Keeping bees on Long Island since 1949.

President's Message: I WANT YOU

Members Only

The LIBC has set up a Yahoo Group to allow members to exchange ideas and information. Group membership is only available to members in good standing.

Click to join the Long Island Beekeepers Club Yahoo Group (Members Only)

The Club also has a Facebook page!

Club Meeting Sunday, 1/24: Cancelled due to weather

Unfortunately, due to the recent snow storm this month's meeting has been cancelled.
Our apologies to our Mr. Flatow, but we will reschedule his presentation for later in the year.

Local beekeeper, and club member, Carl Flatow will be presenting:
“Not Just Honey Bees.... A Photographic Tour of Visitors to our Flowers.”

Our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown.
The meeting starts promptly at 2:00. Members and non-members are invited to attend.

Welcome to our new website!

We're starting off 2016 with a new look for our website; it's easier to navigate and it works on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. So now you can take us with you and stay up to date with the latest club news!

LIBC Meeting Schedule for 2016

We will be enjoying another year of great speakers, opportunities to learn from our own expert beekeepers, and fun social events.
If you would like to speak or if you would like to suggest a speaker for a future meeting, please email
We meet the 4th Sunday of each month. Unless otherwise noted, our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown. Meetings start promptly at 2:00
If you use Google Calendar, you can subscribe to the Google's LIBC Meeting Calendar by clicking on this link.

Sunday, January 24, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
No Meeting in March
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
No meeting in July
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Sunday, December, 2016: Annual Holiday Luncheon

2016 Beekeeping Classes

Interested in beekeeping?

Bee School is Cool: A Beginner Bee Class
Saturday, January 23, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Bee School Rocks: A Novice Bee Class
"My bees made it through the winter, now what?"
Saturday, February 27, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Classes with Master Beekeeper Rich Blohm

Visit our Beekeeping Classes page to see the details.

If You Missed the LIBC Holiday Party, Then You Missed a Good Time

This year the LIBC honored Frank Kiss at our Christmas party for his love, passion and dedication to the hobby of beekeeping. He is a long time member and has kept bees since he was a child with his grandfather back in Hungry. His practical hands-on knowledge of working bees has served him well as a long time beekeeper. Many of our club members turn to Frank for hive and bee advice as new keepers. We thank him for his long time commitment to the craft of keeping bees and encourage him always to keep working his bees and bottling his delicious honey.

A special dedication was made by club president George Schramm to Ray Lackey for his years of service to LIBC and his teaching and mentoring of the members. We will certainly miss Ray and his lovely wife Ginny and their family as they begin their th new life in Michigan. We hope this plaque will help them remember us.

A big thank you to board members Joe and Moira for all their hard work on the Holiday dinner. Everything was wonderful! The food and venue were terrific and the raffles and door prizes were lots of fun. The best part was everything ran smoothly. Great job!


Our holiday party was a huge success, thanks so much to Joe Matza and Moira Alexander for their arranging the restaurant and the door prizes. Thanks to Anna and Grace for leading us in our annual rendition of the Twelve Days of Beekeeping much to the enjoyment of the other diners in the restaurant as well. The grab bag gifts had some wonderful bee items, it’s amazing how many gift items are out there for us collectors!
Please remember that your dues are due for 2016. I am having more surgery probably mid January and will not be at that meeting. I would appreciate it if you could please send your dues by mail or by Pay Pal. That will avoid long lines for whoever is taking the dues in my absence. A Very Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year to you all!

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:


Our Honey Judging Contest was a huge success as always, lots of entries, with many categories. Congratulations to Helen Mecagni for winning Best in Show with her highest points from her Water White Honey, Amber Honey and Light Amber Honey. First Place Winners were Bill O’Hern, Charles DiStefano, John Hardecker, Guissepe Caso, Second Place Guissepe Caso, Charles DiStefano, Roy Baillard, Helen Mecagni, , Third Place Christine & Kathryn Moravick, Lorraine Leacock, Helen Mecagni, Honorable Mention, Joan Mahoney, John Hardecker, Dorothy & Stan Gorecki, Marsha Greenman, John Quinn, Marianne Sangersland, Michael Ryan, Conni Still all for their honey.
Honorable Mentions were given to Marsha Greenman for her Cookies, Peter McCabe for his Gadget. In the Art First Prize went to Joan Mahoney for her Beeswax, Second to Charles DiStefano for his Beeswax. In the Bee Artwork category Barbara Munzer received a First Prize, Catherine Watson a Second Prize, and Risa Gold a Third Prize.
Congratulations to all the winners and a Huge Thank You to Fred Munzer and Rich Blohm, our great judges for their hard work.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:


I hope everyone had a wonderful time at the conference today. I was so sad to have missed it, but just recuperating from major surgery I didn’t have the stamina to attend. Hope to see you at the next meeting.
Our last meeting brought us another new group of beekeepers to welcome: James Smith, Nancy Smith, David Tifford, Andrea Cayea, Ira Barocas, Ty Knox, Christopher G. Hansen-Crowley and Anne A. Hansen-Crowley

Don’t forget that the Honey Judging Contest is this coming meeting. You must be a member in Good Standing to enter the contest. If you have not paid your dues this year, you must have your check or cash in hand before you can submit your honey or entry for the contest!!!!! Please try to come a little earlier to take care of this business so the meeting can get started on time.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:


It was a hot dry summer, the flowers didn’t give up much nectar so the bees didn’t produce as much honey as last year’s bumper crop. But I still harvested a little over 50 pounds from the one good hive. The requeened hive finally failed and Ray helped me combine it with the thriving hive. John came and helped remove the honey and then we had a little NEWBEE Extraction Party with Lorraine, Jennifer and Jim getting Extracting 101 lessons. It was fun, sticky and I showed them my technique with some of my equipment devised to assist the older beekeeper with handicapping conditions. Then my grandson came to visit during the week and helped bottle and label which makes him very proud to help and gives him something to bring back to school to tell his friends about. I have all my pre-orders set up to deli ver, made sure my regular customers get taken care of first. I purchased pretty hexagonal small jars for gift giving this year. When you don’t have a huge yield you find a way to still give presents that look fancy but are cost effective. All in the packaging! Now to get the lip balms and lotion bars and soaps cranking for the fair so I still have a table full to sell. Need to keep these girls profitable for me. They eat lots of fondant all winter. I hope you all did well.
We welcome two new members to the club this month. Robert Lodi and Jonathan Ramsay.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

The Garden Column

By Lorraine Leacock, Master Gardener
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

As a new-bee this year, I was pleasantly surprised to read Juergen Jaenicke's monthly gardening articles. I had no idea he was a beekeeper, only knowing him through Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) channels. So, it was with great disappointment to see in the May newsletter that he was considering retirement. I am a 2008 graduate of Cornell's MGV program...20 weekly meetings learning different aspects of gardening, with quite an emphasis on insects! After quizzes, a final exam and 120 hours of volunteer work, we are certified but must continue to contribute 30 hours annually in an abundance of ways...gardening in our communities, teaching, writing, and most importantly, reporting.

