BEElieve Beekeepers and Bee Friends Group

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Are you a beekeeper in or around Wayland? Would you love to keep bees? Need pollination for your gardens or orchard? Want to grow bee-friendly plants? Or are you just interested in the bees?

Wayland BEElieve supports beekeepers by exchanging information and stories and pooling orders for bees and beekeeping supplies, organizes to educate the public about bees, and helps others get started.

Meetings will be posted on the main page. Email us if you want to be on the BEElieve email list for events and updates. For hive openings and more detailed involvement, join the BEELieve beekeepers Google Group. Hive openings usually come up with very short notice.

Read on for Upcoming Events, Resources, and History of the group.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Wednesday, 4/2, 7-9:30PM: SVT presents More than Honey and talk with beekeeper. Where: Wolbach Farm, Sudbury (map). themovie More than Honey brings into sharp focus man’s many relationships to honeybees: as economic cash crop, as savior of humanity, as the canary in the coalmine. It does this in the context of the alarming decimation of the bees. In the US, the latest estimates suggest that 1.5 million out of 2.4 million total beehives have disappeared across 27 states.This epidemic, called colony collapse disorder (CCD), is spreading from beehive to beehive – all over the planet. The cause is reasonable well known by now: a complex combination of pesticides, medications, pollution, varroa mites and the viruses they carry, and travelling stress. There is good reason to be worried: the mainstays of our diets, most vegetables and almost all fruit and grain crops, require pollination by the honeybee. The honeybee is as indispensable to the economy as it is to man’s very survival. After the movie, Kaat Vander Straeten will talk briefly and guide a conversation about the economic, biological and, most importantly, the moral implications of CCD. She will also suggest many actions each of us can take to save the bees, and ourselves. Kaat has been a backyard beekeeper for five years and founded the Wayland BEElieve group, which unites and advocates for local beekeepers, and bees.

RESOURCES

MIDDLESEX COUNTY BEEKEEPING ASSOCIATION (MCBA): The MCBA has members throughout Middlesex County and the surrounding areas. The theme of our club is “beekeepers helping beekeepers.” The MCBA maintains a members only web site to post questions and exchange information between meetings. We welcome new members and offer classes in beginner beekeeping. Members of MCBA range from beekeeping hobbyists with one or two hives to those who run beekeeping businesses with several hundred hives. All members enjoy the following benefits: access to the club’s large library of videos and books on beekeeping, members’ interactive web site, the opportunity to learn from established beekeepers’ experiences, as well as those of state and regional bee associations, and a subscription to the club’s monthly newsletter.

The BOSTON BEEKEEPERS CLUB and the Beekeepers of Suffolk County put together this great up-to-date list of beekeepers resources.

SOME HISTORY (last events on top)

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As reported in several local media, on February 15, metrowest beekeepers requested that Home Depot and Lowe’s stop selling bee-killing pesticides and plants.

On February 15, beekeepers and friends of bees (and food) delivered over one hundred signatures to the managers of the Home Depots in Natick and Waltham and of the Lowe’s in Framingham, asking that the stores“Show Bees Some Love” by removing bee-killing pesticides and plants from their shelves.

These friendly protests were part of the Bee Week of Action taking place all over the US, with over 27,000 people delivering more than half a million petition signatures to Home Depot and Lowe’s. It was organized by Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) with many partners, the most local of which was the BEElieve beekeepers group, based in Wayland.

Bees and other pollinators are essential for two-thirds of the food crops humans eat every day. But their 20140215 131504 bee demo with transition wayland at home depot in waltham 8623 NEF r1_500populations are dwindling worldwide. Last year U.S. beekeepers reported losses of 40-100 percent of their hives. A growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids (“neonics”) – the most widely used class of insecticides in the world — as a key factor in global bee deaths.

But the EPA has delayed action on neonicotinoid pesticides until 2018. The shelves of the largest retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s, are lined with these pesticides. A study released last summer (Gardeners Beware) found that even so-called “bee-friendly” garden plants sold at the stores are pretreated with them, without warning to customers.

