Dear reader,

Greetings beekeeping friends! Its hard to believe that winter is coming to a close... With spring knocking on our door, we have been busy preparing for another much anticipated bee season. March is always a good time to remind folks to wrap up any winter bee projects they may have. Setting goals and equipment needs in preparation for the upcoming months is a great way to have things ready at your convenience. 

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

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If you have any topics, ideas, or questions, feel free to contact us at Please whitelist our email address to ensure proper mail delivery from Hudson Valley Hives.


March 21st- Bee Improvement

 This month we will gather to discuss a program by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association that focuses on the advantages of sustainability and self sufficiency of working with stock best suited to your localized environment through education and experience. 

"We are very pleased to announce the formation of a  Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) Group here in the Hudson Valley.  Bee improvement for all is a local three pronged project based on education, self sufficiency, and advanced bee breeding.  Beeginers, Beehavers, Beekeepers, and Beemasters, aka beginners, intermediate, advanced, and breeders, can contribute to the overall health of the honeybees here in many ways. We offer a series of intermediate and advanced workshops, quarterly symposiums, a breeders database, season long apprenticeships, and access to our proprietary technology, buyers cooperative, and coming shortly, a science team.

BIBBA was founded in England by Roger Patterson, Dave Cushman, and several of their esteemed friends, both beekeepers and scientists in 1964. Mr Patterson has been most gracious in enthusiasm,  guidance, and access to their wealth of articles, videos and know how. The organization is dedicated to teaching bee breeding at all levels, stock improvement, and my favorite, selective pressures queen rearing.

The two main causes of colony dead outs are ignorance and genetically inferior stock. Varroa is manageable, and if you realized how much you set back our bees by bringing in bees not acclimated to our area you would believe as we do, importation is not an option.

The goal is to make the Hudson Valley self sufficient in its bee supply, stop importation of bees,  learn how to evaluate and make your own stock and become self reliant. If you think you have something special, a unique environmental condition your bees have adapted to such as commercial agriculture,  or successful varroa resistance, please join our breeders association." -Tom Sotiridy 

You can get more information on their workshops, queens, breeders,  and articles at


Bluestone Press: Ever Consider Becoming a Beekeeper?

We've met a lot of great people in our journey's, one of them was kind enough to do a wonderful write up on Hudson Valley Hives. A warm thank you to Ann Belmont for the time and effort you put into your work! 

"Ann Belmont

For the BSP

Have you ever witnessed a honeybee swarm? This awesome sight- bees about to form a new colony hovering in a huge cluster high in the air- is not as common as it used to be in Ulster County, owing to the many challenges to honeybee survival today, In fact, honeybee sightings were a rarity in some parts of the county last summer. It is therefore good to know that there are people who give freely of their time and expertise to help aspiring beekeepers succeed. 

Hudson Valley Hives is an organization devoted to that very enterprise. On January 9 and 16, HVH's annual Introduction to Beekeeping workshops were held at the Olive Free Library, open to all comers free of charge. Attendees were engrossed by member Rob Overton's deep and wide knowledge of his subject. He spoke for hours at each meeting, covering such subjects as the makeup of the hive, "races" of honeybees, bee foraging plants, caring for the bees in every season, human-made hive construction, how to obtain bees, how to deal with bears and thieving yellow jackets, protective gear, harvesting the honey. With all he knows, however, Rob's wisdom about bees can be summed up in the wry words of Michael Bush, author of "The Practical Beekeeper": " Bees continue to survive despite our help", an acknowledgement that some things that we do to "help" them run counter to their instincts. Honeybees living on their own in the woods survive just fine, so the best course is often observe how the wild bees manage things and try to emulate those conditions when keeping your own hives.

That said, it is clear that honeybees now need human support in many ways. Their struggles with parasites and pesticides are driving down populations all over the world. Here in the Hudson Valley, with its great diversity of wild plant life and agriculture, one way of helping to support bees is to raise them in your backyard, if you have a bit of time and an initial outlay of cash to spare.

If the amount of know-how involved in being a successful beekeeper can seem daunting, it is balanced by the willingness of people like Rob Overton and others in the local beekeeping community to share their years of experience with neophytes. People who are venturing into the world of beekeeping need "to have other people they can talk to and connect with" says Lindsay Brower, who does manages the HVH website and e-newsletter as well as organizing events for the group. "What the bees are foraging on, the weather- it's such a localized thing. The Internet is a great resource, but connecting to people in Florida or Texas just isn't enough. I have fellow beekeepers in Olive Bridge, and their season could be going differently than our season. We had a bee yard in Accord, and we ended up moving all our bees to West Shokan to catch the goldenrod "flow" there. It's so close, but things can be quite different"

"it's been an amazing journey", continues Lindsay, speaking how she came to fall in love with bees, coming to Rob's first workshop three years ago, and since then having such adventures as "being 30 feet up in a tree, sawing off the branch the bees were swarming on and bringing it down into a hive" to be taken to a new location.

The beekeeping community of the Hudson Valley is a close one, characterized by the sharing of tips and pooling of resources. And there is growing interest locally in raising bees, judging by the amount of people drawn to HVH's free classes. "At every intro course, you see a new group of people- last year, there were 30 new people!" exclaims Lindsay. "they stick around with us for monthly meetings throughout the year (which is free as well). By the time November comes around, they are comfortable enough so they don't need the support anymore, and we'll see a new group, come January".

HVH holds meetings for the beekeeping community on the third Monday of the month at the Olive Library in West Shokan. It's there that people can gather and ask "How are you doing, how are your bees doing?" The group will also be holding a build-your-own workshop on March 26. At the end of the day,participants will leave the with completely assembled bee-ready hive boxes. If you feel the stirrings of desire to raise bees or simply curious, information about all of HVH's activities as well as links to books, where to buy bees and equipment, and much more useful, helpful information, is on its website at"

BlueStone Press, January 22,2016 Page 7


Hands on Equipment Assembly Workshop

Although the deadline for the group order has come and gone, we do have space available for those of you who would like to bring any un-assembled equipment you may have. This workshop will be held on Saturday, March 26th 10 a.m.. Tips and tricks to help you assemble your woodenware will leave you with a complete setup, ready for painting and bees! There will be a $20 fee to cover materials. Air staplers, nails, glue, Bt ( wax moth prevention), carpenter's squares, and frame assembly jigs will available to our participants. Please bring a hammer, gloves and safety glasses if you have them.  (We will have some safety glasses to share).




Recipe of the Month

A tried and true honey recipe that we've found to be quite delicious! 

Sweet, Sticky, and Spicy Chicken 














  1. Mix together brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken strips.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.

Link to recipe


2016 Nucs For Sale - May Pickup

We are pleased to be able to offer quality Northern Bred bees again this year. Five frame nucs with 4+ frames of brood and honey. These are not just a merger of brood frames with a newly mated queen. These are established colonies with brood from the queen you receive. Reserve your nuc on our website.  


Intro to Beekeeping

On Saturday, March 5th we held another Intro to Beekeeping seminar at the Pine Hill Library after receiving enough interest to do so. It was great to have another enthusiastic crowd of folks eager to get involved. The day was filled with a lot of information and support for more community members of the Hudson Valley! Thank you Tasha for having us at your library!


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 posts related to this months topic of discussion.

Cold weather and feeding packages

Beekeeping basics

What blooms where and when?

Article on varroa mites


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

Rob Overton
Lindsay Brower


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