It has been a good two years serving as your President. We’ve got a lot done and it is because of you. Both Jim Bach, your Secretary, and Paul Hosticka, your Treasurer, hold everything together and never get enough thanks for a job well done. Paul & Jim, you are the best. Our past VP, Eric Olson, has done such a fantastic job working with WSU on large beekeeping research projects, getting more funding for the beekeeping lab, and spearheading legislative efforts that have lead to real and positive changes for beekeepers. Thanks Eric! As a new WSBA executive takes office, think about some of the things your all-volunteer State Association does for you:
Educating beekeepers and the public
I’m especially pleased with the Master Beekeeper program. Louis Matej has done an outstanding job promoting the education of beekeepers and the public. It is heartening to hear of other states requesting information to start programs for their beekeepers. The Master Beekeeper continues to enroll record numbers of students for the Apprentice Program. In 2012, 460 Apprentice level students were certified and 7 Journeyman. We have encouraged other states to develop standard beekeeping education programs, and recently Oregon has embarked on a well-run system supported in part by OSU. In the past three years we have educated more than 1,200 beekeepers using consistent, good beekeeping practices.
We give back to make direct and positive impacts on beekeeping. It is incredibly important to support the knowledge of beekeeping and animal sciences in support of beekeeping. WSU is a stellar example of applied research that continues to benefit us all. Please donate to the scholarship funds. We are committed to supporting WSU Honey bee programs– over $23,000 has gone to WSU in the last 5 years.
Local Association grants founded in 2010
These grants are funded directly by your membership in the State Association. Become a member of the Washington State Beekeeping Association to create an ever-larger pool of funds to give back to local programs. In 2010, $1,000 went to the Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association queen rearing program. In 2011, $800 went to the Stanwood-Camano Island Beekeepers for library and educational materials, and in 2012 to the American Home Brewers Association National Homebrewers Conference where several beekeepers donated honey for this year’s Commemorative Brew — Washington Grange Farmhouse Ale (apples, and honey, with a touch of mint) produced by the Elysian Brewing Company. It is good to see we are supporting the local associations with grants that help improve the ability of each local organization to make beekeeping and information about honey bees available to more people. Your membership dues support this program, so remember to renew so we can keep offering these opportunities.