Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rally at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture 12-16-2014

Assistant Commissioner Matthew Wohlman, MDA's neonic point person who greeted us outside the MDA building today, said that he would be happy to receive scientific studies addressing the dangers of neonicotinoids to pollinators as part of his review. He might also be interested in studies addressing dangers to the environment (birds, aquatic invertebrates, fish etc) and human health as well. Send studies/comments to Matthew at 625 Robert St N, St. Paul, MN 55155 or matthew.wohlman@state.mn.us  .

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mason Bee Mania

A self-professed "Bee Nerd", Lori Bergmark enlightened us on Mason Bees.  Lori lives in an area where they do not allow honeybees (silliness!), but she has managed Mason Bees on her property, and no one is the wiser.  Except us.  Lori gave us a glimpse into the life of the Mason Bee.

Mason bees are in the genus Osmia.  Species include the native Osmia lignaria, (Orchard Mason bee), O. atrinventris, (Blueberry bee, and the Japan native O. cornifrons (Hornfaced bee). In 2014, Lori worked with the Blue Orchard and Hornfaced bees.

Aptly named, their nests are mud compartments in hollow stems, reeds, or existing holes left by wood boring insects, or in snail shells.  They are not destructive. For their nests, they collect materials such as mud, leaf pulp and gravel.
No Monarchy
Solitary and queen-less, Mason bees do not make honey, but like many other bees, make a pollen ball, and lay an egg on top of the pollen.

Each Kid Has Their Own Room
The female Mason bee creates a mud partition for each egg and pollen ball.  This is done in an orderly fashion with the girls in the back and the boys in the front.  Once they are all snug in their rooms, she plugs the entrance.  After a month-long larval stage, they spin a cocoon.
Mason bee cocoon
The new bee emerges in about March, and just hang until the weather warms.  The males emerge first and go get some food, then the females come out.  Mating occurs and the males die in spring.  Then the females collect pollen and the process starts again.

Mason Bee Behavior
Mason bees are not aggressive, and forage within 300 feet of their nest.  So, if you see mason bees in your yard, you can be sure they are nesting pretty close by.  They need a source of mud to build their nests, and better if it contains more clay than sand.

Power Packed Pollinators
Mason bees are amazingly efficient pollinators.  They can pollinate fruit trees 3 times better than Honey bees.  Unlike Honey bees, Mason bees will fly during cool, cloudy weather, however, they fly more randomly among the trees.  Honey bees are more systematic pollinators, so the combination of Mason and Honey bees in an orchard seems to be the best pollinator combo!
set up for Mason bee pollination in Ukraine
Managing Mason Bees
A newish concept in the United States, the Hornfaced Mason bee has been managed in Japan since the 1940's.  80% of apples in Japan are pollinated by the Hornfaced bee.

If you want to try to manage Mason bees, you will need a nesting area.  For this, you can make it yourself or purchase one.

Here is a link to the U of MN Bee Lab with instructions on how to make super simple native bee houses:

In the fall, although not strictly necessary, Lori brings her cocoons in and keeps them in her fridge until they break dormancy (one spring it was early and Mason bees were flying around the refrigerator). Bringing in the cocoons allows you to clean out the nests and minimize the incidence of disease.  You also need a supply of mud, lots of nearby pollen plants, and a fresh water supply.

Not Managing Mason Bees
Of course, you can just attract Mason bees to live in your yard naturally.  You need some undisturbed areas, smallish brush piles, dead wood and fibrous materials. Provide diverse pollen plants nearby, areas of exposed soil and mud for nest building, no pesticides, and you're set to attract some native bees!  Create a "not so tidy" garden!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bee A Pollinator Hero!

On December 16th, tell the Minnesota Department of Agriculture:
Be a #MNpollinatorhero!

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has shown its interest in pollinator health by launching a review of neonicotinoids and calling on every Minnesotan to be a #MNpollinatorhero. On December 16th, join us in calling on MDA to become a true #MNpollinatorhero by restricting or suspending neonicotinoid pesticides, which are a driving cause of pollinator losses.

