Mt Baker Beekeepers Association

BEE BITS – MBBA’s Newsletter – January 2019

Our Monthly Meeting  –  January  2019

Meeting Date: Wednesday, January 16th
Meeting Time: 7 PM
Place: Gateway Centre Suites
1313 E. Maple St, Bellingham, WA, Ste. 301, The Rainier Room

Meeting Agenda:

1. Rebekah Lee and Meisha Horner will lead off with a short recap of their 2018 mentor/mentee program.

2. Jo Miller will follow with a brief discussion of the recent article, “Famed ‘Bee Man’ Urges Limits on Home Hives” (from The Daily Democrat, Woodland,CA):  “Pesticides, parasites, predators, and a multitude of microorganisms threaten the survival of honey bees,” says retired apiculturist Norman Gary of UC Davis, but so do hobby beekeepers in urban environments who are rearing too many colonies for bees to “survive and thrive.”  They should limit their hobby to two colonies, says Gary, 85, whose expertise in beekeeping, including professor, author, scientist, and professional bee wrangler, spans seven decades.

3. Three announcements from Michael Jaross:

  • Bee-ginner Discussion Group Resumes

  • 2019 Nucs

  • 8-Week “Successful Beekeeping” Class

4. MBBA will not host a package order this year.

BEE TALK:  That’s what MBBA is all about: local beekeepers helping each other, staying in touch, spreading the principles of successful beekeeping. We’ll discuss seasonal beekeeping issues, with a focus on the new 2019 Bee Season Bring your questions and insights. The floor is all yours!

See you at the meeting!

Click on Business Cards for websites, please.

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?