"Good Beekeeping and Good Fellowship"

Since 1948

Exploring the wonderful world of beekeeping together

    If you are interested in getting into beekeeping, the first thing you should do is talk to a beekeeper! They'll be happy to answer your questions. Come visit us at our monthly meetings. Take the time to learn about keeping honey bees, making honey, and other hive products. We have lots of experience.

NEKBA Membership
NEW: on-line member registration is now available for 2015. Or print & mail the NEKBA membership form.

KS State Fair Honey Entries
Kansas State Fair requires registering you entries. Do so for free by August 15th. See rules & registration information. See you at the State Fair! Show case & competition are fun! 

 Our Next Monthly Meeting:
Gift Ideas from the hive; honey tasting; annual club elections. 
See you:
Monday  7:00 PM
November 17, 2014

This meeting will be held at Douglas County Fairgrounds  2110 Harper Street, Lawrence, KS . 
Here's the mapquest link.

New Beekeeper Questions?

New to Beekeeping? Need a refresher? Have lots of questions? Check out Kelley Beekeeping FAQ!!  

NEKBA Club Honey Extractor

Are you ready to extract? The association has a motorized Dadant radial extractor and deluxe uncapping tub for members to use at a nominal fee for medium 6" frames or smaller. Radial extractors are the best way to harvest your honey! Here are the details. Please use the contact us page to sign up or see the Reservations as-of 09-14-2014. Thanks for all the positive comments!

Congratulations- Chip Taylor!

Read and connect about how our very own Dr. Chip Taylor from KU was awarded winner of the 2014 Growing Green Pollinator Protector Award. 

Excited at the newly edition of Larry Connor's revised book on:

Many are interested in colony increases and queens. Don't even think about making splits without getting Larry's newly revised Increase Essentials -2nd edition (6/2014). 

Bee Culture Magazine - June 2014 Price Change Announcement
The Magazine of American Beekeeping, is designed for beginning, sideline, and commercial beekeepers who want the latest information on keeping bees. Rate increases to $25 annually. That's only $2.08 per monthly issue. You can subscribe or renew directly on-line via website or visit FB.

NEKBA Bee Fun Day
Outstanding Bee Fun Day! --nearly 300 in attendance - largest ever!   Details re the 2014 
NEKBA Bee Fun Day:

From one of this year's guest speaker, author, professor, biologist, Dr. Tom Seeley,

Let the bees show you that with the right organization, democratic groups can be remarkably intelligent, even smarter than the smartest individuals in them."
"...Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making."
"What would the bees do?" - Tom Seeley is professor of biology at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and a passionate beekeeper.
 See our Bee Fun Day  link for more information.

NEKBA newsletters?

Looking for a recent Bee Buzzer?
Also, read about honey as kosher food.

(Last updated 11/14/2014, rb)

Greetings from the Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers' Association! We hope you find your visit enjoyable and educational.

For more information or questions about the club, please contact any of our club officers or  use the Contact Us page and we'll get back to you!

Our purpose: to promote knowledge in modern beekeeping and improve marketing conditions.

Top Bar Hive Beekeeping?
Thinking about getting into Top-Bar Hive (TBH) beekeeping for our region? Before you jump into it look at our information further below on this page.

NEKBA Meetings

We are always happy to have new members join us for good beekeeping and good fellowship.  See our meetings page.

KHPA October 2014 Meeting in Wichita, KS

Want to learn more about honey bees in a 2-day meeting? Come to the Kansas Honey Producers Fall 2014 meeting in Wichita, KS.  We meet bi-annuall for education and fellowship. 

 NEKBA Financial Information

We raised $1,450.00 from The June 2014 Fun Day. 100% of the auction proceeds are dedicated to the Scholarship Fund.  Thank you! 


  2014 Report

Scholarship Fund

  2014 Beg Bal 


 YTD 2014 Net Credits


 YTD 2014 Net Debits


             $4,978.12  Bal.

Treasurer's Report
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014

March 2014
February 2014
January 2014

December 2013
 November 2013


News for Charities & Nonprofits - 2014  
2014 standard mileage rates for business, medical, and moving announced

The IRS recently issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

For more information, read the news release.

NEKBA Reading Interest

It's fall with winter weather, obviously.

Are you and the bees ready for winter?

Here's a great article from Kelley's on "Putting your Bees to Bed for Winter".

A very good read for the season.

NEKBA Presentations
See some of our past NEKBA presentations at the bottom of our FUNDAY page.

Association Documents Our
Constitution and By-Laws.

Stay tuned for other association legacy and archive documents to be accessible here in the near future.

Healthy Tips for Healthy Living Direct from the Bees

  • The Bees are going to do what they do. Sometimes you have to let nature take its course You're just here on earth to offer a little help.
  • Think before you act. Slow, calm movements keep the bees charmed.
  • Bees sense your fear -- even more than dogs do!  Send bees love. When faced with the choice of fear or love, always choose love.
  • To everything there is a season. The bees rest in winter, renew in the spring, and work all summer when nectar is easily available.
  • A hive is a marvelous miracle of nature -- all creatures work together for a common purpose. Cooperation is far more important than being right or getting credit.

