Sagadahoc County Beekeepers Association

What could be better than talking nonstop about bees, without any worry you’re boring people? Members of Sagadahoc County Beekeepers Association get to do just that at their club’s monthly Saturday morning Bee Breakfasts, where there’s no such thing as oversharing.


The gatherings take place at the Fairground Cafe in Topsham, when 10 to 20 beekeepers show up at 8 am for coffee, eggs and bee talk at a single long table. The informal, chatty atmosphere has helped them get to know each other better and is an ideal venue for giving or getting advice. Longtime member George Hardin says he primarily goes for the camaraderie, but adds that “no matter how long you’ve been tending bees there’s always something you can learn.” Rick Cooper, Master Beekeeper and recipient of MSBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, is a frequent attendee at the breakfasts and always happy to share his extensive knowledge. 


While there’s occasional small talk not related to beekeeping, most conversations start off with “how are your hives doing?” Board member Mike McNally describes some of the different subjects that have come up in the past few get-togethers: “We’ve covered oxalic acid treatments, ways to perform hive splits, nuc formation, swarm collecting, methods that can be used to suppress swarming, bee lining, and the perennial favorite – what to do about laying workers.” A bit of musical chair shuffling often occurs to enable mingling or joining in on topics of interest being discussed a few seats down.


The breakfasts can be especially beneficial for novices. Going into her second winter with bees, Cindy Jester of Brunswick finds the event to be a great way to connect with those who’ve been at it longer. “I often question if what I’m doing is right” she says, “so I’m all about networking with other beekeepers in the area.”  


The group has a year-round standing reservation for the private dining room on the fourth Saturday, which happens to fall midway between regular meetings. “Our monthly meetings are structured and don’t give us much time to socialize” says club president Holly Spicer. “There are also some folks who can’t always make those meetings, so the breakfast is a good way to stay plugged in.” 


Judith Stanton, SCBA

From The Bee Line, October-November 2017 issue

Newsletter of the Maine State Beekeepers Association 

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