The end of the year is finally upon us. As years go this was a wild one for records. The weather was some of the most unsettled that we have seen in many years. One of the earliest springs, driest late summer, wettest early fall, and one of the driest Decembers to date.
Another record goes to the Education Committee as by the middle of this year, over 3,000 beekeepers have received certificates of completion from the Master Beekeeper program. Enrollment in the Journeymen program is also at an all time high and several beekeepers are working on their Master Beekeeper certification. Other new challenges for the Education team are that we now have our Master Beekeepers program being taught in California, new programs starting in Montana and New Mexico, and are in talks with Puerto Rico to help support a program there.
Thanks to Bob Combs for taking on the great responsibility of chairing the Education Committee as of December 1, 2013. I also want to thank Louis Matej for his many years at the helm. His work is well known and he will remain as a committee member.
We have made good forward progress in Olympia this year. We got some good laws through and still have work to do this spring. We now have a Legislative Chair in Tim Hiatt, who will be heading up the crafting of legislation in the coming year.
He will also be working with a team of beekeepers and the Washington State Department of Agriculture on beekeeping issues within the state. Franclyn Heinecke is on the committee as well.
I hope that you will take a look at our new web site from time to time, to keep up on all that is going on state-wide. My thanks to Paul Lundy for not only putting in the time to get the new site up and running, but to keep it current. I get reports on the numbers of people who access the site, and they are huge. We get hits from across the country weekly, and many other countries as well. Feel free to send your calendar announcements to be posted. Keep your eye on the web site for our online store to open soon.
My thanks to all of you for your support this year. As I have been elected for one more year, I am looking to get more things in place.
I hope that the members feel a better connection to the state association and know that we are here working for you – the beekeepers – and the bees.
Sincerely Mark Emrich,
President, Washington State Beekeepers Association