Black fly breeders to ‘wing in the new’

Posted Feb. 20, 2009, at 10:49 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — “Wing Out the Old, Wing in the New” is the theme of this year’s annual Maine Blackfly Breeders Association convention.

The convention will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, March 1, in the dining room at Kilburn Commons on the University of Maine at Machias campus. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $10 and includes a full buffet breakfast, Maine Blackfly Breeders Association bumper sticker of your choice and, for recent members, automatic MBBA membership, complete with an official certificate suitable for framing.

The “Wing Out the Old, Wing in the New” slogan is a tribute to the recent change of administration in the White House. To mark the occasion, the MBBA is sending President Obama and his family a hatchery starter kit so they can have their own black-fly-breeding facility in Washington, D.C.

With hatching season still three months away, it is too early to know how much of a swat the black-fly-breeding industry will take from the faltering economy, but MBBA wing leaders are optimistic that breeders will swarm together in an effort to avoid having to ask the government for a bailout. The topic will be one of the convention’s top agenda items.

Convention-goers are asked to bring limericks, jokes, stories and songs for the annual contests. Exhibits, art, crafts and other items also are sought.

Special guests this year will be members of the UMM Ukulele Club under the direction of Gene Nichols, who will lead the crowd in a “wing-along.”

Bloody Merry, an 8-foot-long black fly who made her debut at the 2007 convention, is expected to be in attendance. She will gently flap her wings and pose for admirers.

Breeders also will hear the latest buzz on the association’s attempts at establishing a wing farm in Washington County, first discussed at last year’s event. The wing farm would harness the power of black flies to provide renewable energy.

For information about this year’s convention, call MBBA headquarters at 255-3727 or stop in at Woodwind Gallery in Machias. The MBBA is also on the Web at


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