January 2023 Newsletter

President's Hive

Happy New Year!

In case you weren’t able to attend the November Annual Meeting, here were the highlights:

  • Bob Hinschberger, Jonathan Kvasnik, Betty Mortensen, Christine Shoemaker, and Karen Voy were all elected to our board of directors, they will be serving 3 year terms ending in 2025

  • Our 2023 budget was reviewed and approved. The budget was published in the November 2021 newsletter for your review.

  • We heard from our 2022 Youth Scholarship recipients, a special thanks to them for their excellent presentations.

Some of you may know of our February guest speaker from his popular Youtube channel, a Canadian Beekeeper's Blog . Ian Steppler will be joining us via Zoom to speak on how he Manages a Nuc Battery for Sustainability in his commercial operation. This should be an excellent talk, so make sure to attend on February 14th (Bring your date, It’s Valentine's day!), and make sure to check out his Youtube.

Our youth scholarship program is a great way to get an interested young person between the ages of 12 and 17. Recipients of the scholarship receive:

  1. A 1 year membership to the MHBA,

  2. Tuition for the U of M “Beekeeping in Northern Climates - Year 1 and Year 2” classes

  3. A complete set of woodenware for a beehive, protective gear and tools for the student, and a package of bees

  4. An MHBA mentor for one year

The January 15th application deadline is fast approaching, so if you know anyone that is interested, have them apply before it’s too late! The application can be found on our website on the Education tab, under “For Youth”, or using this direct link https://mnbeekeepers.com/youth-scholarship/ . Gary Reuter is the chairperson of the Youth Scholarship Committee and puts in a tremendous amount of work with applications, interviews, sourcing and distributing both equipment and bees. A huge thank you to him, and all the volunteer mentors that make this program a success, year after year.

Since this is the time for resolutions, ponder the possibility of pollinators in your planning. This is a great time to think about spring landscaping projects, like applying for a Lawns to Legumes grant (Deadline January 18th!) https://bluethumb.org/lawns-to-legumes/ . Or spend some time assembling frames or painting hive boxes. May the “off-season” be productive for you!

Don’t forget to send in your photos and questions to Gary at [email protected] in advance of our February meeting, so they can be included in the presentation.

Onward to 2023!
Alex King
[email protected]

Banquet Chair Needed

We are in need of a Banquet Chair to lead our Annual Banquet efforts. The Annual Banquet is an event where we directly raise funds for the Bee Lab.  The Banquet has become a tradition of our club and, as a first-time attendee last year, I can attest that it is worth the effort.

You will not be alone in these efforts. The whole of the Board of Directors will be here to support you and assist in the implementation of the arrangements you make.

Please contact Alex King at [email protected] for details.

Quintin Holmberg


Better Beekeeping Through Education

There is no January meeting.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, February 14th, 7:00 PM
Hybrid meeting:
In-Person: TBA
(Masks Recommended)
Via Zoom: Meeting Link

Hive Demo

No Hive Demo This Month

Click here for directions.

Upcoming Events

Beekeeper Get-together
See newsletter article for details
Member Meeting
Ian Steppler
Member Meeting
Marla Spivak
Vera Krischik
Neonicotinoid research and mosquito abatement around pollinators.

Hospitality Chair

The MHBA is seeking a Hospitality Chair. We hope to eventually return to providing refreshments at our meetings, however we are in need of a Hospitality Chair!

Responsibilities include:

  • Preparing coffee and lemonade for in person meetings.
  • Monthly securing member volunteers to provide treats such as cookies and bars
  • Organizing cups, napkins, paper plates and supplies as needed.

Interested? Please contact Alex King. [email protected]

Hive Management


Happy New Year!

I hope your bees are all tucked away and cozy. There is no hive management in January. You have given your colonies the proper preparations already for winter.  Let them winter in peace. If there are any problems there is really nothing you can do about it now anyway. Let them be.

This is your chance to get ready for spring, clean, recondition and/or build equipment and read up on some bee biology.

For those that have not taken the University of Minnesota Beekeeping in Northern Climates class (https://beelab.umn.edu/binc-classes) I highly recommend you do so. If you have not taken the class in a number of years (say 5 or more) it may be worth attending again. The online class is very good and you can do it at your own schedule and pace. The Beekeeping in Northern Climates manual (https://beelab.umn.edu/manuals) has been updated and renamed Beekeeping in Northern Climates – Second Edition and is available to purchase. Last but not least, the current issue of Honey Bee Diseases and Pests is 2016. If you do not have a current copy, you should get one. It is available to purchase or download at https://beelab.umn.edu/manuals. This year the U of M Bee Lab will have in-person classes again. The year one will be Feb 4 and the year 2 will be Feb 18. For more information see the links above.

