Since 1886 the VBA has promoted the general welfare of Vermont's Honey Industry, while sustaining a friendly body of unity among the state's beekeepers.
  1. Beekeeper Basics at CVU

    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. Visit the CVUHS website and search for Beekeeping!

    Instructor:  Vermont Beekeepers Association's Bill Mares & Kate Blofson   Fee: $45  Limit:  30

  2. Announcing the 2019 Honey Contest

    2019 Vermont Beekeepers Association Honey Show Rules & Judging Criteria have been posted. A reminder, the contest is open to current VBA members.
  3. 2019 VBA Winter Meeting Agenda

    Agenda for VBA Winter Meeting

    January 29, 2019

    Location: Essex Junction Fairgrounds - Blue Ribbon Pavilion
    Miller North Conference Rooms A & B

    Agenda for VBA Winter Meeting

    January 29, 2019

    Location: Essex Junction Fairgrounds - Blue Ribbon Pavilion
    Miller North Conference Rooms A & B

    8:30 AM Setup, Registration

    9:00 AM Welcome

    9:15 AM Honey Contest winners - Ron Bartemy

    9:30AM Bee inspector’s Report, David Trembley, VT Agency of Agriculture

    10:00 Keynote Presentation - Kristen Wolf, Champlain College and Germán Perilla, George Mason University Project Beetopia: A Cooperative Effort to Train Beekeepers in the Peruvian Amazon

    11:15 AM Business Meeting

    Membership Report – Scott Wilson

    Secretary’s Report – Fred Putnam, Jr

    Treasurer’s Report – Richard Roy

    Certification Committee –Ross Conrad

    Librarian’s Report – Marilyn Post

    Apiary Committee and Workshop Report – Bill Mares and Jeffrey Hamelman

    Fair Committee – Bill Mares

    Mentor Committee and Planning Committee Reports - Scott Wilson

    Grant Committee Report - Kim Greenwood

    12:30 Lunch On your own

    1:30 PM Workshops: Session 1

    Track A: Kristen Wolf and German Perilla The Biology of the Stingless Bees

    Track B: Injury Prevention in Commercial and Backyard Beekeeping Operations: Basic Ergonomics for Beekeepers, Fred Putnam, Jr Because this is a hands on class attendance is limited to 20 participants. Signup is at registration

    2:30 PM Workshops Session 2

    Track A:  Beginning Beekeeping Topics

    Track B:  Communications: Making the VBA more Relevant through Better Communications - Greg Smela

    3:30 Beekeeper of the Year Award

    4:00 VBA Adjourn

    Summer Meeting July 13, 2018

    Leland and Gray High School, 2042 VT Route 30, Townshend, VT 05353

    Information about the speakers

    Kristen Wolf

    Kristin Wolf is an associate professor at Champlain College, where she teaches a variety of environmentally- and globally-themed, interdisciplinary courses. Her research interests are in water issues, educational apiculture, and community-driven global development. Kristin is also the founder and director of the Champlain College Apiary, a living laboratory that facilitates experiential learning opportunities on campus, as well as public programming initiatives between the college and wider Burlington community. In the summers, she travels with students to Peru to collaborate with rainforest communities on sustainable beekeeping initiatives.

    Germán Perilla

    Germán Perilla received his Masters in Sustainable Development from George Mason University in 2012. A great portion of his career has been in Colombia where he has worked extensively with indigenous communities using honey bees to enhance sustainability and economic self-sufficiency. A founding member of an open association of beekeepers, ASOAPICUN, Germán’s reputation earned him an appointment by the Colombian Presidency to work as a consultant and training facilitator to the United Nations' Office for Displaced Persons of Violence where he taught apiculture and business skills to refugees. At the invitation of the Israeli government, Germán became a member of a select multi-national group of university-educated apiarists representing all continents (except Antarctica), to facilitate the exchange of beekeeping experience from beekeepers around the world, and to promote apiculture as a profitable enterprise. At Mason, Germán directs the Honey Bee Initiative, teaches beekeeping classes in the College of Science, conducts bee research, and spearheads HBI global entrepreneurship outreach

    Educational apiculture has customarily been carried out through the state and federal tradition of the agricultural extension. As we explore new integrative methods for teaching the science and management of beekeeping to students and local communities through higher education, a meaningful connection can be made to the realm of international sustainable development work, where beekeeping has provided supplemental income, food security, and medicinal bee-products for many decades. In an attempt to merge the efforts of local outreach with sustainable development abroad, Project Beetopia combines beekeeping research, education, and service to promote individual and community empowerment, entrepreneurship, and economic self-sufficiency, while preserving natural and cultural resources. Co-founded by German Perilla, faculty member and director of George Mason University’s Honey Bee Initiative, and Kristin Wolf, faculty member and director of the Champlain College Apiary, Project Beetopia trains beekeepers in the Peruvian Amazon and works with rainforest communities to sustainably manage endemic, stingless bees as a source of medicinal and marketable bee products. Since 2015, the project has organized an annual student trip to Peru, where we share beekeeping skills and knowledge and coordinate other community-driven initiatives that members identify. These beekeeping projects, both at home and abroad, offer an invaluable lesson about the connection between bees, humans, and the landscape for our graduate and undergraduate students, and the successes of these community-driven development endeavors showcase the resourceful and innovative spirit of the communities in which they are housed.

    Fred Putnam, Jr

    This is a 100% hands-on session. It will cover basic body mechanics for preventing Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) and inflammations (especially spine/back and shoulders.) It will cover adjustments for pushing, pulling, reaching high, lifting, and rotating (called the Ergonomics Magic Space) that can reduce the likelihood of suffering RSIs. It will also cover modifications for managing hives and for storing materials to prevent such injuries.

    If you have suffered joint, spine, or repetitive strain injuries, this session is for you. And it is especially for you if you have not yet suffered these types of injuries.

    Greg Smela

    How can VBA effectively communicate it's message while supporting the organization's membership? We'll discuss the VBA website, social media presence, and the newly formed VBA Communications Committee's draft plan addressing these questions along with the proper use of things like press releases, logos and other marketing materials. Member feedback and  participation is a must!


  4. Photos Requested

    For our book on Vermont beekeeping history, we are looking for any digital photos of hive damage from Hurricane Irene.

    If you have any, please send to:


    Bill Mares and Ross Conrad

  5. Vermont Farm Show - Call for Volunteers

    VBA Booth at Vermont Farm Show Jan 29th to 31th 2019

    Call for Volunteers

    Once again the Vermont Beekeepers Association is hosting a booth at the farm show. This booth was ably managed by David Prior until his untimely death. We are seeking someone to take the torch and manage the booth this year. The individual would set up the exhibit and coordinate staffing of the booth for the 3 days of the farm show. It is a great opportunity to meet the public and to introduce people to the fascinating world of honeybees.

    This is an ideal opportunity for a beekeeping club to do community outreach and share their enthusiasm for beekeeping. Please contact Jack Rath for all the details at