a local Maryland beekeeping business with a global perspective
Flickerwood Apiary, a boutique honey bee operation that specializes in producing high quality nucleus colonies, locally adapted queens, and gourmet honey. We focus on educating our clients and the general public about the importance of pollinators. We teach numerous beekeeping classes and frequently speak to beekeepers, garden clubs, schools, and other organizations.
Our goal is help beekeepers succeed in their beekeeping adventures. We:
- provide educational information about beekeeping, bee breeding, and bee products.
- celebrate the contribution of pollinators to our ecosystem
- share beekeeping humor, recipes, arts and crafts.
Stay in touch by signing up for our FreeBee newsletter.
Dr. Kirsten Traynor:
Kirsten received the prestigious German Chancellor
Scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation in 2006-2007, annually awarded
to ten American leaders in their field. She and her husband drove over 50,000 miles throughout Western Europe to study the differences between European and American beekeeping, reporting their findings through 50+ published articles in national and international magazines. At the same time she interviewed scientists and medical
doctors, gathering information for her book: Two Million Blossoms:
Discovering the Medicinal Benefits of Honey.
Fascinated with the social complexity of a honey bee hive, Kirsten earned her PhD in biology from Arizona State University. While a grad student, she spent almost a year in Avignon, France in the lab of Dr. Yves Le Conte as a Fulbright Fellow. She currently investigates how pesticides impact honey bee health for the University of Maryland in the lab of Dr. vanEngelsdorp and is the editor of Bee World, published by the International Bee Research Association. Follow her on Twitter @FlowersLoveBees.
Michael is a commercial and fine art photographer, whose work has appeared in national and international magazines. The head of National Geographic asked him to teach their photographers his photographic knowledge. His incredible macro images of bees and flowers bring the world of beekeeping to life. Combining his skills in beekeeping with photography, he has documented the life of bee breeders, beekeepers and bee scientists around the world. A selection of his work is available online at www.flowerslovebees.com and www.idfineart.com. He is an avid speaker and a great teacher, able to communicate complex ideas in simple steps. He has taught professional photographers around the world. His photography classes are informative, entertaining and always well attended.
Need a Great Speaker
for your next club meeting?
Why not ask Dr. Kirsten Traynor & Michael Traynor of Flickerwood Apiary. These two avid beekeepers, scientists, and regular contributors to American Bee Journal have traveled the globe in a beeline, seeking out the best beekeepers, bee breeders and scientists. The lively duo brightens up any meeting. Their talks are filled with Michael’s stunning photography, humorous anecdotes about their travels, and top-notch relevant science provided in an easy-to-understand manner.
“Informative, funny, and
downright great speakers.”
“Hearing them talk is eye-opening.
I learned so much and
can’t wait to apply it to my hives.”
“After hearing their varroa talk,
I cut out and carefully inspected my drone brood.
I couldn't believe how many mites I found.”
Simple, Smart Beekeeping
In German, there is a popular saying “Wieso einfach, wenn auch umstandig”, which means why take the simple route, when there is a complicated one. As humans, we gravitate toward complicated answers. Maybe we’re drawn to complex solutions, because if it’s difficult and we fail, it’s understandable and we don’t feel bad. But beekeeping need not be complicated, difficult or complex. Learn to keep healthy hives in an easy, carefree way so you enjoy your hives and feel confident working your bees.
Pesticides & Pollinators
Honey bee colony losses remain high, despite beekeeper’s best efforts to keep colonies healthy. While neonicotinoids are often highlighted by the press, many other pesticides end up in honey bee colonies. Learn what we’re finding in hives and how the panic over the Zika virus may impact the health of your hives.
Over the Atlantic: European Intensive Hive Management
Commercial beekeepers in Europe often manage only 200 to 500 hives, yet make a comfortable living. We worked at the Professional Bee Institute in Celle, Germany, learning how to manage hives. The institute loses just 4% of their colonies annually. Discover how they intensely manage their hives to keep them healthy and productive.
Varroa: Biology, Control and Virus Transmission
Varroa continues to be one of the biggest drivers of colony losses. It’s easy to think you don’t have varroa, as 70-80% of the mites are hidden beneath wax cappings in the brood nest. Hidden out of sight, the varroa feed on developing bees when they are at their most vulnerable. This talk shows detailed photos of varroa. It highlights how varroa spread viruses, and how your colony can pick up mites from the neighborhood. To help stay on top of varroa, we highlight simple methods of monitoring varroa levels and how to control escalating infestations.
