Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Please Vote For Us!!!

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August 17, 2014

Please Vote for one of Three Candidates for the 2014 $5,000 Midwest Mountaineering Environmental/Wilderness Grant
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 The three finalists to receive the $5,000 Midwest Mountaineering Environmental/Wilderness Grant are the Superior Hiking Trail Association, The Beez Neez, LLC, and the Honey Bee Club of Stillwater.  Read about them here, and then cast your vote for the organization you'd like to receive the $5,000 Midwest Mountaineering grant. One vote per person, please.  Please cast your vote by noon, Thursday, August 21st.  You'll find the link to cast your vote at the end of this email after the three proposals.

shtaA.  shtaThe Superior Hiking Trail Needs Help to Re-build Bridges and Boardwalk at the Northern End of the Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail Association needs funding (and will need volunteers!) to help build two new bridges and boardwalk at the northern end of the Superior Hiking Trail. One bridge was damaged in a rain storm in 2013 – it’s on a tributary flowing in to the dramatic and remote Devil Track River Canyon (photo #1). The second bridge was washed away when an old beaver dam broke and water pouring from the beaver pond behind the dam sent the bridge downstream. In addition to the bridge being lost, helpful beavers in the area started building new dams right where the Superior Hiking Trail was located (photo #2). The trail will need new boardwalk through this area. Since the area is so remote, SHTA will set up work weekends for volunteers and will provide camping and meals to get these projects done. Thanks for your support for these projects! 

beez neezB.beezneez The Beez Kneez, LLC,is  a honeybee education and advocacy organization with a mission to Revive the Hive for Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives.   Working closely with our community, we recognize that bees are vital to our food system and strive to raise awareness around the health and protection of pollinators. ?We keep bees in both urban and rural areas, deliver raw, local honey by bicycle, and teach in-hive education classes at Twin Cities community gardens, parks, schools, museums and urban farms. We also operate the first ever pedal-powered community beekeeping center, The Beez Kneez Honey House, at 2204 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN.  In September of 2013, we suffered a pesticide kill on one of our teaching hives at a school in Minneapolis. In response, we started a campaign called Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives to influence pollinator friendly legislation and further educate the people on the issues surrounding bees.  The money allotted from this grant will help us continue our mission to Revive the Hive for Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives in three ways:
1. Fund the bees and equipment for 3 more education hives for programming with urban apiary partners who would not otherwise be able to afford it, increasing the audience we serve through experiential honeybee education.
2. Add another bicycle to our fleet for year round delivery of honey, growing our capacity to hire more pedaling feet to expand the community we serve.
3. Providing the winter gear needed to keep us flying/pedaling down a more determined and focused path towards keeping bees alive and people more connected to their food all year round.

honey bee clubshta
 C.  Honey Bee Club of Stillwater -   The Honey Bee Club of Stillwater. Part of the mission of the founders has been to increase public awareness about the critical issues facing the honeybee population, and how their survival affects the global food supply through their pollination activities (one third of the food consumed by humans). The Honey Bee Club of Stillwater (HBCS) conducts monthly meetings open to the public at no charge to members, who now number 198. All support activities for maintaining the group are conducted by volunteers. Activities have included presentations for state beekeeping groups, participation in Earth Day community fairs, hosting a lending library on beekeeping related topics, mentoring new beekeepers, hosting public showings of the film “More Than Honey” about the plight of beekeeping around the world, and now opening up the discussion with city leaders about removing one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, a chemical class known as “neonicotinoids,” or “neonics,” from use on city-owned and maintained properties. 
Grant funding will make the following things possible:
1.    Our group receives requests from municipalities all over the metro area as well as the state seeking guidance in working with their local governments on beekeeping issues. We are also asked to participate in local events such as 4-H fairs, farmers markets, school and garden club events, etc. To date, members of the Honey Nee Club of Stillwater have volunteered their time, equipment, and personal funds for creating flyers and other educational and display materials. Funding will be used to create enduring materials for these types of events.
2.    In conversations to date with city council members about the possibility of planting northern hardy wildflowers for pollinators along public rights-of-way and publicly maintained properties, and in eliminating toxic pesticide applications, we will be presenting to many groups ranging from local and county government to state agencies. Funding will be used to create enduring print and other media materials for these groups as well as for the general public.
3.    The actual planting materials for these projects – from “guerilla gardener” seed bombs to seed packets to soil ingredients – will also be purchased with this “seed” money.
And thanks for helping us choose this year's grant recipient.  We hope to announce the grant winner at the Customer Appreciation Party Thursday, August 21st at Midwest Mountaineering 

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A reason to register/permit your hives

