Who We Are and What We Do

Vermont Beekeepers AssociationSince 1886 the VBA has promoted the general welfare of Vermont's Honey Industry, while sustaining a friendly body of unity among the state's beekeepers.  

The Vermont Beekeepers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, represents hundreds of beekeepers that raise bees for the love and honey. We’re as diverse as the 246 towns in Vermont, but are unified in our fascination with and affection for bees. Most of us are hobbyists, but there are some “side liners” who try to make a bit of extra income from their 25-200 hives as well as a handful of full-time professionals. Join Today!


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Loss of Vermont hay fields limits food for bees

BETH GARBITELLI 12:13 a.m. EDT April 14, 2014

A slow change in agricultural practices is having an unintended consequence: limiting food for bees.

Since the 1980s, Vermont has lost more than 100,000 acres of hay fields that used to be full of bee friendly blooming alfalfa and clover. That means bees today aren’t finding as many flowering plants as they need to flourish. And while hay is still grown, it is often cut before it can bloom, making it more nutritious for cows but bad for bees.

Studying Clover and Bees in Vermont

VBA is working with the UVM Extension to promote the use of more pollinator plants that would enhance food resources for honeybees and other wild pollinators.   As part of this initiative, the VBA would like to promote hay and pasture crops that are more ‘bee friendly’ without sacrificing forage quality that dairy and other livestock farmers are dependent upon.  However, there is a need to conduct field trials on farms to actually determine the feasibility of various mixtures and management practices that would help the VBA meet these goals while dairy livestock farmers still meet their feed goals.   Read more about the project here:

Enhancing Nectar Production with Clover - Innovative Methods to Utilize Alsike and White Clover in Vermont Hay Fields

Zombie Fly Discovered in Vermont Honey Bees

zombie bee watch zombee1

State Apiculturalist Steve Parise has confirmed that Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis has been detected here in Vermont.  This fly is native to North America.  This fly attacks its host by injecting eggs into the abdomen; the emerging fly larva eats the insides of its host.  This results in "Zombie" like behavior of the host. 

The honey bee sampling was taken from an observant beekeeper in Burlngton.  The affected honey bees were sent to San Francisco State University for testing.  John Hafernik, a researcher and professor of biology at San Francisco State University has started a website tracking the discovery of infected honey bees in the United Stated.  "Zombee Watch"

A Burlington Free Press article was recently published about the Vermont beekeeper and his experience in detecting the Zombie Fly.  Killer 'zombie fly' maggots found in Vermont honeybees

For additional information about Apocephalus borealis, please click this link:  Apocephalus borealis

VBA Membership Status

VBA Members: You now have the option of checking the status of your membership account, updating your membership information and renewing your membership in the Vermont Beekeepers Association online.

It's easy. Simply login to the site as you normally would and look under the User Menu on the right sidebar of the site's front page. You'll see a few new options:

Honey Festival - A First

The first ever Vermont Golden Honey Festival was a great success!  Organized by Golden Stage Inn B&B of GoldenHoneyFestMead2Proctorsville and Goodmans American Pie of Ludlow, the festival was hosted at Golden Stage Inn on Saturday September 14.  Over a dozen vendors showcased their honeybee themed items such as books, pizza, fiber arts, quilts, and of course plenty of honey too. 

GoldenHoneyFest2013VermontQuiltBeeOrganizers estimate that at least 150 visitors passed through.  Next year's Second Annual is scheduled for September 13. 2014 and has already been awarded recognition as one of "Vermont's Top Ten Fall Events of 2014."