October 2023 Newsletter

Important Announcements

Seeking Board of Directors Applicants

We are looking for members who are interested in serving on your MHBA Board of Directors.

Might that "bee" you?

MHBA is full of talented, hardworking individuals, and YOU can help make the organization the best it can be!  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.
  • Gain and develop important leadership skills.
  • Donate your time, talent, and skills to a worthy nonprofit association.
  • Meet and collaborate with other wonderful beekeepers.
  • Vote on important topics discussed at board meetings.
  • Once a director you have the possibility to run for an officer position in the future.
  • Add to/sweeten up your resume.

Board meetings are typically held once a month, in-person at the U of M Bee Lab/or on Zoom. It is a three-year term. Check out our Bylaws on our website to learn more about how the association works and if you haven’t already, fill out the Board of Directors Nomination Form, which can be found on our website under the “Get Involved” tab. The deadline for nominations is October 26, 2023. Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 14th at our Annual Member Meeting.


If you would like to participate in the elections for Board of Directors and the approval of the 2024 budget, you will need to be at the Annual Meeting in person at our Annual Meeting 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 Jessica Helgen and the Bee Lab for arranging and delivering the honey supers to the State Fair for our Honey Extraction Demonstrations.
  • Thank you to Paula Johnson for serving as our education/outreach coordinator for the past several years. Lots of kids and adults learned about honey bees due to your volunteerism.
  • Thank you to JoAnn Sabin for managing our library for many years.
  • Thank you to Jessica Minser for volunteering to coordinate our Banquet.
  • Thank you to Susan Bornstein for taking on the role of Outreach/Education Coordinator.
  • Thanks to Gayle Dramen for assuming the role of MHBA Librarian.
  • Thank you to all the wonderful MHBA members who led our Honey Extraction Demonstrations at the State Fair.

Save the Date!

MHBA Banquet and Fundraising Auction is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, 2024, at the Keller Golf Course in Maplewood. Watch for further information in the November and January newsletters and on Facebook.

Better Beekeeping Through Education

Next Meeting
Gary Reuter & Adrian Quiney
Join us as we listen to a Great Bee Debate!

Tuesday, October 10th, 7:00 PM

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

Hive Demo
Tuesday, October 10th, 5:45 PM
In-Person: Research Apiary
(Veils Required)

Click here for directions.

Upcoming Events

Annual Business Meeting & Youth Beekeeper Scholarship presentations

Can bees fly in the rain?

Not without their yellow jackets.

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.


We are brand new members and are in need of a mentor. We live in West St. Paul. Could anyone come over and take a tour of our yard and advise us on where to put our future hive?
Kevin and Heather Klein
[email protected]
612-201-2101 (Kevin) or 612-201-6343 (Heather)

"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 October Management

Now it is the time for final preparations for winter.

By now you should have checked for mites and treated if the levels were high. If you treated, 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 is gone in the colony then treat with Oxalic acid dribble. If you are treating with formic acid or thymol check the label for temperature requirements. Not long ago we were warning of high temps. Now you can worry about low temps. If the temperature is too low the product will not volatize (and then it will not work).

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. More is not better. If you cannot weigh the colony, be sure you have at least 10 deep frames full of honey.

When mixing 2:1 sugar syrup, 1. Fill bucket with sugar. 2. Add water and stir until all sugar is dissolved and bucket is full. 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. If you have foundation in the top box replace it with drawn comb before feeding. The bees will not draw out comb this time of the year.

Where should the honey be? The honey needs to be in combs above the bees. See diagram below for the ideal setup. If the colony is seriously 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. If the bees are clustered do not remove frames.

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 leaking feeders. Do not leave frames out for a long time. If you have a frame out and it has robbers on it shake them off before putting the frame back in the colony. If you have a frame out and some bees get on it to rob, then you put it in the colony they will pick up the smell of the colony and be able to get back in again to rob. If you have signs of robbing put a wet sheet over the colony, covering all the entrances, for about 2 hours or until the bees trying to get in give up and go home. Wait until the end of the month to put the winter cover on.

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 2 weak colonies, you can try to combine them together for winter, but it is rarely successful.

Good Luck!


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

2024 Banquet Save the Date

State Fair Appreciation

Each year, MHBA coordinates and sponsors the demonstration for the honey extraction at the Minnesota State Fair Bee & Honey exhibit. Thank you to all the wonderful MHBA member volunteers who volunteered to led the extraction demonstrations. Audiences enjoyed seeing the process of how honey is taken from the frames. A big thank you to Jessica Helgen and the Bee Squad for arranging, donating, and delivering the supers for the demonstrations. Thank you as well to the many MHBA members who volunteered in the exhibit as interpreters and volunteers not sponsored by MHBA.
Kate Winsor

MHBA Board of Directors Elections is Tuesday November 14th

We are looking for nominations to replace Directors whose terms are expiring. Director Elections will be held on November 14th during the Annual Business 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.
  • Develop important leadership skills.
  • Donate your time, talent and skills to a worthy, nonprofit association which has, most likely, given much to you.
  • Meet and collaborate with other wonderful beekeepers.
  • Vote on important topics discussed at board meetings.
  • Once a director you have the possibility to run for an officer position in the future.

The board has been meeting monthly in a hybrid fashion via Zoom and in-person at the bee lab. By joining the board you can help steer programming and the content of speakers for the meetings and 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 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. Click here then on the Board of Directors Nomination Form. The deadline is October 26, 2022.

Honeycomb art in the Black Rock desert in Nevada

It took attention to detail and a heck of a lot of determination and commitment from nearly 100 people to complete this sculpture. The combined heights of the pyramid and the man reached 75' tall. This whole sculpture was enormous and beautiful from every direction. Some beekeepers would not appreciate the hexagons representation but after all it's the artists choice and functional for people with sixteen niches surrounding the base for people to visit and several other artistic activities within the sculptures' base. The bee light-posts did have the hexagons in the proper position around the bee icon.

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