Vermont Beekeepers Association

VT Bee Blog

Welcome to the Vermont Bee Blog...

Thoughts about beekeeping and beekeepers in Vermont along with links to local and national stories of interest. While most articles are public, VBA members who login to the site will have access to additional articles and features.

VBA Members are invited to submit their thoughts, articles and images. Simply login to the site and click the Submit an Article button to join the conversation. livemarks

"Please Support the Highways BEE Act"

Please sign on to support this act about preserving habitat and forage plants along our highways. This is H.R. 2381 and has just been introduced. It's supported by many organizations including the American Beekeeping Federation and the American Honey Producers Association.beehiway_sm

Loss of habitat is a big issue for many pollinators, honeybees not the least of which, as well as birds, bats, and butterflies. Reducing mowing would preserve habitat as well as reduce pollution and local and state transportation costs. More info and the support letter to sign can be found at

Thank you -- Annie

(I took the picture above 3 days ago on the roadside in front of my home. A honey bee gathers nectar and pollen from a chicory flower. These flowers bloom along roadsides all over Vermont. When the state (or town) comes by and mows the roadside, the flowers are cut -- and no more food for bees and other pollinators, and habitat reduction for birds. What about poison parsnip? Well, according to various authorities on the subject, mowing at this time of year only serves to spread the seeds of the poison parsnip, which have now formed -- furthering the spread of this invasive plant.)


My Life as a Bee Keeper

Bill Smith is the newest Vermont Certified Beekeeper. He provided us with his thoughts on beekeeping in Vermont and the VBA...vba2

My life as a bee keeper started about 9 or 10 years ago. I was frustrated year after year trying to persuade a local bee keeper to put a couple of hives in my orchard. I got fed up to the point I decided to get my own hives, not wanting to be a bee keeper at all but seeing no alternative.

I picked up a nuc colony the next spring and joined the VBA. Things were going great with my hive when I signed up at the VBA summer meeting to work the Tunbridge Fair that September with a more experienced bee keeper.

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VBA 2011 Summer Meeting News

Vermont Beekeepers Association
Summer Meeting

Saturday, August 6, 2011, 9:15 AM– 4:00 PM

Brown's River Middle School
20 River Rd, Jericho, VT

Hosted by the Chittenden County Beekeepers Club

Our speaker will be Jennifer Berry. Jennifer is the apicultural research coordinator and lab manager at the University of Georgia honey bee lab. She is actively involved in all aspects of honey bee research and education. Her research emphasis has been a queen breeding program and incorporating IPM for mite and beetle control. Besides her day job, Jennifer runs a side business selling queens and nucs. She is also a regular columnist for Bee Culture magazine and travels extensively to speak to local, state, national, and international beekeeping associations. In 2006 she was the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) President and hosted a very successful meeting in Young Harris, Georgia.

Jennifer will be speaking about the sub-toxic effects of pesticides.

A complete meeting agenda will be published soon!


Lt. Gov. Spends the Day With Bees

Thursday, Lt. Governor Phil Scott worked another shift on his "Vermont Everyday Jobs" tour ltgov32alongside some rather intimidating co-workers: tens of thousands of bees.

Scott worked with Michael Palmer of French Hill Apiary in St. Albans, who's been in the bee-raising business for more than 35 years. Palmer trained the "new-bee" Lt. Governor on safe bee handling techniques, and showed him how to make up mating nucleus colonies, or "mating nucs," which help to start new hives. In this process, part of each hive is split off into a smaller box without their queen, and a new queen cell is introduced the following day. When the queen hatches, she flies off and mates, and returns to the nucleus hive to lay thousands of eggs.

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