Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

EPA Awards Grant to UVM

The EPA has awarded six grants to advance
"Smart, sensible, and sustainable pest control in agriculture"

The University of Vermont won an award for their project which "aims to help reduce neonicotinoid seed treatments applied to row crops in Vermont by providing education in English and Spanish to more than 1,000 growers on IPM practices"

Details about the EPA's announcement along with a more detailed description of UVM's project are available here.

Winter Hive Prep Online Workshop

Thursday, September 15, 7pm via Zoom

Presented by VBA's Andrew Munkres and Fred Putnam, topics covered include the knowledge you need to help your colonies survive the winter.

Learn about target hive weights, feeding options, winter hive preparations, and much more. Free for VBA members.

Register Today


If You Missed the August 31 Workshop...

VBA's Fred Putnam, Jeff Battaglini, and Tony Antonucci collaborated to present this AMA online workshop on August 31. This is the time of year where your actions can make the difference between your colonies surviving the winter or not. If you missed the workshop the recorded video is available online. Simply login to the VBA site and look for Past Workshop & Events Recordings under the Calendar menu.

Topics covered include: Late season swarm control – Demaree method, mite (and virus) control - new HBHC Varroa management guide, readying colonies for Fall, value of pollen subs and when to use them, analyzing issues attendees might have had with their colonies and more...

Webinar: Winter Bee Biology

Gard Otis 1155493503From SABA and NY Bee Wellness: Dr. Gard Otis discusses the biology of winter bees and how beekeepers can keep them healthy to improve the colony’s winter survival.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 7:30 PM until 8:30 PM

This is an external webinar hosted by NY Bee Wellness.  There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance by clicking on the following link:  Webinar Registration

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2022 Summer Meeting Agenda

2022 VBA Summer Meeting Agenda

September 17, 2022

At the Brandon VT Town Hall


0830-0900 – Doors open, registration, morning refreshments

0900-0910 -Welcome and opening remarks – VBA President, Andrew Munkres

0910 – 0930 Vermont State Apiculturist Report, Brooke Decker, VT Agency of Agriculture

0930-0945 Recognition - VBA Recognition Committee – Anne Bowers, Jeff Cunningham, Jeffrey Hamelman, Peggy Apple-Woods, Fred Putnam, Jr.

09:45-10:00 Report on honey adulteration study and pollen pesticide testing – VBA President, Andrew Munkres

10:00-10:30 Business Meeting

  • Review of Minutes from the 2021 Summer Meeting for amendment (if needed) and approval – Recording Secretary, Fred Putnam, Jr.
  • Treasurer’s Report - Treasurer, Richard Roy
  • 2022-2023 Budget for approval – Treasurer, Richard Roy
  • Nominating Committee Report and election. Slate proposed:
    • For President, Andrew Munkres (incumbent)
    • For Vice President – Jeff Battaglini (incumbent)
    • For Treasurer – Richard Roy (incumbent)
    • For Membership Secretary – Laura Johnson (incumbent)
    • For Recording Secretary – Fred Putnam, Jr. (incumbent)
    • For Director at Large – James Key (incumbent)
  • Any other business


10:50-11:00 Brief break

11:00-Noon - Keynote Speaker: Joel Laberge – bio. below

Topic: Overview of his interesting Canadian operations including indoor wintering

Noon – 1:00    Lunch on your own at one of 10 nice eating spots withing a few minutes’ walk of the Town Hall or bring a bag lunch.


Afternoon Workshops

1:00-2:00 Workshop #1 – Joel Laberge - Queen rearing

2:00 – 2:30 Workshop #2 Brianna Borch – Honey bee forage study supported financially in part by the you – the VBA.

2:45-3:15 Wrap-up topics and pick up raffle items


About our Speaker(s)

Joel Laberge

Nationality: Canadian, Language spoken: French, English and Spanish, 2nd generation beekeeper. Married with 4 kids and 7 grand kids.

Companies that I own:

Miellerie St-Stanislas:  managing 1500 colonies. Started in 1960 by my father Paul André Laberge with 2 hives and has built up to be one of the largest beekeepers in the province for many years.  Myself I have been working in bees in the beeyards since 10 years old.  I have loved every moment working in the bees since then.  We have been innovative in many ways here, inventions of equipment like our cream machines or wax press, or building of the first fully automatic controlled refrigerated winter room of Canada.  Also 15 years ago we have converted our operation to fully refrigerated trucking for movement of colonies and production of nucs and queens.  We are continuously looking ways to improve beekeeping equipment.  We are producing around 3-4000 mated queens every year for ourselves and customers.

Stanabbe:  Is the supply store for all of the beekeepers need. We are one of the major supplier for hive equipment, bees and nutrition for Eastern Canada.

CreamPAL: Is the most claim to fame around the world. Our invention that converts liquid honey into cream honey in a matter of minutes is sold worldwide.  We know that cream honey is the next big thing in the US since the US is the only country that is producing very low quantities of cream honey.  About 5% compared to 80 % of European countries. Including
Australia and New Zealand.



Brianna Borch, University of Vermont

Bio to be available soon


2023 Summer Meeting Agenda

2023 VBA Summer Meeting Agenda

August 12, 2023

Barrett Memorial Hall, Strafford, VT

0830-0900 – Doors open, registration, coffee.

