Dear Esteemed LESBA Club Members, Past, Present, and Future:

Greetings Keepers! We hope this message finds you well and thriving as spring quickly approaches. As we navigate the evolving landscape of our beekeeping community, we wanted to take a moment to connect and share some updates with you.

It’s no secret that our club has faced its share of challenges, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic that struck us four years ago. Since then, we’ve witnessed a gradual decline in membership, attributed to various factors such as location constraints, and limited forms of communication, which ultimately weakened our sense of community.

However, we persist! Our March meeting attendance was phenomenal! As we ended our last meeting, our consensus was we view these challenges as opportunities for growth, adaptation, and renewal. Now more than ever, it’s crucial for us to come together, rekindle our connections, and reinvigorate our shared passion for beekeeping. Every year new beekeepers jump into their first hives and wonder what the heck is happening. YouTube videos and Beekeeping for Dummies are great resources but nothing compares to the knowledge within our amazing beekeeping community right here on the Shore. They too can benefit, just like we all did when we all first began, from the experienced keepers within this club. Whether it is your first year or twentieth season, your knowledge matters! All knowledge gained is knowledge shared, and as we all know, our club is a wealth of knowledge (we all have varying answers to any beekeeping question that should arise, believe you me!).

Here’s What’s Happening:

  1. Meeting Location: WE’RE BACCCKKKK! Yes! To long-time members, you will fondly remember the days we met under the soothing fluorescent lighting of our University of Maryland Extension Wicomico County Office (Address: 28647 Old Quantico Rd, Salisbury, MD 21801). Beginning in April, we will be back home! Our meeting times are the same as they have always been, the second Wednesday of EVERY month, 7 PM sharp (for one hour), so please come early (any time after 6:30 pm) to find your seat, socialize, etc. Please be on time, this would be very considerate of Ginny at the extension office, as she is the one who kindly put us on the schedule again for every second Wednesday. She will be working late in her office on those evenings just to let us meet there once again. Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 10th. Mr. Tom Babcock will host this meeting while Fred and Lauren are working their way back north with the club’s bee package orders that evening. The pre-ordered bee package pick-up event is the following day, Thursday, April 11th, 11 am- 2 pm  BayBees Honey location, 11244 Hall Road, Whaleyville, MD. This is a hands-on event, open to all CLUB members and bee package purchasers to participate (dues can be paid there if they haven’t already). People attending must bring their suits/protective gear if they plan on participating in package installation demonstrations. To pre-order package bees for pickup that day visit (only if you want to go home with package bees that day) Jeff Pettis is selling NUCs this year, (available by the end of MAY beginning JUNE/date TBD), please visit to find his contact information under LOCAL SALES tab.
  2. Membership Revitalization Efforts: We’re actively working on strategies to attract new members and re-engage with past members, hence this email. Your support and involvement are key to our success in this endeavor. We would love to see you at one of our monthly meetings. There is a whole new world of beekeepers out there! Every year more and more reach out as they begin to navigate their own beekeeping journey. We would love to connect our community and take our monthly meetings as opportunities to network together. Every month, someone somewhere reaches out to the club to ask if we can give a talk, a presentation, or participate in a community event. Sometimes these events lead to other opportunities. This could be an opportunity as an individual or the club as a whole, so get involved! Your membership and participation are how we can not only grow as an association but thrive as a community. We want to advocate for you. Supporting local beekeepers keeps local beekeepers. Networking is the only way our club can support you educationally or as a business.  Long story short- Come to the meetings you beekeeper you.
  3. Enhanced Communication Channels: Recognizing the importance of accessibility and contactability (yes, that’s a made-up word), we’re implementing some new communication strategies to ensure that everyone stays informed about club activities, meetings, and events. Email is VITAL. This is the best form of keeping up to date on our club’s monthly information. ( Our newly elected secretary Mrs. Betsy Gorman will be taking over the email chain. Please be on the lookout for two emails each month. One will be a reminder of our monthly meeting, its location, and speaker/topic of the month, etc. This is important to check before the monthly meeting in the rare event of a severe weather incident causing a cancellation, etc. The second email will discuss the topics covered during the monthly meeting and a recap for those who were not able to attend in person (basically the meeting minutes). This post-meeting email will also inform the group of the monthly events our club is participating in (at least one community event a month, check the events page on the website) Facebook page: Still in the process of being able to access this. We’re waiting for that to be transferred from the previous leadership, we apologize for the delay. Once Facebook Admin is reset, we will be able to communicate monthly activities and meetings on there as well. A New Instagram account @lowereasternshorebeekeepers has been created. Teaching old dogs new tricks here folks. We invite all social media fans to follow it! This platform will also be used to inform the public about our activities, events, and meeting reminders, but also more importantly to connect our beekeeping members and put some faces to names! We will highlight a bee club member each month on who they are, why they got into bees, and their goals, aspirations, business, etc., and once again begin to form that sense of community between us. Covid may have forced our members in different directions, but the beekeeping community has doubled! We’ve all been building and growing on our own, so we can’t wait to share your efforts as we know you work hard for it. Time to celebrate that. All social media accounts will be handled now by tech-savvy, Mrs. Shinelle Sadberry (who we cannot thank enough for jumping in head first!) Once we have access to the Facebook account, these two platforms will be linked and have shared content.
  4. Community Building Initiatives: We’re committed to strengthening our sense of community by fostering opportunities for members to connect, collaborate, and support one another in their beekeeping journey. Again, this is where that Instagram account comes in. People are doing amazing things here on the shore every season and we’d like to shed some light on that. Additionally, our association plans to participate in community events, once a month, sometimes two, starting in March, all year long! This is to let those who are interested in becoming beekeepers or have already begun maintaining hives that our association is active. Our club exists as a community service. This club and its activities are completely volunteer. We understand that beekeepers are arguably the MOST underpaid community of people. We are constantly asked to do things for free (most of the time expected to do it for free) and almost all of the time, we do! The community events we engage in monthly are our “free service” to the public. We encourage you to refer unpaid, volunteer, or community events, such as scouts and garden club discussions, to be added to our club calendar. Together, we can expand our reach and amplify our impact, ensuring that beekeeping remains a visible and valued part of our local communities. As a member of LESBA, you are part of this collective effort to give back to our communities by offering education, support, and advocacy for beekeeping and pollinator conservation. Community service is a shared responsibility within our association. By collaborating and staying connected, we strengthen not only our club but also the collective voice of our local beekeepers (which matters when it comes to pesticide spray in your county). We rely on each other for support, knowledge, and camaraderie, knowing that together, we can achieve so much more than we could alone. As members, we need to stay connected and collaborate. We always have and always will rely on each other as beekeepers. As you know, the world of bees constantly changes (mite treatments, government regulations, new pests, breakthroughs in science, etc). We have club members who remember a time before Varroa and right now WE are currently the keepers who will remember a time before the Tropilaelaps Mite ( Please remember we are all a support system to some beekeeper or another. Please consider showing your support to your local community of beekeepers by actively engaging in our association whether that’s attending a meeting or supporting a community function.
  5. Educational and Social Events: Stay tuned for a lineup of exciting educational workshops, social gatherings, and beekeeping adventures designed to inspire, educate, and entertain. Last year we were able to host a beekeeping short course with UMES. This year we are spreading that short course out, through our monthly meetings over the year. The monthly meeting agenda is posted online on the LESBA website and will be updated throughout the year as topics, speakers, and agendas evolve. We will kick off the first of our hands-on educational workshops on April 11th, with the package pickup day at 11 am (BayBees Honey 11244 Hall Road, Whaleyville, MD). We will have master beekeepers and club members out in the apiary demonstrating how to install new queens, and new packages, and will answer all your spring start-up beekeeping questions. What better day to take advantage of as a club member than that?  Later in the season, we will be heading down the road from the extension office to a bee trailer that is pollinating local crops which are sold at many farm stands and grocery stores in town. Our two main social events this year will be a summer gathering bbq potluck of sorts where we can meet and greet each other socially and talk all things bees without a strict agenda, and then again, our Christmas Dinner outing, working on it being hosted at JoJos in Salisbury (information to follow, planning is currently in the works).

