News From the Local Living Venture Bees and Beekeeping Group
Sharing Skills and Knowledge in the St. Lawrence River Valley
Check in on our Workshop Schedule page to see if there are any upcoming events you may be interested in.
Please check out the DOZENS of resources on our old webpage, too:
Eventually all of this information will be moved over here to this great new website, but in the meantime check it out - and bee happy ! :-)
We currently host six different programs related to bees and beekeeping:
Monthly Bee Discussion Group - meets the last Wednesday of most months at 7 pm, see below for details.
Workshops for Beginners to Advanced - see our Upcoming Events to see if any are currently scheduled. You can also view our past events at the very bottom of this page.
Buying Cooperative - group buying for discounted goods and shared expenses - this option comes up on an ad-hoc basis. See our Buying Co-op Page for basic details that change little from year to year (pricing excepted!)
NY Bee Wellness Training - training and mentoring by and for local beekeepers regarding diseases and how to prevent/manage them. We have accredited beekeepers in our group willing to help you!
Website Resources - available below, plus much detail is archived at our old site HERE.
Swarm / Pest Bee Removal - we maintain a roster of local beekeepers who will remove bees. Contact us at LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com. A resource guide for folks with unwanted bees is HERE.
Upcoming Plans - a comprehensive survey of beehive distribution density, health, mortality and winterkill for the period Spring 2013 - Spring 2016 in our region (St, Lawrence River Valley and northwest Adirondacks.)
Contact us at LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com to get on our mailing list for bee group news and resourceful living skills workshop/event notices, sent 2-3 times per month.
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The statewide association for bees is ESHPA.org (Empire State Honey Producer's Assn.)
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Seeking Bee Resources?
PLEASE NOTE that this webpage is relatively new in 2015 and has not been fully populated yet with all of the resources we have collected. To see them, check out this link to our old website. It's not very tidy, but there's a lot there!) :-)
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Monthly Bee Discussion Groups for Novice to Advanced
All levels of beekeeper or interested folks are invited to join us each month for the Bee Discussion Group, an event that is held on the last Wednesday of the month at 7 pm (see schedule below) unless we schedule a Workshop that takes over that date. The format is very informal, with questions and topics being posed at each event by the participants involved.
NOVICES: Please note that it helps for you to have a basic understanding of bees and beekeeping before attending a Bee Group gathering. Attend one of our workshops (held sporadically throughout the year - check the Workshop Schedule) and check the libraries for good books - Bee Group members recommend the Beekeeping for Dummies series.
Check in here or on our Workshop Schedule page to be sure!
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Wednesday, February 24 - a special presentation by Sandy VonAllmen on ApiTherapy! Followed by Discussion Group.
Wednesday, March 30 (5th Wed. of month)
Wednesday, April 27
Wednesday, May 25
Wednesday, June 29 (5th Wed. of month)
Wednesday, July 27
Wednesday, August 31 (5th Wed. of month)
Saturday, September 28
Wednesday, October 26
Wednesday, November 30
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Subject to change based on the needs of the group!
Betty Evans Community Room in the new wing (left hand door) of the E.J. Noble Medical Bldg., 80 E. Main Street, Canton, NY. (next to the Best Western, across from the Price Chopper on Rt. 11, Canton.) Usually we post an orange 'Local Living Workshop Site' lawn sign near the door.
Novice to advanced levels are welcome to attend and share their questions, successes and challenges in a casual group setting. 7 PM, 1 to 2 hours.
Things change. Please get on our mailing list for the most up-to-date information. Write to LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com to sign up!
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BEES for sale!
NOTE: This is archival information, but the contact information for regional resources are applicable.
Do you need bees?! Here are some options:
Mann Lake can be reached at 1-800-880-7694. Usually by sometime in March they sell out entirely of the packages for the Spring co-op order, but you can check! The benefit of ordering through our co-op is that one person goes to pick up the bees and we all split the cost of that person's gas instead of each driving to PA ourselves.
