For ease of tracking, we are changing the membership term to coincide with the calendar year.  Therefore your membership will expire at the end of 2013.  Anyone who paid their dues after July 1, 2013 may make special arrangements with the membership coordinator for prorated dues for 2014.  Contact membership@phillybeekeepers.org

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment

February 26 FREE – Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VHS) Genetics in Bees

VSH Bees – Moving from Selecting Lines to a Stock of Bees
7 p.m., Mandell Hall, Room 114, Delaware Valley College Campus
Join Dr. Jeff Harris, assistant professor of apiculture in the Department of Biochemistry, Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University, for a VIDEO-link seminar on beekeeping.  (19 miles from Philadelphia – 700 E Butler Ave., Doylestown, PA 18901 Get Directions call 1.800.2.DelVal

Seminar Summary
Although queens produced from pure lines of Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) bees retain a useful level of resistance after they have been mated with other bee stocks, their level of resistance is diminished to about half.  Additionally, pure VSH lines suffer from narrow selection that has reduced their genetic variability, and many purebred VSH queens need to be supported heavily for their colonies to survive.  Jeff believes that by narrowly focusing on a single trait, his previous breeding efforts missed the chance of producing a more sustainable stock with the VSH trait selected along with a suite of other important traits.  This talk will provide his new goals of producing a uniform stock of bees with a higher expression of VSH while retaining as much genetic variation as possible.

Difficulties in selecting for VSH traits have made breeding for resistance to varroa mites difficult.  Some new strategies will be offered as alternatives to the detailed selection of complex behavioral traits.  With these approaches, it is hoped that beekeepers, beginning with already selected stock can focus on measuring mite population levels as a primary selection tool to enhance resistance to varroa mites (or any disease being considered).  A strategy for eliminating the most susceptible bees from the breeding pool while retaining colonies that have some resistance will be emphasized as an approach to keeping multiple resistance traits in the population.

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment

Mar 3 – Deadline EXTENDED – Beekeeping Supplies Group Order (Save Money)

DUE TO SNOW THE PICKUP DATE IS DELAYED UNTIL MARCH 6 or so.  Therefore you can still call in your orders to Forest Hill Woodworking.  Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild is offering members a chance to order woodenware & other supplies, including gear and FONDANT, collectively to save on shipping.  Our member Tanya Veitch is kind enough to co-ordinate the effort. Click here to see how it works:

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment

Feb 22 – Getting Started with Honey Bees Beginners Course


Interested in becoming a beekeeper or just want to learn the fundamentals of beekeeping? Join us on Saturday, February 22, 2014 for the in class portion of the course where attendees wil learn from a group of experienced urban


  • Basic bee biology,
  • Considerations about equipment,
  • hive set-up, and location,
  • Where to get your first bees & how to put them in the hive,
  • Hive management through the seasons (focus on Spring),
  • Natural beekeeping approaches & strategies,
  • What is going on in a live hive
  • How to recognize common pests & diseases

Then, join us again in May and July, to suit up for a look at what’s going on in the hive.  Groups of 4 or 5 students conduct an inspection with an experienced beekeeper and focus on Summer and Fall management techniques.  Compare to what’s going on in your hive, discuss and get answers.  Date and time TBD based on attendees schedules.
Eventbrite - Getting Started with Honeybees: 3-Part Short Course 2014
We recommend registering for the event on Eventbrite, but if you do not want to pay the Eventbrite fee, still go to the link to register but then click the fine print “show other payment options” link below the big green “register” button.  You will be given instructions on how to pay off-line by mailing a check to the Guild.

(photo by addisongeary.com)

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment

Youth Essay Contest – Win a Hive!

The Pennsylvania Backyard Beekeepers Association is sponsoring an essay contest for youth (aged 17 and younger) to win a free beehive complete with honeybees or, as an alternative, $100 in vendor credit at its Spring Workshop!  To get the entry form, contact Carol at  ccline46@verizon.net

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment

February 9, Natural Beekeeping Symposium

We are thrilled to announce that nationally renowned beekeepers Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimerauthors of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping” will speak at our 4th Annual Natural Beekeeping Symposium. Stiglitz and Herboldsheimer will share valuable techniques and stories about natural beekeeping based on their extensive, personal experience. Continue reading

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment

Our Symposium Featured at newsworks.org!

Thanks to freelance writer Alaina Mabaso: CLICK HERE TO READ IT!

Posted in Guild in the News | Leave a comment