Category: blog

16 Aug

Happy National Honey Bee Day!

Beth Conrey blog

Happy National Honey Bee Day!

Thank you to all who are volunteering today!  The CSBA is truly appreciative of your efforts!

The public is currently very interested in bees, beekeeping, and the problems with bee health.  As beekeepers, it is our responsibility to educate the public on these issues.  Like it or not, public outreach and education is a non-stop and essential duty of all beekeeping associations as well as the CSBA.  If you volunteer, THANK YOU!  If you do not, please consider it.  Not all volunteer needs require public engagement.  It does not take much time and is extremely gratifying.

We are still lacking a statewide coordinator for National Honey Bee Day.  Interested?  Contact me at 970-213-3099 or

Cottage Industry Labels 

How’s your harvest?  Going to sell some honey this year?  The CSBA has Cottage Industry Bill labels available for all of you who are packing honey in your homes.  They are $4 for 100 or $30 for 1000.  These labels are good for any cottage industry product including honey.  If you need some labels, please contact me at 970-213-3099 or  I will need to know the quantity desired and a physical mailing address.

Colorado State Fair

NCBA member Ronda Koski is coordinating the first ever bee booth at the Colorado State Fair.  VOLUNTEERS ARE STILL NEEDED!  It would be really nice if the regional associations could each muster enough volunteers to take one–just one–day at the booth.  Many hands do, indeed, make light work.  This is an excellent opportunity to reach out to potential new members.

For those of you who volunteer, you can sell product, too.  This is a terrific opportunity to expand your market for your product.  I will be setting up the booth this Thursday, August 23rd and the fair runs through Labor Day weekend.  Please contact Ronda if you can assist.  She can be reached at 970-217-5286 or  Thank you Ronda for your efforts.

Africanized Honey Bee Testing Info

I just wanted to let you know that so far all the honey bee samples received have had very high likelihood (0.89-0.0999) that they were European rather than African.

It has taken us quite a bit longer to get materials together and to have confidence in the measurements we are doing, but I think we are now good to go.

So, if you know of anyone who wishes to send in a sample for the simple FABIS measurements assessing likelihood of European or African parentage, we would be happy to receive them and can now turn them around quickly.

Samples should involve a minimum of 30 bees – 50 is preferable.  They need to arrive in good shape (particularly wings), preferably having a fresh weight we can use reliably (but not shipped so that they mold en route).

If anyone wishes to send a sample it is suggested that they email a head of time so that we can expect them: Whitney.Cranshaw@ColoState.EDU

Samples should be sent to my attention:  Whitney Cranshaw, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management-1177, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO  80523

There will be no charge for any samples received in 2014.  If we decide to extend this in 2015 we may revisit this, but for this year I will absorb all the costs while we figure out whether this is something worth significant time/effort in the future.

Whitney Cranshaw

Western Apicultural Society (WAS) Conference

The WAS conference will be held at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT on September 17-20.  I will be going and could still use a female roommate at the hotel.   Holler at me if you are interested.  All the details can be found on the CSBA Event Calendar.

 CSBA Winter Meeting

Hard to believe that the CSBA Winter Meeting is right around the corner—but it is!  Put November 7th and 8th on your calendar now!  We will be back at the easy-to-get-to Douglas County Fairgrounds.  Featured speakers will be Katie Lee, Marla Spivak’s PhD candidate and a member of the Bee Informed Partnership and Melanie Kirby from Zia Queen Bees.  Final details are still being hammered out but it will be another full day of activities.  There will be an Election of Officers as well as the BIG MONEY HONEY contest!  See you there!

Of Interest

Bee researchers raise more concerns about neonicotinoid pesticides

Pesticide Use Rises as Herbicide-resistant Weeds Undermine Performance of Major GE Crops, New WSU Study Shows

Bayer study shows European bees at their best health levels in years

Our friends at the CDA are looking for Colorado Proud participants in Colorado School Meal Day.

Farming with Native Bees–New book from Xerces Society!

Have you checked out the CO Agritourism website?  You should!

The CSBA website and calendar has been updated to reflect the new events.  I have also put up a page on Emerald Ash Borer.

Thank you for being a member.