My gardening world began with my parents in England...memories of Mum's cottage flowers, my Dad's small greenhouse where he grew tomatoes, his grafted roses, lush lawn maintained with a manual hand-pushed mower, and stepping on a bee with bare feet (probably a bumble). They planted the seed in my interest but sadly not the knowledge.

Having little science background, I struggled with many failures in the sandy Long Island "soil" loam...not knowing the importance of the basics. The naive thinking was to dig a hole and throw a plant in it, or to start vegetables from seed and expect results without proper conditions. I now know it all starts with the growing medium, and that plants flourish when they have the right climate, nutrients, ph level, sun exposure, water and pollination!

I'm no expert by any means but strive to learn from those who are and from my mistakes. If I am to be the new gardening writer, I have big shoes to fill and hope to be able to impart something of value. Thanks Juergen for your inspiration, information sharing and service. If it is semi-retirement you seek, your periodic contributions will be looked forward to.

Three Cheers, Lorraine


Hi beekeepers. We missed you all last month. With no meeting and me on total bedrest and major computer problems I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get out a newsletter for July. Hope this one will find you all working on getting your hives extracting or ready to, as am I. John came over the other day and we found bad news and good news. His new hive is working and building comb and storing honey, but not greatly. My requeened hive is failing badly. Little brood with evidence of chalk brood, first time I have ever had that before. I will have to speak to my next door neighbor about trimming the mulberry tree that might be creating too much shade on my hives. My western hive is amazing! Three supers of capped honey and one that needs capping. Very busy bees, hanging out on their porch and enjoying the slightly cooler day. We did see some hive beetles and put in a new trap and tomorrow I will clean the burr comb from the inner cover to give them less places to hide. We will plan to pull the honey when I get back from visiting my grandkids. Finally! I had to postpone the July trip because of my back problems. Can’t wait to see my family.
We welcome new members Dennis Pantoliano and Kate Soroka.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

LIBC Member, Cliff Struhl, in Edible Long Island

Bee Smart Designs
Syosset’s pioneer of symbiotic beekeeping supplies.
Ventilation, moisture, predators. It’s not all about honey for Syosset beekeeper Cliff Struhl, who understands the threats that make or break the health of his hives.
Frustrated by the limitations of available beekeeping equipment, the hobby sculptor and CEO of Joseph Struhl Company Inc.—a local graphics company specializing in custom polyethylene signs—began prototyping his idea for perfect beekeeping enhancements. Applying the basic engineering and materials used in his signs, Struhl started Bee Smart Designs to make functional, bee-friendly apiary equipment.


Hope your bees are doing well. My re-queened hive is still weak. I gave it another frame of brood from the strong hive last week, hoping to boost it until the new brood hatches. The strong hive has tons of bees. It swarmed into a tree two streets away. I didn’t find out exactly where it was until they took off again, so I couldn’t capture them. I saw lots of empty queen cells but no queen. Found eggs and new larva and new brood. If I had found the queen I could have given a whole super to the weak hive, but I have no idea where she’s hiding. So I have my fingers crossed on the survival of the new girls.
I found an old photo from a meeting while clearing some files and realized that there were probably about 20 or so members at that meeting just a few years ago. We have come a long way since then, growing to over 200 paid members. This month we welcome new member Joseph Cardali, Keith Kebe

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

Sunday, May 24: Tammy Horn

Apiforestation: The Future of Beekeeping?

If you have any of Tammy’s books, bring them with you and she will autograph them for you.

Our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown.
The meeting starts promptly at 2:00.


I have been keeping bees since April 7, 1980 and this year was my first experience in requeening! Both hives survived our brutal winter but one was not doing as well as the other. The brood pattern was spotty and I knew the queen had to be removed. I was fortunate to purchase a new one and thanks to my fellow beekeeper John Holden we opened the hive and found the old queen on the second frame we checked. We scooped her up into a vial with a few friends and then put the new queen into place, loosening the candy plug. After two days I checked and she was still in place. I poked at the candy some more and checked again in two days. Still no movement. Now I was beginning to panic, so I tried to pry more candy away and checked again in two days. She still hadn’t escaped so I took a blade and popped the other plug out and she ran right down into a frame. So now I’ll have to wait a few more days to check for eggs and hope for the best. Meanwhile I threw out my back lifting the three supers that were on top, so my chiropractor is getting to be a regular visitor. UGH!
Last month’s meeting was another huge success with a great speaker and lots of new members. We are happy to welcome Wane R. Dougal Jr., Joshua Kaplan, Chris Gee, Patrick Cannone, Thomas Delio, Jennifer & James VonEiff, and Christian Reina

Do you have an up-to-date Epi-Pen? Thanks to Richard Stark, here’s how to get one for little or no money. On your computer, go to Click on $0 Co-Pay offer. Fill out the form to see if you are eligible based on your prescription policy. Get a prescription from your doctor and bring the $0 copay card and RX to your pharmacy and you can get your Epi-Pen for up to $0. This offer expires 12/31/15.

Since we are getting new members every month, the membership list changes constantly. I have an up to date list on my computer and send it to George regularly to post on the website. If you would like a copy for your own information, so you can find out who is in your neighborhood, email me and I will email you a copy. If you do not have email, call me or ask me at the meeting and I will bring a copy for you to the next meeting. Just remember, it changes monthly, so I will only do this quarterly to avoid the great amount of paperwork required. Thanks.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

Sunday, April 26: Allen Hayes

Guest Speaker:
Allen Hayes
The Gadget Guy!

Our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown.
The meeting starts promptly at 2:00.


Are your bees playing hide and seek? My girls keep peeking out and yelling what happened to the sun and warm weather! I’ve been feeding slices of fondant and so far they are happily eating it but I can’t wait for some warm days to be able to actually get into the hive and look around.

Last month’s meeting had a full house again, lots of people came for Beekeeping 101, some stayed for the rest of the meeting, some left. Other members just came for the formal meeting, so it is hard to get a real head count but 75 of you did sign in. We keep seeing new faces and we have some new members to welcome this month: Joan Tifford, Thomas Hildebrandt, Judith Koslofsky, David Stroehlein, Christie Cotty, Deborah Waring, Patricia Jones, John Lanphear, Laurie Sponza, Craig Couvopoulo, Timothy O’Keefe,Shahin Ahdieh, Kimberly Hess,Matthew Ross, Thomas Naccarato and George Deabold. A few old friends renewed their memberships too, and we are glad to see you are back with us. Please remind your friends that have not renewed their membership that they will not be receiving a newsletter until they send that check!

Annual dues are $35. Please send a check payable to LIBC to Conni Still at 82 Stephen Road, Bayport, NY 11705, use PAYPAL, or pay directly at the next meeting.

Please remember that dues were by end of March to remain a member in good standing. Please mail your check or pay online using PAYPAL.
Any member who has not paid their dues will not receive future newsletters nor have free advertising in future newsletters so please pay promptly. Also please update your copy for your ads.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:


Last Sunday was the first day the snow in my back yard was soft enough to attempt a visit to my hives. Just as a precaution I used a walker to make sure I didn’t slip on underlying ice and donning a veil and optimistically putting slices of fondant in my pockets I ventured out. The temperature had reached a little over 50 degrees and as I approached the hives much to my delight I saw activity. And when I got up to them, there were bees flying actively and there was spots of yellow bee poop all over the white snow surrounding the hives. I opened them up and there was still fondant left and bees spilling out. I gave them the extra fondant, welcomed them to a new year, and did a happy dance all the way back to the house. Now I will continue to feed them and monitor the need for a super as soon as the temperature stabilizes a little more and the dandelions start to bloom!