Beekeeping in Europe: A Photographic Journey
We’ve trotted the globe in search of bees and beekeepers. We spent 18 months traveling over 50,000 miles by car through Western Europe, meeting with renowned beekeepers, bee breeders, and bee scientists. Michael, a commercial and fine art photographer, documented our unique travels in stunning images. Join us for a photographic odyssey that reveals the complex life inside a colony. 50,000 bees inhabit a city of wax, coordinating their behaviors through a silent, chemical language. See how bees are kept in Germany, Austria, France, Denmark and England. In this talk, you’ll learn about honey bee biology, but also about the charismatic keepers of bees.
Honey: from ancient civilizations to modern delicacy
Cave paintings attest that our ancestor’s risked their lives for a taste of honey. Ancient Egyptian papyri described honey for battle wounds. While megastores now peddle cheap, saccharine honey blends, nature’s first sweetener comes in a range of colors and flavors, infused with the terroir of the landscape where the bees turned nectar into liquid gold. Discover how bees turn nectar into honey and good plant resources for your bees.
Bee Breeding Around the Globe
We have met with bee breeders in many parts of the world to learn unique techniques to improve the qualities of our bees. See how a club in Denmark teaches all new beekeepers how to rear their own queen, so they can start their first hive. Visit Buckfast Abbey, where Brother Adam bred the unique Buckfast bee. We highlight some of the best aspects of bee breeding we’ve studied in our world travels.
The Complex Web of Colony Decline: What’s killing the bees
Every third bite we eat is due to pollination, but honey bees and native bees are disappearing. Changing landscapes, modern agriculture, climate change and globalization all play a role in pollinator decline. Learn what steps we can take to ensure our food security and help bees thrive in today’s challenging environment.
Two Million Blossoms: Honey for your Health
Long before the advent of antibiotics, our ancestors used honey to treat myriad health issues. While doctors have known that honey inhibits bacterial growth since the early 1930s, it was only in the 1970s that its antibacterial nature was revealed to be due to an enzyme bees add during the nectar ripening process. Superbugs continue to evolve resistance to modern antibiotics, making normal wounds difficult to heal. In search for effective alternatives, doctors are rediscovering the benefits of honey.
Plants for Pollinators
Our landscape has been transformed into a food desert for the pollinators that work so hard to feed us. Learn simple techniques to improve the bee forage in your own yard, plus tips for encouraging your neighbors to join in. By providing nectar and pollen sources throughout the active bee season, our colonies can better withstand pressures from disease and pesticides.
Halting the Unstoppable Swarm
Good swarm management is one of the hardest things to learn. Despite a beekeeper’s best efforts, some colonies just insist on getting ready to go. Learn how to stop the unstoppable swarm and turn all that natural energy of the bees into beautiful, new comb.
Easy Queen Introduction for the Hobbyist
You open the hive and discover the colony is queenless. Either she was accidentally crushed or the colony swarmed and the virgin queen didn’t make it back. Or maybe your old queen is still there, but her brood pattern is terrible. Replacement queens are expensive and you don’t want the hive to reject her. Learn how to give her the best chance of success, so your hive is back up and running as fast as possible.
Beekeepers often feel ashamed when their hives come down with AFB, mistakenly believing they are bad beekeepers. But it is the strongest, healthiest colonies that often bring back contagious spores after robbing out sick colonies in the neighborhood. Learn to identify this disease and the steps you need to take to mitigate its impact in your apiary.
How to book the Traynors for your club’s meeting:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Honey Bee Speaking Engagement” in the title. The Traynors lead very busy lives, working full time as honey bee researchers and running Flickerwood Apiary (www.mdbee.com), a boutique operation that specializes in producing top quality nucs and MD queens reared from mother colonies that are still going strong in their 2nd and 3rd year. But they love sharing their information with avid beekeepers.
To book them for a talk:
Within 1.5 hours of Middletown, MD 21769: $200.
Within 3 hours: $300 plus travel
Within 5 hours: $500 plus travel
The Traynors also teach all-day classes in Frederick County, MD. Their next one is Winter Ready, Saturday August 13th, 2016.
They are also available to teach an all-day class from 9-5 at your club location. Email for details.
- Organic Beekeeping: How to keep Healthy Bees without Synthetic Chemicals
- Hive Inspection: What am I Really Seeing
- Winter Ready: Preparing your Hive for Survival