Keeping bees on Long Island since 1949.

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: November 2015



Our Honey Judging Contest was a huge success as always, lots of entries, with many categories. Congratulations to Helen Mecagni for winning Best in Show with her highest points from her Water White Honey, Amber Honey and Light Amber Honey. First Place Winners were Bill O’Hern, Charles DiStefano, John Hardecker, Guissepe Caso, Second Place Guissepe Caso, Charles DiStefano, Roy Baillard, Helen Mecagni, , Third Place Christine & Kathryn Moravick, Lorraine Leacock, Helen Mecagni, Honorable Mention, Joan Mahoney, John Hardecker, Dorothy & Stan Gorecki, Marsha Greenman, John Quinn, Marianne Sangersland, Michael Ryan, Conni Still all for their honey.
Honorable Mentions were given to Marsha Greenman for her Cookies, Peter McCabe for his Gadget. In the Art First Prize went to Joan Mahoney for her Beeswax, Second to Charles DiStefano for his Beeswax. In the Bee Artwork category Barbara Munzer received a First Prize, Catherine Watson a Second Prize, and Risa Gold a Third Prize.
Congratulations to all the winners and a Huge Thank You to Fred Munzer and Rich Blohm, our great judges for their hard work.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: December 2015

Our holiday party was a huge success, thanks so much to Joe Matza and Moira Alexander for their arranging the restaurant and the door prizes. Thanks to Anna and Grace for leading us in our annual rendition of the Twelve Days of Beekeeping much to the enjoyment of the other diners in the restaurant as well. The grab bag gifts had some wonderful bee items, it’s amazing how many gift items are out there for us collectors!
Please remember that your dues are due for 2016. I am having more surgery probably mid January and will not be at that meeting. I would appreciate it if you could please send your dues by mail or by Pay Pal. That will avoid long lines for whoever is taking the dues in my absence. A Very Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year to you all!

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

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FROM THE EDITORS DESK: October 2015



I hope everyone had a wonderful time at the conference today. I was so sad to have missed it, but just recuperating from major surgery I didn’t have the stamina to attend. Hope to see you at the next meeting.
Our last meeting brought us another new group of beekeepers to welcome: James Smith, Nancy Smith, David Tifford, Andrea Cayea, Ira Barocas, Ty Knox, Christopher G. Hansen-Crowley and Anne A. Hansen-Crowley

Don’t forget that the Honey Judging Contest is this coming meeting. You must be a member in Good Standing to enter the contest. If you have not paid your dues this year, you must have your check or cash in hand before you can submit your honey or entry for the contest!!!!! Please try to come a little earlier to take care of this business so the meeting can get started on time.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: September 2015



It was a hot dry summer, the flowers didn’t give up much nectar so the bees didn’t produce as much honey as last year’s bumper crop. But I still harvested a little over 50 pounds from the one good hive. The requeened hive finally failed and Ray helped me combine it with the thriving hive. John came and helped remove the honey and then we had a little NEWBEE Extraction Party with Lorraine, Jennifer and Jim getting Extracting 101 lessons. It was fun, sticky and I showed them my technique with some of my equipment devised to assist the older beekeeper with handicapping conditions. Then my grandson came to visit during the week and helped bottle and label which makes him very proud to help and gives him something to bring back to school to tell his friends about. I have all my pre-orders set up to deli ver, made sure my regular customers get taken care of first. I purchased pretty hexagonal small jars for gift giving this year. When you don’t have a huge yield you find a way to still give presents that look fancy but are cost effective. All in the packaging! Now to get the lip balms and lotion bars and soaps cranking for the fair so I still have a table full to sell. Need to keep these girls profitable for me. They eat lots of fondant all winter. I hope you all did well.
We welcome two new members to the club this month. Robert Lodi and Jonathan Ramsay.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

The Garden Column

By Lorraine Leacock, Master Gardener
(Courtesy Cornell Cooperative Extension)

As a new-bee this year, I was pleasantly surprised to read Juergen Jaenicke's monthly gardening articles. I had no idea he was a beekeeper, only knowing him through Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) channels. So, it was with great disappointment to see in the May newsletter that he was considering retirement. I am a 2008 graduate of Cornell's MGV program...20 weekly meetings learning different aspects of gardening, with quite an emphasis on insects! After quizzes, a final exam and 120 hours of volunteer work, we are certified but must continue to contribute 30 hours annually in an abundance of ways...gardening in our communities, teaching, writing, and most importantly, reporting.

My gardening world began with my parents in England...memories of Mum's cottage flowers, my Dad's small greenhouse where he grew tomatoes, his grafted roses, lush lawn maintained with a manual hand-pushed mower, and stepping on a bee with bare feet (probably a bumble). They planted the seed in my interest but sadly not the knowledge.

