WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Professor Heather Mattila came to Wellesley to teach animal behav- ior in 2009. "It's unusual for a liberal arts college to have a bee research program; they are usually at land-grant schools that are obligated to work on problems for growers," she says. Mattila and her students are conducting research related to nutritional stress, waggle dancing, and swarming behavior. They maintain 40 to 70 colonies for their work. Honey bees are a gentle breed. Unlike wasps or yellow jackets, they die after one sting, and do so only under duress. Beekeepers wear pro- tective clothing: hat and veil, shirt and pants of sturdy fabric, and gloves. There's always a chance of getting stung, so it's important to have an Epi-pen handy to administer epinephrine if there's a serious allergic reaction. As the interest in beekeeping grows, hives are turning up on lots of all sizes. Siting the hive is important. Colonies need good sun, an unobstructed flight path, and protection from moisture and wind. They need a nearby water source to cool themselves in hot weather and food to forage. Jakubowski recommends talking to immediate neighbors before installing a hive, to find out if anyone has a bee allergy and to educate and answer questions. With beekeeping there is always something to learn, including know- ing what might be a sign of trouble. Hives can be hit by infestations of mites and beetles, and diseases like American Foulbrood (AFB) spread from larva to larva by nurse bees and from hive to hive by beekeepers or raiding bees. Treatment has to be done carefully so beekeepers and bees will be safe. For the winter, beekeepers need to be sure the colony has enough honey or supplemental food to survive through April, that ven- tilation holes aren't blocked by snow, and mouse guards are in place. For more than ten years, George A. Roman has kept bees on his property in the Cliff Estates area of Wellesley. Talking with George reveals the depth of his experience and his love for honey bees. He admires their unceasing work, their efficiency, and their cooperative effort for colony success. "There's always something to discover about bees," he says. "Honey bees have had millions of years to get it right, and they are incredible." Bernie Scozzafava of Weston would agree. "The only inefficient thing they do is make too much honey." 126 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 Honey Bees Sweeten Suburban Life Resources n NORFOLK COUNTY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION www.norfolkbees.org n MIDDLESEX COUNTY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION OF MASSACHUSETTS (MCBA) www.middlesexbeekeepers.org (Includes a recommended reading list) n MASSACHUSETTS BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION www.massbee.org n EXTENSION, AMERICA'S RESEARCH-BASED LEARNING NETWORK www.extension.org/bee_health n LAND-GRANT UNIVERSITY content providers share research-based knowledge on honey bee biology and beekeeping practices. n BEE CULTURE MAGAZINE, a publication of the American Beekeeping Association www.beeculture.com B A C K G R O U N D : M E D I A B A K E R Y / V E E R ; I N S E T S : L A R S H E N D R I K F R A H M / D R E A M S T I M E . C O M 120-126_WWMa14_Bee Keepers_v2_WellesleyWeston Magazine 2/2/14 12:24 PM Page 126

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