November 2022 Newsletter

President's Hive

Don’t forget to attend our last meeting of the year on November 15th, the THIRD Tuesday! We will be hearing from our Youth Scholarship participants, and voting on both our 2023 budget and a couple vacancies on our board of directors.

We have had an excellent line-up of guest speakers this year, and I can’t wait to see who we have in store for 2023. We started a hybrid member meeting format earlier in the year and will be continuing with that format for the near future. While it is definitely great to see everyone's faces in person, I’m just as happy to see you on zoom. This meeting format also allows us to meet with members we could never have hoped to reach, bridging the distance from their homes right to the U of M. I appreciate everyone’s patience while we are still working out all the kinks! For our in person attendees, we were happy to offer refreshments at our October meeting, and we are still looking for a new Hospitality chairperson to take this duty over for future meetings, if interested, please contact me.

Our annual banquet was a huge success! We were able to raise $6500 for the U of M bee lab between donations and both the live and silent auctions. Thank you to everyone that participated, and extra thanks to the donors of all the wonderful items that were auctioned off.

Thanks again to all our members for sticking with us during the pandemic, we couldn’t have done it without you. As always a special thanks to Gary for the wealth of knowledge he provides, and to all our directors and officers for all the work that they perform behind the scenes to keep the association running.

As we head into winter, it’s time to put the bees to bed, and bottle up your best jars of honey to give your favorite family members that predictable  Locally Sourced & Handcrafted gift during the holiday season. I look forward to seeing everyone at the November meeting, and to a great 2023!

Alex King
[email protected]

Better Beekeeping Through Education

Next Meeting
Tuesday, November 15th, 7:00 PM
Hybrid meeting:
In-Person: Room B45 Ruttan Hall
(Masks Recommended)
Via Zoom: Meeting Link

Hive Demo

No Hive Demo This Month

Click here for directions.

Upcoming Events

Director ELECTIONS., BUDGET, Youth Scholarship presentations

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

22 November Management

Last time this year for the management.

If you have been following these articles during the season you should have your bees almost ready for winter. They should have: 1. 75-100 pounds stored honey (located on the top of the hive), 2. Northwest wind break 3. Good population with young queen 4. No disease and mites under control 4. Entrance reducer in with large opening facing up 5. Upper entrance open and bottom holes corked.

The last things to do if you have not already done so are 1. Do an oxalic acid dribble for mites 2. Install the winter cover.

The most important thing about covering for winter is providing an escape for the moisture created in the hive due to the bees’ metabolism. The colony needs an upper entrance in addition to the lower entrance, and a moisture board on top of the colony that is exposed to the outside air. Information on how to wrap for winter on Gary's Honeybee Page, Wintering tips, and other good information on wintering.

I am often asked about combining weak colonies with a stronger colony. Do not do it! The weak colony will be no help to a strong colony. It is more likely the weak colony has some kind of problem that it will pass onto the strong colony. This makes both colonies, now one, less likely to get through winter. It is best to winter the strong colony and let the weak one go. If you have 2 or 3 weak colonies that will not make it through winter and you want to try combining them to get through winter, it is worth a try. I have not had great success with this, but at least you do not jeopardize a strong colony that can make it through winter on its own.

Do not disturb the bees if they are clustered. You can wrap the colony, but do not separate any boxes or remove frames.

Give the colonies three pats to tell them you will see them next year.

The bees are on their own until March. I hope to see you at our last meeting for the year November 15. Note the date change since our regular meeting is national election day. Get out and vote and see you the week after.


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


Your Classified Here

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

Click here for details.

2022 Youth Scholarship Program.

Congratulations to our Youth Beekeeper Scholarship Award recipients Omar Rahman, mentor Bob Hinschberger, Wesley & Elise Starkey, mentor Steve Buck, Noah Nordman, mentor Stuart Lavalier, and Madalyn Sjerven, mentor Marea Clarke for their first summer of keeping honey bees.

The Youth Scholarship is our program to help youth between ages of 12 to 17 who are interested in beekeeping who may not have otherwise been able to do so. We supply the personal gear, bee equipment, bees, U of MN class, MHBA membership, and a mentor to get them started. If they stick with it and give a full report at the end of the year they keep the equipment and continue learning with us. Be sure to attend the meeting November 15 to hear their reports on their first summer of beekeeping.

If you know someone who may be interested in applying for this program, refer them to the Youth Beekeeper Scholarship page on our MHBA website. The deadline to apply is January 15.

A special thanks to this year's mentors, Bob Hinschberger, Steve Buck, Stuart Lavalier, and Marea Clarke. They give of their time and knowledge to help the youth get off to a good start in beekeeping. If you would like to volunteer to mentor a youth scholarship recipient in 2023, check out the Get Involved page on our website. Scroll down to the 6th option; Become a Youth Beekeeping Mentor and fill out the form.

I also want to thank people who have donated equipment to our program. This has allowed us to have more recipients in the program. This year I want to thank, Natures Nectar, Miller Manufacturing, Mann Lake, and U of M Bee Lab.

Gary Reuter, Chair - Youth Scholarship Committee

Nominees for the Board of Directors

Bob Hinschberger

I have been a hobby beekeeper over the last 6 seasons after retiring as a CFO of a non-profit healthcare organization. I believe that any non-profit organization is only as strong as the committed effort members are willing to put into it. Now that I have had a bit of success keeping bees to the point they now survive the winter and generate enough honey to share with me, I feel it is time to give back some time to the organization that has helped my success with my hobby. To that end, I volunteered at the WaterFest and was a youth beekeeping mentor this past summer. My other non-profit experience includes 6 years as a board director of an adoption agency (4 years as treasurer), founding member of and 6 years as a board director of a cultural adoption support group (1 year as president), and one year as an interim president of a charter school.

Jonathan Kvasnik

I appreciate and I'm very thankful for how MHBA provides education and advocates for bees and Beekeeping. As a 7th year hobby beekeeper, MHBA has been the most influential and the most beneficial in my becoming a hobby Beekeeper. I learned about the opportunity of the beginning beekeeping class from the MHBA volunteers at the state fair. I remember the feeling of excitement and awe at the first hive demo and MHBA meeting I attended. I have an admiration for the work so many beekeepers and volunteers do to make MHBA succeed.
I believe I will be able add great value to the MHBA as a member of the board. I have served on several boards and currently I'm a board member of an environmental non profit. I work in Investment services
with a good understanding of finance and marketing. As a board member, I would look forward to continuing to enhance the mission of MHBA.

Betty Mortensen

Hi, I'm Betty Mortensen. I am currently serving on the board of directors and am currently seeking
re-election. I was Treasurer of the MHBA for several years. and moved into director. I have been beekeeping for 9 years and have participated in several MHBA events. I have worked at the state fair as well as volunteered there. I have also helped with several outreach events and helped with most MHBA events such as the picnic, banquet, nomination committee, bylaws to name a few. I have attended every MHBA meeting and board meetings.
I enjoy mentoring other beekeepers, both newbies and experienced ones. Sometimes, it is just a phone call, or a quick visit or an email. The options are theirs as to what they need to succeed as beekeepers and build their confidence. One goal I would like to pursue as a board director is to have a mentor outreach person on the MHBA board so beekeepers could connect with someone for help if needed. The primary mission of the MHBA is Education. I work in a middle school and have had teachers and their family/friends come to my apiary to explore and educate them about bees and pollination and how they can help. I like to learn, get involved and pass it on. Thank you for considering me as a board member for the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association.

Christine Shoemaker

Hello bee-e-a-uuuutiful friends!! My name is Christine Shoemaker and I am interested in becoming a Board Member Director for the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association.

I have been a beekeeper for only a year, but throughout this time, I have learned so much! My mentor(s) Karen Voy and Alex King have been so incredibly helpful.

Throughout my entire life, I have always been fascinated by pollinators, in particular, bees. Every year during the Minnesota State Fair, it was tradition for my family and me to play "guess where the queen is!" and visit the beekeeping demos, ever since I was a little girl! Last year, 2021, and this year, 2022, I had the chance to volunteer at the bee booth and help with hive demos, honey extraction, and answer any eager questions about bees and beekeeping.

In December of 2019, I traveled to Puerto Rico and stayed 1 month on an organic regenerative permaculture farm named Buena Fruta Farm through an organization called WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) - I harvested and processed different species of cacao (the origin of chocolate!), avocado, starfruit, banana, passion fruit, mamey sapote, moringa, and turmeric! While I stayed down at the farm, I noticed so many different types of bees, including a very large bumblebee called the giant carpenter bee (Xylocopa mordax)! The farmer, Jeff Paul, informed me that cacao trees are actually pollinated by very small flies called chocolate midges (Forcipomyia squamipennis) and can only (typically) be pollinated by these important pollinators because the cacao flower is so small! At the Rincon Farmers Market, I met a beekeeper named Armando that gave me an opportunity to go beekeeping with him for a day - I soon discovered the world of honey bees by beekeeping for that day. We couldn't check his hives because it was raining - not ideal for Africanized bees. I got stung once!   We traveled all over the island to check his hives - Armando the beekeeper at Cigarros Cafe makes medicinal spiced mixtures with his honey.

During the 2020 pandemic, I attended a free class hosted by the Voys at the Oakdale Nature Preserve to learn more about beekeeping, bees, and honey. This really propelled my enthusiasm for beekeeping and I saw the potential for me to get into beekeeping. Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2021, I decided to shadow Karen Voy every week on Thursdays to learn more about beekeeping. I'm glad I took notes and I'm also so thankful that there are such great mentors out there!

I have 2 hives this year - one in Stillwater and the other in Scandia.

Outside of beekeeping, I am a Forest Therapy Guide certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT), a forager, a private music teacher, and a garlic farmer!

As a private music teacher, my primary instruments are flute, piano, and vocals, but I can mostly teach anything and for all ages / skill levels! I guide forest therapy walks at the Oakdale Nature Preserve - they are very meditative in nature and help folks to slow down and awaken their senses. I am fascinated by plants - I feel like the pollinators and honey bees guide me to find which flowers/fruits/plants are best for picking, which ones are ripe, or in bloom!   Thank goodness for our pollinators. I love collecting seeds and drying flowers and leaves to make locally foraged teas. I also love gardening and cooking - I grow garlic on the farm where I keep bees.

I feel like I am the right candidate for Board Member Director because I have the necessary leadership skills, experience, and perspective to bring to the MHBA Board. I was a general manager for 2 years for the KGSM Radio station at Gustavus Adolphus College, which has prepared me to be a mindful team leader and supporter. I have worked (and currently work in) fast-paced environments, and I am well-versed in technology that is required for the role (i.e., Zoom calls/meetings, Microsoft applications, etc.). I have volunteered for many various organizations in the past such as Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, Episcopal Homes of Minnesota, Christ Episcopal Church, and Union Gospel Mission, so I am well-equipped to become more involved in an organization (and hobby) I am passionate about.

Thank you!

Karen Voy

Karen lives in Oakdale, Minnesota and is the resident beekeeper for Oakdale Nature Center, where she holds weekly hive demonstrations for all visitors to the nature center during the summer. She also has an educational hive at Bethke Park where people can see her check the hive every Monday. Karen has enjoyed mentoring beginners in beekeeping and likes encouraging youth to apply for the scholarship program.
Karen served on a committee for Cook Inlet Region Incorporated in Anchorage, Alaska. While serving, she attended corporate board meetings and was elected chairman of a special participation committee tasked with communicating corporate goals, decisions, and mission statement with shareholders. While serving she learned how to use Roberts Rules of Order, principles of mediation, basics of project management, and communication skills.
Karen also belongs to the Honey Beekeepers Club of Stillwater as well as Northwest Iowa Hobby Beekeepers Association. She is looking forward to being a more active participant and serving the members of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association.

2022 Banquet

I've been a member of our club for a decade now. In all that time, I have never attended the Annual Banquet. Until this year. It was a good time and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not attended in the past (as well as those who have, of course).

The banquet directly benefits the bee lab with all proceeds from the auction flowing to them. This year's auction raised $6,264.

Quintin Holmberg

(Photos by Terry McDaniel)

2023 Budget

You will find a copy of the 2023 budge below. We will be discussing this then voting on it at the November meeting.

MHBA 2023 Budget Newsletter

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
Danny Kraft
Gary Reuter
Membership Steve Buck
Newsletter Editor Quintin Holmberg
Stacy Anderson
Steve Buck
Quintin Holmberg
Paula Johnson
Danny Kraft
Terry McDaniel
Betty Mortensen
Gary Reuter
Sarah Staten
Katie Lee, PhD. (appointed)

Get Involved

Make 2022 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]