The Hive

PCBA Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 2 April 2023

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A Message from the President

Hello All and Happy Spring! As the buds are showing on the maple trees and we've been teased with a few warm days, the promise of spring is upon us and the Beekeeping New Year is underway.


Program Director Matthew Leighton is hard at work pulling together a schedule of speakers to offer continuing education to our membership. Our meetings, which are the 4th Wednesday of every month at the Hanson Clubhouse at 228 High Street at 7 p.m. are the best way to connect with other beekeepers, participate in club business including our "Ask the Beekeeper" segment that starts a few minutes before the meeting, have a coffee or a honey-inspired treat, and listen to the program talk. Presenters will be tailored to beekeeper needs (swarm management, IPM, winterizing colonies, etc.) and bee-related topics (native pollinators, mosquitos, ticks, bears, honey tastings, hive-products, and more). Hope to see you there!

We offer hands-on workshops throughout the year. In March, we held two woodenware workshops where bee school students could receive guidance and help assembling hive bodies and frames. We'll be scheduling wax rendering/candle workshops next, so stay tuned!

The Club also offers several social event meetings, with the next events being the club BBQ at the Jones River Landing in June and the Marshfield Fair Potluck at the Fairgrounds in August. Stay tuned for more info for these family friendly events!

If you are not a member and are interested in attending one of the meetings, please contact me at Share your program ideas and suggestions with Matthew Leighton,


As the new packages are distributed and new beekeepers begin to implement all that has been learned so far, PCBA offers mentors to active members. The mentors listed on the PCBA website have been vetted for their experience, beekeeping knowledge and skills, and contributions to the club. There are many unofficial club members willing to help, visit, or chat, but the official mentoring that we offer as a benefit of membership is a formal program through the club. There are currently 19 mentors listed on the PCBA site, along with their contact information and town. Mentors are most experienced with the Langstroth hive setup. Please know that we are always willing to help and our role is to support practicing beekeepers increase proficiency and confidence in their practice.

If you are a club member interested in becoming a mentor, we would like to include you. Please reach out to an executive board member to be considered for the mentoring program.


We have a great opportunity for bee school students to experience a live package installation demonstration on Friday, 4/21 at 5 p.m. at the YMCA Farm (Behind the daycare/gymnastics facility at 1075 Washington Street, Hanover- pull all the way around the building past the back, left corner and bring your bee suit, minimally a veil to observe. Please be respectful of the daycare pickups and do not approach the building. We'll meet you out back!

The annual PCBA Package Pickup Event is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 at Reunion Farm, 271 Main St, Plympton, MA, which is located at the corner of Route 58 (Main St) and Mayflower Rd, at the light. Pickup hours will be from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. No early birds, and please, don’t be late. If you are not going to be available, you MUST make arrangements to have someone else pick up your bees. There will be a $5 handling fee, per package, for every package that not picked up. Many thanks to Ann Rein for coordinating the package order and all who volunteer to make distribution day a success! Any updates will be posted to the PCBA Website (all official news goes here), the Facebook page, and Google Group email distribution.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns- I'm here to help and support the club and our members!

Bee well!


PCBA's Ken Pearl wins MassBee Beekeeper of the Year

Each county bee club president gets to submit a nomination for the annual MA Beekeeper of the Year through MassBee. Here is PCBA's nomination letter, selected by MassBee to honor Ken Pearl as Beekeeper of the Year:

I’m writing to recommend Mr. Kenneth Pearl as the MA Beekeeper of the year. A member of Plymouth County Beekeepers, Ken started beekeeping in 2014 and he quickly became an integral member of the club and beekeeping community, maintaining multiple apiaries on the South Shore.

Ken has become a mentor to many members of our club and beyond, traveling Plymouth County and other areas of MA to support a learning beekeeper in their hive work. He often invites mentees to work together with his own hives to increase their knowledge and comfort level and bring that experience back to their practice. He also attends every bee school class to share his knowledge in addition to the standard curriculum and monthly club meetings to support members at every stage of beekeeping.

Ken volunteers his time as the Beekeeper in Residence for the Magical Moon Farm in Marshfield, a five acre, ocean-side, organic farm supporting children with cancer and other life threatening conditions. In addition to maintaining hives on the property and contributing to the aesthetic beauty and function of the farm, Ken regularly runs educational bee awareness and beekeeping-related programs for children and families at the farm.

