HABA News...

Registration is now open for both the Winter Banquet and Bee School.  Please scroll down for complete details.  

These events support our regular meetings throughout the year to encourage and educate local beekeepers!

Saturday, January 20 -- Annual Winter Banquet at the Trestle Stop Restaurant in Hamilton (3366 M-40, Hamilton, MI  49419).  Doors open at 5:30 PM with dinner beginning at 6 PM.  


  • Cost $25 -- Register via Paypal  (Registration deadline is Tuesday, January 16)
  • Keynote Speaker  --  Jackie Albert, MSU Extension:  "Smart Plants for Pollinators! - Gardening Success for the Home Gardener"  This will be an inspiring message for all--invite your friends!
  • Buffet Menu:  Roast Pork, Ranchero Chicken, Cheesy Potatoes, Blended Vegetables, Roll, & Beverage (alcoholic options available for extra charge through your server)
  • Tea Cup Auction (Do you have a bee related item you'd like to donate to to the auction?  Can be new, homemade, or slightly used.  Please contact Dale to let him know or if you you have questions.  Donations may be brought to the December meeting or to the banquet.  Donations thus far are fabulous and your generosity is greatly appreciated!)
  • HABA Board Elections
  • HABA Beekeeper of the Year

Saturday, February 10 -- HABA Bee School (GVSU -- 515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423)  

  • Cost:  $50 (includes $10 Bee Bucks to be used at the vendors during Bee School) --  Register via Paypal!
  • Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Meghan Milbrath
  • Time:  8 AM - 4:45 PM

We'll share the finalized schedule as soon as it's available, but sessions will cover installing bees, choosing equipment, alternate hives, bee management, and record keeping -- everything needed for a beginning beekeeper!

Help spread the word!  Here is a Bee School flyer.  Please share with friends and post in your neighborhood.

You'll want to check out Heather's site.  She shares a sugar block method you may want to try if winter stores deplete.  Plus her warm weather photos remind us that spring is just around the corner!

Busy as a Bee--Recent article shared in the Grand Valley Magazine.

A message from our HABA president!

Thanks to all who contributed to our December meeting!  Winners of the Recipe Contest were Judy Rhoades and Tom VanHolstyn.  You can find Judy's recipe here.

HABA December Holiday Celebration General Meeting  -- December 14, 2017, 7-9pm, (GVSU -- 515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423)


The December meeting will be more informal than our regular monthly meetings. We hope to gather, socialize and celebrate honey bees and their precious gifts. The gathering will include a lip balm making demonstration, honey tasting, honey recipe contest and NEW this year, a Seed Exchange!!!


  • Lip Balm Making Demo:  Simon and Theo will share tips on making lip balm.  
  • Seed Exchange: See Erin’s pdf file flyer information on the topic. 
  • Honey Tasting: Bring a jar of your favorite honey, your own or a particular one you purchased on a trip to a different part of the world. We will have a table with a wide selection of honey for everyone to try.
  • Honey Recipe Contest: Back by popular demand, we will hold another honey recipe contest this year! You can find the details and contest rules below:

Must include honey as an ingredient. Two categories available: sweet or savory. You may enter more than one recipe. Entries will be judged by an impartial jury based on taste, originality, presentation, and overall appeal. When you arrive with your entry you will stop at the contest table. Leave three samples of each in a cupcake wrapper with your assigned number. Bring the rest of your entry to the sharing table for club members to enjoy. Please include a printed copy of the recipe to allow members to copy or snap a photo.Questions? Contact Connie.


Banquet Honey/Mead Fundraiser Drop off: This year, we would like to try something new at the Winter Banquet. We will hold a honey/mead fundraiser. The rules are simple, we ask that our members donate a jar of honey or a bottle of mead for the occasion. At the banquet, participants would purchase a honey ticket ($10) or a mead ticket ($20). There will be an equal number of tickets as there are products available. This would mean that everyone who purchases a ticket will go home with a bottle of honey or mead! We hope to collect honey and mead donations at the December Holiday Celebration Event.  Thank you for your generosity!

Join us on Thursday, November 2 as we welcome Dr. Larry Connor and Dr. Dewey Caron at 7 PM (GVSU -- 515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423).  Both are a wealth of information on all things beekeeping and have co-wrote Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping (an excellent resource for your library!).  

