Honeybee talk at the North East Beekeepers Association

 During the 2011 beekeeping season we gave a number of presentations to local beekeeping organizations and garden clubs. In late May one of the organizations we spoke to was the North East Beekeepers Association in Glen Rock,NJ. More than 50 people attended, and more than half of those were either first year beekeepers, or didn’t yet have bees. It was refreshing to hear all the questions from these brand new beekeepers, which reminded us of our first years of beekeeping. During the presentation we covered our 1st and 2nd year experiences as brand new beekeepers and how we followed the chemical treatment protocols our mentors taught us. Then we explained our decision on transitioning to chemical-free beekeeping. We addressed the difficulties we encountered during our 1st year of non-chemical beekeeping including our heavy bee losses to varroa, and our devastating episode with AFB.  Then we covered our next 9 years of chemical free beekeeping.  We ended our talk with an overview of our honeybee breeding program including our breeder selection protocol, our grafting schedule and the use of the  cloake board and how we allow our newly mated queens to lay for at least a week so that we can evaluate their performance and vigor.