Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the members and Board of the CMBA. We’ll post introductions to selected veteran and novice beekeepers here, as well as intros to our Board members.

Meet a Board member

Bryan Bender, Nucleus Program Chair, Nuc Yard Captain

I’m Bryan, about 9 years ago while taking a break from renovating a bathroom in Towson, I noticed something flying into a hole in the wall near the chimney. I told the homeowner and the next day two beekeepers showed up to assess the situation. That winter I read every book I could get my hands on and ordered my first package of bees and I’ve never looked back. I currently manage the CMBA Nuc Yard, teaching new beekeepers hands on lessons of seasonal management techniques. I also run Chesapeake queen company with Karly in my spare time. We manage between 60-80 colonies but hope to expand this coming season. 

Steven Cason, Webmaster

I’ve been keeping bees off and on since 2009. I presently have three colonies on my property in Freeland, all in Langstroth hives. I serve as webmaster and mailing list administrator for the CMBA.

I learned beekeeping first from Jerry Fischer, former Maryland State Apiarist, in a short course. Since that course I’ve learned a lot from CMBA members, including Chris Hart, Steve McDaniel, Bonnie Wright, Bryan Bender, and many others. There are a lot of good beekeeping videos on YouTube, and I watch a lot of them.

One of the most interesting aspects of beekeeping for me is simply the observation and experimentation we can practice to understand the particular dynamics of a single plot of land, the flora and fauna that live on it, and how the bees fit into the whole picture. For me, keeping bees is just one aspect of keeping the land, as are gardening, permaculture, water and soil conservation, forestry, and many other disciplines.

I prefer honey as a sweetener, and I make mead and other fermented beverages. So having a supply of honey that I know is clean and local is something I love about having bees. My wife Liz and I keep a fairly large vegetable garden, and having the bees around improves our pollination rate and overall productivity there.

My beekeeping practice is presently pretty standard: Langstroth hives, bought queens and nucs, Spring and Autumn feedings, chemical mite control, and so forth. I do aspire to a more “natural” and less labor intensive beekeeping practice, i.e. Layens hives, hyperlocal genetics, reduced or no mite control measures, no artificial feeding, very little interference in colony activities. To that end we’re slowly establishing permaculture installations that we hope will support a small naturally managed apiary over the long term.

* “Beek” is short for “beekeeper”.