Dr. Dewey Caron will share:  So...What is Your Plan for Successful Colony Overwintering.  This talk will be a brief recap of history of losses, what some ‘successful beekeepers (larger, smaller-scale, andbackyard beekeepers) are doing to reduce overwintering losses

    Dr. Larry Connor will share:  Queen Questions!  I will discuss some common questions about queens and queen production by bees. Bring YOUR questions and we will see if we can work out answers and solutions. Queens are produced by bees under different conditions and stimuli, so beekeepers must be prepared for both positive and negative results.



    Perhaps the Honey Show at the Michigan Beekeepers' Fall Conference on November 3 & 4 is inspiring you to offer your own honey tasting event at an upcoming holiday gathering.  Here's how.


    Interested in serving on the HABA Board?  Elections take place in January and now's the time throw your hat in the ring! Questions?  Email or speak to a board member!

    Has someone in HABA impacted your beekeeping journey?  Nominate that person for Beekeeper of the Year!   

    We appreciate the insight shared by Erin and Anne Marie at our October meeting.  Some recommended resources:  Horizontal Hive website,  Keeping Bees with a Smile by Fedor Lazutin and Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives by George de Layens.

    Mike Connor was on the Flowerland show on Saturday talking bees.  You can catch the 10/21 podcast here.

    See what's happening with our friends at the Kalamazoo Bee Club and the Grand Rapids Bee Club.

    Our October meeting is Thursday, October 12.  (7 PM at GVSU -- 515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423).  It's always interesting to hear how other beekeepers do things--join us as Erin shares her experiences with horizontal hives and Anne Marie will tell of her adventures with beekeepers in Slovenia!

    This post has a lot of helpful information concerning overwintering.
    Thanks to Chris Beck for speaking at our September meeting!  He shared the guidelines and tips for competing in a honey show with your hive products and preparing your hive for winter.  Here is the information included in the handouts he shared.  Be part of the Honey Show at Michigan Beekeepers' Association's Fall Conference OR just attend for the fabulous content on November 3 & 4 in Kalamazoo.  More details here.

    Thursday, September 14--7 PM at GVSU (515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423).  Chris Beck will join us to discuss Honey Show Prep and Winter Prep.  


    Honey Show Prep
    Every beekeeper will tell you the best honey in the world comes from their own beehive in their own backyard. I agree! The fall honey show by the MBA is a celebration of the harvest. We will discuss the point system for several categories and how to properly present your great honey! I will share the processes I use and tools needed for award worthy exhibits.

    Winter preparation
    We will discuss colony conditions in winter, and what the beekeeper can do in the fall to help the bees thrive until spring. The discussion will help provoke thought, and stimulate ideas, versus provide a step by step checklist.

    Chris Beck is a fifth generation beekeeper. He has been an MBA member since 1999. He is currently the district 2 representative and part  of the honey show team. Chris began beekeeping with his grandfather in the late 70's. He manages 25 colonies in Gratiot county.
    Over the years, Chris developed a passion for varietal honey. Researching different colors and flavors of honey led to participating in honey shows. He has exhibited in city, state, regional, and national shows. Chris earned first place awards in several categories, including : various colors of extracted honey, creamed, chunk, beeswax, and candles.

    One goal Chris has is to grow the MBA show to over 100 entries. Come join the fun!

    Thanks to Don Lam for hosting the Honey Extraction Field Day on August 15.  He was assisted by Jack, Ron, and Rich and there were around 20 participants.  Everyone had a chance to process a frame of honey (removed wax cappings with knife and/or using hot air gun to melt wax cappings).  There were many good questions from the attendees.  


    We appreciate Ali Leist and Shaana Way joining us at our August meeting.  They shared helpful tips on honey extraction, filtering, bottling, and labeling.  Some resources mentioned were the books:  


    Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping by Dewey M. Caron with Larry Connor

    Comb Honey Production by Roger Morse


    Thursday, August 10--7 PM at GVSU (515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423).  Ali Leist from WMU Apiaries will join us to discuss Honey Extraction and the Cottage Food Law.  Learn tips on extracting, bottling, and properly labeling for marketing.  Join us to share your questions and ideas!

    Dr. Meghan Milbrath shared a convicting message at our July meeting.  Here are some links, quotes, and thoughts concerning what she shared.  If you have any comments from the meeting you’d like to share, please send them here so we can include them in our resources.



    Reminder:  HABA has an extractor available for rent.  Contact Don 616-886-1116 to check availability.  Includes Jack's extracting kit.


