Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

2019 VBA Summer Meeting Agenda

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2019 Summer Meeting Agenda (Updated 6/30/19)

July 13th, 2019

Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School

8:45am           Setup, Registration
9:10am           Welcome – VBA President Jack Rath

9:20am           Bee Inspector's Report, Brooke Decker, VT Agency of Agriculture

9:40am           Keynote Speech: Understanding Honeybee Viruses Dr. Humberto Boncristiani Dr. Boncristiani will dissect the biology of honey bee viruses related to virus propagation, virus replication, spread, and how they cause disease. Beekeepers will have a better understanding of how viruses can cause damage to bees and find ways to avoid it.

11:10am         Business Meeting

  • Membership Report – Scott Wilson
  • Secretary’s Report – Fred Putnam, Jr
  • Treasurer’s Report – Richard Roy
  • Librarian’s Report – Marilyn Post
  • Apiary Committee Report – Bill Mares and Jeffrey Hamelman/Bill Taft
  • Fair Committee – Bill Mares (Tunbridge World’s Fair)
  • Certification committee-Bill Mares/Ross Conrad
  • Gund Institute Apis Fund – Bill Mares
  • Recognition Committee – Fred Putnam, Jr
  • Other Committee Reports
  • Election of VBA Officers

12:00pm         Pot Luck Lunch
1:00pm           Workshops Section 1

Section A       Small Hive Beetle Biology and Prevention   Dr. Humberto Boncristiani Dr. Boncristiani will discuss the current state of our knowledge about small hive beetle biology and ways to control it. Small Hive Beetle is an emergent honey bee pest worldwide and even SHB is not causing too much damage in the United States beekeeping industry. However, there are pieces of evidence that this pest could soon become a bigger threat. 

Section B       Effective Electric Fence Construction and Maintenance   David Kennard Owner Wellscroft Fence Systems LLC, Harrisville, NH

David will bring his years of experience in fencing livestock to explain and describe how to build and maintain effective electric fence to effectively keep bears and other pests from molesting beehives.

2:15pm           Workshops:  Session 2

Section A:       How I use oxalic acid in my mite control program: Jeff Battaglini and Michael Willard

Jeff and Michael will give their experience using oxalic acid as a part of mite control.  Michael uses the dribble method and Jeff uses vaporization so you can hear their experience with both methods

Section B:       Ask the beekeeper: bring your questions for a panel of Vermont Beekeepers

3:30pm           An update on important developments for Vermont beekeepers.  We will discuss H.205, the new pollinator protection law and also discuss the status of apiary inspection in Vermont after the retirement of David Trembley, our past state apiarist.

3:40pm           Silent Auction Results

4:00pm            Certification testing and grading –

Our Speakers

Humberto Boncristiani

Dr. Humberto Boncristiani is a second-generation beekeeper from Brazil. During his Masters and PhD, Humberto studied human viruses and helped to develop vaccines against viruses that infect children. Just as Humberto was finishing his PhD, colony collapse disorder hit the news. After finishing his PhD, he transferred his knowledge in virology to study bee viruses for eight years at the USDA lab in Beltsville, MD. For the past ten years, Humberto has been committed to researching solutions to help bees across Universities, the private sector, and USDA. Humberto is now a scientist at the University of Florida, Gainesville working closely with Florida beekeepers and researchers to help honey bees. On his website and social media platform, “InsideTheHive.TV”, Humberto develops free content related to bees to teach, inspire, and to make bee biology accessible to everyone.

David Kennard

David Kennard of Wellscroft Fence Systems has helped thousands of farmers in the Northeast design fence systems for the protection of crops and livestock for over 40 years. He has field- tested his fencing products on his own 300-acre farm, one of the largest working sheep farms in New England. David is a regular speaker at NOFA conferences and farm shows, and hosts popular educational workshops such as Lambing Clinics, Fence Clinics and Grazing Workshops. Along with his son, Colin, and their hard-working border collies, he also delights audiences with his informative and entertaining herding demonstrations at county fairs, sheep festivals, and farm days throughout New England

Michael Willard 

Michael is the past president of the VBA and lives in Fairfax Vermont where he keeps bees, makes candles and raises queens and nucs.

Jeff Battaglini

Jeff is president of the Windham County beekeepers, our hosts for today’s meeting. Jeff lives in West Wardsboro. VT

Election of VBA board

Current board members:  President – Jack Rath, Vice President – Andrew Munkres, Treasurer – Richard Roy, Recording Secretary – Fred Putnam, Jr, and Membership Secretary – Scott Wilson.  All current board members are willing and eligible to serve an additional one year term.  The nomination committee nominates the current slate of officers for the following year.  Additional nominations from the floor are welcomed.

