Holland Area Beekeepers Association meetings are held the SECOND THURSDAY 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

PLEASE NOTE: HABA meeting days are changing to the SECOND THURSDAY of the month from 7-9 pm. unless otherwise noted

Meetings take place at Holland campus of Grand Valley State University.

Mark your calendars for upcoming HABA meeting dates:

(Thursday) May 9, (Tuesday) June 18, (Thursday)July 11 and (Thursday) August 8


Mel Disselkoen has graciously agreed to speak at our May 9 meeting - which happens to fall on his  birthday! Come celebrate with us and hear the master of OTS queen rearing.

Mel strives to identify the natural behaviors and seasonal reproductive cycles of the honeybee and then direct those behaviors toward a profitable objective. "Since honeybee behavior is naturally directed towards survival and increase, beekeepers can adapt their management and business models to the honeybee's natural instincts so that stress is minimized and performance is optimized. By working within this philosophy of cooperating with nature, I have found that the best bee is the bee that can overwinter in your area." - Mel Disselkoen

Mel was born on a farm in a Dutch settlement in South Dakota. He grew up with an independent farming mentality of hard work and creative problem solving. He has kept bees for over 40 years and is familiar with all facets of beekeeping. Today Mel enjoys observing honeybee behavior and teaching beekeepers how to use his OTS queen rearing method to self-sufficiently reach their objectives.

Our June meeting will be held on TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 7-9 pm

Adam IngraoAdam Ingrao will provide an introduction to the hive and discuss hive inspections.

"Regular inspections are an important part of maintaining a healthy and productive apiary. In this presentation we will discuss how to inspect your bee colonies by developing our understanding of: The organization of a hive, how to properly handle bees, and what activities should be conducted during regular inspections."

Adam is the Veteran’s Liaison for Michigan State University Extension and an Agricultural Entomologist. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Environmental Plant Science from California Polytechnic State University and a PhD, in Entomology from Michigan State University

An Army veteran and nationally recognized veteran’s advocate, Adam has led efforts to connect veterans with career and wellness opportunities within the agricultural sector. He is the founder and instructor of the MSUE Heroes to Hives program, and the former director of two nonprofits serving farmer veterans in Michigan: The Veterans in Agriculture Network and The Farmer Veteran Coalition of Michigan. His honors include the MSU Plant Science Fellowship, National Science Foundation Fellowship and the US Fruit and Vegetable Industry’s 40 leaders in agriculture under 40 award (40 Under 40).

Wondering what that yellow (green,purple, brown....) pollen your bees are hauling into the hive came from? This Wikipedia site provides some useful information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pollen_sources

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.

On Sunday, March 17, 2019 fourteen members of queen rearing interest group gathered at Randy Slachter’s apiary to listen, learn, and ask questions. Randy described his experience in raising queens using the Doolittle grafting technique.  Heather Boerema described the Mel Disselkoen OTS (On The Spot) Queen Rearing method that she uses in her apiary.  The group discussed the importance of having locally adapted healthy, varroa-tolerant and productive honeybee colonies and the ways HABA can assist local beekeepers in producing and obtaining hardy local queen stock.

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:

Local resources for packages and/or nucs

NEWBEES who missed out on Bee School...

(and even if you went to Bee School) the Ohio State Beekeepers have provided a series of videos that will fill in the gaps, as well as provide a handy reminder when you forget what to do next. Visit the site and all of the (currently 34!) Web-Based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program online videos (click the blue text to the left or copy this url into your browser  - http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/beekeeping_class

Upcoming HABA board meetings:

Consider attending to find out what is happening behind the scenes at HABA and take the opportunity voice your interests or concerns.

HABA board meetings are open to the public. You are welcome to come to a meeting and just listen, or bring up an issue of concern regarding the club or beekeeping in West Michigan that warrants consideration by the board or the club in general. If you wish to add an item to the board agenda, you should do so at least a week in advance by sending an email detailing your concern to members@hollandbees.org.

Minutes from recent board meetings are available by clicking here.


Holland Area Beekeepers Association donated a subscription to American Bee Journal to Herrick District Library in Holland. YOU CAN GO TO THE LIBRARY WITH YOUR DEVICE AND DOWNLOAD A COPY. There is no charge. Anyone who goes to the library can login to the library's wifi and download the current copy of American Bee journal by going to this link: https://herrickdl.org/eresearch.

  • Scroll down to American Bee Journal, click the link and you can either read online while at the library or download onto your device.
  • If you have any problems, go to the Information Desk for assistance.
  • You will be able to access it at either the main library (300 S. River Avenue in Holland) or the North Side branch (155 Riley Street, next to the Holland Township Fire station)

In the future it is expected that anyone with a Herrick District library card will be able to access the American Bee Journal remotely through the library website. That feature is not yet available.

HABA is now recognised by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization. Our annual financial statements (Income and Balance Statements) may be accessed from the appropriate links on our About Us page. You can access the About Us page from the link at the top of this page.

We will post a link to our (usually) monthly board meeting minutes on the About Us page as well, once they have been submitted by the Secretary and approved by the Board.

MSU has an online course and certification program for Pollinator Champions. Visit their website at https://pollinators.msu.edu/programs/pollinator-champions/


HABA members are welcome and ENCOURAGED 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. Classified entries are posted for one month, but can be renewed. Send your classified ad requests to webmaster@hollandbees.org


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

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

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