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.
http://www.combbees.com/membership.html


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

https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-stay-at-home-beekeeping-series/


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

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/giant-wasps-arent-coming-for-you


FREE 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.
https://extension.psu.edu/beekeeping-101


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.
https://americanbeejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ABJ-4-2020.pdf

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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V0UCW8mLYo

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

https://pollinators.msu.edu/resources/beekeepers/


Wonder what you should be doing with your bees right now? Check out the Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA) beekeeping year at the link below.
https://www.michiganbees.org/beekeeping/beekeeping-year/

The MBA also has some videos on a YouTube channel at the link below, including some from COMB club member Dr. Roger Hoopingarner.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJKtkXi9vDIHwXEd1J1_a3w

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.
https://www.youtube.com/user/beekeepersworkshop/videos

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.
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/

A few other sites to check out are:
http://northernbeenetwork.org/
https://beeinformed.org/
https://driftwatch.org/
http://pollinatorstewardship.org/
https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/
https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/

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
https://pollinators.msu.edu/resources/beekeepers/webinars/.

Since 2006, many thousands of beekeepers have answered the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) National Loss Survey. You too can participate in the 2019-2020 survey while you are staying at home. See the link below learn more and to take the survey before the end of April.
https://beeinformed.org/2020/04/01/now-live-2019-2020-colony-loss-management-survey/

The 2020 North American Mite-A-Thon will run on May 2nd-17th, and August 15th-30th. The Mite-A-Thon is a tri-national effort to raise awareness about honey bee colony Varroa infestations in North America through the teaching of effective hive monitoring methods. All beekeepers throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico are encouraged to participate by checking their hives for mites and helping raise awareness for honey bee health. To find out more information and participate in the Mite-A-Thon see this link
https://www.pollinator.org/miteathon . Also check out this video from the USDA on Varroa mites https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg3J_ufsR9A .



















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:
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
https://www.cdc.gov/

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

MDARD-COVID19@michigan.gov
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives.



​​Upcoming Events

​See our Events page for more COMB and other upcoming beekeeping events

Click here for information from past meetings


​​June 8th, Regular COMB Meeting 6:30 at the MSU Pavilion

​​Kim Wood - NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS!
Kim is a retired teacher and current beekeeper. ​She is an active beekeeper with multiple hives located in West Michigan. She loves to talk about her craft and tends to inspire a love of honeybees. In "No Mistakes, Only Lessons", she presents an honest and often humorous journey through her first full year as a beekeeper. Perfect for folks considering becoming a beekeeper or for “new-bees” in their first few years of honeybees, or if you are just curious what beekeeping involves!
www.WaggleDanceHoneybees.com

July 13, COMB Picnic

Watch for details.

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.

Welcome to Center Of Michigan Beekeepers (COMB)

​​​​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.

Special Notice May 11, 2020 Meeting Canceled

Because of the current situation and restrictions with the COVID-19 virus the COMB Board is canceling the May meeting and will be monitoring the situation for the June meeting. Currently plans for the July picnic meeting are still on.

Plant Sale Fundraiser! Orders Due by 5/17/2020

Mike Connor, our scheduled speaker for the May COMB meeting which was canceled due to the current pandemic, has offered to let us do a fund raiser for the club with a percentage of the proceeds donated to the club. If you would like to support our club and get some really good trees and bushes for your yard visit https://honeytreenursery.com  When you make your selections please note when finalizing your order in special shipping instructions that you are a COMB member and want May 18th pickup at Mike Risk's.

Mike is a popular speaker who has spoken to our club several times in the past. He has one of the best selections of trees and bushes for our pollinators in the state. Please take a minute to check out his selection and take advantage of this offer.

The deadline for orders will be May 17 and the trees will be delivered to Mike Risk, 7575 Hollister Road, Laingsburg, MI 48848. Pick up will be starting Monday, May 18th all-day and after that by appointment only by calling or texting 517-643-1880. Social distancing will be practiced and face masks will be worn during pick up.


Things To Do


Spring is a busy time for beekeepers and stressful for new beekeepers. How do I install my package of bees? What should I be doing in the spring with my bees? How do I keep my bees from swarming? All of these would be questions that would be answered at COMB presentations, networking at meetings, or asking other beekeepers. To help beekeepers out with this, the MSU Apiculture Extension has put together multiple webinars on these topics. You can review them at:

https://pollinators.msu.edu/resources/beekeepers/webinars/

It's not too late, you can still participate in the BIP Loss Survey. Since 2006, many thousands of beekeepers have answered the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) National Loss Survey. You too can participate in the 2019-2020 survey while you are staying at home. See the link below learn more and to take the survey before the end of April.
https://beeinformed.org/2020/04/01/now-live-2019-2020-colony-loss-management-survey/


The 2020 North American Mite-A-Thon will run on May 2nd-17th, and August 15th-30th. The Mite-A-Thon is a tri-national effort to raise awareness about honey bee colony Varroa infestations in North America through the teaching of effective hive monitoring methods. All beekeepers throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico are encouraged to participate by checking their hives for mites and helping raise awareness for honey bee health. To find out more information and participate in the Mite-A-Thon see this link https://www.pollinator.org/miteathon . Also check out this video from the USDA on Varroa mites https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg3J_ufsR9A .


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

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