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Pennsylvania - Montgomery County Beekeepers' Association

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Pennsylvania - Montgomery County Beekeepers' Association (MCBA)

Serving Montgomery, Bucks and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania, the MCBA is an association of hobbyist and professional beekeepers.  Our mission is to provide education, hands-on training, support, and fellowship in all aspects of beekeeping.  Both experienced beekeepers and novices participate in our monthly meetings, field trips, and social events.

2015 Second Year Beekeeping Course!
MCBA is also happy to be offering Second Year Beekeeping Course this year.  Please check out our new page that describes this program.  The second meeting is planned for April 2nd so be sure to check it out!

2014 Colony Over-Wintering Survey by Bucks County Beekeepers
Bucks County Beekeepers has requested that the MCBA membership participate in their survey with regard to 2014 overwintering.  After reading the notes below, please join the survey by clicking on:

Please Note:
1.   Please complete this survey AFTER learning of your over-wintering success rate!
2.   The survey may only be completed ONCE per computer.
3.   The survey answers CAN be edited, but only until the last page of the survey.
4.   All responses should refer to the 2014-15 beekeeping year!
6.   Questions include location (county), years of experience, and level of expertise, number of hives, last 2014 inspection date, first 2015 inspection date, source of your bees (e.g., swarm, recovery, purchased), treatments and supplements, wrap/protection over winter, number of survivors, number and type of losses, factors you attribute your losses to.
7.   Any questions or concerns: Email the BCBA Buzz Editor 
The BCBA looks forward to sharing their survey results with you soon! 

2015 Hive Irradiation Date Set:  March 21
See our Irradiation Page for additional details if you have any hives that have suffered from American Foul Brood.

MCBA Proudly Presents Dr. Dewey Caron on Strategies to Prevent Colony Loss
Bee losses of anywhere from 10 to over 40% have become common place and an issue of beekeepers everywhere.
Montgomery County Beekeepers Association presents Dr. Dewey M. Caron.  Dr. Caron will speak on what beekeepers are doing to improve colony survivorship.  As a group we will discuss how your bees doing so far this winter and what PA beekeepers who have lower losses (better survival) doing to improve their bee success rate.  We will discuss what can we do this month to improve our colony's chances.  Dr. Caron's focus will be on what beekeepers with 1-10 colonies are doing for colony stewardship that can help reduce their losses.
When:  Thursday March 19, 2015 - 7:00PM
Where:  Plains Mennonite Church, 50 W. Orvilla Road, Hatfield, PA 19440
How much:  
  MCBA members in good standing - FREE
  Non-MCBA members - $5.00  (please pay at the door -- Paypal registration is closed)
For a printable version of the Flyer, click here.

University of Delaware, Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research, Center for Urban Bee Research, Hamilton, and Penn State Team Up in Bee Research Topics 
Bugonia is encouraging the participation of small-scale and hobbyist beekeepers throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Through Bugonia, participants are able to upload and track their data while tracking and comparing their data to others. Two pilot studies are currently being conducted via Bugonia that have explored alternative non-chemical approaches to managing varroa mites and small hive beetles. Both studies have shown great success as close to 260 beekeepers have registered and many participants are showing a strong interest in participating in future projects.  To learn more, visit or click here to see the recent letter that the team sent to MCBA. 

Do you have bees that need to be removed or did you spot a swarm in a tree?
Don't email us, CALL us!  See our Swarm Control page for additional details about beekeepers in your are that may be interested in capturing your swarms or removing your bees.

Start the Season Healthy
MCBA has American Foul Brood Test Kits Available.  If you think you may have Foul Brood, contact Scott Famous   If you confirm you have it, never fear, see our Irradiation Page to learn how you can save your woodenware and foundation without endangering any new colonies.  Please note that the Irradiation page has been updated with 2015 rules, tips for success, and pricing.

2015 Farm Show A Success!
As beekeepers, we're always seeking ways to educate the public about our bees. This year's MCBA Pennsylvania Farm Show entry was no exception. Robert Folwell, Bruce Gibby, Joe Duffy, Donald George,Walt Fitzgerald, Harold Jenkins, and Ronnie Menard spent over thirty hours designing and creating a very informative and professional grade display entitled "Queen Rearing: So Where Do Queen Bees Come From?"
Their exhibit, exploring nature's way vs. a beekeeper's way of making queens, included detailed descriptions and beautiful photographs of the queen rearing process, receiving the third place award at the farm show. As you can see from the photo, the committee was well supported by MCBA members who loaned their honey and other bee products for the display. On a special note, this year's exhibit was dedicated to Dennis Keeney, mentor and master beekeeper, who passed away in October, 2014.
Thank you, committee members, for representing MCBA at the farm show this year! Thank you also to Encore Experiences in Harleysville for the use of their facilities to design and assemble the display.