Last Meetings Business:

Upcoming month’s events and where to find us: volunteers welcome to join us at our table 

·       Berlin Spring Celebration, Saturday, March 30th, 10-5 pm (Family Easter weekend event-

·       Hops on the River Downtown Salisbury April 13th, 1-5 pm (21 and older event)

If interested in helping table for an hour, please call Lauren: 443-397-7407

It is the last 3 weeks to order package bees ( Jeff with Chesapeake Honey – NUCs for sale– Late May Early June pick up: 

Used bee equipment for sale inspected through Cybil Preston if anyone needs some last-minute gear to add or start their season- contact Leroy Pope at 443-618-5508.  Cheaper than buying it new! All in great condition.

Our Club website has been updated- if any current CLUB members would like to be added to swarm, honey, or bee sales lists, please email us with the correct information to advertise. Must have a valid yearly membership to be added to the site.

EAS is being hosted in Maryland this year at Turf Valley Resort Ellicott City, August 5-9. Ride shares are in the works. If interested, please email us your name and the dates you’re interested in attending. Accommodations on-site are still available. Please visit the Eastern Apiculture Society site for more information and the conference schedule.  Of course there are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs nearby, please feel free to check around. This conference is amazing and we are thrilled that it is in our backyard this year! Even if you can only make it for one day, you’ll walk away with some newfound knowledge (and probably some new beekeeping equipment if you aren’t careful in the vendor section!)

Elections were held. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the previous board members who stepped up last year and to those who participated in our recent elections. Congratulations to our newly elected leaders! We are excited about the opportunity to work with each of you and look forward to a year filled with productive beekeeping, community building, and growth. As we embark on this journey together, we are eager to get to know every one of our club members. Whether you’re a seasoned beekeeper or new to the world of beekeeping, we believe that our diverse community has much to offer and learn from one another.

Lastly, a reminder to everyone to register or update the registration of your colonies (current/ incoming/planned splits, etc.) with the Maryland Department of Agriculture. You’ll find the form online to print out and mail back. Additionally, we will hand some forms out at next month’s meeting if needed. As Cybil said, it doesn’t have to be precise, just do it to the best of your knowledge.

Your Voice Matters:

We value your input and ideas as we chart the course for the future of our club. Whether you have suggestions for improvement, insights to share, or simply want to reconnect with fellow beekeepers, we encourage you to reach out and get involved.

Let’s reaffirm our commitment to beekeeping, conservation, and community, and together, let’s build a brighter future for our beloved club. Together, we can create a thriving and vibrant beekeeping community that makes a positive impact in our local area and beyond. Don’t be intimidated! We are just a bunch of local beekeepers, new and old, learning each season, sharing our sting stories, trials, and tribulations, and helping one another out. Let’s make this year a memorable one by fostering meaningful connections, sharing knowledge and experiences, and supporting each other in our beekeeping endeavors. We look forward to embarking on this journey of renewal and growth with every one of you.

Warmest regards,

Lauren Pascarella and The LESBA Team

Any immediate questions please feel free to reach out