Lunch

The Summer Meeting will feature a potluck lunch for those individuals wanting to participate.  To help us organize the food choices and make sure there is enough diversity in the food selection we have broken down the alphabet by the first letter of your last name.
 
Please see the list below to determine what food category you fall within.  If you have a secret family recipe you are eager to share with everyone, by all means please bring it along.  There will be access to refrigerators for holding cold items and the ovens and outlets for slow cookers or warm items.

First Letter of Your Last Name:
A-I       Salads (vegetable/pasta)
J-R      Main Dish
S-Z      Dessert
 
Special considerations for everyone:
1.    Due to the increase in food allergies we ask that you bring along a food identification tag stating what the dish is.  This may help individuals with specific allergies to identify what your dish might contain.
2.    If the dish you are making requires a serving implement, we ask that you provide that as well. 
3.    Please label your dishes and serving implements to help avoid any confusion at the end of the day when people are collecting their items.
4.    Historically we have received too many bread items, please keep this in mind when thinking about the favorite dish you are planning to bring.
5.    Although water from drinking fountains will be available please bring your own drinks as there will be limited vending machines available onsite. 

 

2018 VBA Summer Meeting Agenda

2018 Summer Meeting Agenda
June 23rd, 2018
Missisquoi Valley Union High School

Register for the Meeting

8:45am - Setup, Registration
9:10am - Welcome - President Jack Rath
9:20am - Bee Inspector's Report, David Tremblay, VT Agency of Agriculture
9:40am - Keynote Presentation: The Benefits of Polyandry Dr. Deborah Delaney 11:10am - Business Meeting

  • Membership Report – Scott Wilson

  • Secretary’s Report – Steve Silverman

  • Treasurer’s Report – Jack presenting for Donna Pollard

  • Librarian’s Report – Marilyn Post

  • Apiary Committee Report – Bill Mares and Jeffrey Hamelman/Bill Taft

  • Fair Committee – Bill Mares (Tunbridge World’s Fair)

  • VBA Board of Director Nominations - Positions: President / Vice President / Membership Secretary/ Treasurer/Secretary

  • Proposed Bylaw change creating a student membership category

  • Certification committee-Bill Mares/Ross Conrad

12:00pm - Pot Luck Lunch
1:00pm - Afternoon Main Session: A New Understanding of Varroa Feeding Behavior - Dr. Samuel Ramsey
1:00pm - (Alternate Opportunity) Hive Inspection Demonstration with Vermont Bee Inspector David Trembley and the summer bee inspectors. (Bring protective clothing) 2:15pm - Workshops: Session 2

Track A: To be announced

Track B:

3:15pm - Presentation of Vermont Beekeeper of the Year Award
3:30pm - Remembering David Prior
3:40pm - Silent Auction Results
4:00pm - Certification testing and grading – Scott Wilson

Keynote Presentations

The Benefits of Polyandry - Dr. Deborah Delaney

Deborah Delaney is an associate professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware where she mentors graduate and undergraduate students working on various aspects of pollinator health and productivity. She teaches Insects and Society, Apiculture, Pollination Ecology, Aquatic Entomology and Bridging Art and Science: Environmental Communication. She has over 20 years of experience working with pollinators, specifically honey bees and maintains between 50- 100 colonies in throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Her research program has four main focal areas: 1) genetic identity and diversity of US honey bees 2) temporal stability of pollinator populations and 3) best management solutions for creating sustainable managed pollinator populations 4) pollinator nutrition and forage mapping.

What is polyandry and why is this mating behavior beneficial?

What do we know about the benefits of diversity within a honey bee colony? This talk will highlight past and current work that demonstrates the importance of intracolony level diversity and describe new research aimed at combining high levels of diversity with traits associated with varroa-tolerance.

A New Understanding of Varroa Feeding Behavior - Dr. Samuel Ramsey

Varroa destructor feeds exclusively on the hemolymph of adult and immature bees". It's considered to be such an obvious fact that it often goes without citation now in scientific papers. But there is no experimental support for this universally accepted conclusion. My project, in partnership with the USDA and Project Apis m, has shown that Varroa are actually feeding on a very different tissue, the fat body, leading to a diverse host of pathologies that have never been explained by the hemolymph model. With a better understanding of how this parasite impacts its host, it may be possible to develop novel forms of control and new methods to remediate the health issues common to parasitized colonies.