When: Tuesday, December 16th, 11am
Where: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  Meet at East Columbus Ave & Central Park Ave E, St Paul, MN
  **parking and transit directions are below**

What: We'll gather outside MDA for a few brief speakers & colorful performances (please come bundled and ready for about 20 minutes outside!). Then, we'll march together into the MDA building to deliver a basket of pollinator-dependent foods that grow here in Minnesota. This basket represents our gratitude for the work that MDA has done so far, and our hopes that the Agency will suspend neonics in its current review.
*Please wear yellow, orange, and black if you can; bee and butterfly costumes and bee suits are encouraged!*

Why: Pollinators are in trouble. In recent years, Minnesota beekeepers have lost upwards of 50% of their honey bee colonies annually. Native bees and butterflies are also facing dangerous decline. These losses threaten Minnesota's agricultural economy, including many delicious Minnesota-grown food that rely on pollinators, like apples, melons, cucumbers, squash, strawberries, apricots, berries--and of course, honey!

According to independent scientists, systemic insecticides like neonicotinoids are a driving factor in declining bee populations. And neonicotinoids aren't just harming insect pollinators: birds, fish, and plants that are important for Minnesota hunting, fishing, and outdoor communities are also at risk, because neonics impact entire ecosytems.

Right now, decision-makers at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are reviewing neonicotinoids and considering whether to restrict or suspend these pesticides. Beekeepers, gardeners, farmers, and many others who love Minnesota-grown food are delivering a message to MDA: be a #MNpollinatorhero and suspend neonicotinoids!

Can't be in St. Paul on December 16th? Join our efforts by posting on Facebook or Twitter using the #MNpollinatorhero hashtag.
    .@MNAgriculture thank you for reviewing neonics! Please be a #MNPollinatorHero & suspend bee-harming pesticides! #saveourbees
    Data from 800+ ind. studies finds "neonics pose serious risk of harm to honeybees, pollinators" http://bit.ly/1lzN9fc #MNPollinatorHero
    Neonic pesticides harm pollinators w/o increasing yield. Time for action, @MNAgriculture! http://1.usa.gov/1uckhy9 #MNPollinatorHero
Sponsored by Pesticide Action Network; Healthy Bees Healthy Lives; Organic Consumers Association; Pollinatorfriendly.org; Honey Bee Club of Stillwater

Parking & transit information:
Park and Ride: Free parking is available at Uni-Dale Mall at the Dale and University Green Line stop. Take the train two stops East to Robert Street and the MDA.  2.5 hour ticket for $1.75.  For train schedule visit http://www.metrotransit.org/route/902
Parking at MDA: Metered parking is available at Centennial Parking Ramp at Columbus and Central, and 14th Street Ramp, Lot U and Lot W, all on 14th Street between Robert and Jackson, with rates of 1.25/hr.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Minnesota Farmers Union supports five year moratorium on Neonicotinoids

"You'll be pleased to know that the MFU adopted the following language at the convention this weekend:

"We support MFU engaging with stakeholders to look at and support adequate funding for research (including neonicotinoids, GMOs and monocultures), garden product labeling, remediation, increased habitats, education and legislation of conserving and protecting pollinators. We further support a five-year moratorium on neonicotinoid insecticides until research on their environmental and health impacts is complete.

I (Jim Riddle) introduced the second sentence as an amendment from the floor. After lively debate, it passed 70-43, with people having to stand up to be counted!" 
From Jim Riddle to Patrick Kerrigan 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Please comment to the EPA

The EPA is taking comments until November 24 regarding the Pollinator Health Task Force.

As part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators, the Pollinator Health Task Force is soliciting stakeholder input on best management practices, public private partnerships, research, education opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements, and other actions that the Task Force should consider in developing a federal strategy to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Report Your Hive Location

In an effort to minimize harm to bee colonies and habitats, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District is collecting addresses of residents that keep bees on their property so that the District can be more sensitive in those areas.

Please contact Molly Nee to be added to the list of residents that keep bees, or with any questions you may have:

Molly Nee
Administrative Assistant
Metropolitan Mosquito Control District
Office:  651-643-8342

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosytems

The Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (WIA) has examined over 800 scientific studies spanning the last five years, including industry sponsored ones. It is the single most comprehensive study of neonics ever undertaken, is peer reviewed, and published as free access so that the findings and the source material can be thoroughly examined by others.
Some aspects of this analysis have been broadly acknowledged before (e.g. risks to honeybees), but some have not (e.g. risks to birds, earthworms, other pollinators and aquatic invertebrates).
Individual studies have focussed on impacts on particular organisms, habitats or locations (e.g. bees in France, waterways in the Netherlands, birds in the US) and relatively few have specifically focused on biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, so this analysis moves our understanding forward in a much more holistic and extensive way.
Where the available data enables this, the analysis extends consideration of the risks beyond individual species and groups, to whole communities and ecosystem processes.
29 authors representing many disciplines synthesized the scientific knowledge of the impacts (real and potential) of these systemic pesticides. The work was separated in seven main chapters:
Read the full publication here:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Won't You Teach Some Bee Love?

We are really on a winning streak with our speakers.  Dr. Becky Masterman from the U of M joined us on October 20 for a super informative and lively conversation.  

Becky manages the UMN Bee Squad http://beelab.umn.edu/BeeSquad/.  The Bee Squad provides education for hobby beekeepers and programming for people and organizations that want to support bees.

The Magic Equation

Becky has heard from many people who want to support bees but not be beekeepers, maybe public attitude is shifting as people finally realize that pollinators are responsible for 1 in 3 bites of our food.
 So it really is up to people like us to educate others about bees.

Increasing Public Concern


Increase in Beekeeping


Opportunity to Educate the Public and Help Beekeepers

The next important area of education is this: 

All you have to do is ask Bob Sitko, our Master Swarm Catcher Coordinator about Bee and Wasp confusion.  Bob received 72 bee swarm calls this summer and 3 times this amount for wasps.  For Bobs sake!  Let folks know the difference!  Print this photo and carry on your person!

Wasp Facts:  
Wasps eat other insects, so can be considered beneficial.
Wasps will be gone after 2 hard frosts.
Wasps will be interested in your sugary drinks in the fall, when they need food.  Consider drinking water.

Remember this?

On one day in September 2013 in Minneapolis, three bee colonies within 1 mile of each other   showed signs of a pesticide kill.  The UMN Bee Lab and Bee Squad with the MDA collected samples from each colony and found that Fipronil, which is highly toxic to bees, was found in all samples.  http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/fipronil.html#wildlife.  

Since 2006, 30% of commercial honey bee colonies die annually.  For the hobby beekeeper, it's more grim...47% losses were reported in 2013.  These numbers are from an overwintering loss survey.  Please take part in this very important survey at http://beeinformed.org.  ATTENTION BEEKEEPERS:  Take notes and keep records from your beekeeping.  The Bee Lab can use this data, and the more data the better.

In a nutshell....the problem is the 4 P's.

Poor Nutrition

Marla's Big Bee Bummer

If you haven't seen Marla Spivaks TED talk, watch and share.  If you have seen it, watch again!

Other Random Things from Meeting

  • Bees really like full sun.  The Bee Squad's Minneapolis rooftop hives all made it through the winter.
  • The Bee Squad is tending bees on the Town and Country Golf Course.  They are thriving and the golfers are really into it.
  • Becky is a big fan of formic acid.
  • Change out your foundation at least every couple of years.  Wax and pollen hold LOTS of pesticides.
  • AND WHO KNEW THIS???  Don't use organic sugar to feed your bees!  Organic sugar is not refined, and the bees can't break it down.  Everyone can learn something new at bee club!

Until next month.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Small Scale Prairie Restoration

Chris Schad from The Bee Shedgot into beekeeping with his prairie restoration work.  His idea was to feed bees naturally by increasing the quality foraging plants we grow.  Here are some of the prairie tid-bits we learned from Chris at our last meeting:

What is a prairie?

A prairie is diverse, a mixture of wildflowers (forbs) and grasses.  Prairie plants have an amazingly deep root system.  Years and years of organic matter build up in the soil from all the yummy microbial life making this soil incredibly rich.  This fact is why the prairies were cultivated all across America and turned into such rich farmland (dare I say much quicker than their formation!).  

So, how did the prairies come to be?  Back some 50 or so million years ago, tectonic plates slipped and slided just enough to make the Rocky Mountains.  This changed the light, rainfall, and entire climate of the region.  Then if that wasn't enough, about 110 thousand years ago glaciers made their way through the land giving us hilly terrain, potholes, lakes, rocky outcrops, and depositing geologic parent material everywhere.  Then it got windy, real windy.  This parent material blew and blew and deposited loess which became the important parent material for prairie formation.  

Thousands of years in the making

Over tens of thousands of years with the help of fire, buffalo, prairie dogs, and other critters, the prairies maintained themselves.  

There are 3 basic types of prairies:

Wet Prairies
Soils are moist during most of the year.  Types of plants may be Swamp Milkweed, Marsh Marigold, sedges, Joe Pye Weed, Ironweed, and Irises.

Mesic Prairies
Moderately moist soils, water soaks into the soil without runoff.  Plants may be Fragrant Hyssop, Prairie Onion, Heartleaf Aster, and Wild Blue Indigo. 

Dry Prairies
Well drained to excessively drained.  Plants may be Prairie Sage, Butterfly Weed, and Harebells.

Why restore prairies?
In times of drought, these plants have such deep root systems that they can weather the drought.  Prairies provide a diverse and nutrient rich source of food for animals and pollinators.  Prairies create habitats for animals and support pollinators and also improve water quality and prevent runoff.  Plus, they are just gorgeous.

How to restore a prairie
Site selection:  Carefully select the site and determine what kind of soil (dry, mesic, wet).  How much sun is shining on the site? Is the site on a slope?  A slope will be drier, whereas the base of a slope will be wetter with richer soil.  
Site Prep:  This is the most crucial step, just like painting, it's all in the prep work.  Don't rush, it may take more than one season to rid the land of invasive weeds.  Clear out all the crap using fire, mechanical means-smothering is best, don't till, this will just bring up weed seeds.  Or chemical such as Round-Up, if you are inclined.  Fire seems to work the best.  Make sure you know what you are doing if you are taking on the burn on your own, and get any required permit.
Seed selection:  What are your goals?  Do you want mostly a grassland, or more wildflowers?  What is your budget? Fall is often a good time for seeding since many flower seeds require stratification (cold period) to bloom.  You may consider a cover crop to add to the seeds to give you quick cover and help crowd out the weedy plants.  A good cover crop is oats.  

Don't rush any part of the process, and remember that it takes a couple of years for the prairie plants to establish their roots, so you will not see your full prairie emerge immediately.  

Maintenance is key!
Year one, mow to 8" and possibly spot treat the invasives with herbicide.  Every few years, say 3-5, consider a burn to keep the woody plant material from taking over.  

And remember... it is so worth it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

July and August meeting recaps

Busy summers make for poor blogging.  Here is a recap of the July and August Honey Bee Club of Stillwater meetings.

Queen Discussions

  • There was some thought regarding whether queens started from an egg in the hive make a better queen than one introduced into the hive.
  • Queen cells in the middle of the hive are more viable than at the bottom.
  • Are the best queens bred for genetic diversity rather than specific traits?  
We need healthy queens!

  • Is the demand for bees decreasing queen quality?  It may take a while to catch up with this demand.
  • The consensus on how along to keep a queen is a maximum of two years.  

Words of Wisdom:  
Never buy anyone's final round of queens.

Mite Control Discussions

  • There was some talk that you can treat later if you have Italians, since they keep laying eggs regardless of weather in the later summer, as opposed to Russians and Carniolans who stop laying by a certain time.  
  • Drone combs work well for mite control.
  • The powdered sugar method does not work.  
  • For general bee health, it is crucial to replace foundation every 2-3 years.

