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 a confirmation email confirming your registration and containing your Zoom meeting link which will allow you to join the meeting. The meeting is free for current VBA members and $15 for all others.
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.)
2022 VBA Winter Meeting Agenda
Saturday, April 2, 2022 Via Zoom
9:00 - 9:10 -Welcome and opening remarks – VBA President, Andrew Munkres
9:10 - Bee Inspector's Report, Brooke Decker, VT Agency of Agriculture
9:20 - VT Bee Lab Update – Dr. Samantha Alger
9:30 - 10:50 - Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robyn Underwood – Penn State University – bio. below
Topic: The COMB project: A comparison of Conventional and Organic Management of Bees focusing on Varroa control methods and their impacts on colony health and economics.
10:50 - 11:00 Brief break
11:00 - 11:10 Member Recognition – VBA Recognition Committee
11:10 - 11:30 Decision by membership needed:
Members of the board of directors have written a proposal for a Specialty Crop Producers Association Grant. The goal of the grant would be to create a multi-media campaign to educate consumers and retailers about Vermont honey. It would tout the benefits of bees and beekeepers to the VT ecosystem, educate retailers about proper Vermont honey labeling, encourage consumers to recognize and seek out Vermont honey, and create a Vermont Honey website to capture consumer traffic created by the media campaign. VBA would partner with UVM extension to work with retailers and with HMC Advertising on outreach to consumers. If approved, the proposed project would run for two years and involve matching funds from the VBA that would require membership approval.
The grant proposes a cash match of $6,000 to cover support to UVM Extension and limited travel by VBA reps.
The VBA Board of Directors voted unanimously to support this important 2-year project with a cash match of $6,000.
Will the membership support the match at this level?
11:30 - 11:45 Update on several recent initiatives by the VBA.
11:45 - 12:45 - Speaker #2: Matthew Hoepfinger – Bee Informed Partnership – bio. below
Topic: Integrating the organic treatment, oxalic acid, into Varroa Control management strategies.
12:45 - 1:00 pm Wrap-up
Approx. 1:00 pm - Adjournment
Dr. Robyn Underwood was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She studied Entomology and Applied Ecology for her BSc from the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, where she fell in love with honey bees and beekeeping while taking a course in Apidology with Dewey Caron. She went on to study honey bees further by researching the use of an organic acid to control parasitic mites in colonies kept indoors for the winter at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada., where she obtained her PhD. She returned to PA and continued conducting applied research while working as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Kutztown University, and later as an Assistant Research Professor at Penn State University, University Park, PA. Robyn recently joined Penn State Cooperative Extension as the Apiculture Educator, where she plans to continue conducting applied research and bringing it directly to beekeepers.
After receiving a Master’s degree in computer science from Michigan State, Matt moved to Golden, Colorado where he worked in the telecom industry as a software engineer for 25 years. He started keeping bees at the hobby level in 2011, which quickly became his passion (some have called it his obsession). He serves as director of Mountain High Beekeepers Cooperative and after playing an essential role in founding the Colorado Professional Beekeepers Association, he continues to provide support for the group. Matt joined the Tech Transfer Team in California in 2019 where he works closely with commercial beekeepers in the region to assist with colony assessments, disease monitoring, hygienic testing and sampling for Varroa, Nosema, pesticides, and viruses. He then uses the information collected to work alongside beekeepers by acting as an interpreter of colony data to improve survivorship. He is excited to expand his knowledge in evidence-based beekeeping practices and grow his understanding of honey bee health.
(Registration for current VBA members is free - all others, $15. Members should login to the website as indicated and the $15 registration fee will be waived.)