What is most impressive in Ken’s time with PCBA has been the development of the first “Bee Suits for Kids” program. Inspired by his own grandchildren, Ken understood the desire for children to get involved and learn alongside family members at a young age. A practical concern in accommodating kids is the need to change bee suits as children grow so rapidly. Ken’s idea was to invest in various youth-sized bee suits with veils and gloves that could be loaned out to club members for the season. The next season, the member could return for the correct sized suit as their children grow, taking the initial costs of protective gear off the member and encouraging more youth to participate. His belief that children who are exposed to beekeeping become our future beekeepers and advocates will pay dividends in our community and greater society. Recently, several other county associations have reached out to Ken due to his success in starting their own bee suits for kids program. This is just one way Ken operates with the mindset of paying it forward, with impacts reaching far beyond the boundaries of Plymouth County.

Ken Pearl is an avid beekeeper who is continuously learning and growing in his own craft, while using that knowledge and skill to support others. He has mentored hundreds of beekeepers in Massachusetts and is an active member of the beekeeping community. It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Ken Pearl as candidate for MA Beekeeper of the year.

Congratulations to Kenny and thanks for all you do to mentor and support PCBA beekeepers!

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Pollinator Planting

It's a great time to turn your attention to adding pollination sources for your bees and other pollinators. According to the Xerces Society, "Providing wildflower-rich habitat is the most significant action you can take to support pollinators. Adult bees, butterflies, and other pollinators require nectar as their primary food source, and female bees collect pollen as food for their offspring. Native plants, which are adapted to local soils and climates, are usually the best sources of nectar and pollen for native pollinators. Incorporating native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees into any landscape promotes local biological diversity and provides shelter and food for a diversity of wildlife. Most natives require minimal irrigation, flourish without fertilizers, and are unlikely to become weedy. This fact sheet [reproduced below] features regionally native plants that are highly attractive to pollinators and are well-suited for small-scale plantings in gardens, urban greenspaces, and farm field borders, and on business and school campuses."

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Check them out at Enjoy their publication below, "Pollinator Plants of the Northeast Region."

Their name (which is pronounced Zer-sees, or /ˈzɚˌsiz/) comes from the now-extinct Xerces blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche xerces), the first butterfly known to go extinct in North America as a result of human activities. The Xerces blue's habitat was destroyed by development in the sand dunes of San Francisco, and the species was declared extinct by the 1940s.

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Honey Bees on the Golf Course at the University of Georgia

Scott Griffith, CGCS, Director of Agronomy, University of Georgia Golf Course answers a few questions for the PCBA. In 2022 Scott was awarded the Environmental Leadership Award on behalf of the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association (GGCSA) for his efforts in creating a standard for best practices in the state, a commitment to environmental stewardship, water management, and sustainability.

1. What are some of the common misconceptions about how UGA Golf Course maintains their grounds, particularly fertilization utilization and pest control and groundskeeper application training and equipment?

I think amount is #1. Golf courses are always mindful to not put out more than is needed. We can’t afford to. Most of us have very tight budgets and no room for waste. When we do use fertilizers, most of the time we are using slow-release products that release at the rate in which the turfgrass can utilize it. For most of us, insecticides are normally reserved for applications to our greens which is normally 3 to 5 acres of treated area. Applicators are highly trained and in the state of Georgia a pesticide applicators license is required as I am sure they are in your area.

The test to earn that certification is very difficult and most do not pass it on their 1st try. Continuing education is required to maintain the license. Our application equipment can cost anywhere between $75,000 to $150,000 because of the engineering that goes into ensuring their accuracy. More and more Superintendents are employing GPS technology that can be as precise as within 6” and prevent over application caused by overlapping.

2. Can you tell our membership about the golf course’s partnership with Audubon and the nearby Botanical Garden?

Audubon International is an independent organization that has 6 environmentally conscious certification programs. Only one of these applies to golf courses. The others are for a multitude of stakeholders. The golf course program has 6 categories. Here is the link to the golf course program.

The Botanical Gardens relationship was an easy one since it is owned by the state and the University of Georgia for whom I work for. I lean on them for plant advise and they lean on me for turfgrass advise. We also allow them to borrow equipment that they may only need once or twice a year. They actually have a certified beekeeper course program that I hope to take soon.

3. What has been the golfers’ experience with beekeeping on the golf course, with the hive placement near the club house to encourage engagement?

People are naturally curious about it and will ask questions. We also placed signage, see attachment, as well for when we are not there to answer questions. We have hosted educational events also that included the hive. We wanted to make sure to place it where the customers would notice it and pique their interest.