Having little science background, I struggled with many failures in the sandy Long Island "soil"...no loam...not knowing the importance of the basics. The naive thinking was to dig a hole and throw a plant in it, or to start vegetables from seed and expect results without proper conditions. I now know it all starts with the growing medium, and that plants flourish when they have the right climate, nutrients, ph level, sun exposure, water and pollination!

I'm no expert by any means but strive to learn from those who are and from my mistakes. If I am to be the new gardening writer, I have big shoes to fill and hope to be able to impart something of value. Thanks Juergen for your inspiration, information sharing and service. If it is semi-retirement you seek, your periodic contributions will be looked forward to.

Three Cheers, Lorraine

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: August 2015



Hi beekeepers. We missed you all last month. With no meeting and me on total bedrest and major computer problems I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get out a newsletter for July. Hope this one will find you all working on getting your hives extracting or ready to, as am I. John came over the other day and we found bad news and good news. His new hive is working and building comb and storing honey, but not greatly. My requeened hive is failing badly. Little brood with evidence of chalk brood, first time I have ever had that before. I will have to speak to my next door neighbor about trimming the mulberry tree that might be creating too much shade on my hives. My western hive is amazing! Three supers of capped honey and one that needs capping. Very busy bees, hanging out on their porch and enjoying the slightly cooler day. We did see some hive beetles and put in a new trap and tomorrow I will clean the burr comb from the inner cover to give them less places to hide. We will plan to pull the honey when I get back from visiting my grandkids. Finally! I had to postpone the July trip because of my back problems. Can’t wait to see my family.
We welcome new members Dennis Pantoliano and Kate Soroka.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

LIBC Member, Cliff Struhl, in Edible Long Island

Bee Smart Designs
Syosset’s pioneer of symbiotic beekeeping supplies.
Ventilation, moisture, predators. It’s not all about honey for Syosset beekeeper Cliff Struhl, who understands the threats that make or break the health of his hives.
Frustrated by the limitations of available beekeeping equipment, the hobby sculptor and CEO of Joseph Struhl Company Inc.—a local graphics company specializing in custom polyethylene signs—began prototyping his idea for perfect beekeeping enhancements. Applying the basic engineering and materials used in his signs, Struhl started Bee Smart Designs to make functional, bee-friendly apiary equipment.
Read more at http://www.ediblelongisland.com/2015/05/27/bee-smart-designs/

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: June 2015



Hope your bees are doing well. My re-queened hive is still weak. I gave it another frame of brood from the strong hive last week, hoping to boost it until the new brood hatches. The strong hive has tons of bees. It swarmed into a tree two streets away. I didn’t find out exactly where it was until they took off again, so I couldn’t capture them. I saw lots of empty queen cells but no queen. Found eggs and new larva and new brood. If I had found the queen I could have given a whole super to the weak hive, but I have no idea where she’s hiding. So I have my fingers crossed on the survival of the new girls.
I found an old photo from a meeting while clearing some files and realized that there were probably about 20 or so members at that meeting just a few years ago. We have come a long way since then, growing to over 200 paid members. This month we welcome new member Joseph Cardali, Keith Kebe

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

Sunday, May 24: Tammy Horn

Apiforestation: The Future of Beekeeping?

If you have any of Tammy’s books, bring them with you and she will autograph them for you.
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Our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown.
The meeting starts promptly at 2:00.

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: May 2015



I have been keeping bees since April 7, 1980 and this year was my first experience in requeening! Both hives survived our brutal winter but one was not doing as well as the other. The brood pattern was spotty and I knew the queen had to be removed. I was fortunate to purchase a new one and thanks to my fellow beekeeper John Holden we opened the hive and found the old queen on the second frame we checked. We scooped her up into a vial with a few friends and then put the new queen into place, loosening the candy plug. After two days I checked and she was still in place. I poked at the candy some more and checked again in two days. Still no movement. Now I was beginning to panic, so I tried to pry more candy away and checked again in two days. She still hadn’t escaped so I took a blade and popped the other plug out and she ran right down into a frame. So now I’ll have to wait a few more days to check for eggs and hope for the best. Meanwhile I threw out my back lifting the three supers that were on top, so my chiropractor is getting to be a regular visitor. UGH!
Last month’s meeting was another huge success with a great speaker and lots of new members. We are happy to welcome Wane R. Dougal Jr., Joshua Kaplan, Chris Gee, Patrick Cannone, Thomas Delio, Jennifer & James VonEiff, and Christian Reina

Do you have an up-to-date Epi-Pen? Thanks to Richard Stark, here’s how to get one for little or no money. On your computer, go to Epipen.com. Click on $0 Co-Pay offer. Fill out the form to see if you are eligible based on your prescription policy. Get a prescription from your doctor and bring the $0 copay card and RX to your pharmacy and you can get your Epi-Pen for up to $0. This offer expires 12/31/15.

