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Washington State Beekeepers Association

Keeping the Bee in Business

Ramblings From the President – June 2020

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The WASBA conference is still planned for the weekend of Oct 3-4 this year.  Our plan is to hold the conference at CWU IF CWU is open and gatherings of our expected size (~400) are allowed by the state.  If either of those does not happen, then we plan to hold the conference virtually.  We don’t expect you to sit in front of your monitors for 8 hours a day so we are planning on holding the virtual conference, if necessary, over an 8 day period starting on Oct 3rd.  We plan to hold 3 talks each weekend day and 2 talks each weekday evening.  We have a great lineup of speakers and they are ready to provide some marvelous presentations no matter what direction we go.  If we do hold the conference in person and you are not comfortable attending, we are working on a way that you will be able to view the speakers and interact without actually being present.  Can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to get this set up, but we’re working on it.

As you may have heard, WASBA donated $30,000 to the new WSU bee research facility in Othello, WA and we are also donating all the profits from our WASBA conference this year as well.  We’ve raised an additional $3000 from the Powers Whiskey campaign and hope to raise another $10,000 through the WASBA auction at the conference.  If all goes well, we would like to continue using the WASBA conference as a fund raiser for the WSU Bee Research Facility.  Working in partnership with WSU, I think that we can all make this the leading bee research facility in the world.

“Murder Hornets” have been all over the news as of late.  Can’t tell you how many photos I’ve received showing me the AGH that someone has found.  When I tell them it’s just a yellow jacket, paper wasp, or bald faced hornet, many of them don’t/won’t believe me.  I’m also really tired of getting calls from the media telling me how horrible the “Murder Hornets” are and what a devastation they will be to honey bees and what a threat they are to humans.  This shows just how some sensationalism can really send things off the rails.  I’ve been telling the media that 1) they are NOT “Murder Hornets”, they are the Asian Giant Hornet, 2) only a few have been found in northwest Washington and neighboring Canada, 3) they do NOT intentionally try to kill humans, 4) they are a potential agricultural pest, and 5) the WSDA and USDA are currently monitoring the situation, have placed numerous traps and will keep beekeepers and growers up to date on the situation.  Hopefully the WSDA and USDA will be able to eradicate them over the next couple of years before they become established.

As many of you know, WASBA has set up a Zoom account that any of our member clubs can use for their club and officer meetings.  Since we only have the one zoom account, it’s important to get your reservation in as soon as possible.  If you would like to use the service, please contact Jenifer Priest and she’ll find a slot that you can use.

Finally, the WASBA grants committee has been working hard on several grants that have been submitted.  The grants committee recommended, and the full Board approved funding a WSU grant request entitled “Influence of increased CO2 on the virus levels during the indoor storage of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies”.  We also have a couple of additional grant requests, one from a WASBA associate club on generation of PNW acclimated queens and another related to honey bee semen cryopreservation from WSU.  Both of these look promising as well.

Cheers,
Kevin