Holland Area Beekeepers Association meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month (except when noted) at the Grand Valley State University Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd. Holland, Michigan. Arrive to mingle at 6:30 pm. Announcements and presentations begin at 7:00, followed by small group gatherings where newbees can discuss their beekeeping questions with more experienced beekeepers. The gathering ends at 9:00 pm.

We provide encouragement and support for those who are new to keeping honeybees, those who are interested but not necessarily intending to keep bees, as well as experienced beekeepers. Monthly meetings feature a presentation on a topic that is relevant to beekeepers. There will be time before and after these presentations to pose questions and share ideas with your fellow bee enthusiasts.

There is no charge for membership



Due to changes in class schedules at GVSU's Holland campus, our meeting time has been changed to the third Tuesday of the month. This will begin with our September meeting:

November 20, 2018

Cathy and Dale Dykema will review their trip to Cuba in 2017 which included visits to several apiaries, the National Center for Bee Research, and packing facilities. The discussion will include how Cuban beekeepers are able to get almost half of their harvest certified as Organic by the European market, how they are coping with varroa without in-hive pesticides, and insights into how operating in a communist system affects the lives of beekeepers.

December 18, 2018 - Holiday party.

January 19, 2019 - Banquet at the Trestle Stop in Hamilton, Michigan.

February 16, 2019 - Bee school at GVSU Holland Campus.

RECAP: October 16 meeting

Tony McCaul, instructor at the Careerline Tech Center, along with three students spoke on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at the monthly HABA meeting. Tony and his students provided an overview of the Agricultural & Animal Science program, which includes bee keeping. Tony’s teaching style is 70% experiential, 20% shared discussion, and 10% reading and lecturing. He begins the school year in the fall by putting the students right into bee suits to harvest and extract honey, conduct mite checks, and prepare the hives for winter. The students shared their personal experience with bee keeping by telling their story of putting on a bee suit and overcoming their fear of bees just by holding a frame and watching the bees. 
These high school students have the opportunity for leadership, competition, and community service through membership in the national FFA organization. Since adding bee keeping four years ago, several students have presented at district, regional, and state competitions using bee keeping as an underlying theme and placed as high as second and third at district and regional competitions. These competitions are an excellent way to expose individuals across the state on the importance of bees to our agriculture system. Tony has been approached by other schools in Ottawa County, which are interested in starting beehives and integrating the program into their existing curriculum.
HABA has been a supporter of the program by providing funds and equipment including a hive scale and an extractor for the program. It was enlightening to hear the student’s stories and HABA will continue to collaborate with Careeline Tech Center so there may be opportunities for members to assist in developing future bee keepers. (contributed by Erin Von Tom, HABA Secretary)

Follow-up on winterizing your hives (September meeting panel discussion)

Folks have requested Heather's sugar block recipe. You can access it at http://heathershoneybees.blogspot.com/

We also provided a number of resources for winterization in the last newsletter:

Michigan Beekeepers Association 2018 Fall State Meeting

October 27, 2018

The Doherty Hotel 604 N. McEwan St. Claire, MI

  • Keynote speaker will be Dr. Kim Skyrm Ph.D, The Massachusetts Apiary Program Coordinator. There will be updates from our state inspectors, MSU researchers, and more.
  • You are encouraged to submit honey to the honey show.  This event is a fun way to learn about improving the quality of your honey. For details on this part of the event, go to http://www.michiganbees.org/honey-show-rules/
  • MBA will also be holding elections.

For more information visit https://www.michiganbees.org/2018-fall-state-meeting/

Don and Jack's beehive rescue

At the September meeting, Don Lam announced that there was a hive attached to a playhouse in the Holland area, under an eave but otherwise unprotected. On Sept 20, Don, Jack Hartman and a few local beekeepers gathered to help or watch the removal of the exposed hive so that it could be placed in a Longstroth hive. You can see a synopsis of this remarkable beehive 'rescue' by clicking the link:



The Michigan Pollinator Initiative team is excited to announce the launch of a new online course! Pollinator Champions is a free, self-paced course offered through Michigan State University. The course incldes videos, articles, and fun activities to guide you through the world of pollinators and pollination. Anyone with an internet connection can enroll. You do not have to be an MSU student or faculty to participate. And while everyone is welcome to learn about pollinators for free, for a small contribution, you can also receive a certificate and materials to facilitate your own presentations about pollinators.

Read more or register for Pollinator Champions at www.pollinators.msu.edu/programs/pollinator-champions/


  • Our experience with installing queen cells obtained from Meghan Milbrath in July set the tone for the club to take a role in facilitating our own LOCAL queen rearing resources. Larry Connor, Meghan Milbrath, Mike Palmer and others have indicated that local bee clubs can serve as a resource base to provide encouragement and support for local beekeepers interested in exploring this alternative to providing quality, disease-resistant queens from local stock.
  • If you are interested in exploring the potential of raising queens locally for your own apiary, or to serve as a resource/vendor for others in the local beekeeping community, please join the discussion. No prior knowledge or experience necessary!
    • Please indicate your interest by emailling webmaster@hollandbees.org. That will put you on our email list.
    • We have a first discussion session tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 16, 7:00 pm at the Panera on Holland's north side.
  • If you are curious, here are a couple things for you to read...
    • CLICK HERE for an article by Mike Palmer from Vermont about his journey from buying packages, queens and nucs to sustain his pollination business to rearing his own locally raised queens with remarkable success by simply using the brood from his overwintered nucs in (queen) cell building colonies.
    • CLICK HERE for links to videos that provide a step-by-step demonstration of grafting and a queen rearing calendar. (Information on queen rearing is at the bottom of the page)
HABA News...

Do you have bee-related items to sell?

We are accepting classified ads for our Classified section on the website. Ads will be posted for one month at a time and may be renewed. HABA reserves the right to reject advertising submissions. If you have an ad to post, email the webmaster.


If you wish to be added to the swarm list, please send your name, phone number/s, county/counties where you are willing to catch swarms and any limits as to how far you will travel to catch a swarm. Your email is needed for us to update the list, but will not be posted on the website. Send your information to webmaster@hollandbees.org.




We are able to provide a representative to a class or organization for a presentation about bees.  This can be tailored to the audience with regards to age, duration and complexity of presentation. We offer this as a way of increasing awareness of and interest in bees and beekeeping. Please send requests to outreach@hollandbees.org



Visit the NORTHERN BEE NETWORK to find local nucs and queens


Click here to email us general questions about beekeeping or HABA

Click here to email the webmaster with website concerns or suggestions


Visit some of our neighboring bee clubs!

Kalamazoo Bee Club

Grand Rapids Bee Club

Freemont Area Beekeepers Club

Scottville Beekeepers of Mason County

Center of Michigan Beekeepers