Bonita & Dan Conlon invite you to the annual Warm Colors Apiary Honey Festival. This year it will be held on Saturday, September 17th, from 10AM – 4PM. This is a free event, open to anyone with an interest in bees and beekeeping. Our 2016 presentations are scheduled throughout the day including a variety of bee related topics. Local beekeepers will be on hand to answer questions. Walk our newly improved access road to the queen rearing & mating yard.
We have invited our friends from Greenfield’s Artisan Beverage Cooperative to offer samples of mead. Our favorite pastry Chef, Pam Adams, will be on hand to make treats, and talk about cooking with honey. Marian and Ed Szymanski will talk about plants for pollinators. This seasons honey will be on sale and available for sampling, and Flayvors of Cooks Farm has made up our honey ice cream – only available at the festival.
Warm Colors Apiary is an eighty-acre bee farm. It supports a variety of habitats for western Massachusetts wildlife and native plants. The woodlands, fields, stream, and wetland is home to a dozen rare species of insects, woodland turtles, fresh water mussels, and several endangered plants. We are a favorite site for bird enthusiasts, and photographers, as the diverse habitats attract many bird species. Bonita and Dan maintain the land to sustain native species, and reduce invasive plants as a part of their long range stewardship plan. Preservation of habitat is the most important activity a land owner can pursue to protect native pollinators and wildlife.
Our apiaries support hundreds of honeybee colonies across western Massachusetts for the production of honey, crop pollination, and most importantly the selection of mite tolerant and disease resistant honeybees. Dan is a “Certified” member (2016 Vice President) of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association. RHBA works with the USDA’s Baton Rouge Bee Lab to preserve genetics in selected breeding lines. Our mission continues to strengthen heritable behaviors that increase colony survival, while reducing the need for chemical treatments. This is in response to the genetic bottleneck (loss of genetics in our bees) created these past 35 years, by parasitic mites, CCD and a shrinking population of beekeepers capable of breeding bees. The Russian honeybee has the greatest genetic diversity of any honeybee being raised in the U.S. Currently the RHBA maintains 17 breeding lines in ten states.
2016 Schedule of Presentations:
10 AM – 11 AM Welcome to the Apiary
11 AM – 12 Noon “Beneficial Plants for Pollinators” Marian & Ed Szymanski – are homesteaders and beekeepers. They live on just over one acre of land in Franklin, Mass. The homestead includes bees and chickens, and a wide variety of fruits, berries, vegetables and pollinator-friendly gardens. They will talk about nectar & pollen plants important to bees and pollinators. Gardeners, beekeepers and land owners will find this informative and useful in selecting plants that benefit pollinators.
12 – 1 PM “Baking with Honey” Pamela Adams – Pastry Chef / This year the University of Massachusetts has been recognized as #1 for having the best food by the Princeton Review. Pamela’s desserts & baked goods are healthy, creative and responsive to dietary restrictions. She has won national contests for her recipes. She combines good taste with healthy eating. It is possible to eat well, and maintain food quality on a large scale. Treats will be made and handed out.
1PM – 2PM “Annual Update on Honeybee Health” – Dan Conlon / Warm Colors Apiary. Dan will review the impact of weather, new research, and how the beekeeping community is responding to threats to honeybees and pollinators. This year the focus is on “nutrition” and how food quality impacts bee health.
2PM – 3PM “The Art of Mead Making” Will Savitri – Artisan Beverage Cooperative / Green River Ambrosia. Garth Shaneyfelt and Will Savitri have been producing meads, ginger beer, and Kombucha teas for more than fifteen years in Greenfield, MA. They use only the highest quality ingredients and continue to improve their products, one batch at a time.
3PM – 4PM “Beekeeping in the Pioneer Valley” – Dan will describe a typical season in the valley for bees & beekeepers. Question & Answer session to follow.
Enjoy your visit to Warm Colors. We have always welcomed visitors and hope you will appreciate the land as we do. LOOK but do not DISTURB any plants or animals you encounter. They are here as residents, you are visiting, so please respect nature.
- Please help us keep the apiary clean – trash containers are near the honey tent.
- Respect the bees – they will sting if disturbed, give them room to fly.
- Listen to our volunteers – they are here to answer questions and keep you safe.