Honey collection

Several methods were discussed on how to get the bees of honey supers.  

  •      Simple shaking and brushing
  •      Bee Blower
  •      Leaf blower (careful with this!)
  •      Fume Board
  •      Bee Escape (this blogger's favorite)
Once you collect that honey, make sure it is dry enough.  It needs to be no more than 18.6% moisture to last without fermenting and to be considered Grade A Honey.  Keep it in a dry, warm place, maybe with a dehumidifier running for a few days and check moisture level with a refractometer.  You can also bring a small sample to Nature's Nectar http://www.natures-nectarllc.com and they will test it for you.  

7/16 Swarm catcher report:  One call per day for the last 60 days.

Our next meeting will be on September 15 and will feature Chris Schad from the Southeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association to discuss small scale prairie planting.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cable TV schedule of Neonics on Bees Presentation

Valley Access Channels of the Central St. Croix Valley Joint Cable Commission on 9/11/2014 made a video recording of this presentation on Dr. Krischik's research findings on the effects of Neonicotinoids on bees. This is timely information given the numerous concerned citizens and policy makers throughout the state and their efforts to make good policy for all.
    Dr. Vera Krischik, Entomologist: “Neonicotinyl Insecticides and Bees -- Is the Threat Real?

Broadcasts of Neonics on Bees

Sat 9/13 Channel 15 at 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM
Sun 9/14 Channel 15 at 5:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Mon 9/15 Channel 15 at 3:00 AM and 9AM and
Mon 9/15 Channel 16 at 4:00 PM
Tue 9/16 Channel 16 at 1:00 AM and 7:00 AM

The file will be loaded to the Valley Access TV's youtube channel on Monday 9/15.

Check here to see if it is up yet: https://www.youtube.com/user/VACtelevision

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wild Ones Invitation to Neonicotinoid Lecture

    Dr. Vera Krischik, Entomologist: “Neonicotinyl Insecticides and Bees -- Is the Threat Real?” 

    Thursday, September 11th, 2014, 7:00-8:30 pm 
    Join us for socializing and Ginger's treats at 6:30pm 
    FamilyMeans Building, 1875 Northwestern Ave., Stillwater  Click for a MapFree and open to the public.

    Honey bees and our native bees, such as bumble bees, pollinate 30% of the plants that produce the vegetables, fruits, and nuts that we consume. Bees pollinate native plants that require seed to sustain future populations. These seeds and fruits from native plants are fed on by many animals, from birds to bears. Both native bees and managed honey bees are in decline. The causes are complex, and we can make a difference by ensuring our landscapes and management practices are bee-friendly.

    Noted bee researcher Dr. Vera Krischik, will discuss why bees are in decline, how systemic neonicotinyl insecticides contribute to bee decline, and how we can choose bee-friendly flowers and protect bees from insecticides. This is an important topic and we are excited to have Dr Krischik as our speaker. Please join us for her presentation.

    Dr Vera Krischik is a tenured Faculty in the Entomology Department of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Among her many responsibilities she is director of CUES: Center for Sustainable Urban Ecosystems that promote natural resource management.

    Refreshments and socializing begin at 6:30 pm with the main program at 7 pm.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thanks for Voting

The well deserved Superior Hiking Trail Association was awarded the grant. Our group and Beez Kneez will likely benefit from the increased exposure. Thanks all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Please Vote For Us!!!

Visit us online:
August 17, 2014

Please Vote for one of Three Candidates for the 2014 $5,000 Midwest Mountaineering Environmental/Wilderness Grant
Ask us. We've been there.
 Forward this newsletter to a friend! 
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Don't miss a newsletter! Add newsletter@midwestmtn.com to your email contact list so we won't wind up in your spam filter (you only need to do this once).  
Receive this newsletter as a forward from a friend? Go to www.midwestmtn.com/mailinglist to subscribe and get all the latest news and deals!

 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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