0900-0905 -Welcome and opening remarks – VBA President, Andrew Munkres 

0905 – 0930 Vermont State Apiculturist Report, Brooke Decker, VT Agency of Agriculture

0930-0945 Recognition - VBA Recognition Committee – Anne Bowers, Jeff Cunningham, Jeffrey Hamelman, Peggy Apple-Woods, Fred Putnam, Jr.

09:45-10:30 – Business Meeting

  • Review of Minutes from the 2022 Summer Meeting for amendment (if needed) and approval – Recording Secretary, Fred Putnam, Jr.
  • Treasurer’s Report - Treasurer, Richard Roy
  • 2023-2024 Budget for approval – Treasurer, Richard Roy
  • Nominating Committee - Jeff Battaglini, Bill Mares, and Samantha Alger

    The committee has proposed the following nominees for the Board of Directors for 2023-2024:

    For President – Jeff Battaglini

    For Vice President – Bianca Braman

    For Treasurer – Richard Roy (Incumbent)

    For Membership Secretary – Laura Johnson (Incumbent)

    For Recording Secretary – Fred Putnam, Jr. (Incumbent)

    For Director-at-large – James Key (Incumbent)

  • Any other business

Brief update on New Beekeeper Initiative and Bee A Coach – Robin Foldesy

10:30-11:00 Morning break and social gathering to welcome new members - downstairs in the cafeteria room. Refreshments provided.

11:00-Noon - Guest Speaker 1st talk - Lincoln Sennet – bio. below

Topic: “Nuc booster lift” method for boosting honey production

Noon – 1:00 Brown bag lunch and socializing downstairs in the cafeteria room. Make it a point to chat with some of the new folks.

Afternoon Keynote #2

1:00-2:00 Guest Speaker 2nd talk – Lincoln Sennet

Topic: Mite mitigation using oxalic acid in conjunction with a swarm split method 

2:00 – 2:15 Vermont Bee Lab 2022-2023 update – Sydney Miller

2:15-2:30 Move to workshops

Concurrent workshops/Educational Sessions

2:30 – 3:15 Workshop A – State Apiculturist, Brooke Decker or Assistant, Don Gilbert – Recognizing and mitigating American Foulbrood.

2:30 – 3:15 – Workshop B – Andrew Munkres – Winter hive prep for new beekeepers – Feeding for weight gain. Why wrap hives? How to wrap? Comparison of wraps. Learn about recent research on the effectiveness of wraps in the snowbelt. Hear about Andrew’s experimentation with various kinds of wraps in different situations.

3:15-3:30 Wrap-up by President Munkres and pick up raffle items.

3:30 End

About our Guest Speaker

sennetLincoln Sennett is the co-owner of Swan’s Honey located in Albion, Maine. This beekeeping operation manages 3,000 – 4,000 colonies between Georgia and Maine. They offer pollination services, nuc sales, and produce and pack their own varietal honeys, including Tupelo, Sourwood, Wild Raspberry, Wild Blueberry, Clover, and Buckwheat. 

Lincoln received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Maine. He worked in various engineering and management roles in Louisiana, Alaska, and California before returning to Maine and becoming a full-time beekeeper and blueberry farmer. As a blueberry farmer, Lincoln saw the need for pollination and grew his beekeeping business with the purchase of 100 hives and Swan’s Honey, an iconic beekeeping company founded, in Maine, in the 1940’s.

By employing a methodical approach to hive management over the last 30 years, Lincoln has gained insight into the issues that affect beekeepers at all levels. Understanding and mitigating the multiple stressors of our honeybees is critical to successful beekeeping. In any one year, Swan’s Honey manages over 200 bee yards throughout Maine. Meeting these challenges range from developing innovative organic mite control methods to matching wits with Black Bears.

Lincoln is a three-time past speaker at the Maine Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting, a past speaker at the American Beekeeping Federation Annual Meeting, has served multiple terms as Maine’s representative on the National Honey Board, and teaches a yearly beekeeping course at Swan’s Honey. 

PDF Version

VBA 2022 Summer Meeting

Bee in Brandon smRegister Today

Saturday, September 17, 2022 - 8:30am - 4:30pm
Brandon Town Hall, Brandon, VT


Last Minute Notes About
the VBA Summer Meeting


Here are a few important things to keep in mind if you are planning to attend Saturday's meeting in Brandon. (Registration information and details are available below.)

  • COVID-19 is still an issue to contend with. If you feel at all unwell, or if you have been around someone who is sick or tested positive, or if you have tested positive, please stay home. Although masks are not required you may certainly wear one.
  • Please be sure to pre-register - see below for more information about the meeting and the agenda.
  • Please bring any raffle items for the fundraising raffle.
  • We will have two ASL Interpreters participating in the meeting.

See you Saturday!

Parking Map

The preliminary meeting agenda is available. Please register today for this important meeting - free for all VBA members.
Registration is required - No walk-ins. Attendance limited to 150 people. Please note: Masks are NOT required but will be available if you'd like one.

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Vermont Beekeepers Association Recognition Program

Seeking Nominations for the

Vermont Beekeepers Association Recognition Program

The Vermont Beekeeper’s Association created the Vermont Beekeeper Recognition Program (formerly the Beekeeper of the Year Award) to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Vermont beekeepers that support beekeeping in Vermont and have provided outstanding service to the VBA.

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