Since we are getting new members every month, the membership list changes constantly. I have an up to date list on my computer and send it to George regularly to post on the website. If you would like a copy for your own information, so you can find out who is in your neighborhood, email me and I will email you a copy. If you do not have email, call me or ask me at the meeting and I will bring a copy for you to the next meeting. Just remember, it changes monthly, so I will only do this quarterly to avoid the great amount of paperwork required. Thanks.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

Sunday, April 26: Allen Hayes

Guest Speaker:
Allen Hayes
The Gadget Guy!



Our meetings are held at Smithtown Historical Society Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main Street (Route 25), Smithtown.
The meeting starts promptly at 2:00.

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: April 2015



Are your bees playing hide and seek? My girls keep peeking out and yelling what happened to the sun and warm weather! I’ve been feeding slices of fondant and so far they are happily eating it but I can’t wait for some warm days to be able to actually get into the hive and look around.

Last month’s meeting had a full house again, lots of people came for Beekeeping 101, some stayed for the rest of the meeting, some left. Other members just came for the formal meeting, so it is hard to get a real head count but 75 of you did sign in. We keep seeing new faces and we have some new members to welcome this month: Joan Tifford, Thomas Hildebrandt, Judith Koslofsky, David Stroehlein, Christie Cotty, Deborah Waring, Patricia Jones, John Lanphear, Laurie Sponza, Craig Couvopoulo, Timothy O’Keefe,Shahin Ahdieh, Kimberly Hess,Matthew Ross, Thomas Naccarato and George Deabold. A few old friends renewed their memberships too, and we are glad to see you are back with us. Please remind your friends that have not renewed their membership that they will not be receiving a newsletter until they send that check!

Annual dues are $35. Please send a check payable to LIBC to Conni Still at 82 Stephen Road, Bayport, NY 11705, use PAYPAL, or pay directly at the next meeting.

Please remember that dues were by end of March to remain a member in good standing. Please mail your check or pay online using PAYPAL.
Any member who has not paid their dues will not receive future newsletters nor have free advertising in future newsletters so please pay promptly. Also please update your copy for your ads.

Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: March 2015



Last Sunday was the first day the snow in my back yard was soft enough to attempt a visit to my hives. Just as a precaution I used a walker to make sure I didn’t slip on underlying ice and donning a veil and optimistically putting slices of fondant in my pockets I ventured out. The temperature had reached a little over 50 degrees and as I approached the hives much to my delight I saw activity. And when I got up to them, there were bees flying actively and there was spots of yellow bee poop all over the white snow surrounding the hives. I opened them up and there was still fondant left and bees spilling out. I gave them the extra fondant, welcomed them to a new year, and did a happy dance all the way back to the house. Now I will continue to feed them and monitor the need for a super as soon as the temperature stabilizes a little more and the dandelions start to bloom!

Our meeting last month was filled with many new faces and lots of old faces that we hadn’t seen in a while. It was good to see you all. We welcome new members:Nancy Hall, Peter Treiber, Mark & Marianne Sunderland, Nick Cacoperdo, Jeremy Jones, Dorothy Gorecki, Scott Brown, Chris Algieri, Philip Scala, Eileen Aivaliotis and family. Thanks to the other members who have sent their membership renewals by mail and PayPal.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: February 2015



Saint Gobnait, Patron Saint of Bees and Beekeepers

Gobnait (Gobnet, Gobhnet, Gobnaid, Gobnata, or Gobnatae), was born in County Clare, Ireland, sometime in the 5th or 6th century. Gobnait is Irish for Abigail (“Brings Joy”). As the patron saint of beekeepers, her name also has been anglicized as Deborah, meaning “Honey Bee.”