Beth Conrey




01 Aug

High Country Bee, Edition 3, Volume 8, August, 2014

Beth Conrey blog

All–August is one busy month in the bee business! Harvest time is here for all of those who are getting one–which, sadly, does not include me. Crossing my fingers–but looking for honey. Last year, I had a record high yield. This year, a record low. Ahhhh–agriculture! There are a LOT OF EVENTS in August that need your help. The beekeepers of Colorado WILL BE participating in the CDA’s Agriculture Pavilion this year! || National Honey Bee Day is August 16th. The theme this year is “Sustainable Gardening begins with Honey Bees”. || Western Apicultural Society (WAS) Conference: University of Montana in Missoula from September 17-20, 2014. || September is National Honey Month. || Feds to Phase out Neonicotinoids in NW Wildlife Refuges–makes you wonder how they ever got to a refuge in the first place…Time to move the program east!

02 Jul

High Country Bee, Edition 3, Volume 7, July 2014

Beth Conrey blog

Swarm season is officially over although there will still be a few stragglers. In celebration, I am leaving town today through the 9th of July. Have a wonderful Independence Day celebration. Marvel at all of the US successes and work towards correcting its shortcomings. The United States is US in more ways than one!

08 Jun

Swarm Hotline

admin blog

Bees swarm in the spring. In Colorado, bees swarm from April 15th until the end of the summer with May and June being the busiest months. If you are lucky enough to witness one of nature’s most fascinating migrations, a swarm, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO KILL THEM! Do not spray them with insecticide or water! These bees are “survivor bees” and are crucial to our environmental health. Call your local bee swarm hotline. We have beekeepers throughout the state ready to be dispatched to collect the bees and transfer them to a new home. For FREE!

07 Jun

Summer Bee College in 1 Week

Beth Conrey blog

The CSBA Summer Bee College is one week from today!

As threatened, the early bee registration discount will come to an end at the stroke of midnight tonight.  I still contend $3 is $3 and I would take it in my pocket.  The CSBA Summer Bee College will take place on Saturday, June 14th at the home of Paul and Nanci Limbach in Silt, CO.  All information may be found here.

Maybe you’re still holding out for more information on the afternoon sessions.  Wait no longer!

Ed Colby–and his lovely partner Marilyn went to Apimondia in the Ukraine last year and what a tale they have to share.  Have you ever thought about going to an international bee conference?  Listen in and find out what fun it can be!

Kristina Williams–is back with her queen marking expertise.  Derrick will catch us a bunch of drones and you will practice, practice, practice on queen marking OK–drone marking–but it is the practice that matters.  With the confirmation of Africanized bees overwintering in Western CO, queen marking will take on new importance as it will be essential that you know the genetics of every queen in every hive.

Nancy Stead–is a formally trained honey judge and is the judge for the CSBA Big Money Honey Contest at our annual Winter Meeting in November.  She will share with you the tips and tricks of preparing honey to take home the money!

Nanci Limbach–Paul’s wife Nancy runs a Wildlife Rehabilitation on site.  She has quite the collection of wild animals in various stages of rehabilitation and it is always interesting to see the bears, mountain lions, baby raccoons and deer.  Some of the tales are tragic and some inspiring.

Kris Holthaus–Last but not least, Colorado Queen Honey Bee Testing Project coordinator (and top notch queen breeder) is here with the first round of grant funded, Colorado bred, virgin queens for distribution.  This is a very exciting initiative and I thank all of you who are participating in this important work.

At 6pm, we will have an optional free tour of a Habitat Hero award winning garden located in Silt.  Christie Cutright will meet us at the Limbach’s and guide us to her home to view her extraordinary garden that uses  native and xeric species of plants and no additional water.  I am excited to add this opportunity to our agenda this year.  Signup will take place at the registration booth at the Summer Bee College.  Click the link above to learn more about the Habitat Hero garden program and take away some ideas to make your own garden fit for a butterfly or a bee.

The Beekeepers Ball is SOLD OUT!

Way to jump on it, beekeepers!  The Beekeepers Ball filled in record time!  The Ball will be held at Maud’s on Main in New Castle and will begin at 8:00 pm.  We will have a “mingle” across the street at the Silver Club Saloon beginning at 7:30.  All are invited to the mingle whether you are attending the Ball or not.  The CSBA will have a cheese board and you are welcome to bring small jars of the honey that you produced, or found on your journeys, to share.  I am so looking forward to another wonderful meal.  Muchas, muchas gracias to Ed and Marilyn for coordinating the fete.

