01 Nov

High Country Bee, Edition 2, Volume 11, November, 2013

Beth Conrey blog


I have survived the first month of post-flood and have actually succeeded in making visible progress on some fronts.

The first success came quickly with the arrival of Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.  Scott gave three talks at three separate venues along the Front Range  a week after the flood and was warmly received.  Thank you to ALL of you who attended.  It encourages the CSBA to bring in more speakers when we have this volume of interest.

I also succeeded in attending the Western Apicultural Society Conference in Santa Fe.  Melanie Kirby and the entire WAS Executive Board did a fine job on the conference.  It was EXTREMELY WELL ATTENDED by Colorado Beekeepers and, for some odd reason, I was really pleased by this.  It had nothing to do with me but makes me realize that “together we’re better”.   The proof is in the attendance and I want to say a special thank you to those who ventured south.

Flood Assistance

Come Rain of Come Shine is a benefit that will be held on Monday, November 4th at Balistreri Vineyards from 6 to 10 pm.   This event is hosted by a long list of local agricultural support groups and sounds like a lot of fun!  Click here for more information.  If you are a beekeeper, and you have been adversely affected by the flooding, you may also qualify as a recipient of funds raised from the event.  For an application, click here. (Note:  This will open in Word as an editable file.  It needs to be filled out and emailed to lm@localfoodshift.com.)

Depending on your damages, you may also qualify for several State and/or Federal programs, too.  Colorado United is a website that has been set up to consolidate information.  Click here to go to the Business and Farmer section.

There was a large meeting at the Ranch in Loveland yesterday, October 31, that brought together all sorts of different organizations that are assisting in some form or fashion.  Present and available to help were the following:  CSU Extension (organizer), USDA-NRCS, USDA Farm Service agency, Small Business Administration (SBA),  Colorado Farm Bureau, Local Food Shift group, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, all of the Senators and Representative offices in the affected areas, Colorado Spirit, Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), CSU, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and CSU Marriage and Family Therapy.  Please use this list for additional support opportunities.

Further, if you know of any support opportunities for flood victims that are not mentioned above, please let me know.  (Not including FEMA and the Red Cross.)

Finally, if your beekeeping operation was adversely affected by the flood, please drop me an email or give me a call and let me know the extent of your damages.  970-213-3099 or president@coloradobeekeepers.org.

CSBA Winter Meeting

Early Bee registration has come to an end but you are still welcome to attend the CSBA Winter Meeting next weekend.  A little financial incentive goes a long way and I thank all of you who pre-registered.  Makes it easier to get a head count to the caterer!

The festivities begin Friday evening at 7 pm at the Lowell Ranch at Plum Creek as we host our second annual “Meet and Greet”.  Come on down for a relaxing evening with Dave Mendes, our featured speaker.  Senator Gail Schwartz, sponsor of the Cottage Industry Bill, will also be in attendance.  We will have beverages from some of our local mead makers and brewers as well as non-alcoholic beverages and light refreshments.

On Saturday, the main event will take place at Kirk Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds located at I-25 and Exit 181 in Castle Rock.  You can’t miss it!  This venue is a bit larger than our previous venues as we have been a bit cramped for space and this gives us ample room for vendors.  Of course, the BIG MONEY HONEY contest is back, too.  We will have lots of prizes and will also host a Silent Auction to benefit Flood and Fire beekeeping victims in Colorado.  If you would like to donate something to the auction, we will gladly accept it.  Otherwise, plan on having some fun for a good cause. Registration begins at 8 and the meeting at 9.  All information from pre-registration forms to speaker bios to agendas, hotel deals and honey contest rules can be found here:  http://coloradobeekeepers.org/wintermeeting/.  I hope to see you there.

WAS Conference coming to Colorado!

Kudos to Miles McGaughey, President of Boulder County Beekeepers Association, who successfully put in the Colorado bid for the 2015 conference!  The WAS conference has never been held in Colorado and it will be a pleasure to show off our state to the WAS beekeeping group.  If you are interested in assisting with this conference, please contact me at 970-213-3099 or president@coloradobeekeepers.org.  It will take a lot of us working together for quite a while to successfully host this conference.  I know it is a long way off–but it will be here before we know it!  Thank you in advance for volunteering.

Of Interest:

Scientists Discover Key Molecule Linking Neonicotinoid Pesticides to Bee Viruses–fascinating and exciting!

Kauai Moves to Curb Gene-Altered Crops, Pesticide Testing

Bee Inspired 2014 Bee Calendar now available from Kodua Photography.  Discounts available for bee groups for fundraising.

