Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association


BEE BITS – The MBBA Newsletter for December 2019

MBBA January Meeting CANCELLED 
See you at our February Meeting! 


Bee-ginners Discussion Group – January 27th

Note: We will meet at Bellingham Cohousing this month, convenient for urban beekeepers, but close to the freeway for people driving in.

“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, January 27th, 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 suggested topic, “Swarm Prevention.” We’ll talk about why it’s vitally important to control swarming in the Varroa Era. Swarms=mites! Do yourself and your neighbors a big favor: stop swarms before they start. 

Focus Events: 
Microscopy for Beekeepers: Everson beekeeper, Audrey Halvorson, will bring her microscope and typical specimen slides. 

Asian Giant Hornet:  Updates on local sightings, personal safety,  plus WSDA plans for monitoring and eradication. We’ll have mounted specimens of Vespa mandarinia, the invasive critter itself.

See you Monday evening, January 27th, 6:30-8:00pm at Bellingham Co-Housing’s Common House. 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. 

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?