2011 EAS Program Notes

2011 EAS Program Notes

A rock solid educational program is scheduled for EAS this summer. Take a look at both the Short Course (level one and level two), and then the Conference speakers and topics. We have an eclectic collection of speakers addressing a variety of topics, and all are focused on the theme of this year’s overall goal of providing practical, useful, safe and sane information for beekeepers everywhere who want to know more about Practical Beekeeping.

Our Short Course this year looks at two levels of experience. Level One, taught by EAS Master Beekeepers focuses on those beekeepers who want to grow their beekeeping experience and knowledge. The course begins with the present…It’s July, and what happens for the next 12 months. It’s a great experience for the first year beekeeper who doesn’t know what to expect, and it’s a perfect review for those who have been through it a couple of times, but it’s been more guess and by golly than actually knowing what to do, and more importantly, why they are doing what they’ve been told to do.

The Level Two Short Course is aimed at helping beekeepers that want to grow their business, start a business, or simply want to know more about the business side of the craft. Kim Flottum, author and Editor of Bee Culture magazine leads off the program with an introduction to the topic, taken from his new book Better Beekeeping. He’s followed by Dan Conlon, a well known New England honey producer, bee supply business, commercial pollinator and EAS Director, with a couple of spot on topics on controlling costs and keeping what you earn, and as successful as he’s been, he should know.

But we bring in the BIG GUNS right away, too. The IRS…the Feds who know what’s what about taxes…will have both general and specific information on how to deal with that aspect of your business so you don’t suddenly find yourself in hot water. And to help, the Rhode Island Secretary Of State’s Office is bringing in their New Business Team that specializes in just this sort of thing….called WeMeanBusiness, they will give a presentation on Tuesday morning, then hold one:on:one sessions that afternoon if you have specific questions…they know a lot more than just Rhode Island business, so if you want solid advice, for free, check out WeMeanBusiness.

Jennifer Berry, Research Coordinator at the Univ. Of GA, and a Queen and Nuc producer has a session on selling nucs, something she’s been very successful at, and a side of the beekeeping business that’s exploding right now. Then Cindy Bee has a couple of sessions on the business of honey bee removal (plus she’s one of our on-site authors this year who will be doing a book signing later in the week). Kent Williams, past EAS President and Commercial beekeeper, keeps bees in two states and makes it work, and he’ll share how it works, and what you’ll need to do to get it started.

Jim Tew and Jennifer Berry are teaming up to do a multi-session course on the business of queens…Producing, pricing, selling and delivery. This, too is a side of beekeeping that’s exploding as several states get involved with producing their own Local Queens (see Dan O’Hanlon’s talk later in the week for more of this). Producing and selecting is one thing, but getting them into cages, mailing and dealing with troubles later is another, and one too often overlooked until it’s too late. Check this out if you want to avoid a multitude of problems. Just this session alone is worth the trip to Rhode Island, and every beekeeper who even thinks of selling a queen next season should pay attention, and every state group that’s just getting started, or wants to start, or has started and has run into problems (or been lucky and avoided them) should be paying attention to this part of the course. Jim has been spearheading a course similar to this in Ohio this year, and Jennifer is a seasoned commercial queen and nuc producer, so between them they have all the bases covered.

Christi Heintz from the California Almond Board and Project Apis-m, and a bit later Everett Zurlindin (EAS 2011 President), and David Mendes from Florida, will talk about Pollination, the best practices side from Christi, and some new wrinkles from Everett for those of us without a 1000 colonies, but want a piece of the action…he’s made it work for his part of New England, and maybe you can too. Mike Palmer, Program Co-Chair for EAS 2012 in Vermont is a very successful commercial beekeeper, and does an outstanding job of producing comb honey. He’ll share how, and how to sell, comb honey for those who don’t but should, then later in the week he’ll talk about wintering in Vermont…successfully.

Monday and Tuesday afternoons are special this year for the Short Course, both level one and two. As usual, we’ll have a beeyard near the hotel and this year we’ll have Bee Wranglers Ken Worchal and Jeff McGuire from Rhode Island and some of their local beekeepers, and Don Hopkins, Jennifer Keller and Will Hicks (EAS President in 2010), from North Carolina, plus a few EAS Master Beekeepers outside in the bees ready to go at stations already set up. These will be mostly for the beginner’s classes, but those colonies from the Queen Business lecture will be there, and others demonstrating different management techniques, explaining some of the topics discussed during the day, and some just so a beginner can get the help of an experienced hand when examining a colony. One:on:one mentoring doesn’t get any better than at EAS. Plus, this whole beeyard program is open to anybody locally who wants to attend from near or far. Lots of beekeepers can’t make it to the regular course, but a late afternoon class, outside with the bees…and best of all free…is what EAS is all about. Come on down and enjoy the bees, meet the beekeepers and have a good time.

Wednesday is our now-traditional overlap day, where those who are in the Short Course are just finishing up, and those who came for the Conference are just getting started. It’s the best day there is because there are so many people there…our 30+ vendors keep jumping for joy, and all the speakers are still there so everybody gets to see everybody, and there’s two sessions going on at once and it’s hard just to slow down and take a breath. If you can only make one day this year, make it Wednesday, for sure.

