Beekeeping in Vermont...

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

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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


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