Ted Elk in Hammond may have some nucs available beginning in Mayof each year.
Call him at (315) 382 2909. These are 5 frame with carni-cross queens from Hawaii.
Luke Martin keeps northern hardy bees and takes orders for nuc's, and sometimes queen cells, well in advance of the season.
Call him at (315) 265-0026.
Kutik Honey Farms in the Norwich, NY area are who we did our first group nuc order with in 2016.
Call Chuck & Karen Kutik or their staff at (607) 336-4105.
PACKAGES & NUCS
Hungry Bear Farms, 699 So. Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14509
Russian packages $145
Italian 5-frame Nucs $145
CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY at (585) 412 8745
QUEENS & BULK SUGAR AVAILABLE
Mark Berninghausen sometimes has queens available.
He will also sell bulk sugar - likely in 5 gallon pails. Pricing is 28 cents a pound in 2015.
CONTACT MARK DIRECTLY, please don't reply through this website. His number is 315-250-0555 or email Mark Berninghausen - Squeak Creek Apiaries <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
LOCALLY BUILT HIVES
Available through two Amish gentlemen. Please do not visit them on Sundays. Contact them in person or send them a postcard to set up a date to visit or to receive their Bee Supply Price List.
We can also email you a scanned copy of their price lists if you'd like - contact us at email@example.com. BUT contacting them directly will get you the most up-to-date info.
Rudy Schwartzentruber 271 Johnson Road, Rensselaer Falls, NY 13680 (near Heuvelton)
Jonas M. Glick 1295 Oak Point Road, Brier Hill, NY 13614 (near Morristown)
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Check out BeeInformed.org while you're at it!
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Spring Package Bee and Nuc's Co-op
Nuc's and package bees have come in for Spring delivery. The deadline to order was 2/28/2016. Contact LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com.
Package bees are picked up in Wilkes-Barre, PA by stalwart Bee Group members and delivered to the pick-up point (the parking lot in front of the bee meeting location and Butterfly/Pollinators Garden at E.J. Noble Medical Bldg., 80 E. Main St., Canton, NY) usually sometime around the first week of May.
Nuc's are picked up from Kutik's Honey Farms either in Antwerp or, like this year, at an orchard (this time in Peru, NY) where they were dellivering bees for pollination.
2016 was the third year of our buying co-op, which we expect to continue each year.
We ordered 44 packages in 2014, 30 packages in 2015 and 17 packages plus 77 nuc's (37 individual and 40 commercial) in 2016.
The condition of the bees we received both in 2014 and 2015 was beautiful (Italians and Carniolans were available), and the recipients were pleased with their new buzzing friends. In 2015 we did experience some die-off, unfortunately where two people experienced failure to establish one hive each. It's unfortunate, and no one can positively know why or how, but it is always a risk that this can happen. Another package that arrived with a dead queen did have the queen replaced by Mann Lake.
In 2016 we had one package out of the 17 fail almost completely within a week, with the queen surviving however, and there were some nuc's that swarmed - 3 or 4 that we're aware of.
Honey bees fly within a radius estimated at between 5-10 miles from their home hive, so it's likely that bees from one of these new hives will be in your neck of the woods of rise of the valley!
Video of how to transfer your package bees into the hive is here, using Windows Media Player.
PHOTO: Local Living Venture
Our youngest Bee Group member Danny Clark with the first co-op delivery of 44 package bee boxes in 2014! Each box contains 3 pounds of bees (about 12,000!) clustered around their queen. That's over a half million live bees in that van!
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Spring Advice From the Ulster County Bee Association
A Long Winter Finally Ends
By Grai Rice
Only just now the snow has receded and the sun’s heat has offered enough warmth for foraging flights and fresh pollen loads. The crocuses have finally pushed their way out of this winter’s polar vortex, and honeybees are entranced with the rich-hued pollen poised on tall stamens in these small floral packages. Maple flowers entice with nectar from the highest tips of trees.
