October 2022 Newsletter

Dear Susan

Your bees-ness of bee-ing MHBA president is coming to a close. In all seriousness, board service is one of the toughest volunteer roles of all, and you performed with dedication and wisdom. You distinguished yourself as an excellent steward of MHBA and showed grace in the face of difficult decisions, such as how to carry on during the pandemic. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your behind-the-scenes work and in-front-of-the-camera appearances (and even a few times with a live audience!).

With swarmest wishes,
Your Board of Directors

What a wonderful Honey bee community! I am so proud to be part of MHBA. I have really enjoyed my three years volunteering as President of this organization. I was so fortunate to work with an outstanding group of individuals on our MHBA board. Officers: Vice-President Alex King, Secretary Kate Gardner, Treasurer Bill Thompson. Board Directors: Steve Buck, Danny Kraft, Paula Johnson, Gary Reuter, Stacy Anderson, Quintin Holmberg, Terry McDaniel, Betty Mortensen, Sarah Staten, Kate Winsor, and Katie Lee, our Bee Lab Appointed Director. And we must not overlook our MHBA Librarian, JoAnne Sabin, and Swarm Chairman Bob Sitko.  Everyone brought a “can do” attitude, their individual knowledge, expertise and ability to work cooperatively, much like that of a hive! Thank you all for making MHBA run smoothly. Faced with some unprecedented challenges, together we accomplished so much. Most notably, we pivoted to online meetings and hive demonstrations during this pandemic. The feedback from you, our membership, was very appreciative of the opportunities to connect via Zoom. Our talented technology experts Quintin, Alex, Danny and Gary made improvements to our website, and membership interface saving us tons of money!. Our electronic newsletter delivery was also vastly improved and can now be seamlessly opened and accessed by members from their email! In 2020 we updated our bylaws, amending them to comply with the current standards of nonprofit organizations. In an effort to remain healthy and safe, we modified our annual picnic from a potluck to a wonderful sandwich catered event. Despite all odds, our membership is ~ 500 strong, and we continue to hold true to our mission: “Better beekeeping through education”. 

A special thanks goes to Gary Reuter for tirelessly providing his beekeeping management expertise through his monthly newsletter column, hive demonstrations, as well as the hive management portion of all of our meetings. Gary is also instrumental in founding and organizing our very successful Youth Scholarship program. He is responsible for such a multitude of behind the scenes jobs, they are too numerous to recount. Thank you Gary and thanks for always bringing your sense of humor!

Many thanks to our appointed board director from the UMN Bee Lab, Katie Lee. She has been an instrumental resource and coordinator in our relationship with the Bee Lab, and the use of UMN facilities. She has also provided excellent guidance and wisdom as a member of our board.

Finally, I would like to thank Jessica Helgen of the UMN Bee Lab and Bee Squad, who has provided excellent beekeeping insights and education during our monthly hive demonstrations.

There are so many ways to get involved & volunteer in our organization. Please reach out if you are looking for a way to help or become a larger part of our MHBA community.

Our Annual Banquet is a way of thanking the UMN Bee Lab for their honey bee research and education and providing numerous resources to MHBA. We look forward to seeing everyone who is registered at the October 15th Banquet! 

We love hearing your feedback!
Susan Bornstein
[email protected]

President's Hive

Better Beekeeping Through Education

Next Meeting
Tuesday, October 11th, 7:00 PM
Hybrid meeting:
In-Person: Room B45 Ruttan Hall
(Masks Recommended)
Via Zoom: Meeting Link

Hive Demo

Tuesday, October 11th, 5:45 PM
In-Person: Research Apiary
(Veils Required)
(Masks Recommended)
Via Zoom: Demo Link

Click here for directions.

Upcoming Events

10/11 @ 7 PM
Member Meeting

Meghan Milbrath with the University of Michigan.
Winter Bees

10/15 @ 6:00 PM
Annual Banquet

Minnesota Science Museum.
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 Susan Bornstein [email protected]

Hive Management

October Management

Now it’s the time for preparations for winter.

By now you should have checked for mites and treated if the levels were high. Then you should check after the treatment to be sure the treatment worked. If you still have mites but they are low, then wait until the brood has emerged in the colony then treat with Oxalic acid dribble.

If colonies were low on honey stores, you should have been feeding 2:1 sugar syrup. If not, start now and stop as soon as they have 70 – 100 pounds of honey/syrup stored for winter. More is not better. If you cannot weigh the colony, be sure you have at least 10 deep frames full of honey. If there is foundation in the top box replace it with any empty drawn comb before feeding. Bees will not draw out any foundation this time of year. You can put the foundation in the bottom box until spring.

When mixing 2:1 sugar syrup: You can use hot water (120-150dF) to make it easier to dissolve the sugar. DO NOT heat it after you have added the sugar. 1. Fill the bucket with sugar. 2. Add water and stir until all sugar is dissolved and the bucket is full.

Where should the honey be? The honey needs to be in combs above the bees cluster. See diagram below for the ideal setup. If the colony is not like this, you can move frames around to fix it. If it is off by only a few frames don’t worry about it but switch out any frames in the top that have foundation or are less than half full of honey. If the bees are clustered do not remove frames. If you are in 2 deeps for winter the top box should be as shown.

Put your entrance reducer in now with the 3” size opening pointed up. Put corks in the bottom boxes and no cork in the top box.

A reminder to be careful not to get robbing started in your bee yards. Robbing often happens to weak colonies but can also happen to strong colonies if you are not careful. This time of year, you must be careful not to spill syrup or have leaky feeders. Do not leave frames out for very long. If you have a frame out of it's colony, other bees can start to rob the honey, shake them off before putting the frame back into the colony. If you put it in with the robbers on it, they will pick up the smell of the colony and be able to get in again to rob it of it's honey. If you have signs of robbing, put a wet sheet over the colony to cover all the entrances for about 2 hours or until the bees trying to get in give up and go home.

If you have a weak colony, I do not recommend combining it with a strong colony. It will not help the strong colony and will possibly harm it if the weak colony had some disease. If you have two weak colonies, you can try to combine them together for winter, but it is rarely successful. 

The October 11 Hive Demo will cover wintering bees and oxalic acid dribble treatment.  

Good Luck!

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

Remembering Robert “Bob”L. Dressen

May 8, 1941 ~ August 27, 2022 (age 81)

On behalf of the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (MHBA), we wish to express our sincerest condolences to the family of Bob Dressen and to all those who knew him.

What a huge impact Bob had on the honey bee community, as a hobbyist and commercial honey producer. He and his family also owned and ran a honey bee business - Cannon Bee Honey & Supply Co.!  We are thankful for his many contributions, dedication and involvement with MHBA, especially in his roles as a newsletter editor and board member. Bob was well liked and known for sharing his experience and knowledge through his presentations on making comb honey.

Here is his obituary.


Deceased Member Jerry Linser Estate Sale

Honey bee equipment of 40 years plus

Blue Moon Estates
Friday, October 14th, 9am - 3pm
Saturday, October 15th, 10am - 3pm
10317 Jody Avenue North
Stillwater 55028

Between Stillwater and White Bear Lake off of Hwy 96

Your Classified Here

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

Click here for details.

MHBA Board of Directors Elections is Tuesday November 15th

We are currently looking forward to receiving nominations for Directors whose terms are expiring. Director Elections will be held on November 15th during the meeting. Submissions are due by October 26. There are great reasons to consider volunteering as a Director on the MHBA board:

  • An opportunity to be a part of running an association that you love 
  • Add to/sweetening up your resume
  • Gain and develop important leadership skills
  • Donate your time, talent and skills to a worthy non profit association 
  • Meet and collaborate with other wonderful beekeepers
  • Vote on important topics discussed at board meetings
  • Once a director you have possibilities to run for an officer position in the future

The board has been meeting monthly, currently via Zoom during the Covid-19 pandemic. Once all is safe we'll be meeting at the Bee Lab in person. By joining the board you can help steer programming and the content of speakers for the meetings, be on one of our many significant committees: membership, technology, hospitality, newsletter, swarm catchers, library,  state fair extracting, community outreach, banquet, youth scholarship, the August picnic, etc.

MHBA is full of talented, hardworking individuals, and YOU can help make the organization the best it can be!  Help us make a meaningful difference during these challenging times by doing something that makes you feel good by keeping this fantastic association buzzing!

A Director is a three-year term. Check out the bylaws to learn more about how the association works and if you haven’t already, fill out the Board of Directors Nomination Form here then click on the Board of Directors Nomination Form. It brings you right to it. The deadline is October 26, 2022.

Consider donating to the UMN Bee Lab

The Annual Banquet is a social event as well as a fundraiser for the UMN Bee Lab. It is our way of saying thank you for the endless support and educational resources that are received by MHBA.

Our Banquet registration closed on October 1st. If you were unable to attend this year’s banquet but would like to support the UMN Bee Lab, you may donate to one of the Spivak Honey Bee Funds at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab of your choosing:

Thank you!

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.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

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 Susan Bornstein
Vice President Alex King
Secretary Kat Gardner
Treasurer Bill Thompson
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
Kate Winsor
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]