Mt Baker Beekeepers Association

  • Our Monthly Meeting  –  June  2018

Meeting Date: Wednesday, June 20th
Meeting Time: 7 PM
Bee-ginners Chat:  6:00 PM
Place: Gateway Centre Suites
1313 E. Maple St, Bellingham, WA, Ste. 301, The Rainier Room

Meeting Agenda:


BEE-GINNER CHAT starts 6:00pm: Bring your questions and hive issues. We have an entire hour to deal with June-time beekeeping, not an easy puzzle to solve.

Honey Season is upon us. Well, some of us. Many colonies have consumed the honey they gathered from Maple and Hawthorne blooms in April and May. A few are near starvation and have to be fed. Seems odd when many things are blooming, even the blackberries. But, blackberry nectar takes it’s own sweet time to flow after the flowers bloom. If you see light-gray pollen coming in from the blackberry blooms, the nectar is about a week away. Keep close track of the food stores in your hives and feed small amounts of heavy syrup if they are bone dry. Hives have been known to starve and die during the intense nectar dearth that occurs just before the Blackberry Bounty.

MBBA PICNIC: This year’s picnic is Sunday, July 22nd, 1pm at Carol and Marco Hubert’s lovely backyard orchard: 4457 Dewey Road. As always, bring your picnic favorites, tableware, chairs, games, beesuits. It’s a great way to catch up with old beekeeper colleagues, meet our new members, tell those “swarm that got away” tall tales. See you at the picnic!

General Meeting Starts 7:00pm

EVERYTHING HONEY: Our June meeting is devoted almost entirely to honey. How to get it, extract it, sell it….everything about honey. MBBA President Daryl Hill will show off our latest extractor. We now have two to loan out. Not enough honey to warrant the whole extractor route? We’ll talk a bit about “Crush and Strain” method. Sweet and simple.

Interested in borrowing the MBBA Extractor? It’s a benefit of membership: $20 a year. We’ll go over how to clean it once you’re done, how to assemble and take down and how we keep track of it on our forum:

Jo Miller promises some hilarious and cautionary tales from honey days gone by. Jo says she has a couple boxes of clean, quart-sized “mayo” jars for anyone looking to bottle honey on a budget. Also, a couple boxes of clean wine bottles for you mead brewers.

If YOU have honey tips or equipment you’d like to share, bring them to the meeting. We’ll make time for show and tell. All honey questions are good questions!

BEE TALK: That’s what MBBA is all about: local beekeepers helping each other, staying in touch, spreading the tricks of successful beekeeping. We’ll spend the rest of the meeting talking bees. Bring your questions and insights. The floor is all yours!

See you at the meeting!

Our 2018 “Swarm Catchers” List

Mt Baker Beekeepers Association presents: Swarm Catchers, our annually updated list of skilled beekeepers willing to retrieve honeybee swarms.   Please forward this link to friends, any place in Whatcom County where there are honeybee hives.  That’s pretty much everywhere!

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, 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 the 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 assures 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.  Honeybees, Apis mellifera, can no longer survive in the wild in most places in the world.  They are dependant 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?