Epi Pen Website–Discounts on Epi-Pen

Interested in Beekeeping in Lithuania?  Here’s a tour opportunity!

As always, thank you for being a member!

Beth Conrey






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31 Oct

Chocolate Mousse Oranges

Beth Conrey recipes

This is the final recipe from the Meet and Greet last year.  It took me quite a while to get it exactly right.  The whipping cream quantity will depend on the size of your oranges.  You want oranges that are unblemished.

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01 Oct

High Country Bee, Edition 2, Volume 10, October, 2013

Beth Conrey blog


The saying “come hell or high water” has taken on new meaning here in Colorado this year! In June, CSBA Treasurer John Hartley and his wife Donna, lost their home and bee business in the Black Forest Fire “hell”.  And on Friday, the 13th of September, many of us in Northern Colorado fell prey to “high water”.

Personally, I was flooded to the tune of 4 foot 10 inches in my basement.  It was a near total loss.  And yes, uninsured as business, homeowners and even flood insurance do not cover anything under ground level.  Thankfully, my older son Patrick came down from CSU and moved bees to higher ground and saved a lot of items in the basement.  (We were out of town at a wedding which, of course, we then missed.)   A mighty mess of mud and river water.  I have posted some photos that can be found here–if you still have any interest in looking at the damage.  But I was but one of many NoCo beekeepers adversely impacted and I only lost 4 hives.  Hundreds of hives were lost  from Longmont to Loveland and beyond.  My thoughts go out to those with heavy losses.

The CSBA has taken the liberty of setting up a donation button on our website.  In addition, I have written or emailed all of the major vendors requesting a price or shipping break to affected beekeepers as they work to rebuild their apiaries for the inevitable arrival of spring and another bee season.  Hopefully, they will be able to assist in some form.

Scott Hoffman Black

Many thanks to all of you who came to any of the Xerces Society talks featuring their Executive Director, Scott Hoffman Black.  All of the talks were well attended and I would like to extend a special thank you to Alexander Dawson School–and particularly member Tom Nangle–for their help with the Lafayette talk; to Colorado State University–and especially Drs. Boris Kondratieff and Whitney Cranshaw–for all of their organizational and promotional assistance.  Dr. Cranshaw kindly donated the use of his home to Scott for both his accommodations and an “after-party” on Wednesday evening.  Lastly, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science–and especially Liz Davis, Adult Program Coordinator–for a yet another well attended event at the DMNS.

Western Apicultural Society (WAS) Conference

There are quite a few Coloradans heading to the WAS conference in Santa Fe, NM on October 16-19th at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe.  For more information on lodging, conference details, maps, registration info, etc. click here.  Here is a copy of the agenda which sounds busy indeed–with something for everyone  My parents live in Santa Fe so I will take the opportunity to visit them and attend the conference.  Hope to see you there!

CSBA Winter Meeting  November 9th

It seems like the CSBA WInter Meeting is just about here also!  In response to some complaints on the difficulty in finding Roxborough Community Center last year (even though it is beautiful!), we have changed the venue yet again.  This year, the CSBA Winter Meeting will be at Kirk Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Saturday, November 9th from 9-5.  Doors open at 8 for pre-registration and entries for the BIG MONEY HONEY contest.  It can not be easier to find as it is right off of I-25 in Castle Rock.

Featured speaker this year is Dave Mendes–former president of the American Beekeeping Federation and owner of Headwaters Farm, a 20,000 colony commercial pollination beekeeping operation in North Fort Myers, FL.  He will be speaking on “A Year in the life of Headwaters Farm” and “Honeybee Nutrition 101″.  Dave will be joined by speakers from the Farm Service on the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) which is available to cover losses on honey due to both drought as well as flood (imagine that!) and a contingent of CO beekeepers who would like to start a CO queen breeding program.  Here is a link to the agenda.

On Friday evening, we will have a Meet and Greet at the CALF facility, Lowell Ranch on Plum Creek.  This, too, is just off the highway in Castle Rock.  Here is a link to a map.  Our featured speaker Dave Mendes will be there as will Senator Gail Schwartz from Aspen, sponsor of the Cottage Industry Bill.  Otherwise, we will just be socializing and networking.

I have posted all of the information on the CSBA website.  Click here to be redirected to the Winter Meeting page.

