Friday, September 23, 2016

September 2016 Newsletter

Anyone wanting to join the club:
Email me at and I will send you a membership form. You don't have to attend our meetings. We appreciate the support and opportunity to share what we are learning. Thanks -- Elizabeth Welty

Friday, August 26, 2016

State of Minnesota Directing Steps to Reverse Pollinator Decline and Restore Pollinator Health in Minnesota by Executive Order

Here is the link to the Executive Order 16-07 by Governor Mark Dayton:

This includes a 'verification of need' prior to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, increased inspections and enforcement of pesticide label requirements, the formation of an interagency Pollinator Protection Team and many, many other great steps.

Thank you Governor Dayton, Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson, Representative Rick Hansen and all the many concerned citizens and  pollinator advocates working on this.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Newsletter

Correction: MDA Hive give-a-way is a drawing not a raffle.

PS. Anyone with a moisture meter bring it to Monday's meeting. Anyone with honey to test bring a teaspoon in an enclosed container.

Friday, July 8, 2016

June and July Newsletters

The July 18, 2016 meeting is at Family Means, 1875 Northwestern Ave. in Stillwater.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bob Sitko's Overnight Split Method


An excellent method of splitting spring colonies which is fast, avoids looking for the old queen, and ends with all young bees which easily accept a new queen.

1 – Place an upside down outer cover and empty hive body next to the hive to be split (the parent).
2 – Open the parent hive and remove 5 frames of brood, one frame at a time, shaking (and brushing) the bees back into the parent.
3 – Place the now bee-less brood frames into the middle of the empty hive body, sealed brood in the center, open brood next to them.
4 – Remove two combs of pollen; shake off all the bees, and place them next to the open brood , one on each side.
5 – Repeat with two frames of honey, removed from the parent, shaken, and placed out side of the pollen frames.
6 – Place the inner cover on the split to conserve heat.
7 – Any brood remaining in the parent colony should be moved to the center and empty frames given on each side.
8 – Put an excluder on top of the parent colony, the new split on top of the excluder, outer cover and you are done.

Here is how it works: Overnight, the bees (mostly nurse bees) move up to cover and care for the brood while the queen remains below the excluder. The following morning, move the split to a new stand and give them a new queen using the slow release method.

Bob Sitko

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Caucus for Pollinators March 1st, 2016

This is information from the League of Women Voters Minnesota:

What is a precinct caucus?
Precinct caucuses are meetings run by Minnesota’s political parties. They are the first in a series of meetings where parties endorse candidates and set goals and values (called the party platform). In 2016, a major part of precinct caucuses will be to vote for the person you want your political party to support for President in the presidential preference ballot.

Date and locations
Minnesota Republican Party and Minnesota DFL Party 
Tuesday, March 1 starting at 7:00 PM

Here follows one pollinator resolution prepared by the LWVMN voters that you can bring to your caucus. Ask that it be included in your party platform. You'll be asked to read it to your group, perhaps discuss it or vote on its inclusion and leave a hard copy with your organizer, I think. If many groups ask for the same language it has a better chance of being included in the official party platform.

Agriculture and Food – Pollinators
Whereas: Bees and other pollinators are responsible for at least a third of the food we eat; and,
Whereas: Bees and other pollinators are in deep trouble –honey bee colonies are collapsing at an unprecedented rate, a problem known as Colony Collapse Disorder; and,
Whereas: Pesticides, especially systemic pesticides, are a key contributor to Colony Collapse Disorder, and they are unavoidable for foraging bees; and,
Whereas: In fall of 2013, several hives in Minneapolis were killed by a legal pesticide application; and,
Whereas: The Cities in Minnesota cannot help protect bees, pets, or kids from pesticides because the State has preempted local laws regulating “any matter relating to the registration, labeling, distribution, sale, handling, use, application, or disposal of pesticides” (Statute 18b.02); and,
Whereas: Systemic pesticides are not consistent with Integrated Pest Management best practices, and pose particular risks by their chronic exposure to bees and other beneficial insects; and,
Whereas: Though the State requires licensed pesticide applicators to inform them of every application, this information is not available to the public,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the ____________ Party supports addressing the crisis facing pollinators through three statute changes:
1) Give municipalities the authority to regulate some aspects of the sale and use of pesticides for non-agricultural purposes, and
2) Make the information the State of Minnesota already receives about pesticide applications available to the public, and
3) Require all nurseries, garden shops, hardware stores and any business selling plants, to let the public know whether or not the plant has been treated in any way with systemic pesticides from the neonicotinoid family. 

see: for all of the League of Women Voters prepared resolutions if interested.

Elizabeth Welty
Executive Director
Honey Bee Club of Stillwater

Monday, January 4, 2016

Thanks from Valley Outreach!

Despite the on again off again direction from the powers that be --Our club was able to provide some very lovely, nutritious, and surely delicious honey to our local food shelf. This is a treat these families rarely get. Thank you to all who offered honey. It seems we have now paved the way for future individual honey donations and future club honey drives.