Samuel Ramsey's enduring interest in insects started 21 years ago and shows no sign of waning. A recent Ph.D. from Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp's lab at the University of Maryland, College Park; Dr. Ramsey maintains a focus on how insect research can benefit the public through the development of IPM strategies and STEM focused outreach initiatives. To that end he's started a YouTube channel called Dr. Buggs where he attempts to communicate complicated subjects in insect science in a simple and engaging way. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Entomology from Cornell University in 2011 focusing his research on Predatory/Parasitic insect behavior. His current work focuses on the involvement of the parasitic Varroa mite on the ongoing issues with the decline in honey bee health and what can be done to reverse it. He's further turned his sights on studying the closely related Southeast Asian Tropilaelaps mites before they arrive in the US. When not in the lab, Dr. Ramsey can often be found arranging music which he performs at a variety of venues.

Workshops – Session 2 (2:15pm-3:15pm)
To be announced

Apiary Inspection Census Data - Samantha Alger

Samantha will present data about Vermont beekeepers and their apiaries. This data was compiled with the help of the UVM Beekeeping Club


Lunch

The Summer Meeting will feature a potluck lunch for those individuals wanting to participate.

Please see the list below to determine what food category you fall within. If you have a secret family recipe you are eager to share with everyone, by all means please bring it along.

To help us organize the food choices and make sure there is enough diversity in the food selection we have broken down the alphabet by the first letter of your last name.

There will be access to refrigerators for holding cold items and the ovens and outlets for slow cookers or warm items.

First Letter of Your Last Name:

A-I - Salads (vegetable/pasta)

J-R - Main Dish

S-Z - Dessert

Special considerations for everyone:

  1. Due to the increase in food allergies we ask that you bring along a food identification tag stating what the dish is. This may help individuals with specific allergies to identify what your dish might contain.
  2. If the dish you are making requires a serving implement, we ask that you provide that as well.
  3. Please label your dishes and serving implements to help avoid any confusion at the end of the day when people are collecting their items.
  4. Historically we have received too many bread items, please keep this in mind when thinking about the favorite dish you are planning to bring.
  5. Although water from drinking fountains will be available please bring your own drinks as there will be limited vending machines available onsite.

 


 

VBA Members may register for the meeting below. (If you are not logged in to the site you will be prompted to do so.) We are experimenting with a new registration process for meetings, allowing you to preregister online. You will receive an email confirmation along with a ticket and copy of the meeting agenda. Please bring both to the meeting. If you are not a current member you may register at the meeting.

Register for the Meeting

2013 Summer Meeting Agenda

Vermont Beekeepers Association - 2013 Summer Meeting Agenda
BFA Fairfax High School, Fairfax, VT
June 22nd, 2013

8:45 - Setup, Registration
9:15 - Welcome - President Chas Mraz
9:20 - Bee Inspector's Report, Steve Parise, VT Agency of Agriculture

  • Apiary Statistics report

10:00 - Morning Session – Gary Reuter, University of Minnesota Varroa Life Cycle and Control
11:20 - Presentation of Vermont Beekeeper of the Year Award – Michael Willard
11:30 - Business Meeting

  • Membership Report – Steve Silverman
  • Secretary’s Report - Michael Willard
  • Treasurer’s Report – Steve Silverman
  • Certification Committee – Bill Mares
  • Librarian’s Report - Curtis Middleton
  • Website Report – Greg Smela
  • Apiary Committee Report – Bill Mares (Hives at Intervale)
  • Fair Committee – Bill Mares/Doug Ouellette (Tunbridge World’s Fair)
  • Shelburne Farms Grant Request – Steve Silverman

12:00 - Lunch (Hive Inspections outside w/ Steve Parise)
1:00 - Afternoon Session – Gary Reuter, University of Minnesota Queen rearing/selection/breeding/hygienic behavior
2:30 - Mobile Mentor Beekeeper’s Program - Update, Kim Greenwood
2:40 - VT Legislative proposal update - Colony Registration Fees – Kim Greenwood, Bill Mares, Chas Mraz, Patrick Drugan
3:15 - Local Clubs Update
3:20 - Announce Winners of Silent Auction
3:30 - Adjourn meeting.
3:40 - Certification testing and grading – Bill Mares, Michael Willard, Kim Greenwood

(A PDF file of the agenda is available here.)