Of Interest:

Honey Laundering Article

New Proposed EPA Bee Label:

Washington Examiner


Marla Spivak on TED

The Save America’s Pollinators Act of 2013

More Neonic Stuff to Ponder:

Health Canada–Bee deaths linked to insecticides

All sorts of info from AHPA on Neonics and EPA label

 Beyond the Birds and the Bees–Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Agriculturally Important Beneficial Insects

As always, thank you for being a member!

Beth Conrey








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04 Sep

High Country Bee, Edition 2, Volume 9, September, 2013

Beth Conrey blog

Happy September!  Normally, September is when I harvest my honey but not this year.  This year my husband’s niece in Montana decided to claim Honey Harvest Day as her Wedding Day.  Just as well as I was out of equipment and could barely move the supers I had on they were so full!  All around Northern CO, I am hearing tales of bumper honey crops while in the SW section I am told they are feeding.  There is no justice in agriculture or apiculture.  For those of you with a wonderful harvest, enjoy!  For those of you without, let’s hope for a mild winter and a better crop next year.

The CSBA Road Show will be making its final 2 stops in Brighton and Durango this upcoming weekend.  This has been a lot of fun and incredibly educational for those involved.  Interest has been high and I hope to continue the road show next year, too.

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation Lecture Series

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs worldwide. The Colorado State Beekeepers Association, along with Colorado State University and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will be hosting the Xerces Society’s Executive Director, Scott Hoffman Black, for a lecture series September 24th through 26th, 2013.

Tuesday, September 24th – Lafayette

Bring Back the Pollinators: Scott Hoffman Black will discuss the importance of insect pollinators, what groups of insects provide pollination services in North America and conservation measures that can be taken to provide habitat for pollinators.  Scott will also discuss how each and every one of us can play an important role in pollinator conservation.

Time: 7pm

Location: Theater in Art Center, Alexander Dawson School, 10455 Dawson Drive, Lafayette, CO 80026

Directions: Please find a map of the Alexander Dawson School here (theater in art center #1 on map). The school is very easy to find and get to for the Boulder and Brighton Beekeeping groups and I expect strong attendance from both.  It also has great parking.

Tickets: $5 for non-CSBA members, $5 suggested donation for CSBA members

Wednesday, September 25 – Fort Collins

Citizen Science and Invertebrate Conservation:  A look at how citizen science can help with our conservation efforts and an overview of Xerces citizen science efforts.  Bumble bees, migratory dragonflies, monarchs and freshwater mussels.

Time: 12pm (noon)

Location: Behavioral Science Building, Room 103, Colorado State University.

Directions: The Behavioral Science building is located north of Pitkin with parking to the east. With school in session parking may be limited. Please allow time to park and walk to building. Click here for a map of the CSU campus, then click on printable PDF for a plain map (Behavioral Science building on grid is on 5 between D and E).  Hopefully, we will see some NCBA members in attendance!

Tickets:  FREE for CSBA members and students.  Donations gladly accepted.

Thursday, September 26 – Denver

Bringing Back the Pollinators: Scott Hoffman Black will discuss the importance of insect pollinators, what groups of insects provide pollination services in North America and conservation measures that can be taken to provide habitat for pollinators.  Scott will also discuss how each and every one of us can play an important role in pollinator conservation.
Link to DMNS lecture.

Time: 7 pm

Location: Ricketson Auditorium, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80205

Tickets/registration: $8 adult member (DMNS and *CSBA); $10 for non-members.

*Please note that DMNS has set up a special promotional code for CSBA members.  Use promo code: CSBKA when purchasing tickets on the Museum webstore to get the same rate as DMNS members. Enter the number of nonmember tickets you wish to purchase, add to cart, and enter the promo code on the next page.

EACH EVENT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and I would appreciate you “spreading the word” in your community.  We will also be putting notices on the community pages of local radio stations and newspapers.  Any further suggestions on where to advertise would be appreciated.  Please contact me at 970-213-3099 or email me at president@coloradobeekeepers.org.

Please support our efforts to bring in additional speakers throughout the year.  I always learn something from our guests and I hope to see you at one of the lectures.

National Honey Month

September is National Honey Month according to the National Honey Board.  In fact, it has been recognized as national honey month for over 20 years! The National Honey Board has press kits available for delivery to local media, at no cost to beekeepers.  Please contact Andrea at the Honey Board at Andrea@nhb.org or 800-553-7162 to request your kit.  The National Honey Board is located right here in Colorado and you should visit their website every so often to see what’s new.

September Activities

WOW!  There are some pretty neat events going on around the State in September!

