Category Archives: Maine

Maine Farmers’ Market Convention

maine-farmers-market-convention

Maine is blessed with a robust community of farmers and people that are passionate about local food. Not only do we have MOFGA (the Maine Organic Farmers’ and Gardeners’ Association), the nation’s oldest and largest organic organizations, but we also have the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM). This was the second year I attended the Maine Farmers’ Market Convention… Read more »

Talking pollinators at the Common Ground Fair

pollinator-conservation-in-agriculturefi

At 2pm on Saturday, September 24th I will be in Unity at MOFGA’s annual Common Ground Fair to give a talk Ive dubbed “Pollinator Conservation through Agriculture”. *Insert excited squeal here.* There’s a decided interest from the public in pollinators, I’m excited to be able to say. You see it in the news, in the increasing numbers of backyard-beekeepers, at… Read more »

Maine’s Artisan Bread Fair

hootenanny bread

This past weekend was the 10th anniversary of the Maine Grain Alliance’s Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair. I’ve always admired the local food movement that has been created in Skowhegan and have longed to attend the bread fair, but in previous years I had not been able to make it to the event. This year I had Saturday open so I invited… Read more »

Maine beekeepers State of the State Address

maine apiaries

Every year at the annual meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association our state apiarist, Anthony (Tony) Jadczak talks about the condition of our bees throughout the course of the year. We all laughingly refer to it as Tony’s “State of the State Address”, but it really is important information to relay to the body of Maine beekeepers. Staying aware… Read more »

Keeping honeybees in frozen North America

mike palmer

According to Mike Palmer of French Hill Apiaries in St. Albans Vermont, success in the apiary is dependent upon two things: colonies that can grow large populations, and then─intelligent management of those populations. Mike took the stage at the 2015 annual meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association and proceeded to tell the audience about his colony management plan. Regional… Read more »

Winter in Maine

This is always a difficult time of the year for most folks in this part of Maine, and I am subject to the same plight as the rest of the local population─those of us who choose to live here year-round, who stubbornly battle the snow and ice and frigid temperatures because this is where we live whether we like it… Read more »

My local farmers’ market

For those who don’t already know, I volunteer my time and services with not only the Somerset Beekeepers, but also with the Madison Farmers’ Market. As market manager, I serve local farmers and the communities of Madison-Anson, as well as the surrounding area. I’m privileged to work with some really great farmers, gardeners, and artisan crafters. We have a group who… Read more »

Maine’s local food movement

maine local food movement

The Madison Farmers’ Market, held a meeting Saturday evening at the Old Point School in Madison, to finalize plans for our upcoming 2015 market season. I volunteer my time and efforts as the market manager, organizing, planning and promoting our young little market, and working to both serve local agriculture, farmers and farming in Madison and the surrounding areas. The… Read more »

Keys to successful bee stewardship

keys to succesful bee stewardship

This is the third segment of my coverage of the 2014 Maine State Beekeepers’ Association’s annual conference, and the second post regarding Dewey Caron’s lectures about good bee stewardship . This year Dr. Dewey Caron gave two presentations–you can read about the first entitled “Looking in the Beehive” by clicking here, and be sure to read about Matt Scott’s delivery… Read more »

Climate change & Maine bees at MSBA

unloading the tractor at runamuk

Former president of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association and retired state of Maine acquatic biologist, Matt Scott gave a presentation at this year’s annual conference entitled: “Climate Change and Habitat Fragmentation to Honey Bees in Maine”. Scott acknowledged that climate change is something of a controversial topic, but admits that at his age he is less constrained by society’s rules…. Read more »

Looking in the beehive with Dr. Dewey Caron

dr. dewey caron at msba

Well it’s been 2 weeks today since I went to the annual meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’. It’s taken me that long to get all of the different bits and pieces, lectures and presentations written about in full detail. For the last 3 years I’ve provided the written coverage of the day for the MSBA’s bi-monthly publication “The Bee-Line”,… Read more »

Beekeepers swarm to the annual meeting

maine state beekeepers annual meeting

    I’m still coming down from the high that the annual meeting gives me.  I love the atmosphere, I love learning new things and meeting new people.  And when all of that involves talking about bees I am on cloud-9. To show my support for the Pensobscot County Beekeepers and their northerly venue at the Hampden Academy, I volunteered… Read more »

Getting ready for the state beekeepers’ conference

msba annual convention

You’d think I’d be over it by now–all the excitement I feel over the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association’s annual conference.  Like a kid at Christmas I wait all year for the day to arrive when I can make the pilgrimage to the meeting location. And in the vast state of Maine where cities and towns are spread far apart, separated… Read more »

Join the Runamuk team and help create something amazing!

Samantha Burns   April 1, 2014   Comments Off on Join the Runamuk team and help create something amazing!
raising funds for runamuk

We’re gearing up to get underway here at Runamuk, we’ve got animals lined up to come to the farm (you know–as soon as the snow melts so that we can build shelters for them!), we’ve arranged for a neighbor with a tractor to come till the new gardens, and the bees are flying!  I’m so excited to finally be able… Read more »

Somerset’s 2014 Bee-School

beekeeping clipart

It’s that time of year again–no, I’m not talking about the holidays–it’s time to start thinking about Bee-School!  This year is the 3rd annual Bee-School offered by the Somerset Beekeepers, hosted by the University of Maine’s Somerset County Cooperative Extension. I’m excited to be able to teach this course yet again.  Last year we had over 30 people sign up… Read more »

Honey pricing & marketing management at MSBA

deborah delaney at msba

At the Maine State Beekeepers’ annual convention, Deborah Delaney took the floor for a second time that day to present a talk that was entitled: “Honey Pricing & Marketing Risk Management Education for Honey Producers”. Deborah told the crowd about yet another aspect of her research which involves scientifically identifying how to improve marketing of locally produced honey, which would… Read more »

Sustainable beekeeping at the state beekeepers’ conference

deborah delaney ude scientist at msba

I love the assortment of people who are drawn to beekeeping.  Young and old, eccentric and conservative, financially solvent–and bootstrappers like me–those who make do with less.  People from all over the state come together for the annual Maine State Beekeepers’ conference to join together in the spirit of learning; to bask in the feeling of community generated by a… Read more »

UMaine studies how to enhance native pollinator habitat

dr hanes & eric venturini

At the August meeting of the Somerset Beekeepers, we hosted two of UMaine’s academics who have been actively researching native bees in Maine and in the agricultural system.  Dr. Sam Hanes’ is an anthropologist studying the perceptions growers have relating to the benefits of incorporating native pollinators into their farming efforts, and the methods they are using to do so… Read more »

Maine promotes native pollinators

somerset beekeepers

Tuesday night the Somerset Beekeepers met for their monthly meeting, and were joined by a number of the county’s master gardeners in welcoming Dr. Sam Hanes and Eric Venturini, a masters degree student, both of whom came over from the University of Maine at Orono to speak with us. I’ve mentioned before the good work Maine’s academics are doing in… Read more »

Splits & nuc-making workshop at the Runamuk Apiary

I am excited to announce that Runamuk will be hosting it’s first-ever workshop! Sunday, May 19th 11am – 3pm Splits & Nuc-Making Workshop This Sunday I will be leading local beekeepers to the Runamuk apiary at Medicine Hill for a workshop on how to make splits and nucleus colonies (otherwise known as “Nucs”).  My only regret is that the workshop… Read more »

The war for labeling of GM-crops battles on

Anyone who follows this blog on a regular basis is probably aware of my personal opposition to genetically modified organisms, also known as GMOs.  Back in Novemeber of 2012 I wrote a series of posts regarding the issues surrounding GMOs as we watched California gearing up to vote on Proposition 37 (here is their website).  I did extensive research, reading… Read more »

Farming in Somerset County

Farming in Maine has a unique connection to the state’s history.  Many of Maine’s first settlers were farmers whose fields, farmhouses and barns shaped Maine’s historic landscape.  Today Maine is still considered a “family farm” state, with approximately 94% of it’s 8100 farms ranging between 1 to 500 acres in size.  The state’s agricultural producers contribute more than $1.2 billion… Read more »