Pollinator Week

Pollinator Week begins Monday, June 16th and goes through Sunday, June 22nd.  On Saturday, June 21st, we need volunteers to man booths at each of our participating nurseries.  Booths need staffing from 10am to 2 pm.  The following nurseries are still in need of 1-2 volunteers for shifts. What do you need to do?  Answer the public’s questions about bees and beekeeping.  Hand out brochures on plants for pollinators.  Wear a bee hat (not really).  Bring an observation hive.  In short, do whatever you would like to engage the public in pollinator importance and protection.

These nurseries are NEW PARTICIPANTS in Pollinator Week and we need to make sure their experience is a good one.  Please volunteer if you live near one of these nurseries and support our mission and theirs.  Contact me if you can assist.

Country Fair Garden Center at Colorado Blvd. – Denver

Nick’s Garden Center – Arvada

Tagawa Gardens – Centennial

Phelan Gardens – Colorado Springs

Rick’s Garden Center – Colorado Springs

Pollination Planet

Pollination Planet is a non-profit organization with the following mission statement:  Educate and inspire communities to protect our food supply by providing habitat for pollinators.  We are delighted that their mission so closely dovetails with ours.

Pollination Planet is hosting a FREE screening of More than Honey at the Louisville Middle School on Saturday, June 21st at 7pm.  They have requested CSBA presence and we will be there with a booth.  Can you help for a bit beforehand and afterwards?  If so, let me know.  I appreciate it.

Pollination Planet has also started a Kickstarter campaign to increase awareness of the role of bees as integral to our food supply.  Watch the video.  Donate $25.  Get a 100% organic cotton tee shirt.  Click here.

BCBA beekeeper and PP Board member, Norm Klapper, will be speaking about the organization at our summer bee college, too.

Of Interest:

OSU’s Honey Bee Health Management Workshop

The Highway BEE Act has been reintroduced in Congress this year.   The CSBA has signed on as a supporting organization on the bill but they are looking for more support from like-minded organizations, companies, and researchers.  Know anyone that fits that bill?  Send them the link!

Bees build mental maps to get home

Thank you for being a member.

Beth Conrey





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Upcoming Events

6:30 pm SouthEast Beekeepers Club Monthl... @ North Pinery Firehouse
SouthEast Beekeepers Club Monthl... @ North Pinery Firehouse
Aug 5 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The SouthEast Beekeepers Club is a fairly unstructured group of beekeeping people who get together once a month to share information, ask questions, get news, etc. Other than having a pot luck prior to and[...]
7:00 pm Boulder County Beekeepers Meeting @ Lefthand Grange
Boulder County Beekeepers Meeting @ Lefthand Grange
Aug 5 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
BCBA meeting and election scheduled for this Wednesday, April 22nd at 7:00 pm at the Niwot Grange. Our organization has been without meaningful leadership since Miles McGaughey stepped down last year. Philip Bradbury and Tim[...]
Aug 8 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Ages: 16 and up This is a continuation of Beekeeping 101. Learn tips on how to keep your bees happy, as they are gentle by nature. A variety of topics include brood patterns, pests, fall[...]
4:00 pm Bee Safe Boulder Celebration Fun...
Bee Safe Boulder Celebration Fun...
Aug 8 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Come and celebrate Boulder becoming a Bee Safe City!! Join us and celebrate Boulder becoming a Bee-Safe City, at a beautiful home in west Boulder, in a shady Boulder landscape with a lovely stream and[...]
6:30 pm Central Colorado Beekeepers Meeting @ Crest Academy
Central Colorado Beekeepers Meeting @ Crest Academy
Aug 10 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
We meet the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30 at 12th & G Street at Crest Academy, Salida, Co 81201. See our Facebook group: Central Colorado Beekeepers Association. Ask to join. Thanks and hope[...]
7:00 pm Mile Hive Bee Club @ Project Angel Heart
Mile Hive Bee Club @ Project Angel Heart
Aug 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Mile Hive Bee Club now meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Read more here:
5:30 pm Advanced Topics in Beekeeping @ The Hudson Gardens & Event Center
Advanced Topics in Beekeeping @ The Hudson Gardens & Event Center
Aug 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
What pests and diseases do beekeepers need to worry about in Colorado? Why, how, and when should I make a split? Is a combine the right solution for my weak hives? Learn the answers to[...]

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