Our meeting last month was filled with many new faces and lots of old faces that we hadn’t seen in a while. It was good to see you all. We welcome new members:Nancy Hall, Peter Treiber, Mark & Marianne Sunderland, Nick Cacoperdo, Jeremy Jones, Dorothy Gorecki, Scott Brown, Chris Algieri, Philip Scala, Eileen Aivaliotis and family. Thanks to the other members who have sent their membership renewals by mail and PayPal.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:


Saint Gobnait, Patron Saint of Bees and Beekeepers

Gobnait (Gobnet, Gobhnet, Gobnaid, Gobnata, or Gobnatae), was born in County Clare, Ireland, sometime in the 5th or 6th century. Gobnait is Irish for Abigail (“Brings Joy”). As the patron saint of beekeepers, her name also has been anglicized as Deborah, meaning “Honey Bee.”

Monasteries and oratories in Gobnait’s time would have resembled stone beehives. A Clochán is dry-stone hut with a corbelled roof, dating from the early Middle Ages or earlier. Most archaeologists think these structures were built on the southwestern coast of Ireland since the Bronze Age. An “Oratory” was a small stone Church for reading the Gospels aloud (all 150 Psalms were memorized for use in their daily prayer: praying the hours). Many of the Oratories were only large enough to hold twelve people—the number of monks considered optimal in early Irish monasteries. Some later Monastic communities had hundreds of monks—and their families! Some of the Celtic Monasteries allowed married monks—the position of Abbot sometimes even passing from father to son.
One of the miracles attributed to Saint Gobnait was that she protected a parish by unleashing a swarm of bees. She was also known for her care of the sick. One story tells how she kept the plague out of the village of Ballyvourney in Ireland by designating it consecrated ground. Saint Gobnait’s Day is February 11th is still celebrated by the community of Ballyvourney, in County Cork. During a Mass at the well, everyone takes water from it. She had a strong relationship with bees and used the properties of honey in the treatment of illness and healing of wounds.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

ESHPA Summer Picnic Meeting

The Summer meeting of Empire State Honey Producers is going to be at Betterbee in Greenwich, NY on July 18. There will be three presentations on wintering honey bees. One on wrapping a cluster of four hives on a pallet, second on indoor wintering, third by Betterbee on their method. The meeting will start about 9 am, end by 4 PM. There will be a picnic lunch.

SABA 2015 Annual Beekeeping Seminar

Southern Adirondack Beekeeping Association

March 21, 2015, 9 am – 5 pm
TECSMART Conference Facility
345 Hermes Road, Malta NY 12020
More Info:


Just two weeks ago I was sitting on my new deck having a cup of coffee and watching my bees come and go on cleansing flights. I hope they got back into their clusters before the temperature plummeted again. I am looking forward to the Spring and being able to enjoy watching the bees from this new vantage point. The entire kitchen was demo’d down to the studs and I can’t wait till the reno is done. All my bee “stuff” is packed up and I discovered that I had a few duplicates. So keep watch at the next few meetings because I will be bringing some things in for the raffles. I’m getting pretty tired of eating frozen TV dinners from the microwave, can’t wait for a real kitchen again. Will post picture hopefully next month.

We welcome some new members this month. Richard and Susan Barkey, Joseph Desiderio, Ernest Herrington, Mark Katzenberger, Martin Kenna, Elizabeth Marcellus, Karen May, Bryan Pedigo, Keith Perry, Arlene Verante.

Holiday Party recognizes our Master Beekeepers, Fred Munzer, Peter Bizzoso, Richard Blohm and Ray Lackey.
Not present were John Moloney and Max Riedener.

A festive bee trimmed cake for our Holiday Party.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

President’s Message: Our Club's Website in 2014

By George B. Schramm, LIBC President

I'm happy to report that our Club's website has been as busy as a, well, you know.

From January 1 of 2014 to January 1 of this year we've had 18,973 visits to the website (that’s right – over 18,000 hits!). Out of those visitors 13,355 were first-time visitors and the remaining 5,618 were people who came back for another look. That's an average of about 36 new visitors to the website every day. Our best day last year was on May 14 when we had 124 visitors.

Overall, about 71% of the visitors are first-timers and 29% are returning visitors. That's a good ratio because it means that we have lots of people finding their way to the site and having a look around, and a consistent number of people (most likely members) are coming back. Of those people returning to the site, 23% of them have been back 2 to 8 times previously and 6% have visited 9 times or more. (74 people have visited the site over 200 times each!)

Although the majority of our visitors come from the United States (95%), we do get visitors from all over the world. About 1% of visitors are from the United Kingdom, another 1% are from Brazil, and the remaining 3% are from various locations everywhere else, like Australia (28 visitors) and Italy (40 visitors).

So, how do visitors find our website? Well, about 17% of them have the website saved as a favorite and click directly to the site. About 11% get referred to the Club's website by another website, like Facebook (yes, the Club has a Facebook page) or other sites like The remaining 72% of our visitors arrive after using a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. I intentionally embed into the website keywords that allow search engines to return our website high on a list of search results. You can try it for yourself: perform a Google search for "long island beekeepers" or "long island bees" or "long island honey." Most likely the Club's website appears on the first page of the search results.

The most popular pages on the website, other than the home page that people arrive at first, are the "Local Honey" page (if you don’t have your honey listed on this page then you’re probably missing out on potential sales), the "Classifieds", the "Meeting Schedule" page, and the "Bee Trouble" page.

You're probably wondering how we get all this information. I suppose I could just say that a little bee told me, but that wouldn’t be accurate. Hidden inside the website is a little program that gathers data about each visitor. That information is relayed to a database that collects and analyzes it all, and I periodically run reports to see how the website is performing. There's even more information available other than what I've summarized here. For example, not surprisingly, more and more people are using mobile technology to view the website: 27% have used a mobile phone and 17% have used a tablet. Nonetheless, we can't, and would not, gather names, addresses, or other personal information from our visitors.

If you have questions or comments about the Club's website, feel free to send me an email:


Welcome to the new members: Elizabeth Marcellus, Richard & Susan Barkey, Keith Perry & Arlene Verante, Bryan Pedigo, Martin Kenna
Finally got my garage (honey house) cleaned up and all the buckets ready for next year. Next I have to make a few more batches of cosmetic products and then clean off the entire work counter. My kitchen renovation includes bringing the old cabinets down and putting them under the work bench instead of the saw horses that have been there forever. That will give me much more usable and neat space. Hopefully it can all be done before the weather gets nasty and I want to get the car into the garage!! Guess I’m not going to get much decorating for Christmas this year. Wreath on the door might be all I can do, I have to pack up my 100 skeps that are in my kitchen! My Bee Christmas tree in the dining room will have to do double duty for Santa this year. My bees and I wish you and all your loved ones a Happy and Healthy Holiday and New Year.

Congratulations to Tim Perry, winner of the Top Bar Hive Raffle!

