First meeting of 2019!

The first meeting of 2019 is this Wednesday, March 13, 6:30pm at the Raymond Community Centre.Kelsey Ducsharm from Tech Transfer will be here to discuss the new antibiotic legislation and go over how to diagnose and deal with dead outs.

April 10 speaker announced

Hi Folks,
I have confirmation that Tom Nolan, North American Sales Rep for NOD Apiary Products Ltd., will be at our Wednesday, April 10, 2019 meeting. Tom will be giving
a presentation on a new product called Formic Pro.  This product just recently received Canadian registration from PMRA.  You can check it out at the NOD Apiary Products website.
Look forward to seeing you there.

Tech Transfer coming on Mar 13, 2019

Hi folks

Good news.  A member of the Tech Transfer Program will be coming to speak at our meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 6:30 at the Raymond Hall.

The presentation will be specifically about the new regulations for the distribution  of the antibiotics used by beekeepers.

This will be a great opportunity to learn about the new rules and regulation directly from the people who know them best.

Hope to see you there.


Next Meeting – Oct 12, 2018

Hi Folks
Just a reminder that our October meeting is this Friday, October 12, 6:30 at the Raymond Community Hall.
The  speaker had to cancel, so we will have lots of time for questions and bee talk.
If you have something for “Show and Tell” bring it along to share with the other  members.  If you have some honey bring it along for a taste testing.
Jane will be there to give a treasures report and issue club memberships for 2019.
Hope to see you there.
Rob Key

MPBSA Meeting Minutes – Sep 7, 2018 DRAFT

Muskoka/Parry Sound Beekeepers Association

Sept. 7th, 2018

Melanie Kempfer from the Tech Transfer Team does is our speaker.  These are the highlight from her talk.

Projects this summer of 2018 ….

*TTT of 5 had 2 summer students this year

*Yard in Muskoka is being used to study, Beeomics.  Good genetics for bees that are gentle, winter hardy, viable, healthy etc.  This yard is isolated making it perfect for this type of study.

*U of G – Testing prebiotics (similar to probiotics that humans may use).  Prebiotics promote good gut health for the bees.  May be added to pollen paddies for treating nosema and chalk brood as an alternative to fumagilin (which we can’t get anymore).  Or don’t treat and it eventually gets better.  Nosema is caused in times of stress for the bees.  Minimize stress!

*Queen Banking.  Local bees are the best as transporting bees means a reduction of sperm viability. Tracheal mites can also be a problem in imported bees, not as much in local bees.

The TTT has also purchased some infra red light guns to see what the bee cluster is doing in the hive during winter.  Great for winter monitoring.

*VSH – Varroa Sensitive Hygiene.  Only in Quebec for varroa.

*Grooming Behaviour – Testing for this behavior in bees as it keeps varroa mites low.

*Mid-Season Treatment?  Spring and fall is our typical time to treat for mites but varroa are at their peak in summer when it’s difficult or impossible to treat due to honey supers.  Bees have a peak in their population but varroa don’t!  Varroa increase in the fall, especially in July and August.  The TTT is testing a new Oxcilic acid glycerin strip that the bees chew and it helps to break down the mite population (42 days).  It’s just being tested now and must be tested for 3 years to be available to beekeepers.  142 colonies are in the test trial.

*Breeding Program – 22 Breeders.

Programs offered by TTT this year of 2018 ….

* Workshops

* Advanced Workshops in winter

*Online Workshops (intro and IPM)

Legislation to suppress antibiotic use in animal husbandry/beekeeping has meant that Fumagilin B is not being produced anymore (treatment for nosema).  Melanie says that nosema usually sorts itself out eventually.

Oxytet (treatment for foulbrood) will only be available for purchase from vets as of Dec. 1st, 2018.  Suggested that we find ‘bee friendly’ vets.  It was also suggested we might want to come up with a list of access to these vets.

Small Hive Beatle – found in Niagara.  Mel says SHB doesn’t cause considerable damage.  Honey will slim up if left too long but SHB won’t damage the bees.

Fall Management Questions?

*Did you monitor for mites??  We need winter bees!  Mites decrease the chance for winter survival of bees.

*Did you take honey or leave honey supers on for fall flowers?  Do lots of monitoring in fall.

*Colony Strength?   Less than 8 frames of bees and they won’t likely survive the winter! 

*Queen Status?  Will your queen survive the winter?  If you suspect not, this is the time to requeen.  A new queen will survive the winter better and start in the spring with gusto!

*Feed Colonies – 2:1 sugar to water

*Treat for Varroa and AFB

*Wrap Colonies before the snow piles up.


*Sticky board – 3 day drop.  Close backs completely.

*Alcohol Wash – ½ cup of bees taken from open brood frame for best results.  Shake 2-3 frames of bees into a tub to take a broader sample.

*Ether Roll

*Sugar Dusting – Doesn’t kill bees but not as accurate as some of the other monitoring systems.  Use starchless icing sugar.

Fall Feeding

*Feed before the bees cluster at +10 or less consistently.

*Pollen paddies aren’t required in fall as much as in spring. 


*Winter Bees – “Fat Bees” vs “skinny bees”.  Older bees have less fat on their bodies.  You want healthy fat bees, enough bees.

*Balance room for feed/nectar vs health vs population.

*Protection – Use wraps and wind breaks!  Wind knocks bees down very quickly!!

*Wraps – later in fall is ok but leave on well into spring. Temps should be above 0 degrees at night consistently (May/June).  When it’s safe to plant tomatoes it’s safe to take your wraps off!

*Entrance Reducers?  Entrance reducers can cause moisture build up.  They are not as needed as we thought.  Upper entrance is VERY important!  1”

Winter Considerations

*Winter protection – trees, shrubs, fencing against cold winds!

*Air Circulation



Winter Wraps

*Hive top insulation – Styrofoam, wood shavings, straw

*Wraps – cardboard, tar paper, corrugated plastic, bee cozy, Ben Hogan wraps (like bubble wrap), winterizing boxes, Western wraps.

*things to consider – R-value, durability, storage, convenience, cost?


Meeting Notes

*Rob Key (president) puts forward a motion to move our meeting nights to Wednesday nights?  2nd Wednesday of every month requested.  Motion passed by majority.

*Advertising/ Getting known?  Suggested that we look into a club business card and get sponsors to help with this.  Mark makes a motion to look into this.  2nd by Heather Ferrier.

-Email list

-Logo – clip art?

*Mark would like to approach town for community apiary at the Heritage place.  He will need to have clubs vote to support this.  He will find out more and we may vote next meeting

*Roland make motion to close meeting at 8:45pm

MPSBA Pot Luck Picnic June 3, 2018 – 10am to 2pm

Hi MPSBA members

At our May 11 meeting the folks in attendance voted to cancel the Beeyard Tour for this year.  Its just a very poor year for the bees and it was going to be difficult to arrange a decent tour.

However, a majority of the people at the meeting did wish to have some sort of a get together in June instead of the tour.

So, what I am offering is a “Pot Luck Picnic” at my place (92 West Road, Huntsville) from 10am to 2pm Sunday June 3, 2018.

Bring along your cooler with whatever you would like to enjoy for your lunch (no alcohol please) and some chairs.

I will have a BBQ going if you want me to cook something up for you.

Please let me know if you plan to attend.


705 783 3320

MPBSA Meeting Minutes – April 21, 2018 DRAFT

These minutes have not been approved so they are considered DRAFT minutes.
Board members present: Roland Lalonde & Rob Key
  • call to order at 0940
  • World Bee Day – May 20 (United Nations declared world bee day to be May 20 last December – )
  • Motion to approve last meeting minutes by Craig and seconded by Joe Boehm – carried.
  • Next meeting is Friday, May 11, 2018 and John is bringing some food at 6pm if people want to show up a bit early – meeting still starts at 6:30pm
  • Rob reviewed the antibiotic discussion at the Powassan meeting with the vet that they had come in.  This vet will probably provide the antibiotics to beekeepers and it shouldn’t be a big deal.
  • Joe mentioned that you can buy some before the legislation is passed and put it in your freezer and it should keep for quite a while (at least until the whole process gets sorted out).
  • Q&A
    • when to unwrap – Joe recommends middle of May for this year
    • when to re-queen – up to you, queen’s can live many years and some commercial bee keepers re-queen every august, you should be able to tell by your brood pattern if your queen is still viable – the workers will also know and take care of this themselves if you don’t (if you are letting the hive raise their own queen – should aim for when the dandelions are out, otherwise you can introduce a new queen any time)
    • where to find mason bees – set up your bee house and they will find it!
    • will there be a tour this year? – yes, still looking for volunteers – was going to be Bracebridge / Gravenhurst but maybe Parry Sound again, Rob will talk to Peter Istvan
  • reminder to take courses if you are interested – there are quite a few available right now
  • 50/50 – Joe won but donated his winnings to the club funds
  • Motion to adjourn by Joe seconded by Roland – carried.
  • formal meeting closed
  • equipment show and tell and discussion

MPBSA Meeting Agenda – April 21, 2018 – Club Expo

Hey Fellow MPSBA members!