    There's still a few spots available!  Tuesday, August 15, 7 PM (Note new date/time!)--Don Lam is hosting a field day on Honey Harvesting.  This event will be held rain or shine. This is a free event, but you must register to attend.  Limited to 20 attendees.  882 West 26th St., Holland, MI  49323.


    Our Bee Ambassadors have been busy providing presentations to several area groups. Contact Dale if you are interested in assisting in future events or if you have information to share concerning past presentations.  He'd like to compile data to organize information including date, name of group, contact information, and number of attendees.  Reviewing what works/doesn't work will help to prepare future presentations.  If you have some photographs or materials that may be helpful in presentations, please share them here or contact Dale.


    Keep monitoring those nasty varroa mites!  Here again is the guide shared by Charlotte Hubbard.  
    Also links to powder sugar roll...Mite checks are a critical step in apiary health!

    The current threshold is 3 mites per 100. 1/2 cup represent about 300 bees. So the result of the mite count for 300 bees should be divided by 3. So if you have 15 mites in your sugar roll, divided by 3 = 5 mites per 100. That is above the threshold and should consider action.

    When Joel Lantz spoke to our group in 2016, he declined the speaker fee and requested we use those funds to encourage and educate young beekeepers in the area.  We are excited to share the HABA board has granted the funds to purchase a hive scale for the apiary at Careerline Tech Center in Holland.  The scale data will be used in conjunction with Bee Informed Partnership.  We're excited to see how Joel's generosity benefits Careerline Tech Center students and beekeepers in west Michigan.  Here is a pic of middle schoolers enrolled in Tony McCaul's summer school class on one of their daily visits to the apiary.

    Thursday, July 20 (**Note Date**)--7 PM at GVSU (515 S. Waverly Rd, Holland, MI  49423).  Dr. Meghan Milbrath of the Northern Bee Network will be sharing information on Late Summer Splits and Queens and will detail how to find the best queens, how to make splits with queens and cells at this time of year, how to evaluate your queens, the benefits of fall requeening, and what steps to take if your colony shows up queenless.  

    We appreciate Rich's willingness to host the Field Day held June 24.  He and Randy broke attendees into two groups for hive demonstrations.  Thanks to all who were able to attend!


    Thank you to Sheldon Schwitek for speaking at our June meeting.  We are grateful west Michigan beekeepers are so willing to connect and share information concerning what's happening in our apiaries and working together to educate the public on beekeeping issues.



    June 3 was our Field Day at GVSU.  We had 13 beekeepers in the first session and 11 beekeepers in the second. Early inspection on the Hives & Nucs were done; BIP samples taken; and powder sugar roll testing for mites completed. 

    REGISTRATION IS FULL.  The next field day is scheduled for June 24 at 1 PM on Making Nucs with Queen Cells.  Space is limited to 12 so be sure to sign up if you are interested in hands-on learning. (--register here and I'll send you a reply with Rich's apiary address.)  This is a free event, but you must register.  Remember your bee suits.

    Also link to powder sugar roll...Mite checks are a critical step in apiary health!

    The current threshold is 3 mites per 100. 1/2 cup represent about 300 bees. So the result of the mite count for 300 bees should be divided by 3. So if you have 15 mites in your sugar roll, divided by 3 = 5 mites per 100. That is above the threshold and should consider action.

    June 8--Queen Rearing/Dolittle Cloake Increase with Sheldon Schwitek at 7PM at GVSU (515 S. Waverly Road, Holland, MI  49423)

    --Sheldon Schwitek has been keeping bees in urban and rural settings for the past 11 years. It wasn’t until he met a very good mentor, that he caught “bee fever”. Beginning with 2 nucleus colonies in downtown Kalamazoo, Sheldon has expanded his operation to 30+ colonies in 2012. Not only does Sheldon sell honey at local markets, he has also developed a line of other value added products made with honey, wax, and propolis. He continues to learn from his bees and his human mentors everyday. He is committed to mentoring new beekeepers and believes that mentoring and being mentored are the most valuable ways to learn the craft of beekeeping. He is also President of the Kalamazoo Bee Club.

    Thanks to Mike Risk for speaking at our May meeting.  He shared a lot of information concerning spring management in our apiaries and the advantages of splitting a colony.  Some resources he mentioned were the Northern Bee NetworkThomas Seeley, and Mike Palmer.  


