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Welcome to the Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers site.  Our club was organized in 2009 and has grown to over 200 members.  The purpose of our club is to create and further develop interest in honey bees and beekeeping in our beautiful Black Hills area as well as elsewhere.  Our club provides a forum to share knowledge and mutual interests in beekeeping.

The Mission of our club is to provide our membership and the general public with information and discussions to promote honey bees and beekeeping in the Black Hills.

Be sure to check out our Colony Collapse Disorder page where we try to add current articles/videos related to CCD/Honey Bees each month.  Last updated November, 2013

2014 Meetings

Our monthly meetings begin at 6:00 PM on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center.  Not a member?  Join us anyway to see if you would be interested.

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Bob Reiners is our SD State Apiarist and he will provide free hive inspections for those of you who have registered your hives with the State AND you have lost your colony for unknown reasons.  He will try to help determine what went wrong.  His contact information, as well as information for all other states, can be found here — the Apiary Inspectors Of America.

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Matthew Odden, District Conservationist for the National Resource Conservation Service, gave a presentation at our April club meeting.  The NRCS wants to help create honey bee pastures — deadline for signup is April 18, 2014 and you must be a participant in the Farm Program to receive funding.  They have funding to help save honey bees in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  They may provide technical and financial assistance for what to plant in pastureland, etc. Here is a link to the brochure he passed out at the meeting which includes native plant bloom times.  Visit the NRCS website for more information.

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The WannaBee Club had an aye/nay vote to decide if we would help support the Rapid City Hens effort to allow people to have hens in Rapid City (like they do in Sioux Falls, Seattle and 500 other cities across the nation).  We voted aye so they can now say that the WannaBee Club supports their effort.  See their facebook link on the right-hand side of this screen.

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Bees Arriving:  Jerry said the package bees will arrive on Sunday – 4/27.  Nucs will be in the first week of May.  Part of John’s bees are arriving Saturday – 4/12 and pickup time is between 8:00 and 9:00 AM at the Senior Center. 

Be sure to register your honey bees with the State of South Dakota.  See the SD Department of Agriculture Beekeeping and Apiary Resources site for beekeeping information specific to our area.

Welcome our new 2014 WannaBee Club Officers.  See the Buzz Us page for more details.

  • Tom Allen – President
  • Bill Clements – Vice President
  • Andrew Muxan - Treasurer
  • Michelle Hovland – Secretary
  • Dan Mallow – Librarian
  • Michelle Grosek – Facebook
  • Linda Anderson - Website

Did you know?  North Dakota and South Dakota are the 2 top honey-producing states in the country.  In 2012 – ND produced about 34 million pounds of honey while SD produced around 17 million pounds.  See March 22, 2013 RC Journal article.

South Dakota designated the Honeybee as the official state insect in 1978.  Other states that have designated the honeybee as a state/agricultural insect (or bug) include Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  The North Dakota state insect is the convergent lady beetle.

Biggest honeybee keeper in South Dakota (and the world!) is Richard Adee of Adee Honey Farms.  See more about Adee Bees in this article from the Twin Cities Pioneer press (8/24/2013) and this you tube video.

In 2009, South Dakota had 185 registered beekeepers with 30% being commercial producers and the remaining 70% being hobbyist beekeepers.  There were 290,000 colonies registered in the state in 2009.  Nationwide, the average annual production per hive was 67 pounds (from 2002 to 2007).  In South Dakota it was an estimated 71 pounds per hive in the same time frame.  South Dakota ranks between 1st and 5th in the United States in total honey production (in 2009, we were number 2 with 17.8 million pounds of honey produced).

Fun for kids of all ages – ‘Why honey bees are better than politicians

Don’t forget to check out the Buy/Sale/Trade page and the Classes and Events page with informative information and links to ‘how to’ workshops.