Guest Speaker Chis Kohl of Sweet Valley Hives with his Warre Hive.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:


Welcome to the new members: John Lovett, George Yakaboski, Daniel Messina and Kimberly Fitzgerald.

Blue Ribbon Winning Recipes:
Apple, Ginger, Honey Jelly, Conni Still
1 cup prepared apple juice, (used juicer to obtain juice from apples)
3 cups honey
1 tablespoonful grated ginger
½ bottle Certo pectin

Measure juice into saucepan. Add honey and mix well. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. At once stir in ginger, then Certo. Then bring to a FULL ROLLING BOIL and boil hard for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam with metal spoon and pour quickly into glass jars. Cover at once and seal according to Ball jar directions. Makes about 5 medium jars.

Local Raspberry-Honey Cello, John Hardecker
2 quarts raspberries
1 quart 190 proof grain alcohol (Everclear)
3 cups honey
Soak raspberries and alcohol.
Mix and strain to remove solids.
Add honey.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

Honey & Hive Products Judging Results

Our honey judging contest was a lively affair as usual. Thanks to the judges Ray Lackey and Donal Peterson for all their hard work.

Very Light, Water White
First, Bill O’Hern
Second, Moira Alexander
Third, John Hardecker

Very Light Amber
First, Charles DiStefano
Second,Helen Mecagni
Third, Giuseppe Caso

Light Amber
First, Roy Baillard
Second, Jessica James
Third, Moira Alexander

First, John Hardecker
Second, Charles DiStefano

Dark Amber
First, Miriam Kissel
Second, Peter Kissel

First, Helen Mecagni
Second, Giuseppe Caso

Comb Honey
First, Conni Still

Wax Block
First, Charles DiStefano

Novelty Beeswax Blocks
First, Conni Still

First, Barbara Curtis

Honey Bread
First, Betty Fletcher

Honey Spread
First, Betty Fletcher

Apple, Ginger, Honey Jelly
First, Conni Still

Raspberry Honey Cello
First, John Hardecker

First, John Hardecker

Gift Basket
First, Conni Still


Club Correspondence: Letters to the Hive

Dear Long Island Bee Club,
We would like to thank you for supplying us with the bees we’re using to conduct our study. This donation helped us to acquire the necessary samples very easily and quickly, which allowed us to start our research as soon as possible. Also, we were able to collect a large variety of bees from one central location instead of having to drive to different areas, which helped tremendously. We will be sure to send you the results of our study once we are finished so you can see that your bees were used purposefully.

Thanks again,
Zack Abrams and Nicole LaReddola, Commack High School


Dear Long Island Bee Club,
We would like to thank all of you for participating in our project! We couldn't have gone through with this project without the generosity of all of your donations. We aim to put these bees to good use, and contribute something great to the beekeeping world!

Jungsoo Ahn, Kristin Orrach, Sydney Sirota, and the rest of the Commack High School Science Department


Dear Conni,
I cannot make next Sunday's meeting but just wanted to thank the board for a wonderful conference! I learned so much and it was terrific to meet so many beekeepers. Clearly it was a lot of work to put together. Thank you so much for your efforts!

Paul Romanelli

The Garden Column: Late Fall

By Juergen Jaenicke, MG
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

(These are all just SUGGESTIONS from CCE)
Don't go crazy!!

• Finish planting bulbs for spring flowering.
• Spray woody ornamentals browsed by deer with repellent
• Protect newly planted tree trunks with thin barks from winter sun scald (freeze-thaw cracking) by winding them with paper tree wrap.
• Practice water-wise irrigation as needed until the ground freezes.
• Water those thirsty evergreens well into the winter whenever the ground isn't frozen. ( I always leave a well-insulated water tap open, just for that purpose).
• Drain and store hoses and irrigation lines.
• If desired, allow dead annuals to self-seed by keeping their flower stems intact.
• Leave seed heads from native perennials intact to provide visual interest and feed the birds.
• Finish removing leaf litter from diseased plants to reduce overwintering of disease in soil.
• After the ground freezes, mulch planting beds to protect perennials, especially newly planted ones and bulbs from frost heave.
• Leave ornamental grass leaves intact to protect their crowns from freezing.
• Continue composting deadheaded flowers and plant debris, but don't put weed seed heads in the compost pile.
• Collect raked leaves in a convenient place for adding "browns" year-round to the compost pile.
• Continue to remediate soil in garden beds with manure and compost to revitalize it this winter.
• Increase the humidity available to houseplants by misting them frequently or placing them on a tray of wet pebbles.
• Pot up spring bulbs for indoor forcing and make room for them in the refrigerator. (most avid gardeners have an old fridge in their shed or garage for that purpose).
• Do the final mowing of your lawn to less than two inches, this will reduce vole and mice activity.
• After aerating your rose beds and the first good frost, hill up soil into 10-12-inch mounds around each rose plants.
• Store terra-cotta pots indoors ( a cool place is fine) to protect them from freezing and breaking during the winter.
• Remove plant supports and stakes so you don't trip over them in the snow.

2014 ESHPA Fall Meeting: November 21 & 22

ESHPA 2014 Flyer

Pollinator Conservation Short Course: November 18th

Announcing the 2nd
Long Island
Pollinator Conservation Short Course
Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District
at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building
Riverhead, New York
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
9:00 am - 4:30 pm EDT
Learn how to attract native pollinators to fields, farms, and orchards!

Pollinators, which include bees, butterflies, and other insects, are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of more than 85% of the world's flowering plants and is fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. More than two-thirds of the world's crop species are dependent on pollination, with an annual estimated value of $18 to $27 billion in the United States alone. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems, since their activities are ultimately responsible for the seeds and fruits that feed everything from songbirds to black bears. Conservation of pollinating insects is critically important to preserving both wider biodiversity, as well as agriculture.

In many places, however, this essential service is at risk. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released the report Status of Pollinators in North America, which called attention to the decline of pollinators. The report urged agencies and organizations to increase awareness and protect pollinator habitat. The Pollinator Conservation Short Course was developed to address this need.
Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Throughout the short course these training modules are illustrated by case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society's Pollinator Conservation Toolkit which includes Xerces' book, Attracting Native Pollinators. Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies, as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and extension publications.
The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information.

If you would like to receive announcements about upcoming short courses, please email Be sure to include the following information: your name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and the state(s) for which you would like to receive announcements.

*Continuing Education Credits Available*
Certified Crop Adviser (5 CEUs)
NYSDEC Pesticide Credits (2 CEUs)
Certified Nursery Landscape Professional
International Society of Arboriculture (4 CEUs)

Ability to identify ways of increasing and enhancing pollinator diversity on the land
Knowledge of the current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators
Ability to identify bees and distinguish them from other insects
Knowledge of the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline
Knowledge of the current Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions through USDA programs such as WHIP, EQIP, CSP, and CRP
Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies
Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as roadside management, tillage, pesticide use, burning, grazing, and cover cropping)
Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements
Ability to incorporate pollinators into land-management or policy decisions

Kelly Gill – Pollinator Conservation Specialist - Northeast / Mid-Atlantic Region
Kelly is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions for the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. A Pennsylvania native, Kelly recently completed her Master’s Degree in Entomology at Iowa State University. There, she conducted small plot and farm scale research, collaborating with organic and conventional farmers, on the development of best practices for conserving beneficial insects in agricultural landscapes.