FDA Publishes New DRAFT Guidance on Honey Labeling and Packaging
Read this important FDA Guidance (published April 2014) on Honey Labeling and Packaging.  Download your copy here.  Or read it directly on FDA's website: 
Are you aware that when FDA publishes new draft guidance that it is available for public comment for a period of time?  It you wish to comment, see the directions below or on FDA's website.
"Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit written or electronic comments on the draft guidance within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register of the notice announcing the availability of the draft guidance. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to All comments should be identified with the docket number listed in the notice of availability that publishes in the Federal Register.
For questions regarding this draft document contact the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at 240-402-2371.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
April 2014"

Can You Tell Them Apart? 


Part of the fear that gives rise to hysteria in communities about backyard beekeeping is the simple inability to tell the honeybee apart from more agressive insects like wasps and yellow jackets.  The honeybee is so busy collecting pollen, this lowly vegetarian has no time to visit your picnics or bother you when you are mowing or landscaping.  See the facts here.


Did You Know?

Many people claim to be allergic to bees based on local swelling that occurs based upon stings that have often come from other insects and NOT from honeybees.  While life threatening reactions to stings are possible and should not be taken lightly, most people who claim to be allergic are actually just experiencing their body's normal reaction to the venom from a wasp or bee sting -- local swelling and heat.  Did you know that you can get tested?  Your local allergist can arrange for testing to confirm not only whether you are allergic but also which species you might have allergies to.  The scratch tests are administered much like environmental allergen scratch tests where the venoms of a wide variety of stinging insects can be tested to judge the reaction strength.  If you are found to have a high sensitivity, you can get allergy shots that will help to boost your immune system and prevent the undesired response upon encountering a sting.  More importantly the allergist will help you put in perspective what kind of insect you might be sensitive too, so that you don't blame the beneficial insects that are all around us.



Looking for Local Honey?

Check out the MCBA Marketplace.

SWARMCall us, don't email


It is that time of year again, when the hives feel a little cramped and ambitious queens decide to decamp for more spacious digs.  Swarms are a part of spring, and our early warmth may make this season worse than others.


Our Swarm Control page has everything you need to know if you spot a swarm, including a list of first responders in your area.


Upcoming Events

For the full club calendar, see the Calendar of Events page.


For a printable version of the calendar, see our current newsletter or this file.

Mar 19 - Dr. Dewey Caron, 7pm, Plains Mennonite Church, Colony Losses

Mar 21 - Irradiation Date for 2015 See our Irradiation Page for details on how to participate. 


Mar 26 - 4-H Beekeeping Club, 6pm 4-H Center

Mar 26 - General Meeting - 7pm, 4-H Center, Speakers:  Scott Famous Overview of the MCBA Queen Cell Program with discussion of accomplishments, success stories and statistics from 2014.

April 2 - Second Year Beekeeping, 7pm, 4-H Center

April 4 (Weather Permitting) - Package Pickups  - Worcester Honey Farms, 2011 Shearer Road, Lansdale.  Package pickup starts at 12 noon.  Installation class at 2pm.  To pre-order please go to the MCBA Marketplace

Apr 9 - Beginner Beekeepers Course 6pm, 4-H Center

Apr 14 - Executive Board Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center


Don't forget to register for club membership for this year on our registration page or by sending a check to us at MCBA:
P.O. Box 203
Hatfield, PA 19440

Have Crystallized Honey in Your Pantry?

Don't worry, honey crystallization is a natural phenomenon and common in honey -- especially in honey that has not been pasteurized -- the honey that provides so many health benefits!  Read this interesting article about why it occurs and how gentle warming of your honey will get you flowing again.

MCBA and PSBA Membership!

Click Here to Join!

Annual dues are $15 to join / renew your membership with MCBA.  You may also send your PSBA State Beekeeper dues of $20 Indiv / $25 Household (total of $35 or $40 for both MCBA and PSBA) and receive 10 state newsletters each year, encourage research on bee health and promote efforts to dissuade local townships and boroughs from restricting beekeeping.

Hive Not Registered?

Think you have Foul Brood?

Registering your hive is not just good beekeeping practice, it is the law.  Our region has a very high incidence of foul brood, which is a very communicable bacterial infection in hives.  Register your hive, schedule an inspection and discuss what you are seeing with our skilled region inspectors.  The apiary registration form is available here.

Due to lack of government funding for state inspectors, if you suspect that you have foul brood, MCBA has foul brood test kits available for our members.  Contact Scott Famous at if you need a test kit.  Not a member?  Join today, it is only $15 per year! 

Want to Advertise an Area Event?

We have launched a page to post area events.  We are offering these postings for other non-profit clubs and for MCBA members in good standing.  If you are looking for local programs, check it out!

 MCBA Meeting Location:


Montgomery County 4-H Center

1015 Bridge Road (Route 113)

Skippack, PA 19426


Contact MCBA at: