Celebrating 100 years of
York County beekeeping


Celebrating 100 years of
York County beekeeping


bee dot 1Association Officers


President - Chris Smith:  Chris has been a beekeeper since 2014 and are currently managing 22 hives with his wife Jody in the Spring Grove and Hanover areas.  His beekeeping journey began as a request from his wife because of a lackluster garden due to lack of pollination.  Not looking forward to it, he plowed forward and bought the equipment and bees to get started with two hives.  After a season of dressing up in his insulated Carhart one-piece in the middle of summer (and yet somehow still getting stung), he gained a little experience and a level of comfort enough to get past the fear and to start working bees in a more natural fashion. Over the next few years that comfort turned into interest and eventually into a passion for honeybees.  He is also a member of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association.  Chris’s other hobbies include archery hunting, education/learning/teaching, travelling the world, and snorkeling.

Vice-President - Celia Berkstresser: Celia began beekeeping in 2016 after spending nearly a year reading, attending YCBA meetings, and learning as much as she could about the craft. She officially caught the "buzz" during the hands-on portion of the YCBA Beekeeping 101 class, obtained two local nucs from captured swarms that season, and hasn’t looked back. Today, she maintains over twelve hives in Mt. Wolf and in the City of York. While spending time at the hives is her favorite aspect of beekeeping, she dabbles in crafts related to honey/wax and enjoys learning about native plants to add to her pollinator garden. An educator at heart, Celia frequently gives honey bee presentations to children of all ages.

Treasurer - John Shaffer:   John has been retired from the elevator trade since June 2018. He is married to his best friend Terri for 18 years. They have three daughters, one son, and two grandsons. He started actual beekeeping in 2015, though considers himself to have really started beekeeping in 2014, as that is when he started educating himself about the art of beekeeping. He read up on it mostly, but also took the beekeeping 101 class, which is really what made up his mind to become a beekeeper. Before the 101 class he was on the fence, but when he got out in the apiary he was just in awe. He now has 4 hives in his backyard and takes care of 6 others in York city gardens managed by York Fresh Food Farms.(yorkfreshfoodfarms.org) He never thought he'd have more than 2 hives, lol. Other interests of John's and Terri's are traveling, which has increased since retirement. Their favorite thing is road trips where nothing is planned and they can ad-lib as they go.


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 - Julia Kurtz, Jeremy Barnes, Coral Glosser, Gary Anderson


bee dot 1Assocation Bylaws

Download a pdf copy of the York County Beekeepers Assocation Bylaws. 

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