Keeping the Bee in Business

Ramblings From the President – August 2021

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Fellow beekeepers – although we have seen some uptick in COVID-19 cases, we are returning to many of our normal activities. One of those activities is the gathering together of like-minded beekeepers at the many local affiliate clubs. Although WASBA provides educational tools for Washington State beekeepers, it would not be able to deliver them without the help of the many local clubs in our state. We are glad that at last we can gather in person to share our beekeeping stories and to help educate up-and-coming beekeepers. New beekeepers need more experienced beekeepers as mentors and guides – educating new beekeepers about varroa, bee genetics, the bee gut microbiome and other topics helps promote healthy beekeeping practices and protects the viability of beekeeping in our State.  

My club, the West Plains Beekeepers Association, recently returned to in-person meetings. Our officers have figured out how to offer a Zoom option for our meetings, which gives those who do not want to meet in person a say in our activities. Hybrid meetings and educational opportunities may be the wave of the future, but I think that most people do want some in-person component to their learning experience. In beekeeping, hands-on education is everything. So, let’s keep everyone safe, but let’s also start thinking about returning to in-person activities.

That said, registration for this fall’s in-person WASBA Conference (there will also be an online option) – the “Jambobee” – is now open here. This year’s conference will be held at the WSU Pollinator Research facility in Othello, Washington. Because the location is a bit remote, we are offering beekeepers the chance to stay on site in their RVs or tents (dry camping; no hookups).  There are about 40 RV spots and at least that many tent spots but book early as we expect them to go fast!  We have an incredible lineup of speakers this year from around the US, and like always, there will be a track dedicated toward hobbyist beekeepers and one focusing more on the science of bees.  Additionally, there will be plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with other beekeepers. On Saturday evening from 5:15-10PM, we will offer a mead tasting and at 6:30pm a dinner! Hierophant Meadery has supplied us with several cases of their finest product including a hopped mead, a peach mead, a raspberry mead, and a WASBA mead that was made from honey graciously donated by our board member, Tim Hiatt.  In addition to purchasing mead by the glass, you can purchase bottles of your favorite to take home with you. At 8PM we’ll start our live auction and there will be plenty of items for you to bid on.  Remember, all of the profits from the conference will be donated to the WSU bee research facility. You can find more information about the conference, the speaker lineup and camping options by visiting the Conference Info page on our website.  I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Learn More

For more conference details for attendees as well as potential vendors & sponsors, please visit our Conference Information page.