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About Us



Flickerwood Apiary,
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. Our apiary:

  • provides educational information about beekeeping, bee breeding, and bee products.
  • celebrates the contribution of pollinators to our ecosystem
  • strives for excellence by producing top quality bees.

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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 drove over 50,000 miles throughout Western Europe to study the differences between European and American beekeeping, reporting her 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 then investigated how pesticides impact honey bee health as a post doc at the University of Maryland in the lab of Dr. vanEngelsdorp. From 2015-2017 she edited Bee World, published by the International Bee Research Association. She edited American Bee Journal, a monthly magazine published since 1861 that is devoted to educating beekeepers. She's currently a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, Germany. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter @FlowersLoveBees.


Need a Great Speaker
for your next club meeting?

Why not ask Dr. Kirsten Traynor of Flickerwood Apiary. This avid beekeeper, scientist, and former editor of American Bee Journal has traveled the globe in a beeline, seeking out the best beekeepers, bee breeders and scientists. She brightens up any meeting, blending science and levity. Her talks are filled with stunning photography, humorous anecdotes about her travels, and top-notch science provided in an easy-to-understand manner.

Informative, funny, and
downright great speaker

Hearing her talk is eye-opening.
I learned so much and
can’t wait to apply it to my hives

“After hearing her varroa talk,
I cut out and carefully inspected my drone brood.
I couldn't believe how many mites I found.”

Available Talks:

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.

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.

American Foulbrood
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 Kirsten Traynor for your club’s meeting:

Email with “Honey Bee Speaking Engagement” in the title. She leads a very busy life, working full time as editor of American Bee Journal, still keeping her foot in honey bee research, and running Flickerwood Apiary (, 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 she loves sharing information with avid beekeepers.

To book her for a talk:
Within 1.5 hours of Middletown, MD 21769: $200.
Within 3 hours: $300 plus travel
Within 5 hours: $500 plus travel

Kirsten Traynor also teach all-day classes in Frederick County, MD.View upcoming classes.

They are also available to teach an all-day class from 9-5 at your club location. Email for details.

  1. Organic Beekeeping: How to keep Healthy Bees without Synthetic Chemicals
  2. Hive Inspection: What am I Really Seeing
  3. Winter Ready: Preparing your Hive for Survival

Contact Us:

By Telephone By email

301 371 8527