Monday, February 27, 2012

CB Member Visits Pollinatarium

Aaron Quicksall, youth member of the Crossroads Beekeepers, visited the Pollinatarium at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign over this past weekend and had the opportunity to meet and talk with Lesley Deem, PhD who is the Director of the facility.  He reports having a facinating time looking around the Pollinatarium and learning about their bee research projects including a small indoor observation hive that has been making it through the winter with only around a dozen bees.  In addition to the research projects, they have a museum with old beekeeping equipment from days gone by. 

The Pollinatarium is located at 606 W. Windsor Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801.  You can contact them by email

For more information on the Pollinatarium, visit their website at

Also, if you follow this link you will find a brief slide show with narration about the life of a U of I beekeeper.

Club field trip, anyone???

Saturday, February 25, 2012

ISBA Summer Meeting Set

Save the Date!!!
Illinois State Beekeepers Association
Summer Meeting
Vandalia, Illinois
Saturday, June 30, 2012
The Illinois State Beekeepers Association will hold their Summer Meeting, hosted by the St. Clair Beekeepers Association, on Saturday, June 30, 2012, at Kaskaskia College in Vandalia, Illinois.  Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m., and the program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Our keynote speaker is Dr. Dewey M. Caron, Emeritus Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, and Affiliate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University.  Dr. Caron has dedicated 45 years to observing, measuring, learning, teaching and writing about bees and is the author of five beekeeping books including “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping”.
Ms. Kathleen Prough, Chief Apiary Inspector for the State of Indiana, will also speak at the Summer Meeting.  Ms. Prough is doing nationwide research with other State Apiarists to determine the health of honeybee colonies and the presence or absence of particular problems in hives.

Registration for the meeting is $20.00 per person,
and a catered lunch is available for $10.00 per person. 

Registrations can be sent to the Public Information Officer of the St. Clair Beekeepers Association, Kevin Gerstenecker, 208 Hazel Street, Troy, IL, 62294Kevin can be reached at or (618) 795-4633. 

Please join us for this memorable meeting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Next Meeting on March 12

The next meeting of the Crossroads Beekeepers will take place on Monday, March 12, in the basement of the University of Illinois Extension Center, 1209 N Wenthe, Effingham, beginning at 6:30pm.

Larry Quicksall, beekeeper from Effingham, will be our presenter for the evening, and he will be covering the topics of spring feeding, supplimental protein for brood development, installing package bees, splitting hives, and using swarm boxes to catch wild swarms.  The presentation will include demonstrations and video.

The general public is invited to attend.  For more information about the Crossroads Beekeepers contact Larry Quicksall at 217-347-5937.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Meeting

The Crossroads Beekeepers had a great meeting in spite of the snow fall. We had 33 in attendance and gained several new members pushing our membership over 80.

Mike Bensley, beekeeper from Strasburg, was our speaker addressing the topics of Emergency Feeding, Mite Control, Indicators of Swarming, and Swarm Control.  In the below photo, Mike is showing how he uses a zip lock bag with sugar water for winter emergency feeding.

In addition, Dave Dhom presented Larry Quicksall with the Crossroads Beekeepers First Annual Beekeeper of the Year Award for his efforts at getting the Crossroads Beekeepers started and for promoting beekeeping in Central Illinois.  The below photo is of Dave Dhom (left) and Lance Fulk (right) presenting Larry Quicksall with the award.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Next Meeting - Monday, February 13

The next meeting of the Crossroads Beekeepers will be on Monday, February 13, 2012, at 6:30pm in the basement of the University of Illinois Extension Center.  The public is welcome to attend. 

Mike Bensley, beekeeper from Strasburg, will be our presenter.  Mike will be teaching on the topics of Emergency Feeding, Mite Control, Indicators of Swarming, and Swarm Control. 

For more information on the Crossroads Beekeepers contact Larry Quicksall at 217-347-5937.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2012 Bee School BIG SUCCESS!

What a fantistic first bee school conducted by the Crossroads Beekeepers.  We had to cut off registration a week before, but we had right at about 100 people total, of which 70 were participants.  A quick poll during the opening session showed that nearly all the participants were new to beekeeping. 

Our presenters included:
  • Larry Quicksall on Welcome to Beekeeping
  • Rich Ramsey, Vice President, and Mike Mason, Treasurer, of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association, spoke on the ISBA and benefits of membership.
  • Lonnie Langley on Beekeeping Basics
  • Mark Dyer on Honey Bee Biology
  • Lisa Dhom on Getting Bees
  • Dave Dhom on Hive Management
  • Eleanor Balson on Pests and Diseases
Many club members set up educational displays including:
  • Len Chandler on Antique Bee Equipment
  • Larry Quicksall on Bee Photos
  • Cindy Horton on Nectar & Pollen Plants
  • John Killough and Rick Russell on Top Bar Hives
  • John Killough and John Michl on Bee Vacuums
In addition, Other club members were involved in very important tasks for the school:
  • Cathy Chandler for the Mentoring Program
  • Eleanor Balson and her team for set-up and break-down
  • Dawn Quicksall and her team for registration
  • Dave Crocket and Cindy Horton for Kitchen & Refreshments
  • Dave & Lisa Dhom on packet assembly
  • Lance Fulk as treasurer
  • And all those who pitched in to help along the way!
Below are a few of the photos from the bee school....more photos will be posted later.

Below is John Killough's Top-Bar Hive Display along with his bee vaccuum.

Below is Rick Russell's Top-Bar Hive that he made and sold at the school.

Below is Cindy Horton's Disply on Nectar and Pollen Plants including seed samples.

Lots of conversations and examining the various displays.

Below is John Michl teaching about his home made bee vacuum.

Below, "Big T" Tim Lindley teaches on bees and beekeeping at his vendor booth.

Jason Weaver and his daughter at his vendor booth selling cypress hive woodenware.

Cathy Chandler, the club's Mentor Coordinator, signed up several "NewBees" into our new Mentor Program linking new beekeepers with experienced mentors.

Below, Jan & Scott with Isabees keeping busy supplying school participants with the tools and supplies for successful beekeeping.

Dave Dhom teaching on Hive Management.

Eleanor Balson teaching on pests and diseases.

Mark Dyer teaching on Bee Biology.

Lisa Dhom teaching on how to get your bees.

The basement was packed to capacity!

Below is Franklin Schwartz who won the 5 frame nuc donated by John Michl.

Below is Sandy Elam who won the cypress hive donated by Jason Weaver.

More photos and information about the school to come.....