Holland Area Beekeepers Association meet the THIRD TUESDAY of the month. 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

Bee School registration is now open!

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 8 am - 4:30 pm

Where: Grand Valley State University Holland Campus, 515 S. Waverly Road, Holland, MI

To register, click on this link or visit the Registration page. After completing the registration form, you will pay the registration fee using PayPal. Adult registration is 50.00. Student registration is 30.00.

We are pleased to announce this year's Bee School Keynote speaker : Ray Lackey of Sweet Pines Apiary

Ray has been keeping bees for over 35 years, receiving Eastern Apicultural Society Master Beekeeper certification in 1995. A recent West Michigan transplant, Ray served terms as President of the Long Island Beekeepers Association, Director for Eastern Apiculture Society, and President of the EAS Master Beekeepers. He is currently secretary for the Grand Rapids Beekeepers. He has published articles in Bee Culture and American Bee Journal, as well as teaching classes on a variety of beekeeping topics to a broad range of audiences. It is not possible to cover the depth of his experience here. For more information, please visit https://www.tianca.com/introduction/

This year's Bee School will cover a variety of topics of interest to beginner and novice beekeepers, including:

  • Installing packages and nucs
  • Equipment - tools and toys of the trade
  • Pests and diseases - prevention, recognition and internvention
  • Alternative hives - Top bar, Layens, horizontal hives, Warre hives...
  • Early and late season splits - how and why ('never buy bees again')
  • Queen rearing 101 - how and why to raise your own queens
  • The importance of drones
  • Q & A sessions

A detailed list and description of session content, as well as schedule, will be available at the end of January.


WHEN: December 17, 2019
Arrive to mingle at 6:30
Event runs from 7-9 pm.
WHERE: Grand Valley State University Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd. Holland, Michigan
Honey Tasting - Bring a jar of honey for the tasting table.
Honey Treats - bring a treat (sweet or savory) to share that features honey – don’t forget to bring a copy of the recipe!
Holiday Hive BazaarDo you have products of the hive to sell? Candles, honey, lip balm....?
Reserve a table (10.00 payable to HABA Treasury) and sell your products!
You will be given an opportunity to address the attendees and give a summary of your products.
If you are interested, please email members@hollandbees.org, using HABA Hive Bazaar as the subject.
Bazaar Auction – Bring an item to donate for auction during the evening. 
The proceeds will go to HABA treasury. 
The item can be handcrafted or a purchased or a re-gifted serviceable article (white elephant) that you wish to donate.   
50/50 Raffle:
Tickets are $1 for singles or 6 tickets for $5;
Drawing will be held at 8:30 pm.
50% of the proceeds go to the winning ticket holder, The other 50% to the HABA treasury to help support our programs.


WHEN: January 14, 2020
WHERE: Grand Valley State University Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd. Holland, Michigan
7:00 - 7:15 HABA Board elections  - We will do a simple voice vote to confirm officers. If you are interested in serving, please send an email with information on the office you are interested in to members@hollandbees.org
7:15 - 8:15 "Creating and enhancing the honeybee habitat in 2020"
Certified Arborist Mike Connor from Honeytree Arborist Services, has a unique understanding of trees, plants and bees, being an arborist and a nursery grower as well as a beekeeper for more than 50 years. Learn from Mike how important trees are to providing pollen and nectar for your bees.
8:15-9:00 Build a Styrofoam® Nuc Box (you must register for this part of the program)
A “nuc” box, is a small hive box traditionally used for making splits and queen rearing. You can use this handy piece of equipment to:
--temporarily hold frames while your sort through the super while harvesting honey,
--keep the old queen “just in case” when you queen a hive,
--provide a temporary hive when catching a swarm,
--as a starter or finisher colony for small scale queen rearing operations.
HABA will have all the pieces pre-cut and ready to assemble at the January 14, 2020 meeting.
To reserve your 5-frame foam nuc kit, email members@hollandbees.org and use Build a Nuc in the subject line.
Please indicate in your message how many nucs you would like and whether you want medium or deeps. Medium $20; Deep $25 – Checks will need to be payable to HABA.



