Tonight I drove across the Verona Island Bridge, past Fort Knox and out to the Prospect Community Hall for the Tri-County Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting and Pot Luck. First order of business was to honor Genevieve for her 20 years work as our treasurer with a carrot cake from Frank’s. You’re a Honey!
Speaker for the evening was Tony Jadczak, the Maine State Apiarist. Tony’s talk was centered around 2010 weather: the warm, early spring followed by a terrific summer honey crop, then a drought setting in for July and August and a dearth of honey this fall. A long dry summer means no goldenrod, and that means the bees eat their winter stores early. In 2009 we had one of the coldest, rainiest summers on record but the rain stopped in early September and the vegetation was lush. Hives put on a lot of honey and the bounty carried many weaker hives, and even some wild colonies, through a very mild winter. Tony took us through the consequences of “reinfestation pressure” and predictions for 2011, touched on new virus research and the ever increasing threat of mites, and talked about the people all over Maine who make their living (and their kids tuition) by the bees.
While I was there I noticed that renovations to the Prospect Community Hall continue. Sometimes I think every building in Maine is a product of retrofitting: the Hall has three layers of ceiling, two front doors (leading directly to the shoulder of Rt 1A) and a new bathroom.
I miss the old bathroom with its irregular toilet and the sheet of polished steel as a mirror, but the flowers are a nice touch.
Like the beekeepers, the Hall is ever-changing in an effort to keep up with the times; to be useful and purposeful and bug free as much as possible.