Category Archives: 2019 Meetings

January 29, 2019

Jamie Ellis: The Indispensible Nuc

Dr. Jamie Ellis handling honey bees during an ICS video shoot. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

“Nucs” are small honey be colonies housed in small hives. Consequently, their importance in beekeeping is often overlooked. Despite this, nucs can become an indispensable tool in one’s beekeeping operation. In this lecture, the benefits of using nucs will be discussed and their importance emphasized.

About the Speaker

Jamie Ellis is the Gahan Endowed Professor of Entomology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. He has a BS degree in Biology from the University of Georgia (Georgia, USA) and a PhD in Entomology from Rhodes University in South Africa. At the University of Florida, Jamie has responsibilities in extension, instruction and research. Regarding his extension work, Jamie created the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program. As an instructor, Jamie supervises PhD and masters students in addition to offering an online beekeeping course. Currently, Jamie and his team have over 30 active research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination.

November 19, 2019 (was November 26)

Larry Connor: The Increase Nucleus as Support Hive in the Backyard Apiary and the Bee Breeding Program

Nucleus colonies are the work horses of a well-managed beekeeping operation. They help sustain colonies, provide essential backup reserves, genetic diversity, and can be overwintered. Maybe we should just keep nucs?

About the Speaker

Lawrence Connor was born in Kalamazoo Michigan and earned his doctorate in honey-bee pollination of crops at Michigan State University. He has worked as Extension Bee Specialist at The Ohio State University, President of Genetic Systems, Inc. (which produced tens of thousands of instrumentally inseminated queens honey bees as well as the Starline and Midnite breeding stock), and now owns and operates Wicwas Press, specializing in publication of quality bee books. He relocated (from Connecticut) back to Michigan in April 2007 to continue growth of his publishing and writing activities. He has edited and published over two dozen books and recently written: Increase Essentials (2006), Bee Sex Essentials (2008), Queen Rearing Essentials, Bee-sentials: A Field Guide, Swarm Essentials (with Steve Repasky), Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping (with Dewey Caron), Increase Essentials Second Edition and Mating Biology of honey bees (with G. and N. Koeniger and J. Ellis). In 2019 he published Keeping Bees Alive.

Connor was a frequent contributor to The American Bee Journal and to Bee Culture Magazine. He travels extensively and lectures on a wide range of subjects concerning honey bees, bee breeding, pollination and colony management. For further information consult the website:

October 29, 2019

Katie Lee: Queen-Rearing – Selecting Breeder Colonies

Actively selecting breeder colonies for specific traits is the difference between queen breeding and queen producing. Katie Lee will be talking about heritable traits and methods of breeder colony selection based on colony assessments.

About the Speaker

Katie Lee

Katie Lee received her Ph.D. and M.S. from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab with Dr. Marla Spivak and she currently serves on the board of the American Beekeeping Federation. Her research has focused on the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, queen health, and other metrics that indicate colony health. For the non-profit organization the Bee Informed Partnership, Katie started both the Northern California and Upper Midwest honey bee Tech-Transfer Teams that provide services for commercial beekeepers by assessing colony health, taking samples for pathogens and parasites, and testing breeding stock for disease resistance behaviors. Her current work is to examine how forage plantings affect honey bee health. Her long-term goal is to conduct research that generates practical information for beekeepers.

September 24, 2019

Kim Flottum: Second Season

Kim Flottum

Getting past the first season successfully is always a challenge, and a huge relief when you do enough things right to have your bees alive this time of year. But now, you have to get them through the cruelest time – winter – and next spring so they take off and do what you want, and what they want for their second season. Find out more about wintering, feeding, pest and disease control and the pressures of the next few months and the always, always question – Now What?

About the Speaker

Kim Flottum has been the editor of Bee Culture Magazine for 33 years, and is the author of several books (BackYard Beekeeping, Honey Connoisseur with Marina Marchese, Better Beekeeping, In Business With Bees), along with countless other contributions. Kim is a retired Chairman, EAS, Past President CT Beekeepers Association, OH Beekeepers Association and simply a backyard beekeeper. Kim now lives in Medina, OH.

June 25, 2019

Dinner & Silent Auction

BYBA’S Annual Potluck Dinner will be held on Tuesday, June 25, at 7:00 PM in the Community Room of the Norfield Church. We will have food sign-up sheets at the General Meetings in April and May, or you can email Patty at to sign up.

We ask that you let us know what sort of dish you’ll be bringing: such as Protein, Carbohydrate, Salad/Vegetable, and Dessert. If you would like to attend and not bring a dish, we are asking for a $15.00 contribution to help cover other costs associated with the dinner. We suggest that what you prepare makes 8 servings. You may also contact Patty at to let her know what you’d like to bring. Please consider helping to set up, decorate & clean up too! You can email her and let her know that you will be helping.

This evening is a wonderful way for everyone to participate and get to know fellow members. Everyone is guaranteed to have a good time! This year will be even better if you are a part of it. The BYBA Board is putting together the activities for the evening and if you would like to chip in and help please let us know!

