Letter to the nominating committee:
We would like to nominate Nick Kelley for the Beekeeper of the Year award.
In 1993 a small group of beekeepers from Franklin and Oxford County began meeting monthly to discuss beekeeping. These meetings were the foundation of the Western Maine Beekeepers Association (WMBA) and Nick Kelley has been a cornerstone of the club since day one. His enthusiasm for beekeeping is evident to all who meet him and his willingness to share his knowledge has helped many of us in Western Maine get started in beekeeping. Nick has also done presentation on beekeeping to non-beekeeping community groups over the years to help promote our industry.
Each year he spends countless hours helping with the annual WMBA Bee School and mentoring its students. A phone call is all it takes and he is on his way to help a “new-bee” who needs help. He helps teach some of the classes and has been the star presenter at many open hives.
In September he spends a full week at the Farmington Fair explaining the joys and benefits of beekeeping to anyone who will listen. Ag day – when bus loads of school children show up – is his day to shine as he shows the observation hive to hundreds of fascinated youngsters.
In order to assist area beekeepers he keeps stacks of woodenware and supplies in his shop so that we don’t have to travel to Bowdoinham or wait for supplies to be shipped. He doesn’t make any money on this; he does it just to help out the folks in Western Maine.
Nick is so involved with his bees that he has even set up hives at the family’s summer home on Prince Edward Island. He schedules fall trips to the island around the bees’ medication and feeding schedule!
Nick is member of the Maine State Beekeepers Association and is a past member of the MSBA Board of Directors. He currently also serves on the Western Maine Beekeeper Association Board of Directors. We can’t think of a more fitting person to be awarded the Beekeeper of the Year award.