    HABA member, Jeri, who works at Herrick District Library, shares a recently added title:  Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives: A Complete Guide to Apiculture by Georges de Layens.  Written in the late 19th century--Updated and edited by Dr. Leo Sharashkin.

    Check out the wide variety of beekeeping resources available through your local library!  Share your favorites here.

    Join us at our next regular meeting on May 11, 7PM (GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Road, Holland, MI 49423).  Mike Risk will speak on Swarm Management and also on Splits.  This cold snap can cause some issues for those who have already preformed splits.  Learn what is needed for a successful split and share your questions.  See you there!

    Mike Risk is currently the President of the Center of Michigan Beekeepers club and has been a hobbyist and sideline beekeeper for 32 years.  Mike’s interest in beekeeping began when he discovered bees in the walls of a farmhouse he bought in Eaton County all those years ago.   These days he concentrates his efforts on raising queens, which are acclimated to the Michigan climate and disease resistant to today’s pests and maladies plaguing honey bees.  Mike and his wife Sidney live on a small farm near Laingsburg, MI where they have large gardens, and chickens, raise bees and sell honey.

    Swarm List -- Take a moment to confirm your contact info is correct.  If you'd like your name added to the list, please email me your name, phone number, and county.


    It was encouraging to see how many attended our April meeting.  West Michigan beekeepers are committed to learning how to be successful apiary managers!  We had a chance to honor Jim and Harv for their continued contributions to area beekeepers.  Here is a pic of Anne Marie presenting them their certificates and engraved hive tools.

    Here are few links to resources Rich Wieske mentioned:



    I hope you and your bees are enjoying our lovely weather!

    Do you have Siberian Squill growing in your yard?  Getting a decent pic of a honeybee visiting these spring bloomers was a challenge with the breeze and the blossoms pointed towards the ground.  You can better see the blue pollen here.

    The HABA board has been busy planning upcoming meetings and field days.  Our next regular meeting is Thursday, April 13, 7PM at GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Road, Holland, MI 49423.  There is no charge to attend our regular meetings and they are open to anyone interested in beekeeping.  Our April speaker will be Rich Wieske who will first discuss Spring Cleanup, Installing Packages and Nucs.  We'll have a short break and then cover Spring Build Up and Early Inspections.  The meeting will be geared first to beginners and then dive a little deeper for more experienced beekeepers.  You'll also want to join us in briefly honoring Harv and Jim for their numerous contributions to the beekeeping community in west Michigan!  See you there! 

    Have you heard of PollenCheck? A Michigan Summer 2017 Pollen Pilot Project...


    We are looking for approximately 25 beekeepers spread around the state of Michigan to become citizen scientists, collect pollen and enter their data in our PollenCheck mobile application. You can review the information about the project at: http://masl.cis.gvsu.edu/portfolio/pollencheck/

    On this web page, you will find general information about the project, the 'Apply Here' button as well as some detailed tutorials with step by step instructions of what would be required of the participants this summer (see PollenCheck Tutorials by scrolling all the way down the web page).

    Our team will provide all the materials needed for the project including 2 front porch pollen traps. We have secured funding from the Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA) to subsidize half of the total 100$ kit. This means that each participant would be required to contribute 50$ to participate in the PollenCheck Summer 2017 Michigan Pilot Project. The pollen traps are yours to keep after the season, which makes this a really good deal!

    I invite you to visit the link above and click 'Apply Here' by April 10, 2017 to become a PollenCheck 2017 participant!!!

    Thank you for your interests and happy 2017 beekeeping season.

    Spring is right around the corner and we've certainly had a taste of it with the wacky weather in February! Now is a good time to consider water sources for your apiary (preferably not your neighbor's pool!).  This post shares some theories on what the bees favor (be sure to read the comments too).  Our bees were busy this past Monday seeking water in the landscaping and the bottom of a flowerpot--spotted some pale yellow pollen coming in too.  Email me any water tips or comments you'd like to share.


    Click on each link to see when our friends at The Grand Rapids Area Beekeeping Club and The Kalamazoo Bee Club are meeting.


    Katie Kress has shared a research article she has written on The Importance of Bees.


    Friday, March 31--Landscaping for Pollinators Conference (click for full agenda) at the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association2149 Commons Parkway, Okemos, MI 48864.  Register here or call 517.381.0437.