EAS 2013

EAS 2013

EAS2013 logoAugust 5-9, West Chester, PA

2011 Winter Meeting Summary

On the first day of the 2011 Vermont Farm Show, 110 VBA Members attended the organization's Winter Meeting in Barre on Tuesday, January 25th at the Mutuo Club.

jtamJanet Tam (left), a Technology Transfer Specialist from the Ontario Beekeepers Association was the featured speaker. She  discussed the Transfer Technology Program's Mite Control and the Ontario Honey Bee Breeding Programs.

Read more ...

VBA Classes & Workshops

VBA North & South Yard Workshops are cancelled until further notice. We are using Zoom to conduct online workshops.

Beekeeping Basics

Classes for beginning beekeepers have been available at Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) for many years. These classes are taught by instructors with over 50 years beekeeping experience between them and are a perfect way to begin your beekeeping journey. While these classes require a modest fee, they are an excellent way to get started!

Have you thought about keeping bees? This is the opportunity to learn more about these vital and fascinating creatures providing so much of our food. The instructors have over 50 years of experience among them. The three sessions will enlighten, and maybe inspire, you to start a few hives of your own or learn more about your bee passion. Plenty of question-and-answer time and all the info needed to start your own operation.

Taught by VBA's Bill Mares, this is a great way to begin your beekeeping journey. Bill's co-teacher will be Deborah Rubin. Read more and register online.

Workshops

The Vermont Beekeepers Association offers hands-on training workshops for beekeepers of all levels. These workshops are generally free and are also open to the public; no experience necessary. The workshops are designed to parallel the Vermont beekeeping season starting off with unpacking hives for Spring and finishing with preparing the hives for Winter. In between the two you will learn how to identify common hive issues, hive management techniques, honey extraction and general good beekeeping practices. VBA workshop instructors will be available to you on specific Saturdays starting in April ending in September. See the VBA calendar for the dates and times.

VBA Workshops are usually held in the following two locations (but please check the calendar because the locations occaisionally change):

The North Yard is located at The Gardeners Supply, 128 Intervale Rd, Burlington, VT 05401. The apiary is located behind the Gardeners building. Access the apiary via the grassy area between the Gardeners building and the barns. Look for signs. Bring a veil and all your questions and concerns.

The South Yard is located at 305 Blood Hill Rd, West Windsor, VT 05089.

From the North: Take route 91 to exit 9. Turn right at the end of the ramp. After one mile (just past a Mobil gas station), go left onto route 12 North. After 1.5 miles, turn left onto Brownsville Road. (A church will be on your right once you turn). After about 4.9 miles, turn right onto Blood Hill Road (a pink trailer will be at the turning). The bee yard is .3 miles up Blood Hill Road. Signs will be posted.

From the South: If coming up route 5 from the Ascutney exit, take a left at the first lights in Windsor onto Route 44. If coming over the Windsor covered bridge, go straight at the lights onto route 44. Stay on route 44 for 6 miles until you are in the center of Brownsville. Go right onto the Hartland-Brownsville Road for 2.2 miles. Turn left onto Blood Hill Road (a pink trailer will be at the turning). The bee yard is .3 miles up Blood Hill Road. Signs will be posted.

Bring a veil and all your questions and concerns.

 

 

Workshops at the Intervale

Workshop Sees 40

About forty people attended the Burlington Intervale beekeeping workshop on preparing for spring presented by Bill Mraz, Scott Wilson & Bill Mares. Check the calendar for future workshops. (Photos by David Prior.)

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Other Meetings, Workshops & Events

Other Meetings, Workshops & Events

Organic Beekeeping For Beginners

Where: Metta Earth Institute, 334 Geary Rd. South, Lincoln, Vermont
When: May 18 (9-5) & May 19 (9-5) and May 25 (9-5) & May 26 (9-5) - DATE JUST ADDED
Description: This two-day intensive covers all the basics of what you will need to know to get started with bees. We cover the history of beekeeping, equipment, types of hives, bee biology, pest and disease control, harvesting, and overwintering. Class will include and live hive demonstration if weather permits.
Fee: $95 per person (includes course text: Natural Beekeeping 2nd Edition)
To Register Call Ross: 802-349-4279
 
Scholarships Available: For folks who want to take a course but don't feel they can afford it, a very limited number of scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the Honeydrop Beverage company of Brooklyn, NY. The scholarship covers 50% of the tuition fee.  To apply for a scholarship, just send a letter or email explaining your interest in beekeeping and why you feel you deserve to receive a scholarship rather than someone else. Deadline for applications is March 4, 2012.  dancingbeegardens.com
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