The DC Beekeepers Alliance offers both regularly scheduled monthly meetings and special sessions that take advantage of experts visiting our area.
Our monthly meetups are scheduled for the Hill Center at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003 (Capitol Hill) 6:30 PM to 8 PM. Monthly meetings always include member discussions and speakers on topics of relevance to local beekeepers.
Getting to the Hill Center:
We also offer specially scheduled in-depth sessions at The Fairmont Hotel, 2400 M Street NW, to take advantage of leading beekeepers and scientists who visit the Nation's Capital as they work on issues relevant to honeybee and pollinator health.
March 15, 2017
February 15, 2017
January 18, 2017
December 21, 2016
November 16, 2016
October 19, 2016
September 21, 2016
July 20, 2016
June 15, 2016
May 18, 2016
How Record Keeping Can Save Your Bees: For most of us, keeping good records is a "do as I say, not as I do" activity. But especially for new beekeepers, making the right decision for managing the health and productivity of your bees is helped a great deal by knowing what happened this time last year -- and the year before. Do you know how old your queen is? Whether she is marked? When the first swarm cells have appeared in your neighborhood? Three beekeepers will share their differing methods of keepinfg track, and there will be a quick review of some online tools/apps that some folks find helpful. Many beekeepers have excellent hive records for April, but slack off after that! This month's meeting features two different approaches to keeping good, helpful records in a convenient way. Jan Day has been a meticulous tracker of her personal bees, and has looked at many different templates and tools, some of which she will share with attendees. Sean McKenzie and Rachel Perry of Capital Bee Care keep detailed and accurate records on a commercial scale for paying customers, and use some cool technology to do so. Come and get some tips from folks who have been doing this right for a while! Open to the public, refreshments served!
April 20, 2016
The Eastern Apicultural Society and Its 2016 Conference: Tim McMahon, EAS-Certified Master Beekeeper and President of the Montgomery County Beekeepers will explain the role of the Eastern Apicultural Society in advanced beekeeping education, as well as the 2016 conference in New Jersey, which has education at all levels and a ton of fun for anyone who loves bees. Shayne Madella and Nathalie Steinhauer of the BeeInformed Partnership will also present (and solicity your participation in) the Annual Colony Loss Survey which has been tracking hive losses and also discovering some new insights into how and when they are happening.
March 23, 2016 (DATE CHANGE)
Inside The Bee Gear Business: Patrick Ferrer of Dadant, Inc. will both speak and bring any pre-orders (no shipping!) you might wish to make! Patrick is Sales Manager of Dadant in Chatham, VA, and will give an idea of what it is like on the other side of the beekeeping business: working for one of the main suppliers and supporters of both sideline and large scale commercial apiculture in North America! Dadant & Sons, Inc., has been involved in beekeeping, apiculture supplies, and hive products for over 180 years, and publishes the American Bee Journal. We will also catch up on winter loss information and next steps for survivor and newly established hives for Spring 2016. Contact Patrick this week to order anything you would like him to bring: email@example.com, phone: 434-432-8461.
February 17, 2016
Spring 2016 Expectations: Spring in DC is a time of explosive population growth of overwintered hives, a time to assess colony losses and the potential reasons for them, an opportunity for us to begin pooling our data on losses, and the moment to start preventing your own swarms and signing up to catch those of others. At this meeting, we can also consider some shared preparation activities, such as a group buy of pollen patties (they always come in packages way too large for most of us to use), organizing shared equipment buys and builds, and when to expect this years' packages and nucs. So come to this meeting, join the swarm squad, and figure out what stuff you want to order before it is out of stock!
January 20, 2016
Winter into Spring 2016: December was the warmest ever, but extremes of cold are predicted also. What is this doing to your bees, and what can you do for them? We will discuss information that is coming in from around the region and across the country. Beginners Course 2016: we are working with UDC again, but there are many changes, except one: we sold out in days from the waiting list alone. Here's how folks with bees who are willing to volunteer can participate, as well as other educational options nearby. Apiary matching project: we reached out to the community to find places to host your hives. Here's how it's going
December 16, 2015
Holiday Potluck Dinner: Church of the Reformation Parish Hall, 212 East Capital Street, Washington, DC.
