Celebrating 100 years of
York County beekeeping


Celebrating 100 years of
York County beekeeping



bee dot 1Association Officers

 Email the board: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

President - Nathan Pears, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nathan Pears 24 Board Pres

Nathan began his adventure with beekeeping in 2018. He started with 2 nucs and has expanded his (state registered) apiary to about a dozen hives, primarily through splits and swarms… lots of swarms. He is a PSBA member, Journeyman member of the YCBA guild, has assisted with Beekeeping 101 classes and has enjoyed volunteering at the York Fair YCBA booth. His goal is to keep healthy and happy bees through minimally invasive practices, and to continually expand his knowledge and skills regarding bees and beekeeping. Ideally, honey comes along with all of that.

Nathan is a life-long resident of Pennsylvania, growing up in a farming community in western PA, a stone’s throw away from the Ohio border. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Grove City College and an MBA from Eastern University. Since 2001, he has lived in the York area, working as an engineer, originally for York International that later became Johnson Controls. He currently resides in Seven Valleys with his wife Joanne and children, Grant and Claire, who are twins.

Outside of family, work and beekeeping, Nathan is an active member of his church, a reluctant runner, cyclist, and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities that usually end up in the woods.

Vice-President - Kathy Firestone, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kathy Firestone 24 Board VP

Kathy joined the YCBA in 2020 and will be entering her 5th year of beekeeping in 2024 with 9 hives.  She became a beekeeper because of her first experience with the club when she found a swarm on a low hanging branch in her driveway. She clicked the “Did you find a swarm?” button on our website and had a club member come out to get it. She kept that member’s number, who became her mentor 3 years later when she called about being ready to start her own apiary. 

She is a member of the PSBA and has a licensed and inspected apiary.  She was accepted into the YCBA Guild as a Journeyman in 2023, assisted with instructing the Beekeeping 101 class of 2023, has entered honey and wax in the York Fair and Dillsburg Farmers’ Fair.  She looks forward to volunteering at the education booths and the York Fair and farm show annually and helped form small group with friends called the Dillsburg Swarm Chasers.  She enjoys all aspects of beekeeping and wants to encourage members to get more involved with our volunteer opportunities. 

Treasurer - Erika Rodkey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Erika joined YCBA in 2023 and has been a resident of York County for 13 years. She grew up in the Central PA region, and has had an appreciation for both beekeeping and bees for close to a decade. A good friend introduced her to YCBA and in March 2023 she attended the Curious About Beekeeping? event which subsequently led to taking the Bee Keeping 101 class.

She obtained her MBA from Shippensburg University, and is currently VP of Accounting with Hersha Hospitality Management in Harrisburg. In addition, Erika is an active member of United Way of the Capital Region (member of both the Women's Leadership Network and Bridges Society), a member of the Central Penn College’s Alumni Council, and a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.

When not working or volunteering, Erika and her husband enjoy wine tasting, paranormal investigating, and spending time with their cat and two pugs.

Secretary - Lauren Strunk, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Lauren Strunk 24 Board Secretary

Lauren began the journey into beekeeping in 2022. She started with 2 packages because she "wanted the challenge". Lauren continues to have only those 2 hives and has loved the journey thus far. In addition to being a YCBA member, Lauren is also a member of PSBA and the Lancaster Beekeeping Association. She hopes to maintain her status as a backyard beekeeper and enjoys spending time with her bees and benefiting from the occasional honey!

Originally from Long Island, NY, Lauren moved to Southcentral PA after spending a decade in Southwest Florida. The biggest draw to the area was the opportunity to enjoy all four seasons and participate in outdoor activities such as fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and of course beekeeping!

Lauren has a Doctorate in Education from Florida Gulf Coast University and is a licensed mental health provider who currently oversees the Wellness Center at Dickinson College as their Executive Director. 

An avid animal lover, Lauren spends her free time with her husband Brian and their 5 cats and 2 leopard geckos.

Mentor Coordinator - Anna Mathew


Anna is a 2nd year beekeeper who greatly benefitted from the Penn State Beekeeper class and the YCBA Beekeeping 101 class. Additionally, Anna had a mentor who helped her make her first hive through winter! She is excited to help new beekeepers find a mentor to help them have happy and healthy hives.

Librarian - Joyce Wilder

Joyce followed her son, John, into beekeeping 8 years ago.  She keeps 3 hives and 6 chickens in the borough of New Cumberland.  (Yes, in Cumberland County!)  Having "Town" bees is an advantage, as there are a great variety of flowering plants always available.  As a retired educator, she enjoys giving power point talks to garden clubs, retirement homes, and civic organizations.  Her talks often include a honey extraction demo and always include popular honey tasting.  She enjoys gardening and reading.  Thus, being the club librarian is an assignment she greatly enjoys.  Donations of bee related books and magazines are welcomed.  

Email Correspondent - Nancy Nolton (a.k.a., Waggle Dancer)

A beekeeper since 2015, Nancy has acquired an immense enthusiasm for apiary increase which is contagious... so beware or you may find yourself with more bees than equipment!  Nancy enjoys sharing and compiling information included in our club emails and contributing to posts on the club’s Facebook page. Nancy is a believer in sustainable beekeeping and has not purchased additional bees since her first package and nuc and frequently has over 45 hives at peak season. She frequently overwinters anywhere from 9 to 32 hives successfully! If you ever have queen cells you don’t need give her a call! Mentoring and assisting others increase their knowledge of beekeeping is yet another passion.


Past Presidents - Chris Smith, Julia Kurtz, Jeremy Barnes, Coral Glosser, Gary Anderson


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