Guide to Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives” and its sequel “Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping – Next Steps for the Thinking Beekeeper” that support top bar hive beekeepers from beginner to advanced.  A copy of each of these books will be our raffle prizes and we will have the books available for sale at a nice club discount.

In 2011 Christy was invited to speak at the Maine Organic Farmers Association which was an independent TED event.  Her TED talk was titled “Making the Connection – Honeybees, Food, and YOU.”  It points up the importance of the connection between honeybees and nature and us. 

February 27, 2018

Kirsten Traynor: Over The Atlantic: European Intensive Hive Management

Kirsten Traynor

Kirsten Traynor

Kirsten Traynor’s BYBA talk will be “Over the Atlantic: European Intensive Hive Management” and will discuss how German beekeepers manage to contain losses to 4.0%.

About the Speaker
Currently the editor of American Bee Journal, a monthly magazine connecting beekeepers since 1861, Kirsten Traynor, has had a fascination with honey bees that led this English major to the lab bench. She earned a PhD in biology from Arizona State University, known for its social insect research program.
Kirsten’s research focused on honey bee communication, investigating how pheromones influence foraging behavior, physiology and gene expression. She continues to work in bee research as a USDA NIFA ELI fellow, investigating the impacts of pesticides on honey bee health and how to improve queen longevity.