Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

Vermont Farm Show Cancelled

Due to growing concerns regarding the extended impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vermont Farm Show Executive Committee has decided to cancel the 2022 show.  "The safety of our vendors and attendees is of utmost concern and we believe it is the best decision for everyone. This decision was not an easy one and we are hopeful that we will be back in full force, better than ever in 2023."

American Foul Brood Announcement

Brooke Decker
Pollinator Health Specialist
State Apiculturist
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM)

American Foul Brood Announcement

November 30, 2021

American Foul Brood (AFB) Paenibacillus larva has been confirmed at an apiary located within a 5-mile radius of Newbury, Vermont.

The origin of this highly contagious honey bee disease is currently unknown. Traceback investigation is under way.

Beekeepers should remain diligent in their hive inspections, especially in the spring. Learning to identify the clinical symptoms of AFB is crucial. Hives should be closely examined for scale and other symptoms. Rope tests, field test kits or laboratory diagnosis should be performed on any suspect brood cells. Equipment should only be reused if clinical symptoms are absent.

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Tunbridge World’s Fair

- by Richard Roy, Vermont Beekeepers Association Treasurer

FD271526 DAFD 4AD9 B702 2FC6D1D90B9EMary Stoddard & Bill Mares setting up...The Tunbridge World’s Fair was held for the 149th time this year after Covid forced its cancelation in 2020. The Fair, which began in 1867, has had its yearly occurrence interrupted only by the two World Wars and the Covid pandemic.

Although the VBA’s presence at the Fair doesn’t date back to the 19th century, it does go back a while. So we were happy when, earlier this year, we learned the 2021 Fair was on. The Fair’s 4 days started as it always does on a Thursday, ten days after Labor Day, this year on September 16th. And at 9 am on the Thursday, the16th, the VBA’s booth was ready for fairgoers.

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Bees Besieged by Our Changing Climate

boba jaglicic EmwhXkCiMiA unsplash1200x770All 20,000 species of bees worldwide are at risk as global climate change affects their forage, reproduction, and behavior. Based on his 50 years as a backyard beekeeper, author Bill Mares addresses the macro and micro effects of a rapidly warming planet on Vermont’s bees, particularly Apis mellifera, the common honeybee. The recording of this Zoom presentation is free and available online for viewing until the end of October. To view, please visit this link and use the password E&8BKdpd to access the recording.

About Bill Mares

Raised in Texas, educated at Harvard, Bill Mares is a former journalist, state representative and high school teacher. He has authored or co-authored eighteen books on subjects ranging from the U.S. Marines to desert travel, and from war memorials to brewing. Bill is also a past-president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association and most recently co-authored a book (with Ross Conrad) "The Land of Milk and Honey."

Winter Hive Prep Workshop Replay

VBA members: If you missed our online Fall Actions and Winter Hive Prep Workshop you can watch the recorded session online. Login to our website and choose Past Workshops & Events from the top Calendar menu chooice.

You'll see links to all our recorded sessions with the necessary passwords to view them. The Powerpoint presentation prepared by Fred Putnam is available separately for viewing.

VBA Summer Meeting Recap Online

If you missed the September 4th meeting of the Vermont Beekeepers Association at the Brandon Town Hall, you may view the all-day event since all the sessions were recorded.

We suggest you refer to the meeting minutes for the day as they provide a detailed summary of the event. (Login required.) In fact, we remind you the best way to stay abreast of everything the VBA is working on is to review the meetings minutes as they are published.

Videos for the day's five sessions are available after logging in to the VBA website by selecting Past Workshop & Events Recordings under the Calendar menu.

The Vermont Beekeepers Association welcomes new board member James T. Key who was elected to serve as the board's member at large.

COVID Precautions

We have been carefully evaluating our arrangements for the 2022 Summer meeting at the Brandon Town Hall. We understand the ongoing concerns with COVID-19 variants.
  1. The meeting room is a large spacious theatre-style room with high ceilings and windows.
  2. Windows will be open to improve ventilation.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be available
  4. Masks are NOT required (but will be available.)
  5. To minimize potential points of congregation:
    • The refreshment table will be located outdoors to minimize close contact.
    • Pre-registration will avoid lines at the check-in table.
    • Seats are spaced apart.

Meet James Key

James Key is the Director-at-large on the VBA board of directors.

20210807 092640

Education: B.A. from Norwich University, Self-Designed Major, with focus on Ethno-Botanicals and their Healing Properties.
"I've been published with a couple of articles related to the subject. Before my present career, I was in the food industry, selling food to all of the Hannaford stores in Chittenden county. Also, supplying the now largest health food stores, Healthy Living and City Market.
Over the last 9 years before Covid, I worked in the lab at UVM Medical Center. My work there ended when the outbreak began, during the Spring of that year. While working at the Hospital, my interest in beekeeping began, out of trying to solve the problem of why there wasn't a presence of honey bees around my garden.
"I began over the winter of 2017 to seriously focus on my quest. I started in the spring of 2018 taking a class from a woman in Williamstown and, during that same year, joined the VBA.

"I met Ross Conrad a  year later and was met with a promise to share at any time the knowledge of Beekeeping. He offered not only that but free classes because of his knowledge of my finances and his inspiration to see me become Vermont's first, African-American Certified Beekeeper. 
"With his help and the others who have become great mentors, Andrew Munkres, Michael Palmer, and including Bill Mares, I've achieved
my Vermont BeeKeeper's Certification two years. ago.
"I've been using bees from Andrew Munkres since and will continue to work with them. I use his technique and other IPM techniques, developing them as I gain knowledge.
I use knowledge from Ross, Bill, Mike's double Nuc method and books recommended. The list of things learned and being learned is continuing to grow.
"I'm a full-time beekeeper, with hopes to build up from the 11 hives, to 25 next year. I currently am living in Stockbridge, VT. I'm a registered Bee Farm Business and Licensed Caterer."