Resources

Resources

VERMONT BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
for Beekeeping 2013


All hives and locations must be registered with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

Maintain membership in a local and/or state beekeeping organization.

Participate in meetings and beekeeping organizations.

Subscribe to one or more beekeeping journals to keep up to date on what is happening in the beekeeping industry.

Take a beekeeping class, and/or attend club sponsored workshops.

Complete the VBA Certification Program.

Visit and explore the many great beekeeping websites online.


CONSIDERATIONS FOR HIVE PLACEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

Keep records of all bee related activities.

Maintain hive numbers appropriate for the size of the property taking into consideration the surrounding land uses and potential for negative human or animal interactions.

Keep no more than 2 hives (and one nuc) on a property of ¼ acre or less.

Keep no more than 4 hives (and 2 nucs) on a property of ¼ to ½ acre.

Keep no more than 6 hives (and 3 nucs) on a property of ½ to 1 acre.

Regardless of lot size: if all hives are situated at least 200 feet in any direction from all property lines of the lot on which the apiary is situated, no limit on the number of hives.

Regardless of lot size: as long as all adjoining property that falls within a 200 foot radius of any hive is undeveloped property, no limit on the number of hives.

No hives will be maintained in a residential area in such a manner as will constitute a substantial nuisance to any neighbors, pets or livestock.

No hives should be located within 10 feet of any property line.

All hives within 20 feet of a property line should have a solid fence or vegetative barrier 5 feet or more in height between the hives and the property line.

All hives within 30 feet of a public sidewalk or roadway should have a solid fence or dense vegetative barrier or be elevated so as to direct the fight path of the bees well above traffic and pedestrians.

Do not locate any hives within 50 feet of any tethered, fenced, or kenneled animal.

Build or plant screens so hives are out of sight as much as possible.

Use neutral colors for hives so that they may “blend in” better with their surroundings.

An adequate supply of water should be provided from March 1 to October 31.


ROUTINE AND ON-GOING MAINTENANCE

Maintain only gentle colonies and employ good swarm control techniques.

Re-queen any colonies that act aggressively over a period of time.

Ideally, all queens should be marked.

All hives must be in moveable frame hives to facilitate inspection for brood diseases.

Colonies should be inspected by the beekeeper, OR their delegate, periodically to insure they are queen-right, have no unmanaged disease or pest issues and have adequate space for expansion of both the brood nest and for honey storage.


WHEN AND HOW TO INSPECT COLONIES

Do not manipulate or disturb colonies if neighbors or the general public are participating in outside activities or using machinery within 75 feet of the apiary.

Do not open colonies when the weather is not favorable.

Only inspect colonies during the brightest and warmest times of the day, usually late morning to mid-afternoon, when field bees are most likely to be out foraging.

Extended hive manipulations, especially removing honey, should be planned to accommodate neighbors’ activities.

Beekeepers should always use a smoker when working bees and when mowing or trimming around colonies.

Maintain good sanitation practices in the bee yard to avoid any robbing or attracting unwanted wildlife.


TREATMENTS FOR DISEASES AND PESTS

Be able to identify diseases, mites and other hive abnormalities.

These would include American Foulbrood Disease, European Foulbrood Disease, Chalkbrood Disease, Sac Brood Disease, Varroa Mites, Bee Parasitic Mite Syndrome; Drone Layers, Laying Workers and Queenless Colonies.

Incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for mite control by using resistant stock and other mite reducing strategies such as screened bottom boards, drone comb removal, etc.When/if using mite control materials read and follow all label directions.


HONEY EXTRACTION AND MARKETING

Only harvest honey when it is sufficiently “ripe”. Using a refractometer helps to assure this condition.

When harvesting, keep all exposed honey covered to prevent robbing and/or possible contamination from dust, dirt or other foreign material

Extract honey as soon as possible after harvesting.

Keep the honey processing area clean and free from any possible contaminants.

Use only clean equipment and containers when processing and packing honey and other hive products.

Label your honey properly if being sold into the retail market.

Portions of this document are borrowed from the following sources:

"Best Management Practices for Beekeeping", Maine State Beekeepers Association, 8/10/12.

"Best Management Practices for Maintaining. European Honey Bee Colonies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania".