    Time: 8:30a-3:30p 
    Location: Okemos, MI   

    Pricing: $95 for MNLA members, $130 for Non-members  (Breakfast and Lunch included)

    We had 80 awesome people join us on February 11 to learn about beekeeping.  Thank you to all the speakers, instructors, vendors, and volunteers for your part in making the day a success!  

    We appreciate those who took the time to fill out the Bee School evaluations.  If you have any feedback you'd like to share, please email me your comments.  

    Remember anyone interested in honeybees is welcome to attend our regular meetings at no charge.  Each meeting will explore topics more in depth than shared at the Bee School and will be beneficial to all levels of beekeepers.  Join us to learn more and connect with other beekeepers!

    The new HABA board will be meeting soon to finalize plans for our regular meetings.  Upcoming regular HABA meetings will be held at the GVSU-Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd., Holland, MI, 49423 at 7 PM. 


    We've received some questions concerning Bee School and compiled a FAQ page to provide the answers.  

    Here are Bee School class descriptions and the schedule.  

    Holland Area Beekeepers Association Bee School

    Featuring Keynote Speakers Meghan Milbrath, Ph. D and Charlotte Hubbard

    When:  Saturday, February 11, 2017


    Where:  GVSU - Meijer Campus (515 S. Waverly Road, Holland)


    Time:  Doors open at 8 AM with sessions beginning at 8:30.  We’ll break for lunch (bring your own or we’ll have a list of local restaurants available) and the day will wrap up around 4:45 PM.


    Cost:  Adults - $50 (includes $10 in Bee Bucks to be spent at the vendor booths on 2/11)  

    Students $25



    Sessions will include detailed information needed to get started as a beekeeper in Michigan, including bee biology, bee equipment assembly demonstrations, and bee handling methodology.  


    Several vendors will be selling beekeeping supplies throughout the day.  


    The HABA members are encouraged by your interest in honeybees and our goal is to provide a foundation towards success as you explore the rewarding world of beekeeping.


    Contact info@hollandbees.org with any questions.


    Online registration available via PayPal at www.hollandbees.org


    Registration space is limited.

    Our Winter Banquet was held on January 14 where Rufus Isaacs shared his message Bees, Blooms, & Bigger Berries.  Here are some links:


    We appreciate the positive feedback we've received from attendees concerning the information Dr. Isaacs shared and the overall banquet.  We also held an election for new board members.  Congratulations to vice president, Rich Schaffer; treasurer, Ron Rhoades; and members at large Dick Winkel, Dale Dykema, and Barry Miller.  We have tremendous appreciation for outgoing board members:  vice president, Bryan Immink; treasurer, Liliana Mendoza; and member at large, Gary Manning.  You can view bios of the current HABA board here.

    We also had the chance to honor Jack Hartman for all he's shared with the beekeeping community.  Love you, Jack!

    Thank you to The Trestle Stop, Maddie Kioski, Donna & Barry Andersen, Jeri Walsh-Allis, Amy Fester, Faye Black, Cathy Morgan, Ken Hoekstra, and the many who generously donated auction items.  The time and energy you shared helped make our evening a success--we appreciate you!

    As we begin 2017, may I encourage you to be more intentional as a beekeeper?  That'll look slightly different for each of us, but here are some ideas to inspire you:  

    • Read 3 honeybee related books and share what you've learned
    • Learn a new skill: split a colony, raise a queen, build equipment, cook with honey, melt wax into candles
    • Schedule mite checks on your calendar
    • Share a honeybee presentation with children
    • Mentor a new beekeeper
    • Invite a neighbor to a hive inspection
    • Find a record keeping process that works for you

    Wishing you all a blessed holiday season!  The HABA Board truly appreciates your participation throughout this past year and looks forward to activities with you in the new year as we continue to encourage and educate west Michigan beekeepers!

    Thanks to all of those who braved the weather to join us at our December meeting.  Steve Haystead of Bardic Wells shared how to make a small batch of mead and the Tornado Chasers presented an entertaining skit and update on their project.  Thanks to all who participated in the honey tasting and honey recipe contest!  It was fun to see the wide variety of entries.  Huge thanks to Cassie, Hayley, & Maggie (the GVSU students who volunteered as our judges) for their time and tastebuds.  See the winning recipes here.


    Shopping for your favorite beekeeper or making a wish list for yourself?  Here's a link to some fabulous gift ideas.  

    Remember registration to both the Winter Banquet and the Bee School also make delightful gifts!