We will also be having the scintillating Silent Auction where we invite members to donate items in good quality, not necessarily beekeeping related, but that is certainly wonderful too! You may contact Jerry Goodwin if you’d like to donate items prior to the dinner.

May 21, 2019

Grai St. Clair Rice: Bees in the Garden, a Dance with Evolution

Grai St. Clair Rice (Photo: Erik Christian)

During the course of evolution, pollinators and plants have been involved in a seductive
relationship that has been instrumental in creating the fecund world we live in today.
Understand how honeybees forage and how they interact with flowers in their search for
nectar and pollen. Honeybees are single-source pollinators, engaging their
communication and navigation skills to enlist their hive mates to bring home the goods.
Learn to incorporate simple garden/landscape concepts to improve their health.

About the Speaker

Grai St. Clair Rice is an organic beekeeper, as well as a writer/photographer based in
NYC. She is a co-founder of HoneybeeLives, an organization that teaches beekeeping
and provides apiary services.
After ten years as an Editor/Producer at CNN’s New York Bureau, and many years
before in the film, art and publishing worlds, Grai’s focus turned to beekeeping and
writing. With her love and knowledge of honeybees she is able to use her talents to
encourage a better understanding and appreciation of honeybees by the public at large,
and help nurture beekeepers to embrace a gentle spiritual approach to their care.
Grai is the founder of the contemporary Ulster County Beekeepers Association. She
lectures on beekeeping and gardening for honeybees, and co-teaches some of the
HoneybeeLives classes. She is working on two different books about honeybees and
beekeeping, and a children’s book about bugs.

April 30, 2019

Ed& Marian Szymanski:  Planting for Pollinators /
Neighborhood Mite Monitoring

Ed and Marian Szymanski

Ed and Marian Szymanski will present information about plants that provide nectar and pollen to honeybees and other pollinators in Eastern Massachusetts. Their recent focus has been on identifying plants that provide quality food to bees and other pollinators and incorporating them into the homestead landscape.

Ed will speak about a mapping and community cooperation program for monitoring and tracking Varroa mites, treatments, and survival rates in Norfolk County, MA.

About the Speakers

Ed and Marian Szymanski are homesteaders and beekeepers. They live on just over one acre of land in Franklin, Mass. on a lot planted with fruits, vegetables and flowers, and as little grass as possible. The homestead includes bees and chickens, and a wide variety of fruits, berries, vegetables and pollinator-specific gardens. They are both on the board of Massachusetts Beekeepers Association. Ed served 4 years as President of Norfolk County Beekeepers Association.

March 26, 2019

Sam Ramsey: Varroa Mites

Varroa destructor feeds exclusively on the hemolymph (or blood) of adult and immature bees”. It’s considered to be such an obvious fact that it often goes without citation now in scientific papers. But there is very little if any experimental support for this universally accepted conclusion. My project, in partnership with the USDA and Project Apis m, has shown that Varroa are actually feeding on a very different tissue, the fat body, leading to a diverse combination of health impacts that have never been fully explained by feeding on hemolymph alone. With a better understanding of how this parasite impacts its host, we can develop novel forms of control and new methods to remediate the health issues common to infected colonies.

About the Speaker

Dr. Samuel Ramsey’s enduring interest in entomology started over 20 years ago and shows no signs of waning. Having completed his PhD in 2018 with Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp’s lab at the University of Maryland, College Park; Ramsey tries to maintain a focus on how insect research can benefit the public through development of IPM strategies and STEM outreach initiatives. Ramsey studied entomology at Cornell University as an undergraduate focusing on Predatory/Parasitic insect behavior. His current work focuses on the effects of honey bee parasites on individual and colony level survivorship specifically targeting Varroa destructor and Nosema ceranae.

February 26, 2019

Aaron Morris: Masterful Beekeeping

Mr. Morris will give a presentation titled “Masterful Beekeeping”. The presentation will compare some of the many master beekeeper programs offered these days, will touch very lightly on the politics of the designation, and will offer tips to help keepers of bees be more masterful. Hopefully there will be more than a few “I wish I knew that when…” moments.

You may remember the technical difficulties encountered the last time Aaron presented to BYBA. Some of the swarm control methods that may have been missed will be included this time around, relying heavily on the techniques taught in Eugene Killion’s Honey in the Comb. Even if you never intend to make comb honey, the tips and lessons in this book are invaluable. Mr. Morris credits it  with transforming him from a bee haver into a bee keeper!

About the Speaker

Aaron Morris has been keeping bees since mid 1970s. He is the sole proprietor of “Double A’s Bees” specializing in nucs, packages, beeswax and candles, mead, and in-hive tutoring. His yearly average honey production is three tons. Morris is the past president of the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association and the Empire State Honey Producers Association. He is the Owner/Editor/Moderator of BEE-L, the oldest, continuously running internet list devoted to “Informed Discussion of Beekeeping Issues and Bee Biology”. Aaron is a certified master beekeeper with the Eastern Apicultural Society. Inspired at a very young age by a swarm that settled in a spruce tree early one Sunday morning, he continues to be fascinated by the magnificent honey bee!