I’m asked many times, “Why should I or my club join WASBA?” The answer to me seems very obvious, but I don’t think that we have done as good a job as we could have in disseminating exactly what we do. I think most people are aware of our work in education, but just to reiterate, WASBA (VP Ellen Miller and the Education Committee) has developed state of the science courses for Beginning, Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master level beekeepers. In fact, last year WASBA issued 662 certificates including 13 journeyman and 2 master level certificates. The 662 certificates issued last year accounts for 10% of the total certificates that have been issued by WASBA over the past 30 years and the 2 master certificates brings us up to 6 Master Beekeepers in WASBA. Finally, our education materials are now used in WA, ID, OR, CA, and NM. Quite a statement about how great of job the committee did on putting all of this together!
On the Legislative side, Tim Hiatt and the Legislative committee ushered through the WA State Legislature the “Beekeepers Bill of Rights”. Tim worked hard getting this through the legislature to get it signed by the governor. This legislation, protects all beekeepers in WA State from frivolous lawsuits if someone accidentally gets stung by a honeybee. Kudos to Tim and the committee.
Jennifer Short and Tammy Clark, both WASBA BOD members, have been working on putting together a “WASBA Speakers Bureau”. As all of you know, it’s really difficult for local clubs to get new speakers to come to their meetings to present. All of us are tired of, but grateful to, our members who end up giving the education portions of our club meetings month after month. Some new speakers would be greatly welcomed. To this end, the committee has put together a list of about 30 good speakers who will be willing to give presentations at your club. These speakers may be able to attend in person, but if not, will be able to provide interactive presentations over the web. The list is available to affiliate clubs by email Jenifer@wasba.org. Next step is to make sure that all of our affiliate clubs have access to the technology that will allow them to receive web based programs.
Speaking of the website, Jenifer Priest, our Executive Director, and Ellen Miller, our VP have been spearheading the remake of our website. The new website should be up and running by the time that you see this newsletter
As I’m sure most of you know, WSU received funding for and purchased a new bee research facility in Othello, WA. While they received funding to purchase the facility, they did not receive funding for the capital equipment that they need to enhance their already outstanding research. That is where WASBA comes in. Over the past couple of years, we have run successful conferences, have had a huge increase in the number of students taught, and a large increase in the number of individual and club members. This success has led to a surplus in funds in our WASBA general account, and the WASBA Board voted unanimously at our meeting on February 1st to provide the WSU bee research facility a grant in the amount of $30,000 to be used for the purchase of capital equipment. We also have an outstanding graduate student grant in an amount of up to $3,000 for bee research.
Our conference this year will be held on Oct 3-4 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. This conference will be a fund raiser for the new WSU Bee Lab and will be held jointly with WSU. The BOD also unanimously approved donating all funds from this conference, in excess of expenses, to the WSU Bee Lab. We have a great lineup for this conference, including Randy Oliver as our keynote speaker, and out of state speakers, Ramesh Sagili, Andoni Melathopoulous, Alison McAfee, Zach Lamas, and Dewee Caren, along with many of the best presenters from our own state. After the close of the conference Sunday, we’ll be leading a field trip to the WSU bee research lab in Othello, WA (~1 hour drive) for anyone who would like a tour of the new facility. Keep posted for additional information on the conference.
This is just a short list of all of the things WASBA has accomplished over the past year,so, when people ask me , “Why join WASBA?”, I usually respond with “How much Time to you have?”