Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

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Jeff Battaglini is VBA's new Vice-President. He replaces Andrew Munkres who is VBA's new President effective October 17.

Jeff started his beekeeping journey years before he brought his first hive home. He noticed there were very few pollinators around the native Vermont landscape. So he started researching bees and talking to local beekeepers. He joined the Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) and all the local beekeeping clubs he could find. Jeff also started taking beekeeping classes and broke ground on his apiary site in October 2014. 

He brought his first Vermont bees home in June 2015. Jeff continued his beekeeping education by attending club meetings, open hives, workshops, events, and classes at every opportunity. He also continued studying beekeeping books and manuals and meeting other beekeepers. By the following fall, his three nucs had turned into 10 hives. By the following summer, he had 20-plus hives and three bee yards. Jeff and his partner, Lesley, also formed an LLC called WeisBatty Bees in 2016. Then the next year, WeisBatty Bees took honorable mention for cut comb honey at the VBA’s winter show. 

In 2018, Jeff and Lesley were encouraged to form a county club in support of beekeepers in Windham County. Jeff liked the idea and spoke with many other southern Vermont beekeepers. He was then elected as president of the Windham County Beekeepers (WCB) in February 2019. With Jeff at the helm, WCB hosted the VBA’s summer meeting in Townshend in July. At the same meeting, he gave a presentation on oxalic acid vaporization for varroa mite management. 

Since then, Jeff has taught beekeeping and mead classes and has enthralled kids with beek tales. He has also spearheaded events for WCB, including a booth at the Honey Festival with other club members, mentored newbees, completed an online beekeeping class at Cornell, built an observation hive and countless hive components, and started the journey to become a certified Vermont beekeeper. 

Today in 2020, Jeff continues to run meetings, open hives, and workshops and is having a grand time. He established a WCB club yard with the help of other club members and continues to teach the way of the honey bee and honey bee management. Jeff’s goals for 2021 include expanding the WeisBatty bee yards, helping WCB grow, and becoming a Cornell University Master Beekeeper.

 

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