​​​​COMB Dues

It's that time of year again. COMB dues run from January to December. In order to stay on the club email list make sure your dues are paid by the end of February.  See the COMB Membership page for more information.

 December 2020 Meeting

This month’s meeting is going to be at your convenience again so you can fit it in around all your holiday activities. This month we have a video that Dr. Roger Hoopingarner gave at the 2015 Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA) Spring conference at which the MBA celebrated their 150th anniversary. The topic of the 50 minute video is “History of Michigan Beekeeping”.

Roger began beekeeping over 70 years ago as a Boy Scout in Detroit. He grew up to become a professor of entomology at Michigan State University, teaching and researching apiculture for 38 years. Now retired, he is an active participant and speaker in the Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA), where he is past-president and the organization's historical memory. He gives presentations across the country.

You can access the video at the link below:


For things to do while you are “Stay Home, Stay Safe”  scroll down

Things to do while you “Stay Home, Stay Safe”

With the May COMB meeting canceled and the State of Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, here are some things to keep you busy while you are at home.

Remember, 2020 COMB dues are due. If you have not yet paid your dues you can download a form the club website at the link below and mail it in. This will be the last email before distribution list is updated and old members removed.

From Bee Culture, check out the CATCH THE BUZZ – STAY AT HOME BEEKEEPING SERIES at the link below.


Worried about the Murder Hornet? Don't. Instead read this article from Dr. Meghan Milbrath at MSU.


Online beekeeping course from Penn State Extension. This online course about the science and practice of beekeeping is for beginning beekeepers. It consists of nine hours of programming and covers bee biology and behavior, hive management, equipment, bee products, and more.

Because many shelter in place declarations and cancelled bee club meetings, the American Bee Journal has decided to make its April issues available to everyone. If you do not get this publication check it out at the link below. If you like it, you can subscribe online.

Are you a new beekeeper and have a bee package on order and not sure what do with it when you get it? Michigan State University Beekeeping has the video called Beginning Beekeeping: Installing a Package at the link below to help you out.

Even more information from the Michigan Pollinator Initiative specific to honey beekeeping see this link.


Wonder what you should be doing with your bees right now? Check out the Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA) beekeeping year at the link below.

The MBA also has some videos on a YouTube channel at the link below, including some from COMB club member Dr. Roger Hoopingarner.

Also on YouTube from COMB member Steve Tilmann is The Beekeeper’s Workshop. He has lots of equipment projects, including some anyone can do like queen marking cups.

Another great place to find out hands on information on beekeeping is Randy Oliver’s Scientific Beekeeping website. You can check it out at the link below. Just make sure you have lots of time to spend before you go here because you will get hooked.

A few other sites to check out are:

May is coming up and that means swarm season. In place of anything that would have been said about preventing swarming at the meeting tonight, see Meghan Milbrath’s article on
Swarms - THE BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF SWARMS IN NORTHERN STATES. This article will give you everything you need to know to present swarming.

Miss any of the webinars MSU has put on the past few weeks? You can check them out at

The following is from the Michigan Beekeepers Association.

During our recent board conference call, the question was brought up regarding whether beekeepers could work our bee yards during the stay home, stay safe order. The short answer is yes.

Beekeeping falls under the agricultural sector; we are an essential part in making sure no disruption to the food supply chain occurs during this trying time.

As we're entering warmer weather throughout the lower part of the state, our bees will need some attention. If your bee yard is not at your primary residence, you can print a copy of the letter from MDARD below to carry with you as you travel.

MDARD AG Essential Document
Under the Governor’s Executive Director 2020-21 it states, “No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations except to the extent that its workers are necessary to sustain and protect life, regardless of whether the business or operation is open to members of the public.” Agriculture broadly falls under this category, as the continuation of the food system is crucial. Therefore, you are able to do what is necessary to continue to function. Please keep in mind the follow:

(c)   Such businesses and operations must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons. Those practices and measures include, but are not limited to:

(1)   Restricting the number of workers present at the job site to no more than are strictly necessary to perform the business’s or operation’s functions.

(2)   Promoting remote work to the fullest extent possible.

(3)   Keeping employees at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible and enabling social distancing for customers who are standing in line.

(4)   Adopting policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person who is known or suspected to have COVID-19.

(5)   Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Please remember that the circumstances surrounding this pandemic are changing on a continual basis.

For the latest information, please visit:

MDARD has established an email address for industry, stakeholders, and consumers to submit questions and/or get clarification on specific areas of concern.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives.

COMB is a club for beekeepers in the mid-Michigan area. COMB's purpose is the study and promotion of the science and art of beekeeping. Meetings are open to the public but only members who are current on their dues may vote on club business. Club meetings are usually held at 6:30 PM on the second Monday of the month at the MSU Pavilion. Check Inside COMB Events for updated information on club meetings and upcoming events. Follow COMB on Social Media at our Facebook site for group discussions and questions.

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