I would like our April 21 meeting to be a morning of sharing of beekeeping ideas.

If you have a beekeeping related item you like, bring it along. It could be wooden wear, a tool, a magazine, a particular kind of feeder, anything at all.  If it is too large to bring in, snap a picture and bring that.  Don’t be afraid of duplication, we all know there are many different makes and designs of the simplest items. (smokers, hive tools, uncapping tools, bottom boards, bee suits, etc)

We will set up tables around the parameter of the hall to display your items and leave lots room in the centre to move around, have a chat and a coffee.

For those of you just starting out, this will be a chance to get a look at real equipment used by actual beekeepers.

So, you’ve got a week or so to think about, find that item in the shed, in the back of the truck or  dig it out of the snow, and bring it along to the Raymond Hall on Saturday, April 21 at 9:30am.

See you there


MPBSA Meeting Minutes – March 17, 2018 APPROVED

M-PS Beekeepers Assoc. March 17/18 9:30, Raymond Hall

Rob welcomed everyone and introduced Sarah Martz from OMAFRA.

Sarah gave us a talk about Understanding Ontario’s’ Label Requirements for Honey:
-Ont Regulation 119/11 and Food Safety Requirements
-OMAFRA’s honey monitoring program – will check colour class, grade(moisture) and drug and lead residues.
-Labels – in 2016 only 17% of retail honey were compliant, 46% at farm gate
-over 150 gr – honey/miel
-grade and colour class
-name and address
-net weight
-country/province of origin
Farm gate – sold directly to consumer from producer’s place of residence
Retail – needs grade and colour class as well
-grade=moisture – use a refractometer
– colour – can use colour chart, Pfund Scale Honey Grader

Standard Container Sizes are for Retail, sizes do not apply for Farm Gate sales

Comb honey label must say Comb Honey/miel en rayon. Does not need grade and colour class.
Honey substitutes are not regulated – ie honey and cinamon etc.
Federal requirements – Consumer Packaging and Labelling act – nutrition label, allergen alerts

Sarah offered to look at any of our member’s labels to check them before we would get them printed., Teresa Ferreira

50/50 draw was the biggest ever – for $50!! Winner is……Roland

New.. Website set up by Craig Nakamoto, Minutes will be posted on the website, plus dates of upcoming meetings.
Rob suggested we get a logo for the association – put the request out to our creative members.

Bee yard tour – visiting other bee yards. June 2, with rain date being 9th. We will try to have the new bee inspector, Tim Greer or our retired bee inspector Claude Dupuis. Rob was asking for a volunteer to head up a Gravenhurst/Bracebridge tour this year. Contact Rob if you would be open to having us visit your yard.

Future speakers:
May 11, Gord Sleeman – honey judging
Sept 7, Tech Transfer Team

OBA conference, March 21 – 23, BlueMountain. Check out OBA site

Registration for new beekeepers. All beekeepers must be registered with OMAFRA, it is free. This is a good thing that helps us all. Most importantly it helps to keep track of any diseases and can warn nearby beekeepers.

Liability insurance is through OBA. $96/yr., 5 million liability. You need to be a member of the OBA. Also check your home insurance. Insurance is mandatory if you sell at farmers’ market.

Upcoming courses:
Tech Transfer Team
Canadore College, Parry Sound – Beginner’s, Queen Rearing, and IPM advanced.
Classes are also offered by Scott Ferrier, Kearney.

A good source of info on beekeeping is the videos from Univeristy of Guelph.
Devon Rawn –youtube videos are another good source.

Medication update. As of December, we will need a prescription from a vet in order to buy our Oxytet antibiotic. It was suggested that Hailey from Martin Veternary services will be a good connection.

Treasurer’s report:
Crofters education grant of $2000 has now been all used. Jane will send a letter of appreciation.
$2278 on hand.
32 members have signed for 2018.

Next meeting is April 21, 9:30

Meeting adjourned at 11:00. Jim Smith moved, seconded by Roland Lalond. Passed.