All posts by Gina Jones

Join us for our March AABA Meeting! It will be held Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 from 6:30-8:40 PM at Arlington Echo.

6:30   Q and A and club business, (too cold to do a hive dive).  Led by President Susan Beury 
6:45   Liz Mehalick: Beekeeper Injury Prevention
7:15   Break
7:30   Charles Kyler: Swarm Traps and Swarm Prevention

Liz Mehalick: Beekeeper Injury Prevention
Due to the nature of beekeeping, injury risk factors such as heavy lifting, high degrees of manual materials handling, twisting, and awkward positioning are commonplace. This presentation will stray away from the bees, and towards the health and safety of their human beekeepers. Liz will be applying her expertise on body mechanics and ergonomics to present on injury prevention in beekeeping. She will discuss ways to maintain beekeeper wellness when working with equipment by delving into injury prevention best practices and tips for working ergonomically.

Liz Mehalick, MS, ATC, CSCS, CEASll
Liz Mehalick is an athletic trainer that joined CIP Solutions as an injury prevention specialist inLiz Mehalick 2022. She is contracted with the nation’s largest utility company, Exelon, providing injury prevention, ergonomics, and health and wellness strategies to both field and office employees.

Liz graduated from Boston University in May 2021, earning her master’s degree in athletic training. Prior to her graduate studies, Liz completed her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Liz’s previous athletic training experience includes employment at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and clinical rotations at Indiana State University, Harvard University, and Simmons University working with Division I collegiates.

Charles Kyler:  Swarm Traps and Swarm Prevention
Tis the season to get your swarm traps ready.  With this year’s interesting weather, buckle up, it will be a swarmy spring.  Charles will speak to swarm prevention and building swarm traps for our yards.  This is a timely talk for all of us.

Charles Kyler Bee Bio
 resident of Howard County, Charles started beekeeping in 2017 after he and his wife completed a beginners course.  Before completing the course, he took over management of a nature center’s observation hive and outside support hives.  

As an avid woodworker, he has made all of his equipment and has taught classes on the subject.  From the two packages he started with, his apiary count rose to four and then up to 40 hives. Charles Kyler

Charles uses traps to catch swarms, as well as using them for swarm removals.  Last year while doing an “intro yard” class, he had to switch gears to teaching a swarm class to catching a swarm, as a swarm landed on a fence post behind him.  What catching that swarm, another started to land two posts down.

He has caught swarms in Maryland as well as in Arizona, including Africanized colonies.  His passion for bees includes sharing his beekeeping knowledge and wordworking skills with others.  He is a longtime member of an an online bee wooden ware builders group that now numbers over 19,000 members world wide.

Charles has dabbled with queen rearing and even traveled to Arizona with a queen in his pocket.  He and his wife won Grand Champion at the Howard County Fair in 2019 for their creamed honey filled chocolates.  They started selling their honey in 2020.

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Join us for our February AABA Meeting! It will be held Tuesday, February 21st, 2023 from 6:30-8:40 PM at Arlington Echo.

6:30-6:50    Q and A, (too cold to do a hive dive).  Led by President Susan Beury 
6:50-7:00    Club Business
7:00-7:30    David Clark “First Spring Inspection”
Break for Social talk 7:30-7:40
7:40- 8:40   Main speaker  Pam Hepp “Spring management coming out of winter”

We will have our own David Clark showing us his Spring first inspection technique in pictures.  David has not shared this information since 2019 and it is definitely worth a revisit.

Our keynote speaker is Pam Hepp on “ Spring management coming out from winter”Pam Hegg.  Pam is an EAS Masterbeekeeper.  Pam says ” I am a former high school chemistry teacher, turned beekeeper in 2013.  I had a student taking over hives from her sister and I wanted my tomatoes to produce more, so I got honeybees.  I was hooked immediately.  The bees are fascinating.  I try to help the bees help themselves.

I’ve been active with the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association – as their outreach coordinator, Vice President and President.  I helped develop and have been a teacher of the MCBA online “Short Course” – beginning beekeeping course.”

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Join us for our January AABA Meeting! It will be held Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 from 6:30-8:30 PM at Arlington Echo.

Our agenda will be changed this month to allow Mr. Droege some extra time.

6:30 open Q and A with President Susan Beury
7:00-8:30 How to identify Native Bees Sam Droege.

We are thrilled to host Maryland native Sam Droege.

Sam Droege grew up in Hyattsville, received an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland and a Master’s at the StateSam Droege University of New York – Syracuse. Most of his career has been spent at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird SurveySam Droge Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the Bioblitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs. Currently he is developing an inventory and monitoring program for native bees, online identification guides for North American bees at, and with Jessica Zelt reviving the North American Bird Phenology Program.

As an aside, he is looking for volunteers interested in helping photoshop hi resolution photographs of insects…see and can be contacted at,. In November Phil Frank showed us this impressive system to get those highly detailed photographs.

How to Identify Native Bees

Maryland has roughly 450 species of native bees and about 65 bee genera. Identifying everything to species is something that very few scientists can do. However, there are bees that can be identified to group, genus, and even species using just your eyes or a pair of binoculars. So get ready to broaden your bee horizons with new information.

We saw from Phil Frank in November the care used by Sam Droege to document the various bees and our honey bees with his special camera system.

Now learn to identify our Maryland native bees!

Reminder: We are still looking for someone to shadow Kim Mehalick, current Program Coordinator, this year and then take over as Program Coordinator for the AABA club. If you are interested please speak to Susan Beury or Kim Mehalick.

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AABA May Meeting
Arlington Echo Nature Center Millersville MD
6:30 Hive dive and/or general Q and A discussion
Please bring your veil and protective gear if you are going on the hive dive.   This will be weather dependent.  There will always be beekeepers in the room to answer your questions.

7:00 Valerie Wampler on how to render wax

7:30 Valerie Wampler on Native bees and their importance.

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AABA Meeting on April 19, 2022
This will be an in person meeting at the Arlington Echo Nature Center, Millersville MD.

6:30 President Ryan Smith, open hive dive at Arlington Echo  *** Bring your veils
7:00 David Clark, Skill :  How to wire wax foundation properly
7:30 Russell Sprangel    Raising queens using grafting

Russell Sprangel is the current Vice President of Howard County Beekeepers and the past President and VP of Carroll County Beekeepers.  He is very active in Carrol County over his five years as a beekeeper attending every meeting and almost every outreach event.  These events are  to educate the community on the benefits of beekeeping and supporting all pollinators.  He teaches during the beekeeping calendar in the clubs training Apiary, all any aspects of beekeeping students ask for.  Early in his second year of beekeeping he decided that queen rearing could not be the black magic everyone said, and you should not need 10 years of experience to do it.  So, with a little book learning, and no formal instruction, he jumped in to find what the fuss was about.  Turns out it is magical, but in a good way, and can be one of the most rewarding aspects of beekeeping even on the small backyard scale.

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