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!
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!
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 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 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.
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!
Thank you for being a member.
Summer Bee College Pre-Registration Discount Ending Soon!
Have you pre-registered for the CSBA Summer Bee College yet? If not, you’d better get after it! Lots of pre-registrations flowing in through the website and we are preparing for a terrific turnout. And why not, I ask? Look at this line up and tell me where you can get a better value for your beekeeping dollar! From nationally known speaker Jim Tew to a variety of supporting speakers and hands-on seminars in the afternoon to a Pollinator Garden Tour and the Beekeepers Ball, it will be a fast and furious educational experience! The Early Bee Discount will be ending on Friday, June 6! Take your $3 and spend it wisely while simultaneously helping the CSBA get an accurate head count for the caterer. Pre register here, NOW!
The Beekeepers Ball menu has been finalized and the PayPal buttons are in place. The Beekeepers Ball is a multi course dinner featuring honey in all courses. This year’s Ball will be held at Maud’s in New Castle. A hearty thank you to Marilyn Gleason and Ed Colby for their efforts on our behalf. SEATING IS LIMITED to the first 35 people to register and pay and we are already 2/3 full!!! Do not hesitate any longer. If you would like to attend the Beekeepers Ball, please click here.
Prairie Wind Bee Supply has Nucs Available
Thank you for being a member.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks since my last newsletter. Alas, we have on record, the first confirmed report of Africanized bees having successfully overwintered in Montrose. The hype within the listservs is indicative of what is going to happen in the media. I am not too knocked out by this news but am processing it and trying to determine if CSBA needs to craft a response. I have also contacted the beekeeper who reported the problem and he is going to speak to us at the Summer Bee College. A revised agenda has been posted.
In the interim, if you suspect you have Africanized bees, you may click here to be redirected to the website where you can download a sample testing form and send CSU a check for $25 along with your samples and your completed form. The form may also be found here.
We are having a busy swarm season in the metro area thus far. Swarm season appears to be on schedule outside of urban areas and a bit ahead in town. As beekeepers, we bear the responsibility for most of these urban swarms. That being said, I would like to remind our urban beekeeping members that hives should be inspected weekly and swarm mitigation methods should be employed! While all of us who LOVE swarm catching are ecstatic, our urban neighbors are much less so.
I have heard rumors that some people are advising callers to “just let swarms move on”. This is IRRESPONSIBLE in an urban environment. Bees that “move on” may well “move in”. It is simply not fair to ask your neighbors to bear the expense of removing your swarm from their porch support.
Please, please, please–practice responsible urban beekeeping.
And a hearty THANKS to all of our swarm catchers and hive removers. We have been busy, busy, busy and we’ve a long way to go.
If your schedule is modified with graduation and vacation this weekend, please take a minute to let your poor, tired dispatcher know. Thank you for your efforts.
2014 Summer Bee College/Queen Distribution
Pre-registrations are rolling in for the CSBA Summer Bee College. It will be held on Saturday, June 14th from 9-5 at Paul Limbach’s beautiful property in Silt. Dr. Jim Tew, who has been keeping bees for longer than most of us have been alive, is our featured speaker. He will be joined by a whole slew of other interesting folk. We will have a barbecue, hands-on sessions, and a pollinator garden tour, too! All information can be found here. The pre-registration discount will end on June 7 so get your reservations done NOW while your’e thinking about it.
The Colorado Queen Honey Bee Testing Project will be distributing the first round of queens at the CSBA Summer Bee College! I have a great many people calling me for queens and here is an opportunity to get a virgin queen AND help a good cause by providing your valuable feedback. Here is a link to the sign-up page on the website. Queens are going fast so get involved!
Speaking of Queens…
Susannah Austin, the American Honey Queen, will be joining us for the CSBA Summer Bee College. She will be arriving on Tuesday, June 10th and is available for meetings with associations and groups of all kinds for education and outreach. OK — So you don’t have a clue as to what the honey queen does? Click here. Susannah is a wonderful asset to our outreach efforts and I would really like her to be well utilized while she is here. Do you have an event where you could use her expertise? Do you have a market while she is in town? Please contact me and let’s get her on your schedule!
Did I say Queens? I meant more queens…
Queens are in great demand this time of year and if I get one call a day on sourcing them, I get 5. So–here are some sources. Please call them before you call me!
Boulder: Tim Brod Highland Bees http://www.highlandbees.com 303-514-9257
Denver: Greg Rye Dakota Bees http://www.dakotabees.com 720-621-7305
Fort Collins: Kris Holthaus Red Dog Expressions http://reddogexpressions.wordpress.com 970-224-5810
Pollinator Week is June 15 to June 22. As usual, we have partnered with our friends at BBB Seed and have set up booths at many of the nurseries in Larimer and Boulder counties. Saturday, June 21, we are in need of beekeepers to staff these booths from 10-2. If you are willing to help, please contact me or the volunteer coordinator for your club. Thank you.
In a world where, increasingly, our food is genetically modified and the products we use contain harmful chemicals, people who care about entirely natural products need to band together. I’m sure you are aware of Burt’s Bees (given your close relationship with bees!), the line of cosmetic products made only from natural ingredients like beeswax. And that’s why we want to let you know about the upcoming screening of a documentary film called Burt’s Buzz, directed by Jody Shapiro, that follows the life of Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees, which opens on June 6th, and plays for a week through June 12th, at the Denver Film Society at the Sie FilmCenter.
It was largely due to the iconic image of Burt (that still graces their products) that Burt’s Bees established itself as a leader in the field of cosmetics yet, despite his celebrity status, the reclusive Shavitz remains committed to living off the land and keeping true to his humble beginnings. By learning about the fascinating story of Burt’s life, Burt’s Buzz can open people’s minds to the importance of using natural products, living sustainably and the potential for people to create home-grown businesses from their own personal life experiences and local surroundings. Burt’s Buzz offers a unique opportunity for these diverse communities to meet, learn more about each other and develop relationships that may end up creating new opportunities in the areas they both care about.
Here is a link to watch the film’s trailer: BURT’S BUZZ TRAILER
Are you a gardener? Be a scientist! Participate in the Sunflower Community Project.
Africanized Bees found in Colorado-BUMMER!!!!
New York Times–The Toxic Brew in our Yards–very timely
Thank you for being a member.