The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District http://www.mmcd.org/ is mapping honey bee hives to avoid non-target species impacts.
Pitcher Plant in Bloom

From the MMCD website:
"As for adult mosquito spraying, the pyrethroids used by MMCD pose no measurable health risk to humans and animals, but are toxic to fish and bees. This is why we do not spray near water or blooming crops. Permethrin is only applied to dense vegetation where mosquitoes rest during the day, and resmethrin is applied as a fog during the evening when mosquitoes are active but bees are not. All of our materials are registered for use in Minnesota and are among the safest available. As professional applicators we take pride in only making a treatment when necessary, following label directions, and minimizing the potential impacts on non-target species. We live in this area and enjoy the outdoors too, so we take a personal as well as professional interest in protecting the environment."

Call  Mike McLean; Public Affairs: 651-643-8391 to make sure they are aware of your hives or 651-645-9149 for more information.  The MMCDistrict covers the Twin Cities, Minnesota metro area which includes Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties. 

If you call please thank them for their efforts to minimize affects on honey bees.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yogi and Boo Boo Are Not Invited

A hearty bunch slogged through the rain to talk bees and bear fencing on June 16, 2014.  Missing our meeting reporter, Marcie, --we did not think to take any pictures.

Paul L. and Kathy F. and the other Warner Nature Center Apiary staff hosted us at their locale.  I think around 2011, Warner started working on a honey bee education initiative. Paul built the observation hive and I'm guessing he and others trained the staff. Like all of us, they got the 'bug' so to speak and soon wanted more.  It took a few fundraising efforts and lots of volunteer efforts to get an apiary up an running. Luckily, they had already met the resident bear so prepared ahead of time for his/her advances.  Paul constructed the apiary fence with a few extra tweaks. Its on a timer to cycle off during daytime student programming and has a red light, like a dark room, to tell you when its on. Access is creatively made using a springtype grip on the end of each cable run and undoing its eye and hook system. I'll add a picture if we get one.


Reminder of the June 20th deadline for discounted rooms for the MN Honey Producers Conference in St. Cloud from some young beek in the room.

Reception of samples of the Canadian Bee Periodical Hivelights to our library. The magazine is put out by the Canadian Honey Council four times a year. Past issues are available online and there is an enewsletter you can sign-up for. http://www.honeycouncil.ca/hivelights.php

Donation from John B. of his extra honey containers. (most were regifted to Warner Nature Center for their honey sale supported bee education initiatives)

Kathy F. noted Mann Lake has partnered with Warner for the next five years to support their Apiary and they want name suggestions for the People Hive aka Apiary Observation Room. (like how I snuck that in)

David W. donated bee periodicals to our club library.

Forgotten Announcements

Mike M. wanted to share A Star Trib article Food companies work with farmers on sustainability 

Bob S. donated Robbing the Bees by Holley Bishop to our club library. While I'm at it he has donated a handful of other books too. Most of them are being read by somebody. If they show up in the bin they are yours to borrow.

A welcome to new members.  We'll have you introduce yourself next meeting.


Paul L. showed the club a grizzly bear fence experiment. Our Minnesota black bears might be more reserved but I don't know. I've heard meeting your neighbors, let alone confronting them about their vittles, is not done here. Here's the link: Nols Bear Fence Test

Bob S. alerted us to the very fine info available from the MN DNR Wildlife Damage Program on Bear fencing. Construction Details for Bear Fence and
Yes, there are two links and its somewhat redundant. You pay taxes every year, you get multiple pdfs. I'm pretty sure all 50 states have their own version of these as well.

Brady and Yogi bear showed the electric fence he has put in. Its power was trenched off the house. He recommends deep ground rods backfilled with moisture absorbing soil if you're at a sandy site and to peruse Fleetfarms electric fencing displays to make sure you come home with all the parts. He used this polywire: http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/powerfields-9-wire-polywire-660-ft-/0000000202731
and this AC energizer: http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/blitzer-fence-energizer/0000000000525

Adrian talked a bit about planning your location so you can maximize the expense and not to forget about the best gate location. (a bit self referential) He showed us his solar energizer which was recommended on beesource. http://www.amazon.com/Parmak-Impedance-Operated-Electric-MAG12SP/dp/B00099FAJI He also recommends that polywire above.

Some chicken person busted in to tell us about Premier One ready to go portable roll out electric fencing with poles embedded. It might be this: Crazy Chicken People. Somewhere Bob S. also mentioned the flashing light fence option. Don't move near me if you are considering that one.


Kathy F. and Paul L. ended the night with a tour of Warner's observation hive, electric fenced apiary, apiary observation room and way too organized beeshed. Those not dressed in giant baggies asked intelligent questions.