August 21, 2019

A Tribute to Harold B. Swan

By Peter Cowin, “The Bee Whisperer” On January 14, 2018 Maine lost a pillar of the beekeeping community. Harold Swan was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1924.  He lived in the same residence in Brewer Maine for all of his 93 years. He loved nature, gardening, and most of all, bees. At the age of 19, young Harold, ordered his first beehive from Sears Roebuck. While Harold was in … [Read more...]

Behind the sign: Portland Protectors works to make the community safe for bees (and all of us!)

Avery Yale Kamila and Maggie Knowles, co-founders of Portland Protectors, are the driving force behind a local movement to change attitudes about pesticide use. Their small white “Bee Safe” signs are popping up on lawns all across southern Maine. Through education and advocacy, they are making places safe for wildlife, children and families one public space and private yard at a time. The Bee … [Read more...]

Browntail moths in mid-coast Maine: How to protect your hives during a pesticide spray

In 2016, the browntail moth (BTM) wreaked havoc in mid-coast Maine defoliating trees and causing respiratory problems for people. It was a particularly bad year for the invasive species and 2017 is expected to be yet another. The pest has caused such a problem in several coastal communities that many are opting to spray pesticides to combat the growing destructive population. The browntail moth … [Read more...]

Information About the Veterinary Feed Directive

There has been a lot of talk about the new VFD and how it might affect beekeepers treating for diseases such as European Foul Brood (EFB). MSBA is pleased to share this presentation put together by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, which was directed to the Apiary Inspectors of America. It includes a some very good background about the new directive and how it applies. … [Read more...]

Oxalic Acid Registered for Varroa Control

Click here to read the oxalic acid label. The toxicity of oxalic acid (OA) to Varroa has been known for nearly three decades based on experiments conducted in Asia and later in Europe. The initial tests compared spraying weak OA solutions on bees, trickling OA sugar syrups into honey bee colonies and OA fumigation (vaporization). All of these methods demonstrated very high efficacy and were … [Read more...]

Sumner “Ken” Kennard Wiley Jr.

Ken Wiley was a longtime member of the Sagadahoc County Beekeepers Association HARPSWELL - The Lord was joined by Sumner "Ken" Kennard Wiley Jr., 85 years young, on Sept 17th 2015. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Ida Moreshead Wiley, his Daughter Sylvia K.Wiley, his son in-law Chris Muth, Sister Barbara White and so many loving nieces and nephews. He was the most wonderful … [Read more...]

Feeding Bees Pollen-Patties in Early Spring

Each winter I closely monitor the condition of my hives throughout the course of the long winter. After each big snow, I make the trek out across pastures to ensure the entrances are clear for my girls. I take advantage of the rare warm days to pop open the hives briefly, adding sugar cakes if a colony is low on stores, and in March I set them up with a pollen patty. I won't breathe a sigh of … [Read more...]

Richard “Dick” Vose Jr. 1935-2015

Jean Vose notified us that her husband, Dick, died on Saturday. Jean and Dick were voted 2014 Maine State Beekeepers of the Year at the Annual Meeting.   His funeral services will be: Friday night (1/16) visiting hours from 7 - 9 pm at Strong Hancock Funeral Home, Damariscotta and his Funeral will be at the First Baptist Church in Waldoboro, next to Moody's Diner, on Saturday 1/17 at 10 … [Read more...]

Work Smarter, Not Harder

This article is mainly for parttimers, not you big people with rooms full of stainless-steel equipment and vacuum pumps. Bucket Handling As I extracted last season’s late honey crop, I often found myself lifting buckets, whether up onto a strainer perched on another bucket, or up to the countertop for bottling. Long ago, at EAS in Delaware, the honey show included a Gadgets category, and a … [Read more...]

Of Bears and Bees

Maine is bear country. Our state has the largest black bear population (23,000 estimated) in the United States (Matula, 1997), east of the Mississippi River. Bear habitat is forest land and Maine’s 32,000-square-mile area is 95% forested with a mixed growth of evergreens and hardwoods. About 80% of the State’s forested land is privately owned timberland, and open areas of farmland are … [Read more...]