Dear reader,


Spring is quickly approaching and we have been busy preparing for another exciting bee season. March is always a good time to remind folks to wrap up any winter bee projects they may have. Anticipating goals and equipment needs for yourself in preparation for the upcoming months is a great way to have things ready at your convenience. Although it's hard to believe that we may thaw out, days will soon be getting warmer and daylight longer!

If you've attended any of our meetings, intro classes, or workshops, we would appreciate if you would kindly write a  review on our webpage and share your experience. 

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March 16th Meeting - Splits using the OTS Method

We will be discussing the "OTS" method or "On the Spot" method of queen rearing developed by Mel Disselkoen which allows beekeepers to rear more bees than they lose each year. By splitting hives and notching frames for the bees to rear new queens, increasing hive count can be easily achieved. This method utilizes simple techniques to produce quality queens that does not require special tools or skills other than the ability to identify 36 hour or younger larvae. Splits will not only expand your apiary but it is also used for swarm prevention and even acts as a natural defense against varroa mites by breaking the brood cycle. OTS allows beekeepers to become more self sufficient and make the most out of the resources provided in their hives. We have received a lot of inquires on this topic, it will be a great meeting to bring all of your questions. 

"Since honeybee behavior is naturally directed towards survival and increase, beekeepers can adapt their management and business models to the honeybee's natural instincts so that stress is minimized and performance is optimized. By working within this philosophy of cooperating with nature, I have found that the best bee is the bee that can overwinter in your area"  -Mel Disselkoen


Best of the Beekeeping Forums

The beekeeping forums are not only good for getting help with your questions, but also to learn and think about things you haven't considered.  Here are a couple of the best posts from the last month.


Tap for getting honey out of the hive?

Two queens in one hive

The color of pollen

Question to the first or second year bee keeper


Video of the Month


Mel Disselkoen speaks on OTS


Hands-on Full Day Beginner Course

We will be offering a full day hands on beginners course on May 16th.  There is no better way to learn than in a bee yard where you can get the full experience. This will be a great opportunity to really understand all the parts and characteristics of a bee hive. We will examine frames within a hive reviewing signs of health, brood patterns and stages of their development, queen, worker and drone identification, cell sizes along with their uses, among many other things. This course will be a great place to find answers to all of the questions you may have. 

Fee for the course is $50 per person and the class will be limited to 12 participants.  So get your registration in early..... Contact us at to register.


Library Observation Hive

 Local Boy Scout Blake Overton will be designing, building and installing a permanent observation hive in the library as his Eagle Scout project.  The observation hive will contain a video kiosk that will help educate library patrons on the importance of the honeybee.  You can help support this project and check out the details on his website,


Hudson Valley Hives is a beekeeping group that  meets at the Olive Free Library on a monthly basis and discuss all things beekeeping. The meeting starts with a short seasonal appropriate presentation followed by general open discussion. It is very informal and we welcome anyone interested to participate. If you are just thinking about getting started in beekeeping, a new beekeeper, or a seasoned beekeeper, you will benefit from the group discussions.

• What: Bee Group

• Where: Olive Free Library, West Shokan

• When: 3rd Monday of the Month - 6:30PM

Hope to see you at our next meeting,
Rob Overton
Lindsay Brower


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