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Monthly Meeting, Wed., April 26, 7 p.m. Hanson Clubhouse

Ask-a-Beekeeper panel discussion for club members, including bee school attendees who are just receiving their bee packages. Bring your questions for club members Ken Pearl, Andy Rice and Lee Burton. The panel is dedicated to answering your beekeeping questions. Any beekeeping topic is fair game: pre and/or post package install considerations – feeding, queen cage removal and acclimation period; woodenware; nutrition; IPM; hive inspections; mentor program; club enrichment opportunities; swarm management. Take full advantage of your club’s experts, supporting your success.

Executive Board, Thursday, May 4, 7 p.m. Hanson Clubhouse

This is your club, this is your meeting. Get involved, volunteer and let your voice be heard! Club members are welcome to discuss the Club’s business.

Next meetings: May 4, June 1

Executive Board Rolling Agenda

Officers and Directors of the Executive Board:

Lisa Maguire, President; Lee Anne Burton, Vice President; Pete Watson, Secretary; Alex Rancourt, Treasurer; Ann Rein, Past President; Open, Publications Director; Matthew Leighton, Program Director; Gary Maguire, Property Director; Chuck Shea, Bee School Director; Bonnie Benford, Exhibit and Show Director; Ken Pearl, Director at Large; Greg Rein, Director at Large; Bill Veazie, Director at Large

Monthly Meeting, May 24th, 7 p.m. Hanson Clubhouse

The club will be hosting two speakers on May 24th.

Blake Dinius – Plymouth County Have Skeeters? Mosquito bite prevention presentation. He is an Entomologist educator for the County of Plymouth and a repeat guest.

Elizabeth Barnes from MDAR Forest Pest outreach will be presenting on Lanternflies. The Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources provides education and outreach to the public, the green industry, environmental groups, and schools about invasive forest pests, through the Forest Pest Outreach program.


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EAS Annual Conference, July 31-August 4

Each year Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) hosts a Bee Conference in one of our member states or provinces. At this conference, we meet with other beekeepers from around the world to talk about the latest honeybee research and how to take our beekeeping skills to the next level. Our goal as always is to provide an educational conference that is world-class and also fun! This year's conference is being held in Amherst, MA!

There are two main sections to the conference; The Short Course and the Main Conference. For each of these there are usually several parallel sessions going on simultaneously. You are free to move from one session to another session according to your interests. While you do have to register for the days you will attend (Short Course, Main Conference or Combination), selecting which lecture, laboratory, or demonstration you want to attend is usually just a matter of walking into the appointed room or area. Possible exceptions requiring online registration might be microscopy classes or Queen grafting etc. The schedule of presentations will be posted in advance on this website, but may not be finalized until a week or two before the conference. You must be an EAS Member to attend the daytime sessions. Online registration will be open a few months before the conference.

Short Course: The Short Course is held on Monday, Tuesday and overlaps the Main course on Wednesday. The Short Course includes several one or two-day mini-courses appropriate for beginner/hobbyist, intermediate/ Side-liner and for Advanced beekeeper interest. You do not have to signup in advance for any particular talk, demonstration or Laboratory in advance.

Main Conference: The EAS Main Conference begins on Wednesday, with Short Course participants included, extending through Friday afternoon. There will be keynote presentations to begin our daily programs, followed by multiple tracks of presentations continuing through the afternoon.

Combined Short Course and Main Conference: This option is for those people who would like to attend both Short Course and the Main conference at a reduced price than selecting each individually.

The theme of the EAS 2023 conference is “Past, Present, and Beeyond”. Massachusetts is rich in its beekeeping history. Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth lived a short distance (30-minute drive) from the UMASS Amherst campus in Greenfield MA. Langstroth was pastor of the Second Congregational Church from 1840 to -1858 and is known worldwide as the “Father of Modern Beekeeping”. Come walk the same Greenfield city center streets where Langstroth preached, wrote, and invented the moveable frame hive. Reverend Langstroth is scheduled to be joining us at the conference. In addition to the outstanding classroom sessions and the conference keynote speakers, there will be four exciting workshops including bee photography, queen-rearing program, baking with honey, and honeybee microscopy.

Watch for more information at the EAS Website.

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Do you have a honey-inspired recipe?

Send your honey-inspired recipes if you would like us to share! We'll include in future newsletters! Send to and we'll share to our membership.

About Us

The Plymouth County Beekeepers Association (the “PCBA”), is a non-profit organization established in 1977. We are dedicated to the support of local agriculture and to educating the public about beekeeping through our school and participation in local fairs and festivals.

PCBA focuses on education, agriculture, and stewardship through many of the public outreach programs the club participates in and provides throughout the year. We have members who speak at schools, community centers, and professional meetings.