Spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale

Saturday May 14, 2011: 09:00 AM – 01:00 PM
NEW LOCATION THIS YEAR-NYS Armory 765 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, New York
Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers, over 40 area growers,  and other garden groups offer perennials, specialty plants and gardening advice. You will find organically grown vegetable transplants and heirloom varieties, a huge variety of annuals, herbs and many specialty perennials, flowering shrubs, trees, hardy roses and fruit crops.  Free soil pH testing is available and educational exhibits and information are offered.  Kids can join the Ithaca Children’s Garden for a fun hands-on activity.  Bring baskets, wagons, and other containers for transporting plants.

FLBC will be there. Contact the Club (info@flbeeclub.com) if you’re interested in volunterring for FLBC!

Information for New Beekeepers

Our April 16th class for new beekeepers was quite a hit–65 participants spent the day learning about keeping bees and building equipment. But for those of you who missed it–or want more–here are a few downloads that can help:



More information coming soon, including a write up of the workshop, who’s catching swarms this year, and nuc deliveries.

If you haven’t joined the FLBC mailing list, subscribe from the main menu of this web site for club news and discussion of local beekeeping issues.

Beginning with Honey Bees: April 16

Date: April 16, 2011 from 9am to 3pm

Place: Cayuga Nature Center

The Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club will be presenting an all-day workshop on beekeeping basics for new and aspiring beekeepers. We will cover topics such as equipment, hive management, dealing with honey and other hive products, beekeeping on a budget, and equipment assembly.

Registration is only $8 per person, or $12 for a family. See our brochure (pdf) here for registration information and a full schedule. Attendance is limited to 80. Walk-ins are welcome, but space is not guaranteed. Preregistration is due by April 9.

Nucs 2011

Nucs may be ordered through FLBC by current members only. We are not a reseller of nucs, but try to provide a service for our members, especially those new to beekeeping who may not know how to order nucs. If you need to renew or join, you may send your $10 membership fee together with the check for the nuc(s). Please read the information below so that you understand the process.

Here’s the short instruction on how to reserve your nuc or nucs:

Please get a check (made out to Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club) to Marjorie Pryse, 1 Pembroke Lane, Ithaca 14850. Her email address is treasurer@flbeeclub.com.

Each nuc costs $106: $85 for the nuc, $20 deposit for the nuc box (which you’ll get back, if you return it), and $1 to defray the club’s driving expense.

The check reserves the nuc. First to pay are first on the list. We always sell out, so get your check to us quickly!

And the long story of the process:

Northern beekeepers have been buying nucleus colonies (nucs) from the southern states to replenish dead outs and to start new colonies since the 1930s.  The Finger Lakes Beekeeping Club has been purchasing nucs from Wixson Honey, Inc. for at least six years. These bees are produced by Chuck Kutik, a NY commercial beekeeper who produces them in the Carolinas to transport them up for distribution by Jerry, owner of Wixson Honey. Kutik has been selecting bees that are hygienic and in our experience build well & produce well in our area. The advantage of the nuc over a package is that you get a laying queen with frames of brood along with lots of workers!

Every year the club starts by poling attendees at the January meeting to estimate our yearly order. This year we have ordered 40 nucs for purchase by the club for distribution to members paying in advance. FLBC collects money and writes a single check to allow one (or two) truck(s) to make our pickup saving us all gas. The nucs are brought back to Ithaca area for distribution. Remember to get your check in to Marjorie made out to Finger Lakes Beekeepers to reserve your nucs. First to pay are the first on the list.

Here is how it works!  You place an order by sending the Treasurer a check–which covers the cost of the nuc, deposit on the box and a small fee to help cover the gas for the  truck driver bringing the bees to the distribution point. This years cost is—$85 per nuc plus a $20 deposit on the nuc box–Chuck would really like his nuc boxes back! Plus add $1.00 for each nuc you order to assist with transportation cost.  So 1=$106, 2=$212, 3=$318 etc. Remember the $20 deposit is returned to you when YOU get the nuc box back to Wixson’s.

We never really know when the bees will arrive because of changing weather but we do get little news snippets from Jerry or e-mails from Kutik’s group. Every year for the past few years bees have arrived the first or second week of May. When the bees arrive a call goes out for the pick-up, which triggers a FLBC call to each and everyone who ordered. Thus you will be called to inform you that bees will be arriving at the predetermined  distribution location and encouraging you to meet the truck or set up an evening to come by for your bees.

If you have never moved bees, or nucs, this is what occurs. I always hope for cool weather because cool weather settles the bees. Moving these nucs will either happen if it’s cool or usually commences at dust/dark. So the truck will pick up all the nucs usually at dusk or when all the bees have stopped flight. So the nucs will arrive at the distribution destination just after dark!  You can come when they arrive or usually can schedule with the hosting beekeeper at Ithaca distribution destination to pick them up some evening later that week or the following weekend.  Stay tuned for details provided at meetings.