    December 8--Holiday Party (7 PM- GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly, Holland, MI  49423)

    Join us for a fun and informal evening focusing on the sweetness of our hives.  Bring along your favorite recipe that includes honey as an ingredient to share and compete for prizes!

    • Steve Haystead of Bardic Wells will share a brief message on the mead making process--including how to make your own galloon mead at home.
    • Honey Tasting--Bring along varieties of honey to share!
    • Honey Recipe Contest--Compete with your sweet or savory recipe.  Rules and details here

    At our November meeting, Anne Marie Fauvel and Emily Noordyke shared what they've learned about pollen collected from the GVSU apiaries - plus their goals concerning future research.  HABA members were challenged to sign up if they are interested in being part of the process.  You can contact Anne Marie here for more information.  Here is the pollen trap they mentioned.  Here is an article on pollen you may find interesting.

    The HABA board appreciates member input shared during the brainstorming time.  The responses have been compiled in the links below.  If you'd like to contribute more ideas, please email me.  Something that struck me while reading through the lists--many of the ideas are something our members can contribute towards!  As you peruse the data, ask yourself how you can participate and contact the board to let them know.  

    Question 1:  What topics would you like HABA to cover during upcoming regular meetings?

    Question 2:  What activities, workshops or hands on training would you like HABA to offer throughout the year?


    Question 3:  What should HABA STOP, START, or CONTINUE to do in regards to service to our members?


    Question 4:  How can we increase participation of our members to volunteer their help throughout the year?

    Thursday, November 10---Pollen Research and Beekeeper Brainstorming

     (7 PM- GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly, Holland, MI  49423)

    We're excited to welcome Anne Marie Fauvel and Emily Noordyke to share their insight on: Collecting Pollen in Michigan? What are we up to? 

    "You heard about our Hive Scale, some of you have even been following us. You heard about our collaboration with the Bee Informed Partnership, and you may have heard that we were collecting pollen all summer! Well, we have some stories for you! Collecting Pollen ranges from mesmerizing to challenging, informative to frustrating, but always educational and rewarding in the end. We will discuss our Summer 2016 Pollen Collection Project with its methods and results and we will announce our Summer 2017 plan. You may even want to start collecting pollen, discover so many important things about your own bees and help science by sharing your information."

    We'll also take some time to share ideas and questions as we look forward to 2017.  Which topics should we cover?  What would you like to learn more about?  Join us as we explore opportunities to educate and encourage west Michigan beekeepers.



    What a great turnout for our October meeting!  We appreciate Joel Lantz taking the time to share some helpful information on how he prepares his colonies for winter.  His website offers guidance and videos--including his sugar boarding technique.

    A local FIRST LEGO league shared a brief presentation at the meeting.  They had the challenge to solve a problem concerning human/animal interaction and chose honeybees as their animal (read more here).  They have attended a couple meetings as part of their research and HABA is honored to be a part of this process.

    Date Change:  Our October meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, October 18, 7 PM. (GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly, Holland, MI  49423) We apologize for the inconvenience, but believe you'll agree we can't pass on an opportunity to hear from Joel Lantz.  Joel is a Marquette-based beekeeper, founder of the Superior Beekeeping Club, and MBA UP representative Joel Lantz will speak on overwintering in the far North Country.  Although retired from the world of everyday work, he continues to follow his passion for education by spending his time raising, learning and teaching all things bee.  When not immersed in this 30 year pursuit, he spends time in the woods, making rustic furniture and chasing his grandkids - the next generation of beekeepers. His presentation would not be complete without a viewing of a short video - Witness: Why I Am A Beekeeper, a peek at his one of a kind Hive House and a bit of bee advocacy.


     Thursday, September 15--Stephen Rapasky will share a message on Urban Beekeeping.  (7 PM- GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly, Holland, MI  49423)

    Stephen Repasky is a second-generation beekeeper from Pittsburgh, PA.  He is a certified Master Beekeeper through the Eastern Apicultural Society and is also the current president of Burgh Bees, 1st vice-president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association and a member of the Board of Directors for the American Beekeeping Federation.  He is also an active member of the Keystone Queen Breeders Cooperative and is a member of the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research Advisory Board and the Pennsylvania State Apiary Advisory Board.  Stephen keeps around 100 colonies and is involved in honey production, queen rearing and the selling of nucleus hives each summer to those interested in starting or expanding their own beekeeping adventure! He had his first book published by Wicwas Press in 2014 entitled " Swarm Essentials" and can be seen teaching beekeeping classes in the Pittsburgh area or presenting lectures on a variety of beekeeping topics at local clubs and many regional and national conferences around the United States.

    Community Apiary Talk:

    Based on the idea of community gardens, a community apiary gives opportunities to those who aren't ready to dive in to beekeeping and those who do not have the space or ideal conditions for honey bees to take part in the fast growing hobby!  Steve will discuss the idea of a community apiary and the challenges that go along with operating one in your own community.

    Urban Beekeeping Talk:

    Recent studies show that urban hives can be healthier than rural hives - but is that really the case?  Steve will discuss pros and cons of urban beekeeping along with ideas and tricks to make urban beekeeping easier and profitable!



    The Flowerland Show on Wood Radio recently had Mike Connor on to discuss bees.  You can listen to the podcast here.  You can also check out pics of a recent cutout here.

    Thanks to Renee and her family for hosting our Summer Picnic!  It was a lovely day of fun and fellowship. Congratulations to Heather for her success in the smoker contest!  

    August is a vital time to check mite levels in your colonies.  Charlotte Hubbard presented some valuable information at our July meeting.  The handout she shared contains excellent resources on how to check for mites and treatment options.

    July 14 at 7 PM--Charlotte Hubbard will speak on Varroa Monitoring and Treatment Options (GVSU - Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly, Holland, MI  49423)

    Charlotte Hubbarda beekeeper since 2008, works about 30 hives in SW Michigan. She's author of Dronings from a Queen Bee: The First Five Yearsand the kid's book If I Could Sit on a Bee's Kneesamong other publications regarding bees.  All profits from speaking, book sales and honey go to food bank charities.  Her website, www.hubbardhive.com, advises newbees what to look for and when in their hives, and overviews her bee involvement.  Charlotte speaks nationally on behalf of this critical insect, often focusing on the human-bee dynamic.

    Free Download to share:  This handout includes lists of plantings recommended for honeybees plus some book titles concerning gardening for honeybees, honey recipes, and basic beekeeping.  Feel free to print and pass along.

    In case you missed the opportunity to complete the survey offered at our May meeting, here is the link to complete it now.  We appreciate your input as we plan future HABA events.

    Voting for the new HABA Logo has ended.  We have a winner!

    The logo chosen was submitted by Kristen Van Oostenbrugge.  Kristen enjoys helping her husband with beekeeping.  She specializes in print design along with knowledge and capabilities ranging anywhere from advertising and branding to publication design and photography.  Consider contacting Kristen with your own design needs at 616.834.6145 or kristenvno@gmail.com.

    Thanks again to everyone who participated in this process!  Next we'll be choosing items to showcase the logo--we'd love to hear your input on what appeals most to you.  Share your thoughts here.

    June 9 at 7 PM--Mike Risk will be speaking on Queen Health (GVSU-Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd., Holland, MI, 49423)

    Mike Risk is currently the President of the Center of Michigan Beekeepers club and has been a hobbyist and sideline beekeeper for 33 years. Mike’s interest in beekeeping began when he discovered bees in the walls of a farmhouse he bought in Eaton County all those years ago.  These days he concentrates his efforts on mentoring and educating new beekeepers  He raises queens which are acclimated to the Michigan climate and disease resistant to the pests and maladies plaguing honey bees. Mike and his wife Sidney live on a small farm near Laingsburg, MI where they have large gardens, chickens, raise bees and sell honey.

    Want to follow data on the HABA Hive Scale?  Follow this link and click on "GVSU Holland" on the map.

    GVSU will conduct summer research on managed honey bee colony nutrition and develop mobile phone application for beekeepers.  Read More...

    Your local library is a wonderful resource to learn more about beekeeping!  Garden Plants for Honeybees by Peter Lindtner is now available at Herrick Public Library to borrow.  This and many other beekeeping related titles can be loaned through the Lakeland Library Cooperative or through libraries statewide.  Browse several to gain more knowledge and be sure to share your favorites with me as a quick review to share with other HABA members!


    It was wonderful to see so many of you at the April meeting!  Mike Connor shared some great information on what grows in our area and is most beneficial to the bees.  If you’d like to learn more about the trees he has available, contact Honeytree Nursery.  The FABULOUS book Mike mentioned was Garden Plants for Honey Bees by Peter Lindtner and is available through Wicwas Press.  