Polly L. Weigand, CCA – Senior Soil District Technician
Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District

Polly Weigand holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science from St. Lawrence University and is just completing her Master’s Degree in Urban Ecology with a focus on grassland management from Hofstra University this summer. As a Soil District Technician for Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District, Polly provides a diverse array of technical assistance, including pest and nutrient management, prescribed grazing, irrigation design, sediment and erosion control, and habitat restoration for landowners and agencies. Polly also directs the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, a local non-profit organization which strives to enhance the commercial diversity and availability of ecotypic “genetically” native plant materials for landscaping and restorations. This effort involves conducting seed collections and commercial seed and wholesale production of Long Island native pla nts for the nursery industry, as well as conducting educational events and trainings on native plants.

Liz Camps – District Conservationist
United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
Liz Camps, NRCS District Conservationist, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science. She covers Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. At the beginning of her career, she worked with the USDA Forest Service in the research division. She has been working for NRCS for the past 9 years, in which she has concentrated all her energy in helping farmers and putting conservation on the ground. She also manages different cost-share programs, such as Environmental Incentive Programs (EQIP), Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Mina Vescera – Extension Educator, Nursery and Landscape Specialist
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Mina Vescera is an Extension Educator and the Nursery and Landscape Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s Degree in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Rhode Island at Kingston. Prior to joining the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Mina spent eleven years in Southeast Maine working as an estate gardener on Mount Desert Island and managing her own company, Sundew Gardening Services, specializing in native and organic gardening. She also spent three seasons working for Acadia National Park as an Interpretive Ranger, giving informational park tours. Additionally, Mina has experience in sustainable vegetable production and has a passion for plant propagation.

Dan Gilrein – Extension Entomologist,
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

Dan Gilrein is an Extension Entomologist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. He has a Master's degree in Pest Management from Cornell and BS in Forest Biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He works with Long Island's agriculture and commercial horticulture industries on insect-related issues, including an entomology diagnostic lab, entomology research, and educational programs.
To Register:

For More Information please contact:

Sara Morris
The Xerces Society

Honey Bee Science Project Needs your Help

Students at Commack High School have a couple science projects planned that relate to honey bees. To perform these projects, they would like to collect samples of bees from as many hives as possible over as large an area as possible. They are planning on coming to the bee club meeting on Sunday and request your help.

1. They are looking at a bacteria called Wolbachia in honey bees. Wolbachia is a genus of bacteria which infects arthropod species, including a high proportion of insects.
2. They are looking at genetic variation in honeybees on Long Island.

To do these 2 studies they need samples of bees from different places around Long Island and into NYC if possible. They would like to get about a dozen bees from each hive. If you can help out please collect bees from as many colonies as you can by the following process:
  • Using a clean bucket and zip-lock bags
  • Label each bag with 1) hive number, 2) local address (local cross-street as a minimum) or GPS Latitude and Longitude, 3) best guess at how many years hive has been established, and 4) best guess at age of queen.
  • At the hive, pull the inner cover or a frame from the edge of the cluster with several bees clinging, shake bees into bucket, then transfer about a dozen into the bag.
  • Seal bag and freeze before bringing to meeting.
  • Make sure all bees are dumped from the bucket before proceeding to the next hive.

Some of you who live far out east, in Nassau, or further west may want to help but won’t be able to make it to a meeting. Do you have a local group meeting that the students could come to, or could you coordinate collection and delivery to the students? We all know someone who is regularly driving into the city or out to the island. Packages of frozen bees can be delivered to Ray Lackey (Phone: 631-567-1936, 1260 Walnut Avenue, Bohemia, NY 11716, and he will make sure that they get to the students. There will be a Styrofoam cooler with a Blue ice block by the side entry door by the garage starting Saturday morning and you can just drop your baggies in there. Let’s get it done within the next two weeks.

The students are planning on coming to the club meeting on Sunday and will give a brief introduction to their projects as well as collect your donations of bee samples. Each group will give a short 3 to 5 min presentation.


Welcome to the newest members of the club: Dave and Julie Kapuvari, Lorraine Leacock, Isabella Rossalini, John Machado, Melissa Beasley, Carolyn McQuade, John, Sofia, Nancy Witzenbocker, and Douglas McDermott.
Last month’s meeting was amazing. Eighty nine beekeepers buzzing around to hear the Master Beekeepers Forum and the wonderful presentation by our scholarship winner Julie Kapuvari. Then we had a honey tasting and honey yield competition and there were very happy winners and here are some photos to show you how much fun we all had.
Honey Tasting: First Place, Moira Alexander, Ties for Second Place, Conni Still, Marsha Greenman, Helen Mecagni, Paul Romanelli and Charlie DiStefano.
Honey Yield: First Place, Richard Meyer 110 lbs/hive, Second Place, Conni Still 80 lbs/hive, Third Place, Jim P. 50 lbs/hive.
Congratulations everyone for keeping such productive and happy bees.

Julie Kapuvari and her dad, Dave, gave a wonderful presentation of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project that she accomplished with her scholarship from the Long Island Beekeepers Club.

Dave Kapuvari, Master Beekeeper Ray Lackey, and Julie Kapuvari.

Moira was happy to find out that her honey was judged to be the BEST tasting. It was very delicious as were all the entries. Thanks to Lidia and Frank Kiss for the prizes of saplings of Evodia “Bee Bee” trees.

Moira sets up the honey tasting competition as Lidia Kiss looks on.

Moira has the chart to compare the honey yields and Richard Meyer from Amityville was the winner!

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

The Garden Column: Cleaning Up

By Juergen Jaenicke, MG
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

I had a wonderful gardening year. From a slow beginning to bumper crops, I had it all. Sometimes, you follow all the rules, consider all the variables and come up with nothing but weeds. In my case, I didn't follow any rules that I am aware of but used any empty spot and planted or seeded something. Any seeds that I had leftover from last year went into the ground. I bought some tomato plants from the Farmingdale State College Horticulture Department where I sometimes volunteer.
These, and some peppers, eggplants and assorted herbs went side by side with the newly seeded swiss chard, salad, radishes and assorted beans and cucumbers. I have heard about "companion planting" but had not bothered to find out what could go with what.
The cucumbers took over my garden. I had so many, I was giving bags of cucumbers away almost daily!
The climbing string beans (I don't like the bush type) snaked up onto my deck and I didn't even have to go down into the garden but could pick them up right from the deck. We picked beans every day and ran out of storage space. We had bean soup, green beans as dinner vegetables, green bean salad, you name it. We certainly ate healthy.
Finally we let the rest of the beans dry out and they will be planted for next year.
I also have a plan for next years cucumbers. I will make pickles. I will surf the web for pickling supplies and order everything that I need to become the next "pickle king".
We are still busy cleaning up.
Once everything is bare and raked out, we always want to make changes. "How about we move the lilies and the other flowers over to the other side and just keep vegetables and herbs over here?"
Planning is easy. Once shovel in hand and faced with this "labor of love", things look a bit more challenging.
Gardening is fun. But old geezers like me take their "fun" in moderation.
So plan next years garden now. Take a piece of paper and draw your "dream garden". Don't get too ambitious, just do what you can.
As for me: I'm a lazy gardener. The helter-skelter approach worked fine last year, why not next year? -- Well, I will do some planning.