Establishing Backyard Pollinator Habitat and Nests for Native Bees: Longtime DC beekeeping participant Carin Celebuski and BeeInformed Partnership team member Olivia Bernauer will discuss creating native pollinator habitat, something that works well for honeybees while helping to re-establish working ecologies for birds, other bugs, amphibians, and more! Carin works with the University of Maryland Arboretum, and presented this talk in workshop form, with great success, as part of DPR's Summer Urban Gardening Workshops Program. Carin and Olivia are bringing the materials you need to make a bamboo pollinator nest to take home! We will have refreshments, and time to talk about what you are seeing in your apiaries, and questions/advice about how to respond.
October 21, 2015
Adventures in Trap Outs! Stefano Briguglio is one of the most experienced and talented beekeepers in the DC area (check out his family permaculture and bee business at www.azurebllc.com), with a skill set that includes "trapping out" bees that have gotten into places where they can't stay, and which we can't take apart. He has tackled some incredible sites in DC, Baltimore, and elsewhere, and will share photos, stories, and tips for coaxing a queen out of a place where she really shouldn't be(e). It takes immense insight to do this work, and then to re-home the colonies in question. Come listen and learn.
We will have refreshments, and time to talk about what you are seeing in your apiaries, and questions/advice about how to respond. I will bring the world's easiest sugar candy recipe, and examples of what it makes.
This meeting will take place in the "Beatrice" room on the second floor.
August 26, 2015
Summer Social: Because August attendance is almost always light, and my proposed speaker became unavailable, tonight's session will be devoted to refreshments, comparing notes, answering YOUR questions, discussing the world after the launch of the DC Beekeeping regs, and a quick review of topics that apply to beekeeping at this time of year in DC. We are happy to have you contribute refreshments, as well!
I will also have some of the windscreen fabric mentioned earlier this month available for those who want to learn about that. And get this: the development company that donated it is now interested in looking at rooftop apiaries in future DC/Baltimore projects! Finally, if you find that you have a few more frames of honey that you would like to harvest, we have a honey harvest event coming up where, for the cost of a volunteer hour or two, other people will do the work for you (and you keep your honey).
July 29, 2015
The DC State Fair–Entering Honey, About the Fair, and Why You Care: DC's beekeepers have distinguished themselves as some of the most dedicated, impressive, and technically accomplished participants in this celebration of the DC Community and its many gardens, kitchens, and creative hands. There are cool prizes, but preparing a winning entry requires some knowledge and some work. The bees do beautiful work: we should handle their products with the same respect. Bring in a jar of your honey to be tested! Talk by honey judge George Wilson (tent.)
Wax Handling: Options for melting and using those cappings, scrapings, and burr comb: Beeswax is 8 times harder for the bees to produce than honey, and is valuable to artists, craftspeople, food scientists, candle and soapmakers, and more. This talk is a quick overview of options to melt and purify your wax , and the difference between cappings and brood comb. By Toni Burnham
June 24, 2015
Toni Burnham–Treatment Options for Varroa: Do What You Need To, and Do It Soon: DC and the surrounding area suffered terrible hive losses over the last year, much of which can be linked to Varroa mites and the viruses they vector into our colonies. Varroa even seem to have impacted feral bees more gravely this winter! This session is a quick overview of tools you can use to decide whether or not to treat, why you should treat early if you are going to, aand the current crop of treatments available (including at least one new option). We will also discuss a novel proposition for treating as many of our colonies as possible simultaneously and why that might be incredibly cool.
Natasha Garcia-Anderson of DC Department of the Environment will talk briefly about the ongoing 30-day comment period for the recently-developed beekeeping regulations at http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/NoticeHome.aspx?NoticeID=5501081 She will not be able to take official comments, but will fill us in on how to comment and the road ahead.
May 13, 2015
Frank Linton–Observation Hives and Other Gadgets: Local Master Beekeeper Frank Linton is about to publish a book on observation hives, and is a long time leader in the use of tools like digital hive scales, temperature monitoring, and others to understand the inner workings of your bee colonies without having to take them apart.
Damien Ossi–Planting for Pollinators: DC's own expert on native plants (and excellent speaker) spoke on pro-pollinator choices we can make for our gardens this year, as well as plants we can encourage our neighbors and landscapers to include
March 25, 2015
Spring 2015 Kickoff: First meeting at our new site and for the short course students. Topics: finding an urban out-apiary, community swarm catching network, seed bombing for pollinators demo
November 19, 2014
October 15, 2014
August 2014: Summer Vacation, no meeting
The focus for the meeting will be on making your plans for mite treatment and the winter (if you can believe it!) ahead.
The focus for the meeting will be on citizen science projects in which DC beekeepers can participate!