VBA is working with the UVM Extension to promote the use of more pollinator plants that would enhance food resources for honeybees and other wild pollinators. As part of this initiative, the VBA would like to promote hay and pasture crops that are more ‘bee friendly’ without sacrificing forage quality that dairy and other livestock farmers are dependent upon. However, there is a need to conduct field trials on farms to actually determine the feasibility of various mixtures and management practices that would help the VBA meet these goals while dairy livestock farmers still meet their feed goals. Read more about the project here:
VT Bee Blog
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Thoughts about beekeeping and beekeepers in Vermont along with links to local and national stories of interest. While most articles are public, VBA members who login to the site will have access to additional articles and features.
Start Planning Now for Bees in the Spring!
December 21, 2013
With snow on the ground and a cold north wind blowing it is the perfect time to start planning for your next season bees. This is written for the new beekeeper to give a broad overview of the tools/equipment needed, resources available, and purchase timing with respect to a Langstroth Hive.
Start your research early. Keeping bees is not a set and forget type of hobby. Bees need to be managed just like any other agricultural endeavor. Education and knowledge is helpful but “hands on” training provided by a mentor is the most valuable. There is not one seasoned beekeeper alive who would deny this.
Research: Ideally seek out your local or state bee club. Every state has one and in Vermont it can be found at http://www.vermontbeekeepers.org. Look for mentor programs, classes or training for beginning beekeepers. You will most likely find lots of people who would love to talk to you about getting started in beekeeping. This is how my wife and I got started and it has proved to be immensely profitable. We were given great advice, had people to call when we had questions leaving us feeling that much more capable. There are also beginning beekeeping classes offered by local beekeeping supply houses like Betterbee, beginning beekeeping courses at Champlain Valley Union High School, and various online resources. Be wary of the internet. If you see something on YouTube validate it with a local beekeeper just for good measure
Mark your calendars, you won't want to miss the winter meeting. As always, it's the Tuesday of the Vermont Farm Show - this year on January 28, 2014 at the Champlain Valley Expo. Taylor Ricketts of UVM will be wowing us with pollinators in the morning and Mike Palmer will delight us with beekeeping how-tos in the afternoon. Watch for more information and an agenda posted on the website within the next month or so.
On Saturday 10/13/2013, eleven VBA and Franklin County Bee Club members had the opportunity to pay it forward, lending a helping hand to Mike Palmer. With Mike’s upcoming trip to the United Kingdom to speak at the National Honey Show, he was behind in the winter preparation of his hives at several bee yards. With great pleasure several club members were able to donate some time to help Mike and his bees.