President’s Message: You Can Be the Judge of This

By George B. Schramm, LIBC President

Every October the Club holds its “Annual Honey, Wax, Mead, Cookery, Arts and Crafts, and Gadgetry Contest.” That title is a bit long, so we usually just refer to it as “Honey Judging.”
But as you can see from the “official” title, we encourage our members to bring more than just honey to the contest. And, as you might expect, we have categories and rules for our judging. You can find the current rules on our website:
This year will be no different, but we asked some of our members to review those rules and categories and make some suggestions to change them and bring them into alignment with current trends and practices. You can find a copy of the proposed document in the Club’s Digital Library:
You will notice that proposed deletions are in red and through-lined, and additions are blue and underlined. These are only proposed changes, so we need your feedback on whether you agree with the suggestions, or maybe you have some of your own. We’ll be discussing the changes at the next meeting.
Whatever the result, the changes would go into effect for 2015, but it’s probably a good idea to think about the revisions during this year’s competition.
Also at this month’s meeting we will have our Master Beekeeper’s Forum and an opportunity for honey tasting. The honey that’s entered into the October judging is evaluated on a number of factors, but the taste is really secondary. So we thought it would be fun to have everyone bring an unlabeled jar of their honey to the September meeting so we all get to do a little sampling and judging of our own.
So if you’re looking for an opportunity to be a little (or maybe very) judgmental, then you don’t want to miss the September meeting because you will get the chance to express your opinion on the proposed contest judging rules and everyone else’s honey. See you there!

The Garden Column: Mid-August

Journal of the Ulster County Beekeepers Association

Now that the forage season for honeybees is winding down, plan on letting your vegetable garden plants flower to provide a little extra boost of pollen until after the first snows come. It doesn’t matter if you live in the country, the city, or somewhere in between, autumn pollen and nectar are an invaluable commodity to help build healthy and “fat” bees for winter. Letting your basil plants flower in July will most likely result in bitter basil, not honeybee forage, and most of us groan when our lettuce bolts in the heat of summer. Once a majority of forage sources has dwindled by early October, basil, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and mustard greens left to flower can provide sustenance to foraging honeybees. Lettuce is actually in the aster or sunflower family of plants (Asteraceae), and seeing it flowering in the grayness of November is a beautiful sight. Or, seeing a stretch of flowering mustard greens or broccoli rising above the snow with its welcoming yellow creates a honeybee destination on warm late autumn days.


I had to peel myself from the stickiness of my honey house to work on this newsletter. This was the best year I can remember for me, a wonderful yield of lovely honey. The bees were so mellow and I am busy bottling the honey in between all my other activities and a great visit from my family from California. I must send thanks out to John Holden for helping me with the lifting to take the honey off the hives. Couldn’t have done it without your help John!
This month’s meeting will be fun. Bring a jar of honey for the tasting contest, make sure your dues are paid up for next month’s honey judging contest. And don’t forget to send in your checks for the conference. Without your support for this great project we will not be able to continue bringing this excellent programming to our local area.
Welcome to new members: Jim Coleman, Lynne Coleman, Dawn Cozine, Dianek Birkel, Leslie Clarke, and Doris and Ed Nostrand.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

NYC Honey Week: SEPTEMBER 8–14, 2014

From honey-themed dinners to formal tastings, cooking classes to our Queen Bee Cocktail Classic competition, there's plenty for everyone — kids too!

Our 4th year in the Rockaways celebrating with bees, beach, beers, and bites!

Ever wanted to visit an apiary? Beekeepers all over the city are opening their hives to the public. Sign up to see one!

For details:


Our meeting at Sweet Pine Apiary was a buzzing success! Lots of new faces joined us for a lecture to the newbees and a tour of Ray Lackey’s apiary and honey house. We had lots of delicious refreshments thanks to everyone and great talk and mingling between sessions.We welcome new members Anita Von Himmel, James Coon, and Ursala Altomare Here are some pictures of the honey house and new members thanks to Peter McCabe and John Mix.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

Peter and Miriam check out the honey house.

Bruce and Charlie looking over Ray’s equipment.

Isabella and Graheme chat with Ray.

Conni at the Girl Scout Camp in Yaphank giving a tasting of honey after the lecture on honeybees.

The Garden Column: Mid-August

By Juergen Jaenicke, MG
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

This will keep you busy!
  • Photograph your garden in peak summer bloom to remember what you liked this year and what you could change next year!
    Be a water-wise gardener: never water at midday. Water in early morning so plants can absorb moisture before it evaporates from the soil. Morning irrigation also prevents damp foliage at night when plants are susceptible to fungus.
    Once a week, deeply water all newly planted trees, perennials and shrubs, also deeply water those now forming spring flower buds and fall berries.
    Daily check moisture levels in containers, hanging baskets, and window boxes as they dry out faster.
    Refresh your mulch for weed suppression and water conservation.
    Deadhead annuals for more blooms, leave perennial seed heads for the birds.
    Pinch herbs like basil to prevent flowering and keep foliage growth strong.
    Get rid of weeds before they go to seed!
    Dont put weed seed heads in your compost pile!
    Remove dying plants and diseased foliage to reduce disease overwintering in soil.
    Put dead annuals in compost pile, and replace with finished compost and mulch.
    Stake up tall, leggy flowers.
    Don't let food rot on the vine. Harvest daily!
    Best to pick veggies when plants are dry, not moist with dew or rain to reduce spreading disease. Especially green beans!
    Dont over-cut your lawn or too short. Tall grass shades soil and keeps it moist.
    If your lawn needs it, late August is the time to use slow-release fertilizer.
    Avoid pruning so plants can heal before winter.
    Plant trees, shrubs and perennials soon so they can take root before winter.
    Start seeds for winter vegetables now.
    Sow a fall crop of peas or spinach.
    Get supplies ready for your hoop house or cold frame to extend the season.
    Order spring bulbs to plant in fall.


The summer heat is finally here and the bees are so busy. I added a third honey super and in the next day or so will go back into the hives and check again for small hive beetle and mites and the overall health of the hive. But they seem to be “busy as bees” and doing what the books say they should. This is the first year that I have folks calling me to reserve honey, so I am hoping for a wonderful harvest.
We welcome new members this month: Bruce Matters, Chris Edmonds and Jean Schieck

The 12 Days Of Christmas Carol Contest!

