Since 2006, we have led the local efforts to educate the public and beekeepers on the importance of Honey Bees and up-to date management practices. By putting the regard of Honey Bees first, the bees, beekeepers and the public all win.


Our Mission

The objectives and purposes of the Association are to:

  1. Educate beekeepers about current trends in all aspects of beekeeping.

  2. Educate the public to the use of bees for pollination of crops, and for their byproducts (honey, wax and pollen).

  3. Maintain awareness of all state and national laws related to beekeeping, production and marketing of honey and wax.

  4. Aid in the development of programs for young people desiring to become beekeepers.

  5. Present education programs in schools and for the general public.

  6. Serve as a resource in the community for addressing problems and concerns about honeybees, and how honeybees differ from other stinging insects.

  7. Foster interactions with the agricultural community and other beekeeping organizations.

Through the Ontario Finger Lakes Beekeepers Association, thousands of beekeepers get the resources, training and shared techniques they need to help them be successful beekeepers.
— Ben Carpenter, OFLBA President 2015-2018

What We do:

  • Beginner beekeeping classes

  • Extractions in homes and buildings References

  • Help locating a Mentor for new beginner beekeepers

  • Membership in the association

  • The Greater NY Bee Conference

  • Monthly Meetings geared towards helping our beekeepings

Our Story - As told by Sam Hall

A few years ago, around 2006-07, Roger Brahm put an ad in the Daily Messenger the local paper in Canandaigua, asking for people interested in forming a beekeepers group to contact him. As a result of that ad, a group of beekeepers met in Bloomfield at Joel Steele's office. I don't remember the exact number but it was about 6 to 10 people.  At about the same time a 4-H club, under volunteer leadership of Mary Ann Whipple, wanted our group to mentor them to do beekeeping. This gave us the opportunity to utilize the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building.

The beekeepers group decided to do a beginners beekeeping class to increase the number of beekeepers. It was further decided that instead of the normal one day program which simply shows what a beekeeper physically does, we wanted to go further and teach why the beekeeper does these things which of course takes a lot longer but makes for a better beekeeper. We did a small local advertising of the beginners course. We expected maybe 10-15 people. We were shocked when 47 people showed up and more could not get into the room. Under the direction and leadership of George Lyke, a master beekeeper from Ontario, NY,  the program and curriculum for the beginners course was developed which with updating is still pretty much the teaching program that Gene Voss and Wayne Mosher use today.

We had been using the name "Ontario County Beekeepers' but after tremendous success of participation, it was decided that we needed a name that reflected the area where our beekeepers live and keep their bees. Most of our members come from the 5 county area of Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Yates and Ontario County. This area starts at Lake Ontario on the north and continues southward thru the western Finger Lakes. There were a lot of suggested names including the "Burnt Over Area".  Finally, the night came where the membership voted on the various names and the Ontario-Finger Lakes Beekeepers Association was born. The name very aptly reflects where we keep our bees.

Our meetings are set up to first deal with any beekeeping problems a member is having and secondly to present programs that will bring if not new information to members at least a different way of looking at common things. We welcome any one that is interested in honey bees whether they keep bees or not. We have no dues and no responsibilities other than those that people voluntarily undertake.