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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.

Beekeepers needed!  New Survey

Thank you for your interest in participating in the National Colony Loss Management Survey organized by the Bee Informed Partnership and sponsored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). 

Please go to our online survey at and complete the survey there.  It will be live on April 1st and close on April 30th.  Please do not complete the survey more than once. Information about past Winter Loss and National Management Surveys and the annual reports can be found online at

The Colony Loss Survey has evolved from our winter loss survey because last year we found that commercial beekeepers lost 25% of their colonies over the summer, and so we are now starting to monitor and report annual, in addition to winter losses.  The National Management Survey is conducted annually in conjunction with the Colony Loss Survey. Designed to take about 30 minutes, the 2 surveys are  aimed at looking for relationships between colony loses and colony management (including  disease treatment strategies, supplemental feeding, etc.) and/or other factors that may influence colony health (such as colony location, honey production, and forage type). Your participation in this research is voluntary and your responses will be kept confidential. In any publication or presentation resulting from this research, no personally identifiable information will be disclosed. 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at  Once again thank you for your participation. 

Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp 
Project Director, Bee Informed Partnership 
University of Maryland 

Karen Rennich 
Project Manager, Bee Informed Partnership 
University of Maryland 

It is Swarm Season!  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.

New Newsletter & New Area Event
Check out our newsletter archive for all the latest news and our Area Event page for a lecture April 30th at Del Val.

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.

Apr 16 - 4-H Beekeeping Club, 4-H Center, 6pm

Apr 23 - General Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center, Speaker:  Mark Antunes, Swarm Prevention and Capture.  Mark will present techniques and strategies for swarm prevention and retrieval in your apiary.  There will also be a question and answer time for the 2015 Queen Cell Program.

April 25 (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 page.

May 12 - Executive Board Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center

May 14 - Beginner Beekeepers Course 6pm, 4-H Center

May 21 - 4-H Beekeeping Club, 4-H Center, 6pm

May 28- General Meeting 7pm, 4-H Center, Speaker:  Margaret Zittel "Beekeeping Gadgets and Gizmos" Hear the how and when to use, pros, cons, costs and where too get beekeeping gadgets and gizmos that could help your bees survive, thrive and be more productive, and your beekeeping activities be easier and more effective.

May 30 - Intermediate Beekeeping 9am to 3 or 4pm, 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: