November 2023 Newsletter

President’s Hive

President’s Hive

Hello Hobby Beekeepers! My name is Kate Winsor and I am pleased and honored to serve as your newly elected MHBA Board President. I officially became a beekeeper in 2017, when I inherited bee hives and equipment from my nephew, a former MHBA Youth Beekeeper Scholarship recipient. He could no longer keep bees because he was setting off for college. You might say I was a Senior Beekeeper Scholarship winner!

This will be the last MHBA newsletter of 2023. The next newsletter you receive will be in January. And, as a reminder, there are NO member meetings in December and January. Member meetings will resume on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. Please look for the meeting announcement in each newsletter to learn when and where meetings and hive demonstrations are held. You may also refer to our website (also our Facebook group) for other valuable information:

In each newsletter, I will highlight important information that you might see repeated elsewhere in the newsletter. So here we go…

Congratulations to Our Newly Elected 2024 Officers

  • President - Kate Winsor
  • Vice President - Bill Thompson
  • Secretary - Karen Voy
  • Treasurer - Bob Hinschberger

Annual Meeting & Elections

MHBA Annual Meeting is on Tuesday, November 14th. We will be voting on new Board Members, approving the 2024 Budget, and hearing from our Youth Beekeeper Scholarship recipients. If you would like to participate in the elections, you will need to be at the Annual Meeting in person on Tuesday, November 14th. We will not be offering electronic ballots this year. Unfortunately, proxy votes are not allowed by our Bylaws.

Notes of Appreciation

  • Thank you to Gary Reuter and Jessica Helgen for hosting the hive demonstrations this season. Your wisdom is appreciated!
  • Thank you outgoing Board Members: Stacy Anderson, Terry McDaniel, Sarah Statten, and Susan Bornstein. It takes dedicated volunteers to keep MHBA running smoothly. Bravo!
  • Other members who deserve a thank you for their work this past year: Terry McDaniel - Field Trip Coordinator, Copy Editor; Bob Sitko - Swarm Catchers Coordinator; Joann Sabin - Librarian; Karen Voy - Hospitality; Steve Buck - Membership Coordinator; Alex King - Past President; Kate Winsor - Past Vice President, Picnic Coordinator; Bill Thompson - Past Treasurer; Sarah Statten, Kate Gardner - Past Secretary; Gary Reuter - Youth Scholarship Coordinator; Quintin Holmberg - Newsletter Editor; Paula Johnson - Education and Outreach Coordinator; Katie Lee - University of Minnesota Liaison


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 registration options may be found elsewhere in this newsletter.

Have a wonderful couple of months - don’t forget to take time to read and learn about bee biology, bee behavior, and beekeeping techniques.

Kate Winsor
MHBA President

Better Beekeeping Through Education

Next Meeting
Annual Business Meeting & Youth Beekeeper Scholarship presentations

Tuesday, November 14th, 7:00 PM

Hybrid meeting:
In-Person: Borlaug Hall, Room 335
(Masks Recommended)
Via Zoom: Meeting Link

Hive Demo
No Hive Demo

Click here for directions.

Upcoming Events

MHBA Banquet
Keller Golf Course, Maplewood
First Member Meeting of the year

Announcing Fall Habitat Hour for Beekeepers - 2023

Join the MHPA and UMN Bee Squad for Habitat Hour, a time to learn about and discuss floral nutrition for bees. Beekeepers and bee supporters are invited to attend one or more informative Zoom webinar sessions. CLICK HERE and register for one, two, or all three sessions.


"The Cavity Compromise"
by Adrian Quiney now available on Amazon, in person ($19), or by mail ($24) contact the author at [email protected]

Your Classified Here

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

Click here for details.

23 November Management

It is time to wrap up for the season.

There are seven important items to review as follows: your bees should have 75-100 pounds of stored honey located in the top of each hive. Second, set up a northwest wind break. Third, a good population with a young queen. Fourth, disease free bees and the mites are under control. Fourth item, the entrance reducer is set with the large opening facing upward. Fifth, the upper entrance is open and bottom holes are corked. Sixth if you haven't already done so, do an oxalic acid dribble for mites and lastly install a winter cover.

The most important thing about covering for winter is providing an escape for moisture created in the hive due to the bees’ metabolism. A colony needs a small 1/2 - 1” upper entrance in addition to the lower entrance and a moisture board on top of the colony that is exposed to the outside air. There are posters on how to wrap for winter on the Bee Lab website Check my website for moisture board alternatives Click on “Moisture boards and upper entrances.”

Do not disturb the bees if they are clustered. You can wrap the colony but do not separate any boxes or remove any frames this time of year. The bees are on their own until March. Give the colonies three pats to tell them you will see them next year.

I hope to see you on November 14th, our last meeting of the year. There will not be a hive demo before that meeting.


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

Updated_Ad_Winter 2021 - Natures Nectar

Board Director Nominees

Peggy Sue DeSanto

Hello. I was on the Board of Directors for a company that helped people with mental illness and chemical dependency issues. I was a Master Gardener through the University of Minnesota and did many years of community outreach and volunteer work through that program. I really enjoy teaching and networking with people in the community. I love everything to do with bees and beekeeping. I am the co-founder of a small start-up company that developed an insulation system for beehives. I am very responsible and a hard worker and would really appreciate the opportunity to be of service to MHBA in this way. Thank you, Peg DeSanto

William Gabbard

Thank you for considering me as a candidate for the MHBA Board of Directors. I live in Linwood, MN with my wife and daughter. After taking the Beekeeping In Northern Climates online course from the University of Minnesota, I gained the knowledge and confidence that I needed to start beekeeping on my own. The monthly MHBA club meetings have been a valuable supplement to the formal course. It's been three seasons since finishing the course and joining our club. I've built on their significant foundation which has taken me from two colonies in my first year, to 18 in my third year with successful overwintering.

Charlie Kundinger

Charlie has always believed that transitions come with new opportunities personally and professionally. There is potential for new ways to grow, to build better skills, relationships, and adventure but we must commit much like adventurers looking for treasures. I wrote and published an illustrated children’s book at age 70 transitioning from a 35-yr. home remodeling career to that of an author.
Three years ago, I mentioned to my wife Molly that I wanted to raise honey bees. She agreed however, the caveat being that she would only agree if I took a beekeeping course. I thought it a good idea and was rewarded for enrolling in the Beekeeping In Northern Climates Course. My two-year course ended this year and I now have five hives. Without the Course' material and its professional and experienced teachers, I would not have succeeded. My background and love of beekeeping would be an asset to the Board.

Michelle Maas

I have been beekeeping for 5 years. I have managed with my partner, Allen Berg, 2 – 7 hives a year in that time. My bees are on 19 acres surrounded by tall grass prairie in Western Wisconsin. Last year I moved from the Twin Cities to Western Wisconsin to be closer to my bees. I believe in permaculture and creating healthy ecosystems that allow animals and plants to coexist in sustainable ways.

I love this association because of the strong research base for pollinators and finding healthy ways to protect our beloved bees.

My non-profit experience prior to this included: treasurer for a Montessori school; managing a professional development conference for Project Management Institute-MN (PMI-MN); Director of Finance for PMI-MN; mentor for a high school FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team (current); Judge for FIRST Lego League; and Volunteer Coordinator for an FRC Regional event. I would like to be considered for the Board of Directors for MNHBA to ensure there are sufficient resources for the board to support all the amazing activities and outreach opportunities that this association is known for.

Liz Pepin

Greetings! I am Dr. Liz Pepin! I am located in Otsego but have lived throughout the upper Midwest, including Iowa and the Dakotas. I am a graduate of Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and have been a small animal and exotic/pocket pet general practitioner in Minnesota since. My professional interests include honeybee medicine. After becoming a steward of native landscaping and native pollinators on my property, I took an interest in honeybees during the pandemic and took some courses in honeybee medicine. Since then I have continued to self-study and become active in The Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium (HBVC). I am married with 3 cats, 3 dogs, and a flock of backyard chickens- we are working on acquiring the equipment to start our own hive (hopefully) Spring of 2024. My hobbies include gardening and native landscaping, spending time outdoors with family, and traveling with friends.
I would love to be more involved as a member of the Board and think I can bring a unique perspective from the veterinary side of beekeeping. In return, I would love feedback on how veterinarians can better serve our beekeepers!

Gary S. Reuter

I have been a member for about 40 years. I have been on the board off and on during that time. I was the president twice. I worked at the UofM Bee Lab for almost 30 years retiring in 2021. I was the UofM Bee Lab director from its inception until I retired. I believe my experience and history with MHBA is an asset as a Director.

2023 Swarm Report

Bob Sitko taking a swarm call. Photo by Terry McDaniel.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to collect swarms this past season. I have 271 people on my 'swarm chaser' list around the metro area. As you know, some people are terrified of flying insects and they are so relieved and thankful for assistance and a bit of education about deciphering if they are honey bees or other insects. The swarm chasers do all the physical work.
The furthest call was from Grand Marais, 260 miles north. I advise these long-distance callers to contact their local bee club or the sheriff. Some beekeepers register with their city halls to collect swarms or to contact the manager at the local farmers market to get in touch with a local beekeeper to help them.
The first true swarms occur from early May through mid-July. Absconding swarms occur from mid-July through September. It was a busy summer. The first call came on May 5th and the last was September 30th. A total of 215 incoming calls:
110 - Honey bees
91 - for yellow jackets
14 - for bumblebees
The most difficult call was "Our store is filled with hundreds of bees" and the easiest was "There is a big bee swarm hanging six feet up in a tree in our front yard".
Thanks again to everyone who has helped the public figure out their "Mystery Bee Problems" by saving the swarms and sharing a little education about the situation.
Bob Sitko,
Swarm Chairman and Certified Master Beekeeper

23 Youth Scholarship Program

Congratulations to the recipients of our Youth Scholarship Award: Elias Kimbell, mentored by Bob Hinschberger, Cyprian Meyer, mentored by Dave Gries, Maya Calysta Garcia mentored by Stuart Lavalier, Finley Anderson Newton mentored by Karen Voy and Kelly Gallagher mentored by Marea Clarke.

A special thanks to their mentors this year. They give their time and knowledge to help the youth get off to a good start in beekeeping. If you would like to be a volunteer mentor in the future, complete the form on the get involved tab on the MHBA website

This is a program MHBA has put together to help youth interested in beekeeping who may not have been able to. We supply their personal gear, bee equipment, bees, U of MN class, and a mentor to get them started. When they stick with it and give a full report at the end of the year, they keep the equipment. Be sure to attend the meeting on November 14th to hear their reports on their first-year

If you or someone you know may be interested in applying for the youth scholarship program, here is the link to the MHBA website The deadline to apply is January 15, 2024.

I also want to thank people who have donated equipment to our program this year: Natures Nectar, Miller Manufacturing, Mann Lake, and U of M Bee Lab. With these donations, we've been allowed to have more recipients in our program.

Gary Reuter, Youth Scholarship Committee Chair

2024 Proposed Budget

MHBA 2024 Budget

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
Past President Susan Bornstein
Technology Committee Quintin Holmberg
Gary Reuter
Membership Steve Buck
Newsletter Editor Quintin Holmberg
Stacy Anderson
Quintin Holmberg
Katie Lee, PhD. (appointed)
Terry McDaniel
Betty Mortensen
Gary Reuter
Christine Shoemaker
Sarah Staten

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]