Lindsay Barranco speaks about apiary inspections and the Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association

The Upper Eastern Shore Beekeeping Association met for their February monthly meeting. In business news, the committee approved the club constitution (available on the About Us section), there will be a hive and frame assembly day on March 6 at Colchester Farm for those who want to learn how to assemble their equipment, the club will be receiving membership cards, and in the next few months the club will have displays and booths at some local events to talk to people about bees, beekeeping, and the importance of pollinators. There was also some discussion about the Maryland bills regarding the use of neoniotinoids.

Member Mike Wham brought a sampling of his beekeeping equipment and supplies so that members who were thinking about starting a new hive could ask questions about the equipment and see how everything works together.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Lindsay Barranco, President of the Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association and a Maryland Apiary Inspector. Lindsay spoke about how the Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association (formed in 1964) is organized and about their community involvement. Lindsay also discussed apiary inspections and what you might expect when you have an inspection. The goals of the inspection are: to protect honeybees from diseases and pests (primarily American Foulbrood), to certify colonies for interstate movement, to survey swarm traps for Africanized bees, to do aphis surveys, to help beekeepers succeed, and to respond to public inquiry.

Apiary inspectors look for healthy brood in the hive and for evidence of disease, pests, and parasites. American foulbrood, European foulbrood, Chalkbrood, Varoa mites, and Small Hive Beetles are just some of the obstacles that beehives face. Inspectors will also assess the number of live and dead colonies and send any questionable samples to be diagnosed at the USDA lab in Beltsville, MD.

Beekeepers are required to register their hives within 30 days of setting up the hive. These forms are available online at: http://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Documents/bee-apl.pdf. According to Maryland records, there are 1,895 registered beekeepers and 14,576 hives in Maryland! Thanks to our apiary inspectors who work with beekeepers to keep all those hives healthy.


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