Vermont Best Management Practices for Beekeeping

GENERAL

All hives and locations must be registered with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

Maintain membership in a local and/or state beekeeping organization.

Participate in meetings and beekeeping organizations.

Subscribe to one or more beekeeping journals to keep up to date on what is happening in the beekeeping industry.

Take a beekeeping class, and/or attend club sponsored workshops.

Complete the VBA Certification Program.

Visit and explore the many great beekeeping websites online.CONSIDERATIONS FOR HIVE PLACEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

Keep records of all bee related activities.

Maintain hive numbers appropriate for the size of the property taking into consideration the surrounding land uses and potential for negative human or animal interactions.

Keep no more than 2 hives (and one nuc) on a property of ¼ acre or less.

Keep no more than 4 hives (and 2 nucs) on a property of ¼ to ½ acre.

Keep no more than 6 hives (and 3 nucs) on a property of ½ to 1 acre.

Regardless of lot size: if all hives are situated at least 200 feet in any direction from all property lines of the lot on which the apiary is situated, no limit on the number of hives.  

Regardless of lot size: as long as all adjoining property that falls within a 200 foot radius of any hive is undeveloped property, no limit on the number of hives.

No hives will be maintained in a residential area in such a manner as will constitute a substantial nuisance to any neighbors, pets or livestock.  

No hives should be located within 10 feet of any property line.

All hives within 20 feet of a property line should have a solid fence or vegetative barrier 5 feet or more in height between the hives and the property line.

All hives within 30 feet of a public sidewalk or roadway should have a solid fence or dense vegetative barrier or be elevated so as to direct the fight path of the bees well above traffic and pedestrians.

Do not locate any hives within 50 feet of any tethered, fenced, or kenneled animal.

Build or plant screens so hives are out of sight as much as possible.

Use neutral colors for hives so that they may “blend in” better with their surroundings.

An adequate supply of water should be provided from March 1 to October 31.ROUTINE AND ON-GOING MAINTENANCE

Maintain only gentle colonies and employ good swarm control techniques.

Re-queen any colonies that act aggressively over a period of time.

Ideally, all queens should be marked.

All hives must be in moveable frame hives to facilitate inspection for brood diseases.

Colonies should be inspected by the beekeeper, OR their delegate, periodically to insure they are queen-right, have no unmanaged disease or pest issues and have adequate space for expansion of both the brood nest and for honey storage.

WHEN AND HOW TO INSPECT COLONIES

Do not manipulate or disturb colonies if neighbors or the general public are participating in outside activities or using machinery within 75 feet of the apiary.

Do not open colonies when the weather is not favorable.

Only inspect colonies during the brightest and warmest times of the day, usually late morning to mid-afternoon, when field bees are most likely to be out foraging.

Extended hive manipulations, especially removing honey, should be planned to accommodate neighbors’ activities.

Beekeepers shouldalways use a smoker when working bees and when mowing or trimming around colonies.

Maintain good sanitation practices in the bee yard to avoid any robbing or attracting unwanted wildlife.TREATMENTS FOR DISEASES AND PESTS

Be able to identify diseases, mites and other hive abnormalities.
These would include American Foulbrood Disease, European Foulbrood Disease Chalkbrood Disease, Sac Brood Disease, Varroa Mites, Bee Parasitic Mite Syndrome; Drone Layers, Laying Workers and Queenless Colonies.

Incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for mite control by using resistant stock and other mite reducing strategies such as screened bottom boards, drone comb removal, etc.

When/if using mite control materials read and follow all label directions.

HONEY EXTRACTION AND MARKETING

Only harvest honey when it is sufficiently “ripe”. Using a refractometer helps to assure this condition.

When harvesting, keep all exposed honey covered to prevent robbing and/or possible contamination from dust, dirt or other foreign material

Extract honey as soon as possible after harvesting.

Keep the honey processing area clean and free from any possible contaminants.

Use only clean equipment and containers when processing and packing honey and other hive products.

Label your honey properly if being sold into the retail market.

Portions of this document are borrowed from the following sources:

“Best Management Practices for Beekeeping”, Maine State Beekeepers Association, 8/10/12.

“Best Management Practices for Maintaining. European Honey Bee Colonies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”.

