Field Day – Sat Aug 21, 2021

It was a scorcher, but we enjoyed an amazing field day at Rob Key’s bee yard in Port Sydney. Glenys Robinson and her team from Tech Transfer led us through a series of workshops and it was great to get together in person after so long.

Strange drone behaviour

Here is the video that Lea was talking about at our last Zoom meeting.

Drones are being herded in to a group on the bottom board of one of her hives.

MPBSA 2020 Virtual Bee Yard Tour Video

On Aug 15, 2020 Rob and Craig visited the bee yard of John, Peter, and Sid near Gravenhurst and filmed our first virtual bee yard tour. John, Peter, and Sid put a lot of effort in to it and it was a lot of fun.

Please let us know what you think by liking / commenting on the video:

MPSBA Meeting Minutes February 13, 2020 (draft)

Feb 12, 2020 Draft Minutes
Board present: Rob Key

  • meeting opened at 6:35pm
  • 21 people in attendance
  • Rob is currently looking in to speakers for 2020 but nothing is booked yet
  • introduction / updates – some beekeepers already seeing losses this winter – others all is good
  • Rob recommended “Skep beekeeping in the Heathland” youtube video for anyone interested in how skeps are/were used for beekeeping
  • hoping to have the summer bee tour in late June or early July, in Bracebridge or Gravenhurst preferably – if anyone is interested in hosting please talk to Rob 
  • Rob is concerned about biosecurity and thinks that we should probably just visit one bee yard on each trip and be careful to clean our boots / gear when we get home
  • Stanley won the 50/50 but donated the money back to the club – $80 total
  • adjourned around 8pm

Stefan Board’s Passing

Stefan Board passed away on Wednesday December 4.  

Many of our members knew Stefan as a fellow beekeeper, teacher and friend. He will be truly missed.

Memorial visitation will be Friday, December 13, 6-9pm at the Paul Funeral Home in Powassan, with a celebration of life Saturday, December 14 at 2pm at the same location.

Also on Saturday December 14, there will be a gathering at the Restoule Community Centre from 4-6pm.

You can get further information at or by calling Paul Funeral Home at 705 724 2024.

2019 Conference – Beekeeping Locally & Abroad: Issues, Challenges & Hope

Rob Key, John Genorio, and Craig Nakamoto attended the 2019 COBA (Central Ontario Beekeepers Association) conference this weekend in Lindsay, ON.

There were three excellent speakers from Ontario and three speakers from abroad (Italy, Belgium, and Slovenia) who agreed to stay on from their visit to Apimondia in Montreal last week.

This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was fascinating to learn more about beekeeping in other countries and about the most recent research.

They all gave fantastic talks and we also joined Janko Bozic for his workshop on AZ hives at a nearby beeyard.

If you are interested about what we learned, feel free to ask any of us! We will give an overview at the next meeting.

MPSBA Meeting Minutes April 10, 2019 (NOT APPROVED)

Muskoka Parry Sound Beekeepers Meeting April 10, Raymond Hall, 6:30

Rob welcomed the members, especially new ones and reminded everyone about the email list that is available on line. If you are not receiving info please let us know.
We did a go around. Everyone in attendance introduced themselves and gave an update of the state of their bee yard. Overall, everyone did very well.

The minutes from last month were approved. Moved by Mark Speller and 2 nd by Joe Boehm. Rob gave an overview of the meeting in Parry Sound re. Foul Brood and getting the approval with veterinarian Peter Jones. Rob provided the form that members could take and fill out. Members were reminded that they could go to any vet for the medication to deal with Foul Brood. Also we were encouraged to check out the Powassan Beekeepers Website too. Paula White also provided info re. another vet and Rob Key will put that on the website. Sid Aldridge also had a name for members and these will also be posted on our website.

Rob shared an activity calendar of what we should be doing with our hives and when. This was set up by Claude Defoe, and it can be downloaded from our website too. Rob also had hard copies.

Malcolm Fraser expressed his concerns to the group about the odors from Bounce laundry sheets and their harmful potential to the health of honey bees. No suggestions were offered but perhaps more research needs to be done to see if any work has been done in this area.

New member, Michelle Wolfson wondered about what flowers were out providing pollen for the bees. Snowdrops in our area seemed to be the main one observed.

Rob introduced Tom Nolan from Apiary Products Ltd. who provided a presentation of the new products from NOD (Natures Own Design), a company that started up because they wanted to provide something to deal with varroa mites. Formic Acid was the chosen product for the mites at that time. Tom gave us an overview of the history of their company. It is a family run company which services a global market, and is available in 22 countries. Flagship product is Mite Away Quick Strips. Check out their website for the variety of products available.

Tom provided 2 videos that are available on their website for us to view. These videos concentrated on how Varroa Mites affect the bee colonies. The video showed how mites sucked the blood of the larva and multiply throughout the hive. New research suggest that they feed on fat bodies. Tom outlined how the Mite Away products worked and the improvements they have made to this product to date. Formic Pro is the new product to improve a more stable product with
longer life and not temperature sensitive although the application temperature remains the same. The first 3 days are the most critical with respect to temperature and slow release of vapors if using these products. The month of May is the recommended time to use this application when temperatures are consistently warm. 10 degrees is the temps we want to shoot for on a regular basis.

Tom suggested we check out Randy Oliver online who is a bee researcher and commercial beekeeper. This is helpful site to read about the effects of formic acid on the queen since that is a common concern expressed by beekeepers.

The treatment options for the 2 products were outlined, and why these options are important to consider for the size and health of your colony. Also bottom screen boards are not recommended during treatment. Remember its the brood that you want to be treated. Minimum of 6 frames of brood is necessary for using each of these products and do not feed bees during the use of these products. Video #2 was on the Formic Pro application procedure. Treatment can lead to initial brood and bee loss, especially of the youngest uncapped brood. Brood break of 3 days is normal.

Bee cozies were also discussed and the advantages of winter protection. The issue really is dealing with the condensation and moisture control. Whatever wrap you use, don’t take it off too soon.

Tom took questions from the floor. The members were very appreciative of this informative presentation.

We closed with doing our 50/50 draw and Mark Speller was the lucky winner!

We adjourned for the night. Roland Lalonde moved and it was seconded by John Genorio.

Next Meeting is May 8, 2019.