But Home Depot, at least, seems to be listening. “We learned just today,” said Katharina Wilkins, a Weston beekeeper, “that Home Depot has been working on alternatives and that several of its suppliers are already using replacements, and also that they are talking with Friends of the Earth. So our visit here is meant as a thank-you for that, and an encouragement.”

“Concerned customers can keep demanding of Home Depot, Lowe’s and other nurseries and garden centers to stop selling these pesticides and to offer third-party certified organic starts and plants,” said Kaat Vander Straeten, a Wayland beekeeper. More information about neonics and which names they go under can be found at www.beyondpesticides.org/pollinators/chemicals.php.

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On February 2nd, from 2-4 pm, meet your local beekeepers and Kaat Vander Straeten, a backyard beekeeper for five years, to learn about bees, beekeepers, and Wayland BEElieve, a group that unites and advocates for local beekeepers, and bees. If you are thinking of keeping bees yourself, this would be a good time to come and ask your questions, because orders for bees for this season need to go in soon. At the Wayland Public Library.

On 10/31 and 11/5/2013, Kaat shared the exciting stories of bee sand beekeepers with the Seventh Graders at the Wayland Middle School Field Day. The kids got to harvest honey with the new BEElieve honey extractor.

On 9/20/2013, we had a honey extraction party. Read more here.

On 9/18 /2013, we showed More than Honey at the Weston Library.

On 8/21, we showed More than Honey at the Wayland Library.

On 7/31, we showed More than Honey at the Wayland Library.

On 6/26 and 7/3, we sold honey from two Wayland beehives to Farmers Market visitors. A total of fifty 8 oz. jars was sold. Check out the article in the Wayland Patch. Enough money was raised for the group to buy a Maxant honey extractor plus some extra to purchase the public screening rights to the movie More than Honey

On 9/11/2012 we met at the Library to show off our honey and honey extraction methods, and to talk Fall hive management, especially the treatments against varroa mites, which are thriving around this time. There may be problems with hive beetle and wax moths as well. News: Sister S.s bees superseded successfully (a tongue-twister!).

Kaat blogged about extracting honey with a home-made extractor. Check it out here. So far she has extracted 10 pounds of honey and more is to come. Ted and Freya already extracted 25 lbs, each!

Beekeepers to bee?

Beekeepers to bee?

On 7/27/2012, Sister S., T. and Kaat did a hive opening and found a complicated situation: queen supersedure cells, when the colony is – for one reason or another (usually our guess) – replacing its queen with a new one.

On 3/8/2012, we had a Getting Started Meeting at Traditions of Wayland, where we discussed all the hive parts, like frames and foundations and bottom boards and… There’s lots of equipment and gadgets. We welcomed four new people to the group at that meeting.

On 3/7/2012,  Kaat opened her hive for six of the folks in the BEElieve group who are thinking of getting started with bees themselves. A close up sneak peek of a colony is always a good way to get the feel for what you’re looking.

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Win and Kaat with their new bee packages

Our first meeting was on 2/16/12. Twelve people (that’s a whopping .1% of Wayland’s population!) came to our first meeting. The majority was interested in starting or restarting with bees, some have been keeping bees for a couple of years, and we even have a very experienced beekeeper, who started keeping hives in the seventies. There were also gardeners interested in attracting bees for their flowers and vegetables, and their apple trees. We got to know each other and discussed our needs and expectations of the group. Below you can find some of the information we shared about local bee schools (coming up now!), suppliers of bees and equipment, bee clubs and online support. Check out the articles in the Town Crier and in the Patch!

Kaat shows off the latest beekeeper's fashions at Earth Day. (photo Peg Mallett)

Kaat  shows off the latest beekeeper’s fashions at Earth Day. (photo Peg Mallett)

A public hive opening

A public hive opening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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