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29 comments to Communications

  • Brent Bean

    Can you tell me if any association has requested approval for Mite Away Quick strips in Michigan?

  • Stephen Tilmann

    I may very well be wrong, but as I understand the Section 3 registration it will apply to all states?? Does anyone out there know any different?
    Steve Tilmann

  • Wayne Alger

    I have several cases of peanut butter. I had put some out on a piece of carpet near one of my bee hives. it disappeared. I never saw the bee’s on it. Maybe birds etc ate it. ???

    Is peanut butter an acceptable side dish for bee’s???

    I reealize that it has peaqnut oil in it.

    Just curious.

    thanks for the response.

    wayne Alger–flint, Michigan.

    also—our winter loses were more like 80%. mush worse than the national average of 30%.

  • Stephen Tilmann

    One thing about beekeepers…they are willing to try anything! I can think of a lot of critters that will readily eat peanut butter: mice, rats, squirrels, oppossums, racoons, dogs, ants and all manner of rodents. Honey bees are not on this list. I can think of nothing in peanut butter that would be attractive to a honey bee. Now, if you put out a PBJ, maybe the jelly would be to the linking of the girls.

    We also thought the 30% winter loss was low…at least for our area. Mine was 90% and I know of more than a few beekeepers that had a 100% loss last winter.
    Steve Tilmann, MBA Treasurer

  • beverly

    I have a wild bee hive and when o googled how to get rid of them it said to contact a beekeeper.there has to be a thousand bees. I need some help please .

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Thanks for contacting the Michigan Beekeepers’ Association. There are a number of members who can help. Please consult our web site ( and click on the “Swarm Removal” tab at the top of the home page. You will see a list of beekeepers who can help. We are currently reworking this page to make it easier to find a beekeepers in your area. But for now, you will have to go through the list and find someone near you.
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer

  • Jason Blain

    Looking for advice north of grand rapids want to start a hive on spring. my name is Jason blain

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Contact Anne Marie Fauvel at 616-566-2576 or email at She is the new MBA district $4 representative for your area. She should be able to help out. Number one piece of advice is to hook up with a local bee club (see and consider attending the 2013 spring Michigan Beekeepers’ Association conference in East Lansing.
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer
    Michigan Beekeepers’ Association

  • SusanC

    Hello, I wanted to know if you have any kind of bee keepers school so I can learn to be a beekeeper? I live in Troy and can have a few hives. Could you give me information on how I could become an apprentice? I am not allergic to bee stings and I know it goes along with the territory.

  • Stephen Tilmann

    This is an easy one. One, contact your local bee club (SEMBA). The contact info can be found on the MBA web site under the “Inside MBA” tab. SEMBA has a series of beginner’s classes that start in the early spring. Other clums (eg COMB) also have classes; many start in mid winter. Two, consider going to the MBA spring conference in East Lansing (March 8 & 9). This is “the” beekeeping event in Michigan. We have a two-day schedule packed with classes, some off which are specifically targeted toward the beginner. There is a room full of vendors from which you can look over equipment and gear that you will need. Keep an eye on the MBA web site for more info on the spring conference. Three, ask SEMBA about their mentoring program. If you hook up with a beekeeper, your beginning experience will be just that more enjoyable. Four, get all of the beekeeping catalogs you can find. Search the web. Walter T Kelly, Dadant, Brushy Mountain are just a few. These folks put lots of good information in their catalog because they don’t want you to fail. Six, read a couple of books. Larry Connor ( has a series of excellent books.

    It is not too early to start planning your beekeeping journey. Getting equipment together, ordering your bees are just a few of the things that you can start right now. Beekeeping can be a life-long passion. You have already taken the first steps by contacting the MBA!
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer
    Michigan Beekeepers’ Association

  • Suzanne Lossing

    Hello! & Help!
    I am conducting research for a masters course and I need to delve into the question of bee stings. You can call me or reply to my email:

    Honey bees are my focus, but if there is a difference between types of bees and their stings, I need to clarify it.

