Summer bee health

ChalkbroodIf you see white and/or black “mummies” in front of hive entrances, your bees might be battling chalkbrood.  Conditions this summer are conducive to chalkbrood, a common bee brood disorder.  It is a fungus that seems to thrive in cool, wet summers like this one is becoming.  The disease will weaken your hive.

Learn more online: there are multiple guides to brood diseases such as the Penn State one that is on our club website and also on the NYBeeWellness website.

Prevention involves plenty of good hive ventilation, and minimizing other hive stresses.  So keep on top of it and make sure your bees have a good location and plenty of honey!

– by Christina Wahl

Photo by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Beginning beekeeping: a short course

The Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club is pleased to offer a short (3-hour) course on Sunday, March 22 from 1-4pm, at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building in downtown Ithaca.The cost of the program is $5. We have a few more spots available.

This abbreviated course will cover the very basics of what you need to consider when getting started with bees: equipment, a year in the bee yard, very basic bee biology, and further resources. The facilitators are David Hopkins and Peter Borst, veteran beekeepers.

If you would like a hard copy of the Penn State Extension Beekeeping Handbook, it will be available for an additional $7 (you must order in advance). You are most welcome to download the book, and/or print it on your own; the $7 simply covers our cost to print and bind the books.

To register and pay for the short course online, click here. If you would like to pay with a check instead, please email Ellie Andrews for a registration form ( If you have any questions, please let us know!

That’s a Wrap!

Thank you to all who have attended the meetings for 2013. I personally am repeatedly inspired by the enthusiasm of those new to keeping bees, and heartened by our members who support each other no matter what the question and how experienced the authors.

As a reminder, we have NO MONTHLY MEETING in December — it’s just too busy! Our next meeting will be at the Extension building on January 19. At that time we will either talk about observation hives, or have Lesli’s postponed talk on lotions, soaps and balms from hive products.

At January’s meeting we will also hold elections for 2014 officers, as well as collect club dues. If you are interested in running for an office, feel free to raise your hand in January. You are also welcome to contact me to see what is involved.

Happy holidays!


Varroa mite treatments

VarroaAfter an inspection of the hives Sunday, September 16, the Club members present decided to treat three of six hives with the next level of IPM treatment: ApiGuard.  The treatment involves two work sessions at the hives, which should be quick and informative.  All are welcome to attend, to see how to manage mites with this particular product.

The first treatment will take place on September 23, at 2pm at the Club hives.  The second will happen two weeks later (October 7), same time, same place.  Look for more information posted to the Club list.

Three of the hives will not receive treatment.  Two had very low levels of mites, and one re-queened within the past week (theoretically breaking the mite cycle).

Nucs 2012

NucsNucs 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.

Nucs will cost $90 per nuc this year . You will need return the nuc boxes in which Wixon’s transports the bees. (The club will coordiante both nuc pickups and nuc box returns.)

The check reserves the nuc. First to pay are first on the list. We always sell out, so get your check to us quickly!  Make a check payable to Finger Lakes Beekeepers and mail it to the treasurer:

Marjorie Pryse
1 Pembroke Lane
Ithaca, NY  14850

And the long story of the process: Continue reading “Nucs 2012”

November Meeting

The November 20 meeting of the Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club will be the final one of the year.

If you can’t attend the State Association Meeting, you will especially want to attend the local one, because I have invited Liane Newton and Jim Fischer to talk to our group about New York City beekeeping, following their presentation in Syracuse on Saturday.

The meeting will be Sunday, November 20, 2011 at ONE O’CLOCK instead of the usual 2 PM, so that they can get an early start home.

Also, I will be organizing a dinner out with them on Saturday evening, if anyone wants to join us let me know.

Peter Loring Borst

September Meeting at CNC

September 18th Meeting at the Cayuga Nature Center

At 1 pm, we will hold an officers meeting of the FLBC at the Cayuga Nature Center Lodge. The meeting is open to all. The agenda will include planning for upcoming events. Program topics will also be discussed, including raising nucleus colonies.

At 2:00 pm, weather permitting, we will hold a hive inspection in the club apiary. The potential fall crop will be examined, and wintering needs discussed.

The general membership meeting and program will begin at 3 pm at the Cayuga Nature Center Lodge. Marjorie will give a Treasury Report, dues will be accepted, nuc deposits refunded. If you still have your nuc boxes, bring them to the meeting.

The Cayuga Nature Center is located at 1420 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca. To get to the club hives, turn on Garrett Rd (just before the CNC, coming from Ithaca), then another right on Houghton Rd. Turn into the parking area near the hives on the right.

Mite-Away Quick Strips

PRESS RELEASE New York Registration of Mite-Away Quick Strips

May 9, 2011
The State of New York has granted registration for Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) for the control of varroa mites. Please note that the Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Pest Management requires that beekeepers residing in New York ONLY PURCHASE MAQS PRODUCT THAT CONTAINS THE WORD POISON IN RED. This is a modification to the initial EPA granted label. Dadant in Waverly, NY will be receiving properly labelled product the week of May 16th.
The revised labelling will gradually become available to additional distributors over the next few weeks. Be sure to notify your beekeeping supply company that you are a resident of New York before purchasing MAQS so that they send you the legally labelled product. NOD Apiary Products apologizes for any inconvenience. We are glad to see New York grant the registration for MAQS. Please visit<> for responses to frequently asked questions, the label in larger print, and a 2-minute application video. You can also call toll-free 866-483-2929 or email Please only use any varroa control product as part of an IPM program. Our best wishes go out to all for a successful 2011 beekeeping season. Liz Corbett
NOD Apiary Products USA Inc.



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.

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