-- from Mary Janes Farm Magazine February/March 2009

Insights into Top-Bar Hive (TBH) Beekeeping:

     While the interest in top-bar hive (Tanzanian, Kenyan, Warré) beekeeping seems to be growing, the NEKBA Board is not recommending this style of keeping bees to new beekeepers in our area for several reasons:      

1) TB Hive management style requires higher skills and confidence
2) Not enough long-time beekeepers with TBH experience to mentor or support
3) Great Plains Geography difficulty for TBH winter survival
4) 'Natural' bee movement is vertical
5) Limited winter honey storage
6) Honey harvesting comb destruction & replacement
7) Limited or restricted hive movement
8) Higher ROI with Langstroth hives (8 or 10-frame)

The hive management style required for successful beekeeping with top-bar hives demands a higher level of skill and confidence from new beekeepers.  We do not have enough long-time beekeepers with TBH experience to successfully mentor or give recommendations of support.
A few additional insights are outlined below:

Our geography can prove difficult for winter survival. The elongated horizontal configuration of the Tanzanian and Kenyan styled hives are not appropriate for our severe winters.  During the cold,  it is 'natural' for the bees to move up-- not over on the combs.   We believe that without active management (moving frames) during the cold season, horizontal TBH beekeepers are at greater risk of losing their colonies to the cold and starvation.  Most years, we do not have sufficient enough warm days in January/February for the colony to graduate to combs full of stored honey when critically needed.

The horizontal TBH's only allow for about 20-25 pounds of honey.  A TBH beekeeper will need to feed their bees each fall to give them a surviving chance in over-wintering. The Langstroth design allows for enough honey stores and space for natural, organic beekeeping, although, sometimes, we still have to feed our bees due to abnormal weather conditions such as heat and drought in the pre-ceeding season(s). The Warré hive needs 2-3 boxes to sustain the colony through our winters here in NE Kansas.  3-4 would be even better for the bees to have enough to over-winter without having to be fed. Honey processing in TBH beekeeping is done by cutting the combs, then crushing and straining.

Anytime honey is harvested, the colony must build new comb. This takes additional resources (honey) in the spring.  The comb bars of the TBH cannot be centrifuged to extract honey and then be re-used. Crushing honey comb as a means of harvesting liquid honey pre-dates the invention of the centrifugal honey extractor, which was invented in the 1865. It takes nearly 8 lbs honey for bees to produce 1 lb of beeswax. Crushing comb to harvest honey is hardly modern beekeeping and not a good use or resources.
Top-bar hives cannot easily be moved.  The combs do not have the strength necessary to support them during any kind of travel. The combs are more susceptible to breakage and collapse on the road.
Suggestion? If a beekeeper is small in stature or has a bad back or can't lift heavy objects, then perhaps the 8-frame Langstroth hive would be a better consideration.  The 8-frame hive is more of a 'garden-style' and is less bulky in size and weight than the 10-frame hive.
The Langstroth hive-style beekeeping is best for honey production. The association wants to promote an 'active' style of beekeeping and encourages 'active' management for honey production as well as wax, pollen, propolis, pollination and other uses of honey bee products. This Apitherapy!
Modern beekeepers want hives that can be easily manipulated, yet we also want to give our bees the best chance of growth,  productivity, and year-to-year survival.
We want our beekeepers to have success and enjoyment and sustainability. We also believe our members should get a return on their investment. Too, we want proven practicality. If you have been keeping TBH's  for a while in our geographical area, AND have been successful, please contact us.  We'd love to consider you for a presentation at one of our functions.
We'd like to hear from you.


From our April 2012 Bee Buzzer,  here is Dr. Chip Taylor's response to an inquiry from a beekeeper in Atchison, KS about top-bar hive beekeeping.

Dr. Chip Taylor replies:  
"I've worked with top bar in the tropics - marginal even there. Certainly not a way to produce honey or effectively manage bees. These hives are only slightly better than the wooden butterfly hibernation houses. In the latter case, the wood should be reused to make bat houses. Carol: Top-bar hives are the rage but are inappropriate for use at this latitude. Bees do not overwinter well in hives with this design. Standard beekeeping equipment is designed to allow bees to store honey and move up the way they do in natural nests." 

"It sounds like you don't inspect the bees to see what is actually happening inside the nest. This is a must. You have to open the hive and look at the bees. Further, you have to be able to diagnose what is happening in the colony. There are books and locals who can help with this. If your bees swarmed - shouldn't have but a more common problem with top-bar hives - your bees may have died due to the failure to properly requeen themselves. Or, like so many colonies in this area, they may simply have gone into the winter with too few stores." 

"My suggestion is that you get together with the folks from the NE Kansas Beekeepers Association. This group has many programs for beginners and you may find someone who can mentor you so that you can learn the basics of bee management.

Frankly, I'd retire the top-bar hive and buy standard equipment."


The Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers' Association is a supporter of Dr. Taylor's pet project "Monarch Watch" program.

Read about the Monarch's 2014 Journey North News.

To make a Monarch Watch donation.

We hope that you will take these factors into consideration when deciding what style of hive you choose to manage. It is our sincere desire to promote successful beekeeping for our geographical area and for the members of our community.

                             "Good Beekeeping and Good Fellowship"

 (Last updated 010/02/2014, rjb)

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