You will take your nuc(s) home & place them near or at the point of installation to let them settle. Then the next warm afternoon, ASAP, move them over into you production equipment. You are then responsible for returning the nuc boxes to Wixson to get your deposit back. Often people in the club band together to get a large number of these boxes returned saving trips to Dundee.  For example, in the past I have bought up boxes at club meetings (for the deposit price) so the next time I’m over there getting containers I can return a truck load!

Finally–this service is to help new beekeepers or small beekeepers as such we limit orders to a total of 5 nucs per.  If you have had bees for a few years or if your big enough –you should place a separate order for your business!

I’m sure we will talk about nucs at our March meeting or at the beginner class in April.  The FLBC discussion board is also a great place to get answers!


February 19, 2011 Beekeeping Symposium

Click here for a brochure, including a map to the conference.

The Annual Winter Beekeeping Symposium be held on February 19, 2011 from 9am to 5pm at the Albright Auditorium, Hobart & William Smith College, Geneva, NY. This event is presented by the Ontario Beekeepers Association and the Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club. Admission is free.

Featured speakers include Randy Oliver who owns and operates a small commercial beekeeping enterprise in the foothills of Grass Valley in Northern California. He manages 500 colonies for migratory pollination, and produces queens, nucs, and honey. He has 40 years of practical beekeeping experience, plus holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biological Sciences. The other featured speaker is Heather Mattila, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology.


The nucs will arrive this week so here’s info on how to find them.
I live at 3166 Perry City Road, which is between highways 89 and 96.  The easiest way to get here is take 96 north out of Ithaca towards Jacksonville (if you get to Jacksonville, you’ve missed us!!). Go about 6 miles, Perry City Road is  just past the Rascal’s Bar.  Turn right, back down toward Cayuga Lake; we’re down 3/4 mile on the left (north side of road).
We’ll post a message here when they arrive and please let me know when you are coming out to get them (387-9603).

Barb DeWall

FLBC Members Help Dyce Lab Class

On the weekend of May 1, three FLBC members volunteered to help Nick Calderone teach his Apprentice Level Master Beekeeping class.  Laurie Buck, Lesli Sagan and Shelley Stuart each shepherded a group of seven students in the Dyce Lab bee yard.  On Saturday, we walked our groups through a basic inspection: how to use a hive tool effectively, how tDyce Lab May 2010o maneuver equipment, basic hive housekeeping, queen-spotting, egg-finding and the like. Sunday we stood back and watched as the students got down and dirty with their own inspections.  We gave pointers and answered questions, but for the most part the students did all the work and all of the analysis.  The class was a mix of first- and second-year beekeepers, and most seemed very eager to start working in their own yards.  We hope to see some class members at the next FLBC meetings!

Beginning with Bees: April 17

Beginning with Bees A Beginner's Beekeeping Class presented at Cayuga Nature Center 1420 Taughannock Boulevard Route 89 Ithaca NY 14850-9510 Saturday April 16 9 AM The Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club announces a Spring workshop to help people begin keeping bees. The workshop is designed for people who wish to start a bee hive, whether to raise some honey or for pollination. Finger Lakes Beekeeper Club members will be on hand to present displays and workshops, host informal conversations with beekeepers and a visit to the Club Apiary. Light refreshments will be provided. Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. People may find more information by visiting the website, www.flbeeclub.com or by sending an email to twelder62@yahoo.com Because there is a limit of 80 persons, preregistration is required by April 9. The cost is $8.00 person, $12 family. Checks should be made out to “Finger Lakes Bee Keepers Club” and mailed to FLBC, c/o Tammy Fazzi, 4 Hanford Drive, Dryden NY 13053


It’s time to order your nucs!

As a service to beginning beekeepers the FLBC coordinates nuc (nucleus) orders in the spring for its members.  We order through Wixon’s and the bees come from Kutik.  The specifics about our nuc orders are:

  • 4-frame nucs plus a feeder (occasionally a box will have 5 frames).  This means that you will get four deep frames of bees, brood in various stages of development (eggs to larvae), a laying queen and some honey to feed them.  You will need to transfer the frames from the box they arrive in to your hive bodies.
  • Cost: $80 per nuc, plus a $10 box fee (refundable if you return the box)
  • A word on the quality, from ex-president Mike Griggs:  “these nucs overall are just great, really full of bees.  Several times people have pick up their nuc & not moved them into a full deep only to have them swarm.   Got one call, one year,  the bees had absconded because the new beekeeper did not get them moved & they can be very full & crowded”
  • They will be ready for pickup around the second week in May (pickup location TBD)

If you were at the January 17 club meeting, and put your name down for nucs, we have your request but you need to pay in order to finalize your order (see below).

The Club has ordered a total of 40 nucs.  Club members have already spoken for about 24 34 of them.  If you haven’t already expressed interest in a nuc, email Barb DeWall.

Please note that you are guaranteed a nuc only once you’ve paid.  To secure your order, send a check payable to the Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club for the requisite amount ($90 per nuc) to the Club treasure:

Barb DeWall
3166 Perry City Road
Trumansburg, NY  14886

If you want to order more than five nucs, call Wixson’s directly at 607-243-7301.