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NJBA President’s Message December 2015

The state Association is working on myriad projects. At times, progress seems slow, and this is primarily due to the lack of volunteers. Almost a year ago, we completed a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant on Late Season Forage for our honey bees. Outgrowths of this grant were a video and brochure we can all use in outreach endeavors for planting native forbs that will provide late season forage for bees. The video can be viewed and downloaded at Copies of the brochure are available from your branch president.

As part of the completed grant, committee members developed a seed mix that was planted in three test plots throughout the state: Stockton College, Ramapo College and member Drew Madzin’s From the Garden farm. As a follow-on to the grant, committee members have started working with some of the utility companies identified in the grant to explore the feasibility of seeding utility right-of-ways (ROWs). JCP&L mowed the ROW in the South Branch Preserve in Mt. Olive Township, the NJBA purchased the seed mix, NJBA member Drew Madzin donated his time and tractor equipped with a York rake to clear the tract and rake the soil and NJBA members Joe Alvarez, Lorette Cheswick and Steve McAuliffe contributed the elbow grease, along with Land Conservancy of New Jersey volunteers, to clear the tract and scatter seed. We hope that projects such as this will expand the amount of forage available to our honey bees, but it can’t be successful without financial support by the Association and volunteering from members.

Once again, the Association had a booth at the New Jersey League of Municipalities annual convention in Atlantic City on November 17, 18 & 19. Equipped with videos, brochures, banners and honey candy, volunteers manned the booth and answered questions about beekeeping in New Jersey and made connections with many of the officials of employees of the 565 municipalities throughout the state. From asking us to participate in municipal events to thanking us for providing the list of swarm collections (, this event gives a face to beekeeping in New Jersey and provides a contact point for municipal officials. Thanks to Joe Alvarez, Lou Naylor, Jeff Burd, Landi Simone, Tim and Patty Schuler, Don Oral, Joe Lelinho, Cynthia Werts, John Zingis, Gerald Kiyak, Majories Brooks, Barbi Harris, Meghan McConnell and Tom Watkinson for donating their time.

The beekeeping bills were signed into law by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno at the end of July at the Rutgers Garden Farmers Market. In addition to Lt. Gov. Guadagno, NJ Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher, NJ Farm Bureau President Ryck Suydam and Senator Steve Oroho, one of the bills’ sponsors, spoke to the attendees, which included a good representation of NJBA members. It is now the responsibility of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to promulgate the regulations that will govern beekeeping in the state. They will be working in concert with the NJBA, the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium and the League of Municipalities. Thanks to all members who wrote to their representatives in support of this legislation. Once the regulations are formulated, they will be published in the New Jersey Register for public comment. We will keep you apprised!

Our Annual Winter Meeting will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at the Nottingham Member Lorette Cheswick seeding the tract for the pollinator meadow at the South Branch Preserve in Mount Olive Township. vermiculite and moistened before hand-sowing the seed throughout the tract. (Photo by Janet A. Katz) Ballroom in Ewing, NJ. Election of officers to the Association will take place at this meeting. If you are interested in running for any of the elected offices, i.e., President, Vice President (there are three VP’s and Angelo Trapani will not be running for office again as serving as an elected officer of the Association is considered a conflict of interest with his position on the New Jersey Board of Agriculture), Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary (Elin Hanson will not be standing for re-election as she will be moving out of state). Please contact 2nd Vice President Chris Yates,, chair of the nominating committee. He can answer any questions involved in any of the positions.

Also at the Winter Annual Meeting, we will auction the first place entries in the Annual Honey Show which will be held prior to the meeting. Judging will be at the State House in Trenton, where all the entries that will fit into our display cases will be on display for legislators and members of the public to view. This is great exposure for beekeeping in the state, and I encourage all our members to set aside three jars of honey to enter. Rules and entry forms are in this newsletter. If you have any questions at all about entering the honey show, the judging, getting your entries to the judging don’t hesitate to contact the Honey Show Chairpersons Landi Simone, Landi will need volunteers in Trenton to help with the judging. If you’d like to see how honey, beeswax, mead, cosmetics and photographs are judged, contact Landi and volunteer to help.

Janet A. Katz, President

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