Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association

BEE BITS – The MBBA Newsletter for September 2019

Upcoming MBBA Meeting

Date:  Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Time:  7 PM
Gateway Centre Suites
Suite 301, The Rainier Room
1313 E. Maple Street 
Bellingham, WA 98225

Please try to arrive a little early because the main door is locked about 7.

Meeting Agenda:  Prepare Your Bees for Winter

We’ll discuss and answer questions about all aspects of getting your hives ready for winter, including feeding, equipment, insulation, and anything else you bring to the meeting.  If you have equipment you consider essential for over-wintering, please bring it and share with us.

MBBA at the NW Washington Fair

A big THANKS! to all those who gave their time and labor towards the MBBA Fair Booth.  Everyone seemed pleased and many new ideas for next year’s fair were hatched in the process.


Note: We’re meeting at a NEW PLACE this month, convenient for urban beekeepers, but close to the freeway for people driving in.

MBBA’s “Bee-ginner Discussion Group” offers timely discussions on issues important to newer beekeepers. We meet the last Monday of the month in the homes of welcoming MBBA members. Moderated by Michael Jaross.

We’ll get together on Monday evening, September 30th, 6:30-8pm at Bellingham Co-Housing’s “Common House,” 2614 Donovan Avenue. Please park on Donovan St.  It’s just a short walk to the Common House, right in the center of the co-housing project. Lost? (360) 483-9754

This month’s focus, “Get Ready for Winter.” We’ll talk about the timing for hive preparations leading up to winter, about autumn mite control issues, feeding, insulation, and winter feeding. And anything else you are interested in!

See you Monday evening, September 30th, 6:30-8:00pm at Bellingham Co-Housing’s Common House, (North Room)  This group is billed as a “bee-ginner” discussion group, but anyone of any experience level is welcome to show up and join in the talk.  A big thanks to Gary Bachman, MBBA member and Co-Housing resident.

HELP WANTED: MBBA needs a volunteer to send out meeting notices each month. You need not make a full-scale newsletter, it could be a brief and easy MailChimp “post card.” We’ll get you started. Quick to learn in about 10 minutes.

Please click on Business Cards to visit websites.

2019 “Swarm Catchers” List

Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association presents: Swarm Catchers, our annually updated list of skilled beekeepers willing to retrieve honeybee swarms.

As spring weather warms, honeybee colonies prepare to “swarm.”  Half the bees in a hive fly out all at once with their queen to find a new home.  The mother colony produces a new queen and lives on.  This is the bees’ way to spread their genetic heritage and assure the species’ survival.

Swarming bees move slowly away from the hive in a large “cloud,” coming to rest temporarily in trees, bushes, or practically anywhere.  From there, they send out scouts to search for an apt new home site.  After a few hours or days, they move on to their favored site. 

We, as beekeepers, know that swarms are not welcomed by everyone, so we’re prepared every spring and summer to be on “swarm call.” If you sight a swarm, call us.  We’ll safely capture the swarm and bring it back to our home apiary where the swarm will be “hived” and become a new citizen amongst our other hives.

Calling one of our members on the Swarm Catchers list ensures that you’ll get a qualified beekeeper to do the job correctly and safely.  You’re also doing the bees a BIG favor, as a swarming colony will eventually perish if not captured and properly cared for.  Honey bees, Apis mellifera, can no longer survive in the wild in most places in the world.  They are dependent on good apicultural care in order to survive current pathogen and parasite challenges.  Help us keep our bees alive, healthy, and productive.


I’d like to learn more about beekeeping; where should I start?