Washington State Beekeepers Association
Keeping the Bee in Business
Beekeeper of the Year
Beginning in 1987, The Washington State Beekeepers Association wanted to recognize the importance of Washington State beekeepers who make a significant impact on the industry.
Local Associations may submit a candidate of their choice to receive the WSBA Beekeeper of the Year Award, to be voted on by the WSBA Executive Board prior to the annual meeting.
The beekeeper of the year must have significantly promoted and demonstrated good beekeeping, improved the public image of the industry and volunteered in civic and other projects. The candidate must be a current member of the Washington State Beekeepers Association.
To nominate a beekeeper, write a one-page summary outlining the candidate’s qualifications as outlined above.
Current Beekeeper of the Year: Ellen Miller
Ellen’s nominators wrote (in part):
Being a former reference librarian, Ellen channels her love for fact-finding, interacting with the public, and wealth of personal experience to help her fellow beekeepers in their pursuits. It is rare to find her without her phone within arm’s reach to field calls from former students, neighbors, bee enthusiasts, and published researchers. She patiently listens to the situation and asks the beekeeper to describe what they see to the best of their ability before recommending a course of action, and will travel hours to help catch swarms, and redistribute hives and resources to those in need.
Ellen began backyard beekeeping in 1979 and has researched most aspects of the process to determine best practices for people living in the West Plains region; which she has in turn eagerly shared with The West Plains Beekeeper Club while holding respected positions.
Being very people-oriented, Ellen excels in the public arena, and delights in creating new avenues for teaching/learning to spark interest in all age groups. She has set up interactive booth displays in neighborhood farmers markets, and has partnered with a collection of state and regional organizations including: WASBA, Inland Empire Beekeepers, EWU, WSU, Airway Heights Correctional Facility, Project Hope, and Girl Scouts of America.
Each year seems to present new and different challenges for honeybees and those who strive to help them maintain our delicate symbiotic relationship. Ellen is a champion for all pollinators in hopes that we can maintain a bountiful and prosperous future. She is a dogged researcher, vibrant teacher, and opportunistic collaborator, who deserves recognition for her good works.