On The First Day Of Christmas, My Bee Keeper Gave To Me, A Beautiful Italian Queen Bee
On the Second Day Of Christmas, My Bee Keeper Gave To Me, 2 Empty Supers and a Beautiful Italian Queen Bee
On The Third Day Of Christmas….
You know how this goes…send us the 12 days of Christmas, each with a beekeeping theme, and we’ll publish as many of the best entries as we have room for in the December issue.
There are only a few rules for this contest:
Every day has to have a beekeeping theme
Spelling, rhyme, rhythm and meter count
Your entry has to be sing-able (is that a word?)
It has to be original
Keep it in the spirit of the season – friendly and fun
All entries have to be here by Midnight, October 1, 2014, no exceptions
You can have as many as 3 different entries
We accept only electronic submissions. Each email must have the name, address, and phone number of the entrant and each entry MUST have 12 Days in the subject line, and each email must have only ONE (1) entry. And send every one of those entries to
That’s it. All entries will be judged by a tone deaf Bee Culture staff after midnight that night who have been sampling some Christmas Cheer, kind of early, and maybe some other office folks. We’ll see who sticks around.
Prizes. YES there are PRIZES.
FIRST PRIZE – A Life time subscription to Bee Culture Magazine. Value…unknown, but probably more than a couple grand…maybe even more if you’re lucky, and young enough. But there’s more! We are going to put the winning entry’s lyrics ON THE COVER OF THE DECEMBER ISSUE SO THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOLKS CAN SEE AND SING YOUR SONG!
SECOND PRIZE – A five year subscription to Bee Culture Magazine. Value…about $125 or so, maybe more if the price goes up.
THIRD PRIZE – A three year subscription to Bee Culture Magazine. Value…over $100 anyway.
So songbirds, get busy. You have only until October First, 2014.

2014 EAS Summer Conference, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky

From Honeycomb to Consumer: Marketing Local Honey in New York State

New and experienced beekeepers and honey producers report frustration with marketing. Regulations and practices related to selling honey are disperse and hard to track down. Guidelines are available for large commercial operations, but few resources exist for hobbyist or small-scale producers to clarify what they should or should not do when marketing honey.

Jim Ochterski, of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, NY, with the assistance of the Empire State Honey Producers Association and beekeepers across New York State, have developed a booklet to address this challenge.

This booklet is intended to inform and inspire small-scale honey producers who feel unclear about what consumers, culinary professionals, regulators, and fellow honey producers expect as they “go public” with honey sales. It suggests various ways to make the most of honey sales and challenges honey producers to look at their products and marketing approaches more deliberately.

You can download a copy of this booklet, “From Honeycomb to Consumer: Marketing Local Honey in New York State,” from the Club’s Digital Library:

The Garden Column: Things I forgot to tell you

By Juergen Jaenicke, MG
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

I was so carried away with my goose and turtle hunt, that i didn't give you any hints of what to do in YOUR garden.

So here goes:
1. Check compost piles for signs of more rapid decomposition in the summer heat. Turn regularly, moisten, and adjust ratios of greens to browns if necessary.
2. Fertilize annuals, container plants and vegetables.
3. Mulch, mulch, mulch for weed suppression and water conservation.
4. Deadhead roses and other spent blossoms.
5. Don't wait for invasive weeds to flower; remove them now before they set seed.
6. After early perennials bloom is a good time to devide and transplant them.
7. Finish planting such summer bulbs as dahlias, gladiolas and cannas.
8. Check plants for pests and diseases and address any problems before they get worse.
9. Spray repellants to discourage deer from eating tender plant shoots. (Doesn't work on geese or turtles)
10. When you mow, leave clippings on the lawn to return nitrogen to the soil.
11. Such early producers as lettuce and other greens should be harvested now before bolting in the July heat.
12. Train plants onto trellises carefully, and don't girdle young shoots by tying them too tightly.
13. Transplant self-sown annuals to new locations.

The above list should keep you busy. My bonus tip: Do it early in the morning, so YOU don’t start to wilt!

The Garden Column: June

By Juergen Jaenicke, MG
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

For your information, I seem to have the "goose problem" licked. Or maybe they are busy raiding someone else’s' vegetable garden. In any event, almost all is peaceful in my little garden and most of the plantings are growing nicely.
I take a walk in my garden at least two or three times a day. I carry a pair of clippers and a container for the weeds. As I walk thru, I pick out some weeds here and there and snip off some dead flowers and rotten twigs.
There is always something to do. I do believe in benign neglect, but sometimes you have to help just a little...
To my astonishment I discovered several freshly dug holes. Right in the middle of my cucumber patch. I have no dog or cat and the only thing that could create these holes would be a cat or raccoon.
I have long since learned to tie down my garbage cans to prevent the raccoons from having a feast. Have they become vegetarians?
The other possibility is a snapping turtle, The same giant turtle comes up from the lake each year and digs up my garden beds and lays her eggs. Mind you, this reptile has to crawl up from the lake about 100 feet, up a set of stairs and then find some soft spot to lay her eggs. She spends about two hours straining to lay her eggs. In previous years we had watched her, but this year we missed it.
We even experienced the little turtles hatching. My grandson went down the outside cellar stairs and started hollering Grandpa we have a thousand little turtles!
I came running quickly. It wasn't a thousand, just thirteen.
We quickly got a bucket and picked them all up (I resisted my spouses' suggestion for turtle soup) They were all piled up in front of the door so it was relatively easy to scoop them up.
We carried them back down to the lake and they took off.
Both my grandson and I were amazed how fully developed those turtles were. Shell and all. They even tried to bite me!
So much for hole-digger possibility No. 2.
Our "snapper" however usually only digs one hole and here were several. What gives? Several egg-layers? We will definitely keep an eye on those holes and see what develops.
Meanwhile I have fertilized and watered and weeded and hope for the best. My tomatoes are doing great, my peppers have flowers already and everything else is coming along nicely too.
With all the rain we had in the last few days I can skip watering for today. It is important however that we avoid drought in the garden.
Remember I mentioned benign neglect, which is a nice word for being "lazy," but really, don't drive yourself crazy. Plant only as much as you can comfortably handle or eat, your neighbors don't need any extra tomatoes.

PS: I just got a note from Cornell, to be aware of Basil downy mildew. If you bought plants from any of the large nurseries you may have gotten sick plants. If you started your plants from seed, don't worry.


We welcome new members this month: Catherine Watson, Mary Ellen Cubbon, Alexandra Hurley, Sister Mary Lou Buser, Sister Heather Ganz, and Ben Moran.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address:

Annual dues are $35. Please send a check payable to LIBC to Conni Still at 82 Stephen Road, Bayport, NY 11705, use PAYPAL, or pay directly at the next meeting.

Jeff Pettis' Testimony before the House Committee on Agriculture

Statement of Jeff Pettis, Research Leader USDA - Agricultural Research Service

Testimony before the House Committee on Agriculture
Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture
April 29, 2014

Chairman Scott, Ranking Member Schrader and members of the subcommittee, I am Dr. Jeff Pettis, Research Leader of the Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, a research laboratory dedicated to honey bee health and part of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. I am pleased to appear before you to discuss a serious threat to the honey bee and thus our food security in the United States.

Ultimately, if no long-term solutions are developed to slow bee decline, consumers will pay more for the food they buy. The foods that bees are responsible for pollinating tend to be the foods that add vital nutrients, flavor and diversity to our diet: the fruits, nuts and vegetables that maintain health. Bees pollinate more than 90 crops and are responsible for $15 billion in added crop value. Over half the nation’s bees are needed to pollinate almonds alone, a $3 billion crop with increasing acreage.