Monasteries and oratories in Gobnait’s time would have resembled stone beehives. A Clochán is dry-stone hut with a corbelled roof, dating from the early Middle Ages or earlier. Most archaeologists think these structures were built on the southwestern coast of Ireland since the Bronze Age. An “Oratory” was a small stone Church for reading the Gospels aloud (all 150 Psalms were memorized for use in their daily prayer: praying the hours). Many of the Oratories were only large enough to hold twelve people—the number of monks considered optimal in early Irish monasteries. Some later Monastic communities had hundreds of monks—and their families! Some of the Celtic Monasteries allowed married monks—the position of Abbot sometimes even passing from father to son.
One of the miracles attributed to Saint Gobnait was that she protected a parish by unleashing a swarm of bees. She was also known for her care of the sick. One story tells how she kept the plague out of the village of Ballyvourney in Ireland by designating it consecrated ground. Saint Gobnait’s Day is February 11th is still celebrated by the community of Ballyvourney, in County Cork. During a Mass at the well, everyone takes water from it. She had a strong relationship with bees and used the properties of honey in the treatment of illness and healing of wounds.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

ESHPA Summer Picnic Meeting

The Summer meeting of Empire State Honey Producers is going to be at Betterbee in Greenwich, NY on July 18. There will be three presentations on wintering honey bees. One on wrapping a cluster of four hives on a pallet, second on indoor wintering, third by Betterbee on their method. The meeting will start about 9 am, end by 4 PM. There will be a picnic lunch.
http://www.eshpa.org/index.php/calendar-b/summer-meeting

FROM THE EDITORS DESK: January 2015



Just two weeks ago I was sitting on my new deck having a cup of coffee and watching my bees come and go on cleansing flights. I hope they got back into their clusters before the temperature plummeted again. I am looking forward to the Spring and being able to enjoy watching the bees from this new vantage point. The entire kitchen was demo’d down to the studs and I can’t wait till the reno is done. All my bee “stuff” is packed up and I discovered that I had a few duplicates. So keep watch at the next few meetings because I will be bringing some things in for the raffles. I’m getting pretty tired of eating frozen TV dinners from the microwave, can’t wait for a real kitchen again. Will post picture hopefully next month.

We welcome some new members this month. Richard and Susan Barkey, Joseph Desiderio, Ernest Herrington, Mark Katzenberger, Martin Kenna, Elizabeth Marcellus, Karen May, Bryan Pedigo, Keith Perry, Arlene Verante.

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Holiday Party recognizes our Master Beekeepers, Fred Munzer, Peter Bizzoso, Richard Blohm and Ray Lackey.
Not present were John Moloney and Max Riedener.


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A festive bee trimmed cake for our Holiday Party.


Do you have a beekeeping story to tell or information or pictures you would like to share with fellow beekeepers? Please send text and pictures to the editor of Beeline at this email address: Connistill@aol.com

President’s Message: Our Club's Website in 2014

By George B. Schramm, LIBC President

I'm happy to report that our Club's website has been as busy as a, well, you know.

From January 1 of 2014 to January 1 of this year we've had 18,973 visits to the website (that’s right – over 18,000 hits!). Out of those visitors 13,355 were first-time visitors and the remaining 5,618 were people who came back for another look. That's an average of about 36 new visitors to the website every day. Our best day last year was on May 14 when we had 124 visitors.

Overall, about 71% of the visitors are first-timers and 29% are returning visitors. That's a good ratio because it means that we have lots of people finding their way to the site and having a look around, and a consistent number of people (most likely members) are coming back. Of those people returning to the site, 23% of them have been back 2 to 8 times previously and 6% have visited 9 times or more. (74 people have visited the site over 200 times each!)

Although the majority of our visitors come from the United States (95%), we do get visitors from all over the world. About 1% of visitors are from the United Kingdom, another 1% are from Brazil, and the remaining 3% are from various locations everywhere else, like Australia (28 visitors) and Italy (40 visitors).

So, how do visitors find our website? Well, about 17% of them have the website saved as a favorite and click directly to the site. About 11% get referred to the Club's website by another website, like Facebook (yes, the Club has a Facebook page) or other sites like beeculture.com. The remaining 72% of our visitors arrive after using a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. I intentionally embed into the website keywords that allow search engines to return our website high on a list of search results. You can try it for yourself: perform a Google search for "long island beekeepers" or "long island bees" or "long island honey." Most likely the Club's website appears on the first page of the search results.

The most popular pages on the website, other than the home page that people arrive at first, are the "Local Honey" page (if you don’t have your honey listed on this page then you’re probably missing out on potential sales), the "Classifieds", the "Meeting Schedule" page, and the "Bee Trouble" page.

You're probably wondering how we get all this information. I suppose I could just say that a little bee told me, but that wouldn’t be accurate. Hidden inside the website is a little program that gathers data about each visitor. That information is relayed to a database that collects and analyzes it all, and I periodically run reports to see how the website is performing. There's even more information available other than what I've summarized here. For example, not surprisingly, more and more people are using mobile technology to view the website: 27% have used a mobile phone and 17% have used a tablet. Nonetheless, we can't, and would not, gather names, addresses, or other personal information from our visitors.

If you have questions or comments about the Club's website, feel free to send me an email: president@longislandbeekeepers.org