    We took a moment at the April meeting to recognize Don Lam and impact in the beekeeping community.  Here is part of what Anne Marie shared,

    “Don’s numerous contributions to the beekeeping circles extend far beyond his many years as the President of this club, but further in providing education programs, extending his local supplies to reflect our changing hobby, provide a steady source of bees, instigate changes in our policies and local ordinances, hit the media to promote honey bees and tirelessly bring people together to share stories, resources and tools to make this sometimes challenging beekeeping experience into a rewarding community experience.”

    I’d like to challenge you to explore how you too can make a difference.  Here are a few ideas to inspire:

    Swarm List--Please take the time to confirm your contact information is correct on our swarm list.  If you would like to have your name included in the list, email me your name, county (or area), and contact number(s).

    Dr. Megan Milbrath has shared an article on Michigan Beekeepers' Association website titled Why Did My Honey Bees Die? 

    Share your resources!  Do you have a favorite beekeeping book, article, website, or personal experience you'd like to contribute?  Email your ideas and we'll share them with club members on the website.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the Bee School!  We are so grateful to all the volunteers and instructors who made the day possible.  The HABA board appreciates the feedback provided through the bee school surveys. The overall comments were overwhelmingly positive and we can surely call it a success! There were several comments where participants voiced they hoped to learn more concerning honey harvesting, splits, and queen rearing. All of those topics and more will be covered at upcoming regular meetings and workshops. There is no charge to attend regular meetings and anyone interested in beekeeping is welcome to attend. Details concerning meeting topics and speakers will be shared as they are confirmed, but be sure to save the dates on your calendars so you won't miss a moment. Upcoming regular HABA meetings will be held at the GVSU-Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd., Holland, MI, 49423 at 7 PM.

    Ronna Alexander has generously shared her graphic recordings from Bee School.  (Click image to enlarge)  Check out all four here.  You can also view photos from the Bee School shared by Tonya Christiansen here.  Thanks Ronna and Tonya!!


    American Bee Journal and Bee Culture magazines are both excellent resources for beekeepers.  Reader's World in Holland carries both magazines.


    Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Winter Banquet!  Special thanks to Jonathan Engelsma for sharing his message on hive monitoring.  Here is where you can sign up for updates from Bee Informed Partnership.  


    Huge thanks to Maddie Kiosk whose lovely centerpieces were so tasty: Beehive Cake Recipe, Honey Ambrosia Recipe, Honeycomb Cake Recipe. We really appreciate all of the volunteers and generous donations towards our Tea Cup Auction.  The banquet and bee school are what fund speakers and events for all of HABA's regular meetings.  We are grateful for your participation!

    Rusty at Honey Bee Suite has an interesting post on her bee populations and keeping them fed until spring.  She is in Oregon, so our climates vary some, but it's been a unusual winter for all of us.  The comments include a link forecasting Feb-Apr weather nationwide.

    A study finds west Michigan counties are at risk from wild bee decline. 

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for the December meeting.  What a wide assortment of varieties of honey and items made with honey!  Special thanks to Simon and Theo for the candle making demonstration.  Also thanks to Tim from Altek for sharing information on mead making.  His store in Zeeland is a wonderful local resource for home brewing supplies.  

    Here's a link that shares the importance of honey labeling.

    We were pleased to welcome Krispn Given to our November meeting.  Check out the Purdue Bee Hive link to learn more concerning their research.

    Be sure to visit Links We Love to gain inspiration for your apiary!

    HABA sponsored some GVSU students to attend the HAS conference in July.  You can read about their experience in their gracious thank you letter.

    Here's an interesting article on royal jelly and queens.

    HUGE THANKS to Judd Meyer for the impressive HABA banners!

    Here's an article that shares the benefits of honey water.

    Looking for ideas to use your extra beeswax?  Check out this link for dozens of ideas!

    Thanks to all who have submitted content for the website!  Do you have a beekeeping experience you'd like to share, contribute your stories, photos, and videos here.

    Be sure to check out the Classified Ads.  See how you can list your own ad here.  Have something for the December Classified Ads?  Please submit your beekeeping related items by December 7.

    Mark Your Calendars

    Looking ahead to 2017!  The HABA board has chosen dates for upcoming events--Mark your calendars!  We welcome any suggestions or feedback concerning topics and speakers.  Upcoming regular HABA meetings will be held at the GVSU-Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd., Holland, MI, 49423 at 7 PM.

    • 2018 Regular Meetings--