    Could you help share insight or point me in a good direction to find answers to the following? Please feel free to share any other insights you might have. I am very ignorant on this subject (hence my difficulties).

    1. How many beekeepers do we have in Michigan (educated estimate is good) and approximately how many die from bee stings? (either yearly or in last 5-10 years).

    2. If you know how I can find this information on a national level.

    I have found tons of information on Honey Bees, but I am concerned of the mixed information I am coming across (fear of bees). Basically, I am looking for a more realistic view and I think Beekeepers have an inside experience with this.

    My phone number: 810-735-6303/Home, Linden, MI

    Thank you for all your help.

  • Stephen Tilmann

    I’ll give this a try. Getting stung by a honeybee while working with the hive is not unusual. For me, it is no big deal. It stings for a few minutes and then goes away. There are lots of things in life that are a lot more unpleasant than a honeybee sting. On (rare) occasions, I have been stung by a yellow jacket or bumble bee. They are a lot more annoying; the irritation can last a day or so. So, in my opinion, there are definite differences between the stings of honeybees and other wasps and hornets.

    The MBA (Michigan Beekeepers Association) has around 1100 folks on its email list. My guess is that is probably a third, or maybe even less, of the beekeepers in Michigan. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are 3,000 plus beekeepers in Michigan The USDA agricultural census may have better/different numbers. The number of beekeepers seem to be increasing, for a variey of reasons.

    I am not aware of any deaths among beekeepers resulting from bee stings. I have never heard of such a case. We need to separate out the reported cases from so called “killer bees” (Apis mellifera scutelatta) which are quite different than the European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) which are the species that are found in managed apiaries. A. mellifera scutellata area tropical insect recently imported into the Americas. As such, they appear to be not adapted to the northern climate we have here in Michiga. Though it is quite possible that hybrids between A. scutelatta and A. mellifera may (and probably are) find their way to Michigan.

    Good sources to check are the USDA agricultural census (for beekeepers, crop production, etc) and the National Institute of Health (for mortality statistics). Also, you may want to contact the state Apiarist Mike Hansen (email You may also want to contact an Apitheripast and get their spin on things.

    Many people have a (irrational) fear of bees. They tend to lump anything that flies and stings as a “bee”. That is sort of like saying anything with feathers is a “bird” and go no further. This fear probably is wired into the reptilian part of our brain. Those of us who work with honeybees know them as reasonably gentle creatures who would much rather go about their business than sting.

    If you have more questions, please feel free to contact us again.

    Also, if any other beekeepers out there want to join in on this discussion, please do so.
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer
    Michigan Beekeepers’ Association

  • Rosie Best

    I am wanting to making a donation to the Fremont Foundation and can’t find on this web site where to mail it and how to do it. In Memory of a beekeeper.

  • Stephen Tilmann

    The Fremont Area Community Foundation (FACF) address is PO Box B. Fremont, Michigan 49412. Their web site is
    Their phone number is 231.924.5350.

    Checks should be made out to the Fremont Area Community Foundation. If this is a memorial gift, be sure to mention this, as the FACF will match memorial donations up to $500. The MBA recently donated $500 to the FACF in memory of Dan Guthrie. Your gesture will surely be appreciated by all concerned.

  • Michelle Hurd Riddick

    Stephen, not sure where my post went from the other day but I am becoming increasingly concerned about not finding any bees. I just surveyed my yard I have over 40 flowering plants, bushes and herbs. Not to mention a small patch of raspberries. I did no find one bee. Not one.

    Any suggestions? Thoughts?

  • Jeanette Klima-Buchko

    My son moved onto property on Gresham Road this year. A few weeks ago, after a storm, he discovered a tree branch containing a large honey bee colony on the ground. About 15-20 (wild guess) feet up where the branch broke off, we can see more hive. Should someone be made aware of this? We know of the honey bee population issue. It’s in a wooded area with very large deciduous trees.
    Jeanette Klima-Buchko
    517 541-2168

  • Christopher Fletcher

    Is it too late in the year to re-queen a hive?

