Bees & Beekeeping Resources

News From the Local Living Venture Bees and Beekeeping Group

Sharing Skills and Knowledge in the St. Lawrence River Valley

    Check in on our Workshop Schedule page to see if there are any upcoming events you may be interested in.

We currently host seven different programs related to bees and beekeeping
and some very exciting upcoming plans:

   Monthly Bee Discussion Group - meets the last Wednesday of most months at 7 pm, see below for details.

   Workshops for Beginners to Advanced - see our Upcoming Events to see if any are currently scheduled.  You can also view some of our past events at the very bottom of this page (low priority to update, so may not be current, but gives you an idea!)

   Buying Cooperative - Re-stocking dead-outs or establishing new hives in the Spring? We coordinate group buying for nuc's and packages, to save travel time and expense for local beekeepers.  See our Buying Co-op Page for basic details that change little from year to year (except pricing.)

   Pollinator Protection Program - our goal is to plant the region for both wild and managed pollinators!  Wildflowers everywhere!  Read more here and sign up to plant your patch and 'get on the map.' 
We also offer participation through fun but informative citizen science projects for both young and old as well as training in planting techniques and creating pollinator habitat (not just bees!)  This is a wonderful collaborative partnership between the Local Living Venture, the WISER Center at SUNY Potsdam, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division.

   NY Bee Wellness Training - training and mentoring by and for local beekeepers regarding diseases and how to prevent/manage them.  We have accredited beekeepers in our group willing to help you!

   Website Resources - available below, plus much detail is archived at our old site, available upon request.

   Swarm / Pest Bee Removal - we maintain a roster of local beekeepers who will remove bees.  Contact us at  A resource guide for folks with unwanted bees is HERE and our local page on nuisance bee removal is HERE.  Please note, beekeepers WILL NOT remove bees that have been sprayed with pesticides, since they will not have a healthy colony to set up in a hive.  Also, it is bad for the many species of pollinators in decline, as discussed HERE..
Let us know if you are a beekeeper equipped to perform this service (in exchange for the "free" bees captured).

         Upcoming Plans
- in partnership with SUNY Potsdam's Biology Dept. at the WISER Center, we applied for a NY Farm Viability Institute grant for research to be conducted in 2020 and 2021 on plating polyculture plots (wildflowers) to increase the value of honey marketability for small local producers.
- a comprehensive survey of beehive distribution density, health, mortality and winterkill in our region (St, Lawrence River Valley and northwest Adirondacks.)

Contact us at or via the Newsletter sign up feature of this website to get on our mailing list for bee group news and resourceful living skills workshop/event notices, sent 2-3 times per month.

Monthly Bee Discussion Groups 
for Novice to Advanced 

All levels of beekeeper or interested folks are invited to join us each month for the Bee Discussion Group, an event that is held on the last Wednesday of the month at 7 pm (see schedule below) unless we schedule a Workshop that takes over that date.  The format is very informal, with questions and topics being posed at each event by the participants involved.

NOVICES:  Please note that it helps for you to have just a basic understanding of bees and beekeeping before attending a Bee Group gathering.  Attend one of our workshops (held sporadically throughout the year - check the Workshop Schedule) and check the libraries for good books - Bee Group members recommend the Beekeeping for Dummies series.

Bees & Beekeeping Discussion Group
Check in here or on our Workshop Schedule page to verify dates haven't changed or been replaced with a workshop!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019     (5th Wed. of month)
Wednesday, February 27
Wednesday, March 27
Wednesday, April 24
Wednesday, May 29     (5th Wed. of month)
Wednesday, June 26
Wednesday, July 31     (5th Wed. of month)
Wednesday, August 28
Saturday, September 25 
Wednesday, October 30    (5th Wed. of month)
Wednesday, November 20  (one week early due to Thanksgiving)
Skipping December
Wednesday, January 29, 2020     (5th Wed. of month)

Subject to change based on the needs of the group!


Betty Evans Community Room in the new wing (left hand door) of the E.J. Noble Medical Bldg., 80 E. Main Street, Canton, NY. (next to the Best Western, across from the Price Chopper on Rt. 11, Canton.)  Usually we post an orange 'Local Living Workshop Site' lawn sign near the door.

Novice to advanced levels are welcome to attend and share their questions, successes and challenges in a casual group setting. 7 PM, 1 to 2 hours.

Things change.  Please get on our mailing list for the most up-to-date information. 
Click this link
Newsletter Sign Up to receive our mailings - be sure to note "Bees" in your Interests!

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BEES for sale!

Below are lists of companies and people from whom you can buy bees for Spring delivery, better hurry though! 
However we also have a

 Spring Package Bee and Nuc's Co-operative Buying Group
2019 details are at this link.
PACKAGES: Deadline for first orders (which qualifies for discount with the group) is February 25.
Orders received after that date are subject to the possibility that the supplier has no more bees for sale and will not be able to receive the $5 discount per package that the first group order will receive, unless enough late orders come in to qualify for the vendor's price break level (unlikely.)
NUCS:  Deadline for nuc's is subject to availability from the supplier.
The first order is going in February 25 but nuc's could be available for the next two months, though you will have to check with us on availability.  Later orders may also lose the $10 discount the first order folks will receive (so a cost of $155 plus the $5 contribution to us for organizing = $160 each.)
If you wish to join the buying co-op, please email us as soon as possible using the order form found at the green highlighted link above!

IF YOU WISH TO BUY BEES ON YOUR OWN, here are the resources.
NOTE: This is archival information, but the contact information for regional resources are applicable.

Do you need bees?!  Here are some options:

Mann Lake can be reached at 1-800-880-7694.  Usually by sometime in March they sell out entirely of the packages for the Spring co-op order, but you can check!  The benefit of ordering through our co-op is that one person goes to pick up the bees and we all split the cost of that person's gas instead of each driving to PA ourselves.

Ted Elk in Hammond may have some nucs available beginning in May of each year.
Call him at (
315) 382 2909.  These are 5 frame with carni-cross queens from Hawaii.
Luke Martin keeps northern hardy bees and takes orders for nuc's, and sometimes queen cells, well in advance of the season.
Call him at (315) 265-0026. 2018 note: Due to severe losses due to a pesticide cloud, Luke likely had no bees available in 2018.
Kutik Honey Farms in the Norwich, NY area are who we do our group nuc order with.
Call Chuck & Karen Kutik or their staff at (607)
If you order on your own, you will have to pick them up yourself, instead of being part of the co-op where we share the transport costs.

Hawkshaw Apiaries, 315-323-2754, Madrid, NY
Hungry Bear Farms, 699 So. Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14509, Russian packages and Italian 5-frame Nucs  (585) 412 8745
If you order on your own, you will have to pick them up yourself, instead of being part of the co-op where we share the transport costs.

Mark Berninghausen sometimes has queens available.
He may also sell bulk sugar - likely in 5 gallon pails. Pricing was 28 cents a pound in 2015.
CONTACT MARK DIRECTLY, please don't reply through this website.  His number is 315-250-0555 or email Mark Berninghausen - Squeak Creek Apiaries <>.


Bob Goldie, Lisbon, NY, 315-323-0343

Also available through some Amish gentlemen.  Please do not visit them on Sundays.  Contact them in person or send them a postcard to set up a date to visit or to receive their Bee Supply Price List. 
We MAY be able to email you a scanned copy of their price lists if you'd like - contact us at  BUT contacting them directly will get you the most up-to-date info. 
Be sure to include a date you'd like to stop by (not on a Sunday) in the interests of not having to send another postcard once you have the price list.  You can try just stopping in there, too, of course...

Rudy Schwartzentruber  271 Johnson Road, Rensselaer Falls, NY 13680 (near Heuvelton)

Jonas M. Glick  1295 Oak Point Road, Brier Hill, NY 13614 (near Morristown)

Eli Shetler, 1976 County Route 5, Brushton, NY 12916 (Franklin County)

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​The statewide association for beekeepers is (Empire State Honey Producer's Assn.)

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Check out as well!

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Spring Advice From the Ulster County Bee Association

A Long Winter Finally Ends

By Grai Rice

Only just now the snow has receded and the  sun’s heat has offered enough warmth for foraging flights and fresh pollen loads. The crocuses have finally pushed their way out of this winter’s polar vortex, and honeybees are entranced with the rich-hued pollen poised on tall stamens in these small floral packages. Maple flowers entice with nectar from the highest tips of trees.

The longest, coldest winter in decades has taken its toll on everything. Most of us have lost hives this winter. If you have only one or two hives and all have perished, this can be especially devastating to our senses and emotions. An empty hive on a property rings a silent toll. At times like these, turn your attention to what you have learned from your bees and, by blessing the bees’ spirits and the lessons they offer us this, this sense of loss can be transformed into renewed hope for the future.

Many hives are coming out of this harsh winter with only a handful of bees and a queen due to the intensity and length of this season. Nurture these bees as best you can. Tighten up the hives to help them maintain brood temps and so they can easily patrol against robbing from stronger hives, as well as from wax moths and small hive beetles.

Usually by the end of March colonies are out of danger...not so this year. (NOTE: In their region, Spring is at least a week or two ahead of us in the St. Lawrence River Valley!)  Once the maple flowers have faded, consider offering bee tea** to keep the nectar coming into the hives so they can build up their brood and gain the strength they need for this new bee season ahead.


  • Close up deadouts to prevent a culture of robbing.
  • Assess reason for mortality.
  • Clean up and prep for reuse if hive was healthy.
  • Prepare to cull out some of the old combs in all hives, but don’t add fresh foundation yet.
  • On a warmish, windless day, do a brood inspection of all hives to make sure there is an active queen.
  • Leave insulation on live hives for now until temperatures regulate and bee population builds.
  • Tighten up hives with small clusters so they can maintain brood temps and properly guard their hive.
  • Provide robbing protection for weak hives so you don’t lose them to stronger hives.
  • Maple trees are starting to bloom, providing the first fresh nectar of the season.
  • When the maple trees fade away and the dandelions are still a ways out, consider providing bee tea** for continuous nectar supply for the growing brood.
  • Enjoy the glorious sight of spring pollen coming into the hives and try to guess where the bees collected it.
  • Plan to plant new forage for the season ahead.

Journal of the Ulster County Beekeepers Association
You can view the full issue of this informative newsletter here

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An interesting recipe for bee tea, that's an alternative to plain simple syrup can be found here.

An interesting an informative site about the many gifts of the hive, as well as fun bee facts!

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Apitherapy: Beehive Benefits to Human Health including Bee Sting/Bee Venom Therapy
This talk is planned during the first half of the Feb Bee Meeting 2/24/2016.  More details HERE.
Presenter: Bee Group member Sandy VonAllmen
Sandy VonAllmen is a retired RN who has kept a few beehives since 1998 in order to make good use of some of the health benefits associated with keeping bees. As her interest in bee venom therapy grew, she took an online Apitherapy Course with a Romanian doctor that expanded her awareness of its benefits. Sandy will discuss the many benefits to health of many byproducts of the hive and, of course, the most interesting to her being the Bee Sting (Bee Venom) Therapy that she also has the most experience with.

ESHPA Summer Picnic
Sat. July 18th in Greenwich, NY -- a great line-up of speakers, fun for the family, and rubbing elbows with lots of like-minded beekeepers!   See our post here.

Sept. 15-16   Special Beekeeping Roundtable & Pesticides Forum at Mohawk Casino

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe would like to extend an invitation to all beekeepers and interested parties to join them for a free forum on pesticides and bees on September 15 and 16 - and they have a special request that the Local Living Venture's Bee Discussion Group help to populate the beekeeping forum discussion that will take place (tentatively) at 10:45 on the 16th of September.  This will be similar to our usual Bee Group setting, just in a casino instead!  :-)

If you would like to participate, please remail us so we have an idea of who may go (and let us know if you want to carpool, for that matter!)  Of course, you can feel free to just show up for any of this 2-day event even if you can't commit to the bee discussion group portion.  For details, including a preliminary agenda and a poster, please contact us at for an attachment.