Dear Fellow Members,
A great deal has been happening in beekeeping in the past few months. It has been brought to my attention that I am short-changing the membership and that you should know more about what is going on behind the scenes in the week by week operations at the state level
I guess that I assumed you all must know that we are working hard on supporting beekeeping both in Washington, and in the country.
One of the issues in supporting beekeeping solely in the state is that to only consider the state as an island is a short-sighted view. Sadly, there are decisions that are being made outside of the state that impact the health of bees, and beekeepers in the state.
In the short run, I have been speaking to many groups – senators in Olympia, Nisqually River Council, and a local pesticide application group. I attended the Nation Pesticide Forum in Portland and recently traveled to South Bend, WA to give testimony on the use of neonics on the shellfish beds.
I am good for an hour of e-mail replies a night, and about six phone calls a week on this type of activity, including responding to other states that want to know what we are doing in Washington, and how they can make it work in their state. There are reports to the Honey Board and I have been working behind the scenes with a “big box store” that is trying to find alternatives in not only the plants that they sell, but the pesticides they carry.
And that is just me.
Bob Combs, Charles Bennett and the rest of the education team are working hard to give all a better beekeeping education. Charles has also been writing articles that have been published in national beekeeping periodicals. Paul Lundy keeps the web site running smoothly. His work shows in the large number of ‘hits’ that are generated each week. In March this year we had 8,338 visits – that is up 28% from the year before!
Fran Bach composes the Newsletter, and makes it look easy. It’s not. She finds articles from all points of view, and always gives a well balanced picture of beekeeping. Brian Johnson is keeping the books,and keeping up on all the bills and dues. His job as treasurer involves a great deal more but I will leave it at that.
Susanne Weil is keeping our notes in order and our files up to date. Tim Hiatt, and Franclyn Heineke sit on the state board for honey bee support in Washington.
There are many more people working on committees that don’t get their names put forth here. The rest of the board, the area reps, our great instructors that give freely of their time, people that run special projects like the Washington State Honey Queen program – all of these people named or not make this Association work.
I would love to hear from any others that can donate their time to a great cause. Join a committee, offer a service.
Thanks each one of you for all you do, and for those who may know some of the people above, thank them next time you see them. I do a little, but they do a lot.
Thank you for allowing me to be your President.
Sincerely, Mark Emrich