The longest, coldest winter in decades has taken its toll on everything. Most of us have lost hives this winter. If you have only one or two hives and all have perished, this can be especially devastating to our senses and emotions. An empty hive on a property rings a silent toll. At times like these, turn your attention to what you have learned from your bees and, by blessing the bees’ spirits and the lessons they offer us this, this sense of loss can be transformed into renewed hope for the future.
Many hives are coming out of this harsh winter with only a handful of bees and a queen due to the intensity and length of this season. Nurture these bees as best you can. Tighten up the hives to help them maintain brood temps and so they can easily patrol against robbing from stronger hives, as well as from wax moths and small hive beetles.
Usually by the end of March colonies are out of danger...not so this year. (NOTE: In their region, Spring is at least a week or two ahead of us in the St. Lawrence River Valley!) Once the maple flowers have faded, consider offering bee tea** to keep the nectar coming into the hives so they can build up their brood and gain the strength they need for this new bee season ahead.
BEEKEEPER’S CALENDAR - SPRING TO-DO LIST
- Close up deadouts to prevent a culture of robbing.
- Assess reason for mortality.
- Clean up and prep for reuse if hive was healthy.
- Prepare to cull out some of the old combs in all hives, but don’t add fresh foundation yet.
- On a warmish, windless day, do a brood inspection of all hives to make sure there is an active queen.
- Leave insulation on live hives for now until temperatures regulate and bee population builds.
- Tighten up hives with small clusters so they can maintain brood temps and properly guard their hive.
- Provide robbing protection for weak hives so you don’t lose them to stronger hives.
- Maple trees are starting to bloom, providing the first fresh nectar of the season.
- When the maple trees fade away and the dandelions are still a ways out, consider providing bee tea** for continuous nectar supply for the growing brood.
- Enjoy the glorious sight of spring pollen coming into the hives and try to guess where the bees collected it.
- Plan to plant new forage for the season ahead.
Journal of the Ulster County Beekeepers Association
BEELINES 10, APRIL 2014
You can view the full issue of this informative newsletter here.
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** BEE TEA
An interesting recipe for bee tea, that's an alternative to plain simple syrup can be found here.
BENEFITS OF HONEY
An interesting an informative site about the many gifts of the hive, as well as fun bee facts!
Apitherapy: Beehive Benefits to Human Health including Bee Sting/Bee Venom Therapy
This talk is planned during the first half of the Feb Bee Meeting 2/24/2016. More details HERE.
Presenter: Bee Group member Sandy VonAllmen
Sandy VonAllmen is a retired RN who has kept a few beehives since 1998 in order to make good use of some of the health benefits associated with keeping bees. As her interest in bee venom therapy grew, she took an online Apitherapy Course with a Romanian doctor that expanded her awareness of its benefits. Sandy will discuss the many benefits to health of many byproducts of the hive and, of course, the most interesting to her being the Bee Sting (Bee Venom) Therapy that she also has the most experience with.
ESHPA Summer Picnic
Sat. July 18th in Greenwich, NY -- a great line-up of speakers, fun for the family, and rubbing elbows with lots of like-minded beekeepers! See our post here.
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe would like to extend an invitation to all beekeepers and interested parties to join them for a free forum on pesticides and bees on September 15 and 16 - and they have a special request that the Local Living Venture's Bee Discussion Group help to populate the beekeeping forum discussion that will take place (tentatively) at 10:45 on the 16th of September. This will be similar to our usual Bee Group setting, just in a casino instead! :-)
If you would like to participate, please remail us so we have an idea of who may go (and let us know if you want to carpool, for that matter!) Of course, you can feel free to just show up for any of this 2-day event even if you can't commit to the bee discussion group portion. For details, including a preliminary agenda and a poster, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an attachment.