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

With the April 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.

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.

Still need some more help? The MSU College of Natural Science, Michigan Pollinator Initiative has scheduled some upcoming webinars. They are:
      First-Year Colonies: What to Do When the Bees Arrive, Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 at 7pm EST
      Established Colonies: Early-Season Management, Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 at 7pm EST
      Established Colonies: Preparing for Swarm Season, Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 7pm EST
To learn more about the webinars, how to join them at the scheduled times, past webinars, and more information from the MSU Michigan Pollinator Initiative see the link below.

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:


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.

Save the Date for the North American Mite-A-Thon

The 2020 North American Mite-A-Thon will run on May 2nd-17th, and August 15th-30th. This year, the Mite-A-Thon will have a spring and summer session in order to maximize data collection and distribution. The Mite-A-Thon is a tri-national effort to collect Varroa mite infestation data in honey bee colonies across North America, and all beekeepers can participate by testing their hives for mites, creating a rich distribution of sampling sites in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

HERE to learn more about the 2020 North American Mite-A-Thon!

Bee Packages

This year COMB is limiting bee package sales to COMB members only. You must have paid your 2020 dues to order packages. Dues are only $10 and can be paid at meetings or by going to the COMB website and under Inside COMB on the menu bar select Membership. The bees sales will be handled by AWS Bees and COMB will only act as a collection point for orders.  Pickup will be around April 10 to April 20 depending on the weather at Diane Karsten's, 3904 Roundlake Road, Dewitt MI 48820. See last page of the order form. Click here for order form and pricing. Please follow directions on the order form closely. Checks are to be made out to AWS bees but mailed to Roberto Johnson for processing. Orders must be placed and full payment received by March 25th. Orders placed directly with AWS Bees will not be available for pickup with the COMB order. Club orders MUST go through Robert Johnson. Questions call/text Robert Johnson 517-525-4173.

Welcome to Center Of Michigan Beekeepers (COMB)

Center Of Michigan Beekeepers

​​​​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 April 13 2020 Meeting Canceled

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

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 over the next few weeks. They include:

First-Year Colonies: What to Do When the Bees Arrive, Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 at 7pm EST
Established Colonies: Early-Season Management, April 2nd, 2020 at 7pm EST
Established Colonies: Preparing for Swarm Season, April 6th, 2020 at 7pm EST

To see when these webinars are scheduled, more information on them, and to see past webinars check out the link below.

For club members who purchased bee packages from AWS through the club, we are working on setting up deliver to minimize interactions and maintain social distancing during the delivery. Watch for more information.

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

​​Upcoming Events

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

Click here for information from past meetings

April 13, Regular COMB Meeting 6:30 at the MSU Pavilion


May 11, Regular COMB Meeting 6:30 at the MSU Pavilion

Mike Connor and tree/plant sale

Mike is a regular to COMB meetings and a great presenation. Topic TBD. Watch for more details.

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

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.


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