HABA is looking for experienced beekeepers to present at our annual Bee School. Presentations will focus on topics relevant to beginner and novice beekeepers and/or activities related to sustainable apiary management practices.
Suggestions for topics you may wish to consider include but are not limited to :
  • Seasonal management and recordkeeping
  • Installing packages and nucs
  • Early and late season splits - how and why ("Never buy bees again")
  • Equipment - tools and toys of the trade
  • Alternative hives - Horizontal, Layens, top bar, Warre....
  • Pests and diseases - recognising and treating
  • Queen rearing 101 - how and why to raise your own queens (splits, grafting, notching...)
  • Understanding the importance of drones
  • Host a Q&A session
HABA Bee School 2020 will take place on from 8 am - 5 pm on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Grand Valley State University Meijer Campus, 515 S. Waverly Rd. Holland, Michigan.
The deadline for presentation proposals is January 15, 2020.
Please complete the following form (Proposal application in Microsoft Word format) and submit it before the deadline to be considered.
Completed forms may be submitted by email to members@hollandbees.org.
Hard copies may be turned in to Erin Von Tom at the December or January meetings
The Bee School Committee will make the selection and will notify selected presenters by January 25, 2020.


HABA is in need of several people to help out with Bee school. Some of this is work to be done prior to the actual event.
Volunteers will need to be available at Bee School on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Grand Valley State University Meijer Campus in Holland, Michigan.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to attend Bee School without paying the registration fee.
Bee School Vendor Coordinator(s) - 1 or 2 individuals to identify and invite vendors; assign location; assist vendors on day of the event
Bee School Registration Coordinator(s) - 2-3 individuals to track registrations and payments; communicate and answer questions about the event; assist with check in of participants on the day of the event
Bee School Refreshment Coordinator - Using HABA funds, purchase refreshments and appropriate supplies for the event; assist on day of event with keeping refreshment area clean and stocked
Bee School Setup/Clean Up - 3-4 individuals to help with setup before the event, and clean-up afterward.
Please send an email to members@hollandbees.org to indicate your willingess to help out and what area you believe would best suit your interests and /or talents.

HABA local queen rearing interest group

The HABA Queen Interest Group formed in September 2018 as a group of individuals who were interested in raising local hardy queens.

It is our hope that we can improve the genetics of our local bees through education and promotion of locally sustainable methods of beekeeping. A significant piece of this initiative involves breeding queens that are adapted to survive the challenges Michigan’s northern climate.

Stay tuned for monthly updates on the progress of the interest group. If you are interested in being on the queen rearing interest group email list, contact webmaster@hollandbees.org

Interested but not sure what queen rearing involves? Here are a few links to check out the particulars:

  • http://kirkwebster.com/5-early-summerqueen-rearing-begins This is a comfortable narrative by eastern beekeeper Kirk Webster on his queen rearing process
  • Arkansas_queen_rearing.pdf This article comes from the University of Arkansas ag school, so the climate is not like ours, but the material is very readable. Includes illustrations and photographs.
  • Ohio_Beekeepers_Queen_Manual.pdf This is a 25 page detailed explanation that includes information on queen biology with the particulars of two non-grafting methods of queen rearing as well as the Doolittle grafting method. Includes illustrations and photos.

Stay informed about upcoming events, as well as timely tips for beekeepers. Sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE

Be informed : Board meeting minutes and other information regarding the governance of your bee club can be accessed here

Do you have questions about beekeeping or our bee club? Email us at members@hollandbees.org

PROBLEM BEES? If you are looking for someone to remove a swarm (a large clump of honeybees hanging from a tree or other surface in your yard) or a cutout (Honeybees living in the walls of your home or other building) click here to access our swarm list, which includes three licensed contractors who can do cutouts with necessary repairs. Most beekeepers will capture a swarm for the benefit of acquiring the colony, but cutouts require skills that will incur a fee by the contractor.

HABA members are welcome to offer their bee-related items for sale on the website or in the newsletter. You are also welcome to post requests for bee-related items or mentors. Marketplace items are posted for one month, but can be renewed. Send your marketplace requests to webmaster@hollandbees.org

If you have concerns or suggestions regarding the website, email webmaster@hollandbees.org

Holland Area Beekeepers Association is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Donations made to the club are tax-deductible and can be processed simply through PayPal using your PayPal account or credit card.  We are grateful for the generosity of our benefactors in supporting our organizational and programming goals. You may donate by clicking here.