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.

2015 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.


Hive Beetles have entered our area — excerpt from President Bob Asheim

<It appears hive beetles have been introduced to our area from colonies brought back from Texas>

There are several ways that we can address this which we can discuss with the bee inspector at our next meeting (October).     The following is a quick step that we can use to quickly check for them and reduce their population if they are found!

  • Cut a piece of corrugated card board into a strip so that you can slid it into the hive with a tab that will allow you to remove it quickly.
  • Remove one side of the corrugated board so that the grooves are exposed.
  • Have a clear plastic bag on hand that the strip will fit into.
  • Place the strip on the bottom board with the exposed groove side down and leave it in for a couple of days.
  • With the bag ready, pull the strip and place it in the bag and seal it.     Check to see if you have any small black beetles with antennas that look like a club because of a nob in the end. They will be about the same size as a wax cell opening.
  • If you find them, seal the bag and get rid of them. Place in several bags to keep them from creating a hole to get out. Soapy water will kill them in the bag.
  • If you had beetles, keep repeating this procedure to kill as many adult Small Hive Beetles (SHB) as possible before winter.
  • There are other methods (chemical and oil trays on the bottom board) but it will cost us money and time to react at this time of the season.
  • There is hope that the cold will stop them before spring but I’m not planing on it.     Their eggs will not hatch below 50*. The adults will beg from workers and be fed. The adults can survive in the winter cluster. These facts are what I have read but I don’t know as true.
  • They will ruin wet supers in storage as well. Strong colonies can better defend themselves.
  • Look for them in your weaker colonies.


Welcome our new 2015 WannaBee Club Officers.  See the Buzz Us page for more details.


  • President – Bob Ashiem
  • Vice President – Susan Nolan
  • Secretary – Jan Snedigar
  • Treasurer – Kia Smith

Program Committee

  • Dan Mulally
  • Tina Mulally
  • Michelle Hovland

Club Support

  • Dan Mulally – Librarian
  • Michelle Grosek – Facebook
  • Linda Anderson – Website


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.

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.


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:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

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

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

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.