                                                                                                                                   REV 8/13

Mobile Mentor Program on VPR

Mobile Mentor Program on VPR

VBA's Bill Mares recently mentioned our new Mobile Mentor program as part of a "Training the Trainer" commentary on Vermont Public Radio. Listen to it here.

NEW - In the VBA Library...

The VBA library has a couple of recent additions:518DMVLdmjL. SL500 AA300

1) The Beekeeper's Handbook  4th Ed. by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile.
 
"A comprehensive, well-illustrated introduction for beginnners and a valuable reference for the experienced beekeeper. The book outlines options for each operation within beekeeping, listing advantages and disadvantages of each alternative."

biophiliabk2)  Biophilia - The human bond with other species by Edward O. Wilson.
 
Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, "Biophilia is Edward O. Wilson's most personal book, an evocation of his own response to nature and an elequent statement of the conservation ethic. Wilson argues that our natural affinity for life -biophilia- is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living species."
 
About Edward O. Wilson : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._O._Wilson

To access the VBA Library please visit the Members Only area of the website.

Bear Proofing Bee Hives

Bear Proofing Bee Hivesbearhives

A question for Mike Palmer about protecting bee hives from bears prompted this response from VBA member Mike Lamere:

"I just read the question and answer about bears and bee hives and I totally agree with you. Electric fencing is the way to go. I am the Secretary of the Vermont Bearhound Association and we have printed a booklet called Bear Proofing Bee Hives. The booklet has plans and descriptions of several electric fence setups plus tips to maximize their effectiveness. I will gladly send copies (free ) to anyone who needs help. My email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and my phone number is 802-644-8953."

Mike has also graciously provided us with a PDF of the booklet available for download here.

Vermont Beekeeping Survey Interviews

Sterling College senior Schirin Oeding conducted a survey on Vermont Beekeeping through the VBA website. As part of her data-gathering, she interviewed a number of survey participants to complement the survey entries.

She has provided a summary of those interviews in the MP3 file available here. Schirin will also be presenting her findings at EAS 2012 and in the Members Only area of the VBA site. Good listening!

Do you have a swarm of honey bees and don't know what to do?

 

400px-Bee swarm smWe may be able to help! Swarming, while frightening to those unfamiliar with it, is a natural part of a bee's reproductive cycle.

First, don't panic. Contact a beekeeper closest to you for swarm removals. (Towns listed are the home towns of the beekeepers but many are willing to travel.) Please make sure you are looking at honey bees! If possible, take a photo of what you are looking at before contacting someone on this list. VBA Members: To be included on this list please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Town Name Phone Email
Burlington Bill Mares
Tone Cantrell
802-863-4938
802-860-0234
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlotte Bob Haven 802-324-6385 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chelsea Chuck Ashton 802-685-3029 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Duxbury Kim Greenwood 802-244-6657 (h)
802-223-2328 x119 (w)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Eden Jon T. Creighton 802-635-1701 (h)
802-241-5285 (w)
 
Fairlee JP Lariviere 802-333-7025 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Georgia Randy Potvin 802-598-7096 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Hartland Jeffrey Hamelman 802-436-1326 
(No calls after 6PM)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Kirby Aaron Young 802-748-3034 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Middlebury Ross Conrad 802-349-4279 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Milton Neal Sand 802-309-2492 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Monkton Scott Wilson 802-333-0084 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Montpelier Jeffrey Allen 802-223-4342 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
N. Chittenden John Bodin 860-884-6791 (c)
802-363-6775 (h)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Orange John McNeil 802-479-9922 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Shelburne David Prior 802-985-2379 (h)
802-343-2254 (c)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Shelburne Rick Stoner 802-985-9456
802-238-4058
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tunbridge Doug Ouellette 802-889-9611 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Underhill Center Paul Yanus 802-899-1216
802-899-3978
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Waitsfield Gib Geiger 802-496-9255 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Williamstown Sheri Englert 802-433-9897 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Williamstown John Mailloux 802-249-0390 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Underhill John Tardie 802-899-5464 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Wolcott Bill Morrison 802-888-3838 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Periodicals

Services & Information Sites:

Bee Plants:

Honey & Pollen:

Top Bar Hives (An Inexpensive Beekeeping Method):

Don't see what you need? If you have suggestions or additions please send them to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .