Treatment-free Varroa Control – Ross Conrad

Ross Conrad learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz, world renowned beekeeper and founder of Champlain Valley Apiaries in Vermont.  Conrad is a former president of the Vermont Beekeeper's Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture - The Magazine of American Beekeeping, author of 'Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches To Modern Apiculture' published by Chelsea Green, and co-author of 'The Land of Milk and Honey: A History of Vermont Beekeeping' published by Green Writers Press.  Ross has given bee-related presentations and led organic beekeeping workshops and classes throughout North America for many years. His beekeeping business, Dancing Bee Gardens, supplies friends, neighbors with honey and candles among other bee related products, has 5-frame nucleus bee colonies available each June, and provides bees for Vermont pollination in spring.

The video presentation is available for members only. Please contact us for details.

The Game of Drones – Julia Mahood

Our entertaining guest speaker in March spoke about her passion for drones and drones and how she came to create her DCA map project. Master Beekeeper, Julia Mahood, has been keeping bees since 2004 at her home in Atlanta, Georgia, and has long been fascinated by the secret life of drones. After frustrating failures to locate DCAs using the helium balloon method, she devised a method using an UAV. Julia is active in the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association and the Georgia Beekeepers Association. In 2018, she was named the GBA Beekeeper of the Year. Julia teaches beekeeping at Lee Arrendale State Prison, the largest women’s prison in Georgia, through the GBA/UGA prison beekeeping program.

The video presentation is available for members only. Please contact us for details.

Rain doesn’t deter the San Martin 4-H meeting

Our local 4-H junior beekeepers were so happy to get together in person after all this time, they weren't going to let the weather prevent them from having a great meeting!

In the words of their 4-H adult sponsor and Gilroy Beekeepers Association member, Sara Cutrignelli:

"Today our project was finally able to meet in person once again. With the excitement of seeing the bees come out of overwintering, we were anticipating a fun day of hive inspections and splits. Unfortunately, the rain put a hault to that. Instead we quickly changed focus to an impromptu wax rendering and chapstick-making meeting. There was a short break in the rain during our time together which allowed us to take a quick walk through the apiary. The bees decided to take the opportunity to go outside as well, so we were able to see them active during the visual inspection. We look forward to next month to get our suits back on and open up the hives."

Re-queening the Hive – Zac Lamas

Our guest speaker in February was Zac Lamas, a PhD student in the Hawthorne Lab at the University of Maryland, where he studies varroa feeding behavior and how pesticides affect honey bee queens. His current work uncovered how varroa are actively feeding and switching from one adult bee host to another. Zac also created a novel method to rear honey bee queens in the lab, that he hopes will help lower the cost of pesticides research on queens. He was the recipient of the PAm-Costco award. As a fellow he is continuing to research these topics. His articles can be found in BeeCulture and BeeWorld magazines, he actively speaks at bee clubs and professional conferences. Zac previously worked for Michael Palmer at French Hill Apiaries in Saint Albans, Vermont. On the side, Zac is the owner and operator of RockStar Queens. He produces quality nucleus colonies and queens in central Maryland and Addison County of Vermont.

The video presentation is available for members only. Please contact us for details.

Miticides affecting Honey Bee Queens – Dr. Liz Walsh

We were delighted to hear Dr. Liz Walsh share her insightful and fun presentation on the interesting ways that miticides impact adult honey bee queens. In her postdoc research for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Liz is looking into in-hive pesticides, such as active ingredients in miticides, and how they impact queen health, physiology, and behavior. She is keen to apply her learning to her own beekeeping operation, Queen B Honey, which she started while still in high school.

The video presentation is available for members only. Please contact us for details.

Swarm Essentials by Stephen Repasky

Despite the raging snowstorm and recovering from about of this year's pandemic, Stephen Repasky, owner of both Meadow Sweet Apiaries and Bee Control Pittsburgh, gave a mighty presentation on the ecology, management and sustainability of swarms. He concluded his time with the group by addressing a number of interesting questions from the audience and we wish him a speedy recovery!

The video presentation is available for members only. Please contact us for details.

Bees as Seeds by Melanie Kirby

When most of the nation was otherwise busy on November 3rd, we had the great pleasure of hosting Professional Apiculturist, Queen Honey Bee Breeder and owner of Zia Queenbees, Melanie Kirby. In 2019, she was selected for one of only five internationally-awarded Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowships and we were delighted that she shared with us her passion of bee breeding, its origin and adaptation, along with snapshots of her projects from around the world. It was a smaller audience than usual, but only because we promised to record the presentation for those that couldn't make it on this particular day!

We had an interesting Q+A at the end of the presentation - which is always a great way for new and seasoned beekeepers to share tips and information with each other.

The video presentation is available for members only. Please contact us for details.