The Vermont Beekeepers Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the winter meeting to be conducted over the Zoom online platform. All VBA members are invited to participate by registering at the link below.
The meeting agenda and meeting documents are also available below. Once you register you will receive two confirmation emails - one confirming your registration and one containing your unique Zoom meeting link which will allow you to join the meeting and should not be shared.
VBA Members who register will be automatically entered into a drawing to receive a pair of VBA logo beer glasses. (You must attend the meeting to win.)
2021 VBA Winter Meeting Agenda
Saturday, March 6, 2021 Via Zoom
8:30am Welcome and opening remarks – VBA President Andrew Munkres
8:35am VT Bee Lab Update – Dr. Samantha Alger
8:45am Jeff Battaglini – Beekeeper Training Program update and Seeking Beekeeping Mentors
8:50am Bee Inspector's Report, Brooke Decker, VT Agency of Agriculture
9:00am Keynote Speaker #1: Clare Rittschof, Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Kentucky
Topic: Honeybee Defensive Behavior
10:00am Keynote Speaker #2: Herman Danenhower – Herman is a sideline beekeeper from Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
Topic: Producing high quality comb honey and the Juniper Hill split
11:00am Optional AMA (Ask Me Anything) session
Clare Rittschof - Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Kentucky
Clare Rittschof is an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky. Her work on honeybees and wild bees is broadly integrative, including approaches from landscape and behavioral ecology, neuroscience, and genomics. Her passion is to understand how social experiences, nutrition, and other factors in the environment shape behaviors.
To pursue this goal, she has worked with diverse organisms and with scientists from sociology, human development, and the health sciences, in addition to entomology. Rittschof's work with honeybees focuses on the connections between behavior and health because many traits involved in disease and parasite resistance have a behavioral basis. For example, honeybee defensive behavior is a much-maligned trait that Rittschof and her colleagues have found to be associated with positive outcomes, including Varroa mite resistance and pesticide tolerance.
Her group is investigating the factors that give defensive bees this advantage. Rittschof's work has a strong public service component; she is currently working with beekeeper citizen scientists to study the connections between aggression, nutrition, and viral infection in honeybees. Rittschof served as an ESA Science Policy Fellow and is a current member of the Science Policy Committee and the Committee on Ethics and Rules.
She teaches two novel courses: Bees & People and the Neuroscience of Pollination. Both courses draw broad biological and cultural connections between insects and humans.
Herman Danenhower is a sideline beekeeper from Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He specializes in comb honey, running about 70 to 100 colonies to produce Hogg Halfcombs. Herman also produces and markets the halfcomb cassettes.
Herman has modified the Juniper Hill Split, a technique promoted by the late John Hogg, the inventor of the Hogg Halfcomb. This technique has several advantages. It is quite simple and requires little additional equipment. It helps develop the strong colonies needed for comb honey production. It also is a very effective method of swarm control and produces an extra colony for expansion or replacement.
(Registration for current VBA members is free - all others, $10. Members should login to the website as indicated and the $10 registration fee will be waived.)