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Pennsylvania - Montgomery County Beekeepers' Association

Beekeepers Helping Beekeepers

Summer Picnic
Calendar of Events
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Second Yr Beekeeping
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Swarm Control
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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.

Get ready to Picnic!  See the Summer Picnic page.

SWARM or Bees in Your Walls?  Call 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 especially prevalent if we have a couple of back to back days of rain -- having everyone at home, makes the hive seemed cramped and the first nice day (or break in the rain), some of the bees might make a break to find a new home.  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.

While it is true that bees can find their new home in inconvenient places such as soffits and walls, these may also be desirable homes for wasps and other stinging insects.  Not sure if what you have are honeybees?  Check out the identification pictures on the bottom half of this page to help you identify what you are seeing.  Be aware that reputable exterminators will also identify what kind of house guest you have and will tell you to call a beekeeper if they suspect honeybees rather than wasps as they generally have policies against killing honeybees.

Man and Bird Working Together to Get..... Honey!
Read about this fascinating study that established that man and birds work cooperatively in Africa to find and rob beehives!
Read the story here in the New York Times.  Click here.

MCBA Receives International Recognition!
MCBA has been awarded the Distinction Prize in the 2015 Vita Honeybee Health Initiatives Awards for the Hive Irradiation Program to combat AFB. The UK based Vita is the world’s largest company dedicated to honeybee health.  Their international panel of judges awarded MCBA with one of seven prizes of distinction. Click here to read the news release from Vita.  Learn more about the MCBA Hive Irradiation Program here.

MCBA is now Nonprofit!
Effective June 7, 2015, The Montgomery County Beekeepers’ Association of Pennsylvania became a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization! With the hard work of several members of MCBA and the board of directors, and with the assistance of Chester County Beekeepers, the paperwork was submitted and the final notification was received in September.  MCBA is looking forward to continuing the tradition of providing educational outreach, support of fellow beekeepers and working to promote honeybee health.

A Great Deal from American Beekeeping Federation!
The American Beekeeping Federation is giving away a 1 year free membership to anyone who has never been a member of ABF. This is a great deal! "ABF is a national organization with over 1200 members that continually works in the interest of all beekeepers, large or small, and those associated with the industry to ensure the future of the honeybee."  Click on the following link for more information   You can also see more information about the program by opening the attached coupon and flyer from ABF.

Check Out the Interview with Dan Boylan, MCBA President!  Check out the Blog on, where they explore Dan's care and feeding of 1.5 million pets.  Published on August 18th, this interview is full of fun details and cool photographs about beekeeping and the joy of being a beekeeper.  Find the link here.

Need an Extractor?  Rent the MCBA Honey Extractor if you are an MCBA Member in good standing.  Review the extractor rental requirements on this attachment and start collecting the fruits of your labor!  Contact to reserve or for questions.

National Geographic Time Lapse of Honeybee Metamorphosis  Watch this cool time lapse video of honeybee metamorphosis by National Geographic.  Click to Watch!

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.

Area Event Update:  Queen Rearing, intensive program offered at Del Val in June.  Registration required, see our Area Events Page.

Need a Speaker or Educational Materials for an Area Event?  Check out our Speaker Page to find volunteers in your area.  If you need educational materials, they are available to MCBA members.  The instructions for how to get them are on our Speaker Page.  If you would like to volunteer as an area speaker, please send a message through our Contact Us link indicating how you would like the public to reach you and indicating the counties in PA for which you would be willing to cover events.

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.

Sep 13- Executive Board Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center

Sep 18 - 4-H Beekeeping Club, 4-H Center, Maple Room, 6pm -- Cooking with Honey and Trivia Contest

Sep 22 - General Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center, Maple Room, Speaker:  Maryann Frazier Topic: Addressing the public in regard to pesticides:  What beekeepers should know

Oct 11 - Executive Board Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center

Oct 27 - General Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center, Speaker:  Adam Crockett of Haymaker Meadery Topic:  History and Process of Making Mead

Don't forget to register for club membership for this year on our registration page or by sending a check to us at MCBA:   Note the New Address!!
PO Box 903
Skippack, PA 19474

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: