Educating Our Communities, In Service To Beekeeping

It’s Swarm Season!
To report a swarm, please call 970-658-4949

Statewide – 844-SPY BEES (844-779-2337)

Learn More About Swarms        Become a Swarm Rescuer         Remove Bees From a Structure


  1. Volunteer Recognition

    Bruce Rice, swarm coordinator. Terry Jones, John Russel, Deb Evangelista, Greg Krush dispatchers! 2017 swarm rules: You MUST be a member of NCBA to be on the NCBA swarm list. You MUST fill in the “Swarm Catchers Information Form” for Bruce and his team. Forms will be available at the March and April meetings. Last season we had 74 catchers. We pay for a special phone line each year just for the few months we use it.
  2. Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship

    It’s a new day in beekeeping. If you want or need to treat your bees with antibiotic, then you will need a prescription from a veterinarian and that vet must have personal knowledge about your bees.  We will be getting the nitty gritty on this new law at our June meeting. C.R.S 12-64-103 VCPR: The veterinary-client-patient relationship is the basis for veterinary care. To establish such a relationship, the veterinarian should have sufficient knowledge of the patient to understand its current health and render at least a preliminary diagnosis. This would require that the veterinarian is personally acquainted with the patient either through office or home visits.
  3. Master Beekeeper Programs: excerpts from Bee Culture

    January 2017 Bee Culture magazine page 11, Letter from Larry Haigh, Mount Pleasant, SC “My background is heavily in the technical arena and adult education so I understand how effective skills and knowledge training can play an important role in human performance. Unfortunately, many Master Beekeeper Programs across the country appear to be an academic exercise with a heavy focus on knowledge about Honey Bees and beekeeping and little emphasis on skills that are essential for Beekeepers. If you can read, watch videos and pas a written test, you can fly through these programs, however, the Honey Bees will not be impressed with your certificate if you don’t know what you are doing when you pop the lid! … “Except for the University of Montana online program, most are not rigorous or connected to structured mentoring where Beekeepers can learn the “best practices” in the Apiary. After all, we are trying to develop successful Beekeepers and not add to the revolving door problem where over 60% of our new Beekeepers give up after a year or two. … “Some of the skills that need to be mentored are: detailed apiary/hive/colony inspections, splitting colonies, requeening, mite detection/treatment, swarm prevention, swarm capture, to mention a few.” I’m thinking that’s a pretty good list as topics for our “before the meeting” series of hands-on classes. If you are knowledgeable and willing to teach about any of these topics, please contact Don Studinski to get on the schedule.
  4. Russian Honey Bee Association (RHBA)

    New president, Dan Conlon of South Deerfield, MA, is setting up an outreach effort to bring the Russian story to the field.  Don Studinski is thinking of bringing this program to NCBA. Dan says RHBA members are “using little or no [Varroa] treatments on their production colonies (Colonies used for breeder queen selection are never treated as a requirement of the RHBA policies) … and continue to improve Varoa tolerance.”
  5. Varroa thoughts from Kim Flottum

    Kim recently attended a conference about Varroa. We all need to come up to speed on this stuff. He notes some of the viruses honey bees are being challenged by: Deformed wing virus A & B, Israeli accute, sacbrood, Varroa Destructor A & B, acute bee paralysis, Kashmir bee virus, black queen cell virus, chronic bee paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus. At least 18 honey bee viruses have been isolated, characterized and described and 11 of them are transmitted by Varroa mites . Consensus is now moving from treating Varroa at the 3% threshold to treating at the 1% threshold. That is, if you shake 300 bees and see only 3 mites, it’s time to treat.  Oxalic acid seems to be working as well as amitraz. Big bee operations are now monitoring their bees for Varroa 12 times a year with, depending on the year, four to eight treatments per year to keep the numbers of mites below threshold. Thresholds may vary during the year like this: zero to 1 mite in spring, 2 to 3 in early summer, 5 in summer and 6 in fall. One or two in a geographic area that don’t treat can mess up all the nearby colonies. Kristina Williams has been teaching any willing neighbors for free to ensure they know how to treat.  When the bees get overrun by mites, they will leave, abscond. When you hear someone talking of that swarm that happened in fall, you...
  6. 2017 bee order status

    The EC has voted to provide 350 packages and 55 nucs in 2017.  That is a substantial expansion over 2016 which was 270 packages and 30 nucs.  These will be sold on a first come / first served basis to members and non-members. Our treasury will make $5 per on member orders and another $10 on non-member orders. Packages shall be $125, Italian or Carniolan ($135 for non-members) Nucs shall be $177, Italian or Carniolan ($187 for non-members) Packages will have standard Koehnen queens from a California breeder. Nucs will be 5 deep frames as usual. Are they Colorado bees?  Answer:  kind of.  Nucs will be splits from a Colorado outfit. Queens will be grafted from the preferred Colorado queens.  These will be open mated in California, so the drones will potentially be California bees. Figure on having a mixture of Colorado and California genes. Nucs will have been treated with oxalic acid prior to delivery.  You must factor this into your chosen treatment schedule. Delivery location (Thank you, Kevin Kerst): Fresno Valves & Casting, Inc 4245 Industrial Parkway Evans, CO  80620 Includes full pull through driveway for an 18-wheeler, adequate parking, covered garage bay, and enough room for members to drive through the parking area while picking up bees. Volunteers will bring your bees to your car. You don’t even need to get out. Street parking is eliminated. Renewing membership is a separate process.  See newsletter at the bottom. To order honey bees go here:
  7. Treasury Summary

    This is the time of year we are using our savings account as working capital to manage the cash flow for purchasing honeybee packages and nucs.  We have already sent one check to the vendor for $17,200. We are about to do a second check to the vendor for that same amount.  The third check will be slightly less; that will happen early April.  Meanwhile, our treasury is healthy as usual.  At this moment the Savings is a bit down and the checking is a bit up from usual balances. All this will settle down when the package and nuc purchases are done.
  8. Swarm Procedures and Etiquette

    February 16, 2017 – Speaker: Dave Primer; Topic: Swarm Procedures and Etiquette; NCBA speaker: Ken Nichols. Location: Kerst barn** **Kerst Barn Large metal building at this address: 17765 Hwy 392 (between CR35 and CR37) Greeley, CO 80631 This is directly East of Windsor about 14 miles from the I25 exit. Look for tan and brown buildings on the North side of the street. We are going to have a reflective sign with a yellow flashing light to get your attention at the driveway entrance.
  9. 2017 Bee Orders Are In Progress

    As of 2/8/2017 at 9PM, we have sold 100 of our packages and 11 of our nucs. That leaves 250 packages available and 44 nucs available. To get the $10 member savings, you MUST renew or acquire a new membership separately.  This process includes the liability waiver.  You can do this using paypal.  Start the membership process here: To order bees, go here:  

Upcoming NCBA Events

6:30 pm Club Meeting – Kristal Domenico ... @ Kerst Barn
Club Meeting – Kristal Domenico ... @ Kerst Barn
May 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
@ 5PM before the meeting: Josh Vaisman will teach “Performing a sugar roll test for Varroa mites.”  $20 per student Featured Speaker: Kristal Domenico; Topic: YouTube Beekeeping: What to believe and what to stay away from. NCBA speaker: Cathy Weber   The Northern CO Beekeepers monthly meeting, meeting are third thursdays of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Kerst Barn, 17765 Hwy 392 (between CR 35 & CR 37) Greeley CO 80631. East of Windsor, 14 miles off I-25 Look for the Beekeeper’s Meeting sign and light at the drive on the north side of the street. This event is open to all NCBA members and the public is welcome. Free for NCBA members, $5.00 for non-members. Social time and refreshments included. For more information visit the NCBA (Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association)
4:52 pm Rocky Mountain Food Safety Confe...
Rocky Mountain Food Safety Confe...
May 22 @ 4:52 pm – May 23 @ 5:52 pm
The Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference will be held at Johnson and Wales University on May 23rd and 24th, 2017. Pre-conference workshops will be held on May 22nd.

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About NCBA – Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association

The Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association (NCBA) is an organization of both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers.  We exist to provide a forum for education in beekeeping both to our members and to the general public, and for exchange of ideas and experiences.  We also enjoy some ability to provide savings in bees by purchasing as a group.  We are affiliated with the Colorado State Beekeepers Association.  We meet once a month with the above objectives in mind.  Each meeting strives to discuss one or two subjects of interest in beekeeping.  Whenever possible we will discuss beekeeping and hive maintenance activities appropriate for the next month.  We also like to provide time for members to discuss beekeeping among themselves.  Once a year, usually around January, we conduct a multi-session beginning beekeeping class.  On completion of the class, we offer you the opportunity to join the association, to order bees, and we offer you a mentor to help you get off to a good start.  If you have any interest in keeping bees, we encourage you to join us. We believe joining a beekeeping association such as ours is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to start beekeeping. By joining now you will receive our news letter as well as notification of upcoming classes and meetings.  Dues are modest and affiliates members with the Colorado State Beekeepers Association. See the pages about future and past meetings for examples of meeting content..


NCBA is a 501c3 organization, and donations are tax deductible.
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