At a recent seminar I attended, the panel was asked what their favorite bee books were. Here are their recommendations: Brooke - Honey Bee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley, Jessica - The Honey Bus by  Meredith May, Katie - The Beekeepers Lament by Hannah Nordhaus, Bridget - Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov, Gary - A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell, Judy - If Bees Are Few- a book of poetry edited by James Lenfesty


Reproduction of all or part of this article without the author’s permission is prohibited.


5 Frame Nucs
Carniolan and Italian queens. Healthy, strong, varroa-treated bees! Pick up in Prior lake, mid-May. No prepayment required! 952 212 6853, Viktor

Your Classified Here

Did you know your membership allows you to place classified ads in the MHBA Newsletter?

Click here for details.


Beekeeper get-together Saturday, January 28th

Oakdale Discovery Center and Nature Preserve is having a Honey Extraction demonstration, "swap & sell" bee equipment and "talk bee shop" event Saturday, January 28th starting at noon. MHBA member Karen Voy is the resident beekeeper at the Preserve, organizing this enjoyable social event. Other beekeeping clubs, nature centers and area businesses will be attending as well.  If you are interested in participating as a volunteer at the MHBA table, want to sell equipment or help Karen in any way, text her at 612-200-3264 for more details and to get a sign for your car window if you plan to be in the "swap & sell" in the parking lot.
It will be an excellent gathering for all levels of beekeepers to socialize and talk shop, new beekeepers to get equipment, and for anyone interested in beekeeping and learning about pollinator habitats. Maybe you will meet a mentor or a mentee!  There will be activities for kids, so bring the whole family.  Everyone is welcome. See you there.
Oakdale Discovery Center and Nature Preserve is located at 4444 Hadley Avenue N, Oakdale, MN 55128.
Karen Voy and Terry McDaniel

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Email a photo to Gary Reuter at [email protected] before noon on the day of the member's meeting so he can project it on the screen during “Ask the Expert.” We will all learn from you what you see in your hive.


Online Resources

Please visit our website!
We continue to make updates and changes to our website. Recently, we reorganized the Education page.
Stay tuned for no-cost Community-based beekeeping classes & events in the new calendar:
If you are offering a class/event, you may submit the details to have it listed on our website:

Join Us On Facebook
Join our members only Facebook group:
This is a place for members to ask questions, share answers, share photos and videos, and socialize online.

MHBA Board Minutes
Please check the website for the latest, approved Board meeting minutes.

More Announcements

Membership Renewal
There are three ways to renew your membership today!

  1. Renew your membership online with a credit card (preferred).
  2. Mail the membership renewal form to our treasurer at the address provided
  3. Renew in person by bringing your completed form and check to the next meeting.

Our Renewal Form can be found at our Become a Member page:

Newsletter Submissions
The MHBA newsletter welcomes articles, photos, recipes, etc. from members. Please send them to the editor:
[email protected]

If an article is a reprint from another source, permission must be gained if required. The due date for newsletter submission is the 25th of the month for the next month's newsletter.

MHBA Board

Position Member
President Alex King
Vice President Kate Winsor
Secretary Kate Gardner
Treasurer Bill Thompson
Past President Susan Bornstein
Technology Committee Quintin Holmberg
Alex King
Gary Reuter
Membership Steve Buck
Newsletter Editor Quintin Holmberg
Stacy Anderson
Bob Hinschberger
Quintin Holmberg
Jonathan Kvasnik
Katie Lee, PhD. (appointed)
Terry McDaniel
Betty Mortensen
Christine Shoemaker
Gary Reuter
Sarah Staten
Karen Voy

Get Involved

Make 2023 the year to get more involved in your club! To become a Community Outreach volunteer or a Swarm Chaser please complete and submit the appropriate form by visiting:

NOTE: The contents of this Newsletter are the sole property of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (MHBA). NO REPUBLICATION OR USE in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, by any other person or entity without the prior express written permission from MHBA’s Board of Directors is permitted. MHBA may be contacted at [email protected]