  • Stephen Tilmann

    The short answer is “no”. In fact, times were that fall requeening was THE standard practice. (Another fact is that Michigan used to be one of, if not the, major source of fall queens.) There are many side benefits of fall requeening. You will have a young vigorous queen next spring. There will be a break in the brood cycle which will reduce varroa mites. The requeening will take place in the fall, as the hive is winding down, rather than the spring when the hive is winding up after the winter.
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer
    Michigan Beekeepers’ Association

  • David Payant

    I signed up for a family membership after reading that if I got a membership now (I am a new member) the membership would extend through 2014. The email response I received after sending $35 says my membership expires January 2014, or in less than 2 months. I would appreciate a clarification? Did I just spend $35 for a 7 week membership?
    David Payant
    Member Superiorland Bee Club (Marquette, Michigan)

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Hi David,
    Thanks for supporting the MBA. Your membership is good through the end of 2014 (expires December 31, 2014). We will check on the confirmation email, which must contain and error. Thanks for letting us know.
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer
    Michigan Beekeepers’ Association

  • Russ Carlton

    I am looking for a list of pollen and nectar sources and their bloom periods here in Michigan. There are some partial lists on this site but none seem to be complete. For instance, I know that my bees will build brood during willow and dandelion blooms but these are not listed at all. Also, the lists here confuse dutch clover with white sweet clover, etc. I woul like to get this list filled out with calendar week bloom periods so that we can plan better. I am sure that most of this is general knowlege with Mi beekeepers but perhaps not really documented.


  • Stephen Tilmann

    We are certainly aware that the plant info on the MBA web site could be better. We are a volunteer group and getting good information is a labor of love. Would you like to help out in this?

    On a side note, there will be a class on Michigan forage plants at the 2014 spring conference. You might want to check it out by visiting the spring cofrence page on the web site.

    Also, any plant calendar has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. These things can vary a lot. For instance, the warm March weather we had in early 2012 set the entire plant community ahead by 4 weeks. Plants which normally bloom in the late summer and early fall (golden rod and asters) came a month early. That really screwed up the bees as they lacked the fall resources they need to raise the winter bees. We are still paying for that as we write this (winter, 2014).

  • Bruce Craig

    I own a house in Troy, MI and would like to host a hive for the season. Can this be done and if so who does it close to me?

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Contact the Southeast Michigan Beekeepers (SEMBA) and see if they can hook you up with a local beekeeper. SEMBA can be contacted at Or check out the “Local Clubs” page under the “Inside MBA” tab on the MBA web site.

  • Jeannie Robinson

    I have a tree that has honey bees in it and there are thousands of them. Is there anyone that can get rid of them for me? It’s preventing us from that part of the yard and I’m worried about them stinging my grandchildren. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Joshua t.

    I am looking to install a beehive in Macomb County I worry but if I go forward with this I will have skipped a step in the process. Are there any legal forms or actions I need to take before installing a beehive thank you in advance for your consideration

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Without a doubt, our best advice is to attend one of the local bee clubs in your area. There are several. The local clubs are always more than willing to help out a new bee keeper. Many have beginning classes, which the signup period is starting about now (mid-December). A lot of these classes fill up early, so one should not delay getting on the attendance list.

    There are no legal forms required to start beekeeping. You should, however, be aware of the recommended beekeeping GAAMPS.

  • Tom Howlett

    I am in between Jackson and Lansing and was wondering if someone could point me in the direction of a bulk honey buyer?

  • Stephen Tilmann

    HoneyTree in Onsted, MI is a packer. Another alternative is to get a posting on the Honey Locator map on the MBA web site. We get several inquiries a month from people looking for bulk honey.

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