Randy Oliver, regular contributor to The American Bee Journal, his web page www.scientificbeekeeping.com, and commercial beekeeper in California leads the program off, and over the next several days shares several more talks covering a host of issues, problems, solutions and how-to’s that will enlighten us all. Randy is followed by Dave Mendes, Commercial beekeeper from Florida and Massachusetts and President of The American Beekeeping Federation; Marina Marchese, author on varietal honey, Mike Palmer on wintering, Diana Sammataro, USDA researcher from Tucson, on what’s turning out to be a very critical topic, honey bee microbes. Then Jeremy Wagnitz, a USDA researcher from Baton Rouge looks at Russian bees and honey bee health, plus updates us on the research on migratory operations and Russian bees he’s involved with, plus he’ll perform a special event outside (weather permitting)…see about this below. Dr. Jeff Pettis will be here too, talking about his project on honey bee health. Dan O’Hanlon, from the West Virginia Beekeeper’s Queen Project will fill us in on how their statewide queen rearing project is going, and how you might want to follow that lead (so see the Tew/Berry demos in the Short Course), and Dave Tarpy will be there too, with his take on honey bee genetics and how beekeepers can use that information.

We’ll also have a couple of speakers not normally heard at EAS. Jessica Lawrence, from Eurofins, an independent research company that works closely with a variety of agrichemical development companies, will discuss techniques used by her company to make sure their research meets the demands of EPA and others for safety and good lab practices. Then, Bayer Agrichemical will be represented by one of their researchers…Dick Rogers…talking on the discovery methods used to find and design pesticides. All of these, of course impact honey bees, and we need to know how and why and how come about all of this. Both companies will have space in the vendor area and be available to demonstrate and explain more of what they do during the week. Don’t miss these informative sessions.

There’s more, certainly. Take a look at the program and take it all in. We’ve put together a group of people and a slate of topics to appeal to every beekeeper….from brand new beginner to seasoned pro. You’ll find it here in Providence Rhode Island, the Home of EAS.

Pollen Identification Microscopy Sessions

We are privileged to have Dr. Paul Arnold with us this year. Dr. Arnold is from Young Harris College, in Young Harris, Georgia (where EAS was in 2006), and among other skills, specializes in pollen preparation and identification. This skill is becoming critical for beekeepers who want to produce varietal honey for one thing, and for any beekeeper who is interested in where are my bees going and what are they eating.

There will be two sessions lasting four hours each, one on Thursday and one on Friday afternoons. Similar to what we did in New York, microscopes will be on loan from The Microscope Store, and then available at their vendor booth for sale later. Attendance at each session is limited to 12 people. You will learn to prepare samples to preserve and for identification, and do some identification exercises.

There is a fee of $100/ person for this special event.  And preregistration is absolutely required. Your registration form must be received by July 18 to get into this workshop.  But, of course, with only 24 slots available, not everybody will be able to get in, so here’s how it will work.

If you wish to sign up for either of the sessions, please check the appropriate box on the Registration form. Your name then will go in the hat. After registration is closed, we will draw 24 names, and several ‘waiting list’ names and notify those people that they have been chosen. The first 12 names attend Thursday, then next 12 on Friday. Then, when they arrive they will pay at the registration desk. Not before, and not after. If one of those chosen can not attend, or doesn’t make it to EAS, or can’t pay when they arrive, the next names on the “Waiting List” will be able to attend, providing of course they are there and can pay. It’s a lottery, pure and simple. As long as you get your registration in on time, check the box, attend the meeting, and are prepared to pay when you arrive you will be able to attend the class. If you produce varietal honey, or plan to do so, this is a must-have skill. Sign up today.

Author! Author!

EAS is lucky this year to have attending several authors who have recently published books on the beekeeping trade. These authors will be available on a schedule to meet and greet and if so inclined, sign copies of their books you have purchased from any of the many vendors that will be there, or your own copy you bring with you.

Authors include Dr. Diana Sammataro  and Al Avitabile, The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition; Marina Marchese, HONEYBEE Lesons from an The Accidental Beekeeper; Cindy Bee, Removing Bees; Kim Flottum, Better Beekeeping;  Loree Griffen Burns, The Hive Detectives; and Bill Turnbull (UK’s best known TV Morning Show Host, and beekeeper), The Bad Beekeeper’s Club (Bill is also our Banquet speaker…a program you DO NOT want to miss!). Also from the UK, Claire Waring, editor of Bee Craft, along with her husband Adrian, Haynes Bee Manual. Showing up too will be John Miller, Commercial beekeeper from North Dakota and California, producer of Honey Stinger, a popular health and energy bar product, and the subject of Beekeeper’s Lament, by Hanna Nordhaus to share his side of that story.

So if you already have any of these great books, or are thinking of picking one up, come around to the signing table on Thursday or Friday and have your copy signed by the author, and stop and chat…we’re all beekeepers, and we all have a story to tell. Some are funny, some are unique, some are great how-to, some are fascinating, and some are entirely new. Get your signed copy today…only at EAS 2011.

beecrossThe Bee Cross - Not since the days of Roger Morse has EAS seen a purely entertaining Bee Cross demonstration. Entertaining, instructional and just a great show to watch, Jeremy Wagnitz, from the Baton Rouge Lab will twice perform this fantastic piece of biological magic. He learned the tricks of this demonstration from Chip Taylor, his major professor at Kansas, but his presentation skills are a natural, and you’ll be both entertained and educated. Of course weather permitting, we’ll do this on both Thursday and Friday so you won’t have to miss it, and maybe get to see it twice. Check out the schedule and don’t miss this fantastic Bee Cross Demo.

Jeremy Wagnitz setting up the bee cross. Notice the queen cage…in a few short minutes, all of those bees will be hanging from his hand…See this LIVE at EAS 2011 This summer at Rhode Island.