On September 14th, To Bee or Not to Bee will be hosting the Honeybee Jubilee!  All the details may be found on the CSBA calendar.   As this is the aforementioned wedding day, I will not be able to attend and I am TOTALLY BUMMED about that–but it will give someone else a chance to win in the baking contest…

On September 28th, Denver Urban Homesteading will be hosting the Colorado Honey Festival.  All the details may be found on the CSBA calendar.  I will be in attendance at this event and am looking forward to it.  I attended “The Bee Festival” at DUH this spring and there must’ve been 800 people in attendance!

Finally, Brent Edelen of Grampa’s Gourmet Honey is really shaking things up in Southern CO!  He has opened a new store in Alamosa and is hosting his first annual honey and food pairing event featuring his line of gourmet honeys and Laz Ewe 2 cheese and local fruits.  The event is free and the whole family is welcome.

Again, please support your local beekeepers and beekeeping community.  Together, we’re better!

Of Interest:

A Sperm Bank for Better Bees

Swingle Relocates Bee Colony–I wish all of the tree companies were this bee considerate!

As always, thank you for being a member!

Beth Conrey









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17 Aug

Happy National Honey Bee Day

Beth Conrey blog


Today is National Honey Bee Day and it caps off a week of some interesting honey bee news.  See the “Of Interest” section below for some of the highlights.  My favorite is the announcement of the new EPA labeling standards for Pollinator Protection.  Follow this link to see the new label.  While the new label is a big step forward, what I find far more interesting is the timing.  The EPA is mandating the label change ASAP on clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamoxetham and dinotefuran–all neonicotinoids.  By ASAP, the new labels need to be to the EPA by 9/30/13!  I do not know who has lit a fire under the EPA–I would like to assume it was us and other individuals and organizations like us–but whoever is responsible, THANK YOU!

P.S.  The CSBA is still looking for a volunteer to coordinate National Honey Bee Day festivities and community engagement for Colorado.  If you are interested, please contact me at 970-213-3099 or email me at president@coloradobeekeepers.org.  We have a whole year to plan and execute.

Yum, Yum!

Oh don’t you just love our Colorado peaches!  My family can eat a 1/2 case a week–a peach diet!  I love fresh peaches mixed with honey yogurt and Crunchy Honey Vanilla Granola (recipe previously published and available in the recipe section).  Of course, Mary with Enjoy Biscotti Company makes a terrific granola using fresh COLORADO honey, too.  Support her business if you do not have the time/inclination to make your own granola.  Because I love peaches, I have included 3, yes 3, recipes featuring honey and peaches.  Each and every one of them is magnificent and easy!!!

Cottage Industry Bill

The harvest season is upon us!  Are you thinking about selling some of your honey this year?  If so, you may want to take a look at the CSBA website Cottage Industry Bill section.  This will give you all the information you need on the bill and how to comply.  The CSBA has printed up the allergen labels, too.  Because we printed so many, they are available very inexpensively to you.  $30 for 1000 or $4 for 100.  Call me at 970-213-3099 or email me at president@coloradobeekeepers.org and I will get them in the mail to you immediately.

Fellow beekeeper Alfred Westlake of NCBA has taken the time to document his process for the steps needed to set up your honey business and to comply with the Cottage Industry Bill.  While Alfred lives in Loveland, and some of the information is city-specific, it will provide you with a wonderful outline of how to proceed in your area.  Thank you for sharing Alfred.  Here is the link to the Step-by-Step Guide.

Scott Hoffman Black–Bringing Back the Pollinators

Final plans are being put in place for the imminent arrival of Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.  The Colorado State Beekeepers Association, along with Colorado State University and the Denver Museum of Science and Nature, will be hosting Scott Hoffman Black on September 24th through 26th, 2013. On September 24th, he will be lecturing at the Alexander Dawson School in Lafayette in the evening. On the 25th, at the CSU campus at noon. (Scott is a CSU graduate.) The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will host him the evening on September 26th.  Here is a link to the DMNS lecture.  Please plan on attending. Further details, including times and fees (if any) will be forthcoming in my September 1st update.

Of Interest

Have you read the Time article called the “Plight of the Honeybee”?  It can be found in its entirety here.  This was the cover story for Time, August 19th, edition.

If you are motivated, sign a petition urging the EPA to step up the pace of neonicotinoid review.

Neonicotinoids in Garden Store Plants–Incredibly disturbing on a host of fronts.

Here’s another petition  to consider after reading the article cited above:  asking Lowe’s and Home Depot to cease selling neonicotinoid treated plants.

As always, thank you for being a member!

Beth Conrey






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