January 2024 Newsletter

President’s Hive

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice holiday season. Perhaps you shared some of your jars of honey as gifts, or maybe received bee-related items from friends and family. My holiday events included a dinner where the host specifically pointed out that honey from my hives was used as an ingredient in the dessert. Another friend told me that she found an old jar of my honey in the back of her cupboard - fully crystallized but still edible. I also had lots of conversations about what bees do in the winter, which always seems to amaze the listeners. I’m sure all of you have had similar conversations.

Here are the important things to know for the upcoming few months:

MHBA Banquet is Approaching Fast! Please Join Us.
MHBA Banquet and Fundraising Auction is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, 2024, at the Keller Golf Course in Maplewood. Detailed information about the banquet and how to register may be found at the top of this page (and on our website). Please consider bringing items for our live and silent auctions. We will also have a honey tasting station - bring your favorite honey. This will be a fun evening and we hope you can attend.

February Member Meeting (Reminder: No Member Meeting in January.)
We will start our year of member meetings with a speaker from Bee Mindful on Tuesday, February 13th at 7:00 PM. Please join us at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus in Room 335 in Borlaug Hall.

New Board Members
Congratulations to our newly elected Board Members: Peggy DeSanto, Will Gabbard, Charlie Kundinger, Michelle Maas, Liz Pepin, and Gary Reuter. They join us with a host of great skills and knowledge.

Youth Beekeeping Scholarship
Do you know a young person who would like to keep bees? The deadline for applications is January 15th. Details about the program and the application are on our website or click here:

Kate Winsor
MHBA President

Better Beekeeping Through Education

Next Meeting
Nathalie Girard of Bee Mindful
Horizontal Frame Beekeeping

Tuesday, February 13th, 7:00 PM

Hybrid meeting:
In-Person: Borlaug Hall, Room 335
Via Zoom: Meeting Link

Hive Demo
No Hive Demo

Click here for directions.

Upcoming Events

MHBA Banquet
Keller Golf Course, Maplewood
Nathalie Girard of Bee Mindful
Horizontal Frame Beekeeping


Your Classified Here

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

Click here for details.

January 2024 Management

Happy New Year! I hope your bees are all tucked away and cozy. There is no management in January. If you have given them the proper preparations for winter, they will be better without you trying to “help” them. Let them winter in peace. If there are any problems, there is really nothing you can do about them now anyway.

Since you are not busy with the bees, think about joining fellow beekeepers at the MHBA Banquet February 10. This is a good time of conversation and fun. See registration information elsewhere in this newsletter. Don’t delay; the deadline for registration is January 19th.

This is your chance to get ready for next year, clean, recondition and/or build equipment and read up on some 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 several 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 is being updated so hold off buying that until the new edition comes out in a month or two. 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.

The U of M Bee Lab will have in person classes again. The year one will be Feb 3 and the year 2 will be Feb 17. For more information see the link https://beelab.umn.edu/binc-classes. If you have taken year 1 but not yet taken year 2 now is the time.

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


Become a Community Outreach Educator

A big thank you to Tom LeMay, Paul Vandergon, Daniel Harrell, and JoAnne Sabin who filled four requests to speak about bees and beekeeping since December 1st!

MHBA receives requests, related to bees and beekeeping, from all over the metro area and beyond. These requests come from schools, community organizations, and community events. We wish we could accommodate everyone! After all, we like to spread the word and share our enthusiasm about honey bees! Here’s how it works: The Community Outreach Coordinator receives a request and matches the requestor’s needs with the interests and talents of our volunteer educators. The basic information about the presentation is then forwarded to volunteers with the best fit (i.e., in terms of location, interest, audience age, educator’s availability, etc.). At this point, it is up to the volunteer to reply to the Community Outreach Coordinator if they are interested in the request. If that’s you, then the Community Outreach Coordinator puts you directly in contact with the requestor to organize the details of the presentation. It’s fun, it’s educational and it’s rewarding! Come join us! For additional information, please email Susan Bornstein, MHBA Community Outreach Coordinator at [email protected], or call 651-324-1696.

To register as an Outreach Educator volunteer, please complete the form at https://mnbeekeepers.com/get-involved/, by selecting “Become A Community Outreach Educator”

The following is a list of some of the possible supplies that we may lend to volunteers for their Community Outreach event:

  • Tablecloth with MHBA logo
  • Free standing tent
  • Demonstration hive (when weather permits)
  • Beekeeping teaching photo frames in a deep hive box
  • Laminated bee and beekeeping posters
  • Beekeeping tools, smoker, veils
  • Various education worksheets for all ages

Come join us!!

Susan Bornstein, Community Outreach Coordinator

Honey tasting at the banquet

Bring a jar of your honey or any jar of honey from around the world. Let's see how many different flavors we can taste in one gathering of beekeepers.
When you get to the banquet see Terry McDaniel or Bill Thompson and we will have a spot for your jars on the honey tasting table.

Terry McDaniel

Winter pollinator fun at the Art Shanty Projects

Stop by the Art Shanty Projects festival and see or join in my Pollinator Frenzy dance project. We have a lot of fun as a variety of pollinators that inform the visitors through a fun energetic pollinator dance about how important pollinators are. Our performance is quite short but then there is time for a community dance where everyone is invited to buzz around to some fun dance music with your friends and family. It starts at 1:00 every weekend during the festival. Don't miss the fun. It all happens out on beautiful Bde Maka Ska (Lake Harriet). The Art Shanty Projects starts January 20th and runs through February 11th. Hope to see you there.

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 Kate Winsor
Vice President Bill Thompson
Secretary Karen Voy
Treasurer Bob Hinschberger
Peg DeSanto
Willie Gabberd
Quintin Holmberg
Charlie Kundinger
Katie Lee, PhD. (appointed)
Michelle Maas
Betty Mortensen
Liz Pepin
Noel Pollen
Gary Reuter
Christine Shoemaker
Membership Steve Buck
Newsletter Editor Quintin Holmberg
Technology Committee Quintin Holmberg
Gary Reuter
Librarian Gail Dramen
Outreach Susan Bornstein
Ask Buzz JoAnne Sabin
Swarm Chasers Bob Sitko
Hospitality Mark & Cathy Lee
Banquet Jessica Minser

Get Involved

Make 2024 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]