One of the biggest problems facing honey bees and beekeepers today is the varroa mite. The varroa mite’s full name is Varroa destructor, and it is perhaps the most aptly named parasite ever to enter this country. Varroa destructor is a modern honey bee plague. It has been responsible for the deaths of massive numbers of colonies both within the United States and worldwide. This mite is native to Asia where it normally parasitizes Apis cerana, the eastern or Asian honey bee, an entirely different species of honey bee from Apis mellifera, or the western honey bee, that was brought to the New World by Europeans, and on which the U.S. now depends for crop pollination. Asian honey bees have some natural defenses against the mite and consequently are rarely seriously affected by the Varroa. European honey bees, on the other hand, have been devastatingly susceptible to varroa mite damage. The simple act of feeding by Varroa, where it pierces the skin of the bee to suck blood, can introduce bacteria and weaken the immune system of bees. Varroa mites also transmit an array of destructive viruses to honey bees, such as deformed wing virus.

When Varroa destructor was first found in the Unites States in 1987, beekeepers managed more than 3 million colonies for crop pollination and their winter losses were typically about 10 to 15 percent. Today, beekeepers are having trouble maintaining 2.5 million managed colonies, winter losses are averaging over 30 percent a year, and the economic sustainability of beekeeping is at the tipping point. Beekeepers have identified varroa mites as a major problem. The costs of mite controls and replacing hives that only live 1-2 years, as opposed to living 3-5 years before the arrival of Varroa, are all accumulating to the point where varroa mites are making beekeeping no longer financially viable in this country.

For commercial beekeepers, there are currently only three fast-acting treatments for varroa mites: the miticides fluvalinate, coumaphos, and amitraz. While there are also a number of folk remedies and organic treatments, none work as well as these other treatments and all involve more labor and costs to apply. However, varroa mites are adapting and becoming resistant to fluvalinate and coumaphos. Some new treatments are in the pipeline but even a new effective miticide will only provide a short-term solution because it is only a matter of time before the varroa mite will adapt to that miticide as well, continuing the destructive cycle. What beekeepers truly need are long term solutions to varroa mites.

The beekeeper’s best hope is research that can build better tools to reduce the size of the varroa mite problem. Researchers at USDA’s scientific agencies--the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are on that trail right now. In ARS, scientists are working with a total budget of approximately $11 million dollars in FY2014, with approximately $3 million targeting Varroa specifically. Additional temporary funding of $1.3 million in 2013 has been provided on bee health through the Areawide Program of ARS. These funds have helped augment the base funds and allow scientists to work closely with commercial beekeepers to try and improve colony survival.

ARS scientists are developing improved best management practices to help beekeepers deal with immediate issues of overcoming varroa mites. By applying microbiological, genomic, physiological, and toxicological approaches, we are creating new tools for beekeepers to build and maintain healthy bee populations. For long-term solutions, ARS is looking to the genetics of both the mite and the honey bee. ARS has an active breeding program designed to increase resistance mechanisms in European honey bees. For example, some bees have a propensity for nest cleaning and grooming behaviors and these have been exploited in breeding programs as control measures. ARS is also working on improving epidemiological nation-wide monitoring of pest and diseases, biochemical disruption and a host of other possibilities.

NIFA is supporting extramural research, extension, and educational programming to scientists, extension specialists and educators to address declines in pollinators. Dozens of competitive and capacity grants are focused on novel strategies to manage the varroa mite, which are expected to better protect pollinators from this devastating pest. Since 2010, NIFA has awarded competitive grants on pollinator health worth an estimated $13 million dollars, including approximately $2.6 million targeting Varroa specifically. Varroa does not act alone on bee health and thus many of these projects take a holistic approach, looking into the multiple factors affecting honey bees and other pollinators. In one NIFA funded project, University of Minnesota extension specialists are assisting honey bee queen breeders in selecting for hygienic behavior, a trait that helps bees defend against varroa mites and other diseases. In another, Cornell scientists are testing the hypothesis that giving colonies smaller hives will provide the mites fewer opportunities to reproduce and this will lower the per capita level of mite infestation of the bees.

The work at USDA is part of a government-wide response to the large and ongoing declines in pollinator populations in the U.S. and world-wide. The President’s FY 2015 budget proposes over $71 million for USDA alone to focus on this issue. This includes a $25 million initiative to create an Innovation Institute on Pollination and Pollinator Health, a competitive program that will be managed by NIFA. As a measure of the seriousness with which the varroa issue is regarded, USDA hosted a Varroa Summit in February of this year. More than 75 representatives and researchers from beekeeping organizations, agricultural commodity groups, the crop protection industry, universities and federal agencies such as APHIS, ARS, NIFA, NRCS
and EPA attended to discuss research needed to solve the problem of varroa mites. The attendees identified numerous specific short-term and long-term research priorities. Most of these concerned the need to develop the underpinnings for new approaches to controlling varroa mites: finding natural biocontrol agents, developing RNA interference as a control measure, developing area-wide management practices and improving best management practices, and identifying genetic markers and breeding for bee traits that will provide varroa survivability. Attendees also recognized the need for more extensive communication between researchers and beekeepers for collection of epidemiological and economic varroa mite data and for transmitting new information from researchers on techniques for controlling varroa. One potential outcome of the Varroa Summit will be an increased level of collaboration between scientists and more public-private and Federal-university partnerships.

But even if the varroa mite problem were solved today, this would not by itself solve all of the problems facing honey bees and beekeepers. In the last 20 years, a whole host of new honey bee pathogens—viruses, bacteria, fungi, mites—have entered the United States. We know that the effects of viruses in particular are significantly exacerbated when coupled with the presence of Varroa. Colony collapse disorder, a syndrome for which scientists still do not have a cause, continues to take a toll on apiaries. Exposure to pesticides in the environment may be weakening bee colonies, possibly making them more susceptible to other stresses. A lack of diversity in nectar and pollen sources may also play a major role in stressing honey bee colonies. The loss of honey bees may also reflect a much larger issue of general pollinator declines, with honey bees acting as an indicator species. The relative contributions of different stressors for CCD is not well understood and solving this problem will take an all hands on deck approach, including research, public education, increased foraging lands and public/­private partnerships to address CCD and the larger loss of pollinators.

To meet today's increasing pollination demands, we need well over 3 million managed honey bee colonies in this country. To do that, we need to make beekeeping profitable again and that starts with controlling Varroa destructor.

Club Meeting: Sunday, June 22

Guest Speaker:
Gary Reuter, Scientist, a.k.a. Gary-of-all-Trades, University of Minnesota

cfans_asset_314845 A long time hobby beekeeper and trained in technology education, Gary began working with Marla when she moved to Minnesota in 1993. Without his hard work, the program would not be what it is today. He maintains the research colonies, helps train and work with students in the field, designs and builds specialty equipment and speaks to beekeeping, student and civic groups. He plans the Extension short courses and together with Marla teaches beginning as well as experienced beekeepers. His humorous style of teaching helps the classes stay interested and enthusiastic about a sometimes challenging subject. He is a past president of both Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association and Wisconsin Honey Producers Association and director of the American Beekeeping Federation, and remains active in these groups. He still finds time to mange his own colonies, while learning to blacksmith, maintaining an orchard, and helping his wife raise sheep.

Our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown.
The meeting starts promptly at 2:00.