About Us


About Us – Beekeeping!

Berks and Schylkill Beekeepers Association - Africanized-bee Our members represent all levels of beekeeping expertise. We welcome new Beekeepers to join us and benefit from the wealth of experience/knowledge represented by our members.  Many of our members operate large scale apiaries both private and commercial. Others are novice or beginners with one or two hives but we can all learn together.  Our experienced and professional Beekeepers help out by sharing knowledge and we use our Association hive to try to be actively engaged in all things related to endangered honeybees.

We endeavor to assist in all aspects of beekeeping, including sharing effective techniques, coping with problems, challenges and supporting all beekeeping efforts.  We also want to provide information to the public about the valuable role of honeybees play in nature and agriculture.

Serving Berks and Schuylkill Counties, our mission is to help anyone who wants to learn anything about bees.   It may be you need skills or techniques necessary for enhancement and survival of the species.   There are no honeybees currently listed on the endangered species list, although several Hawaiian yellow-faced, Hilaris-Bees are being considered for the designation.  Honeybees, which are different from bumble bees and are widely used in agricultural production and they have experienced significant die-off.   Thus, all are considered endangered honeybees.


We want to encourage more people to become involved in beekeeping, even if it is with only one hive.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeeper’s Membership Information is Below:

$10 for Individual Membership
$15 for Family MembershipBerks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Bees with pollen on their legs - they fly with this there
Individuals under 18 are free

Please bring membership payments to a meeting – March is dues month.  If alternative methods are needed, please contact the president to coordinate.

Members receive discounts on Bee Culture and American Bee Journal Magazines, these magazines can be ordered from their websites below:

Bee Culture Magazine or Books

American Bee Journal Magazines

The Current Association Officers Are Below:

President: Position: Mitchell Baker     484-513-0573  mitchell@aviatorbeeco.com
Secretary: Kim Brown
Treasurer: Lisa Reichart

Mentors – Happy To Help Anyone Learn About Bees!

New Beekeepers frequently need some assistance with getting started.  Just chatting with an experienced Beekeeper can be helpful.  Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers are available for mentoring.  Below are listed the mentors available. These experienced Beekeepers have been known to provide a tour of their own apiary to help new Beekeepers.

There are also challenges you will face as a Beekeeper.  Bees can have parasitic mites and can at high levels, cause the colony to die out.  There are also bacterial diseases that you may have to address.   These should not deter you, but as a Beekeeper you need to be aware of them and what the appropriate actions to keep your bees healthy.

Mentors can help you to learn more about taking care of bees and can help you gain experience working with bees. The list of benefits of keeping bees and their products is countless.

Mentors are listed below:

Allen Schaeffer  484-651-9402   FurnaceCreekForge@comcast.net

Help With Swarms

swarm-going-homeSwarming is the natural means of honeybee division and allows to them to reproduce the hive.  A new honeybee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves and takes a large group of worker bees. The process is called swarming. Typically, 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen, thus developing two hives.

This swarm can include thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming primarily happen in spring, usually within a two or three week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the honey producing season.  Sometimes honeybees swarm due to a lack of space in their current hive and this can be avoided by adding additional supers to the hive body.  Sometimes bees will swarm if there is a lack of brood to care for.  An older Queen may start laying an inconsistent brood pattern, which results in less brood to care for.

Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - White House hive contributing to the bee crisisA swarm of bees often frightens people but the bees are usually not aggressive.  The queen may be growing old or may not be producing a good laying pattern. Their focus is finding a new nesting location for their queen.  This does not mean the bees from a swarm will not attack if they perceive a threat; most bees only attack in response to intrusions against their hive or their personal safety. Swarms are often found clustered hanging off of a tree branch, old tree almost anything will work.   I have even seen bees making a new home in a BBQ Gas Grill. Bees move on to find a suitable nesting location within a day or two.   Beekeepers in our local area can be called to capture swarms if you need assistance.

The following Beekeepers are available to help out:

Bruce Rodrigez     (484) 904-2809      rodriguezbruce@aol.com

Mitchell Baker      (484) 513-0573       mitchell@aviatorbeeco.com

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