The American Beekeeper Federation National Conference was held in conjunction with the American Bee Research Conference this January in Hershey Pennsylvania. These two events brought beekeepers and bee researchers from all over the world under one roof to share the latest findings in honey bee health, the state of pollinators, and progress toward projects aimed at helping pollinators.
Varroa mites and the viruses vectored by the mites remain the number one threat to honey bee health, followed by nutrition and pesticides in the environment. Jody Gerdts introduced beekeepers and researchers to the Bee Squad as a new approach to extension work that is proving quite successful. Funding is short everywhere demanding that new programs be self supporting and modeled after a traditional business philosophy.
The idea of bringing research and sound mentorship to beekeepers in a timely fashion and gaining insight into trends in small scale operations drew much attention. Be on the lookout for other Bee Squad programs popping up around the country in the next few years.
Pictured here from left to right
Dr. Yves Le Conte-Directeur de la recherche Domaine St Paul Avignon, France
Elizabeth Frost- Bee Informed Partnership Chico California
Dr. Keith Delaplaine-Professor and Program Director University of Georgia
Jody Gerdts-Bee Squad Coordinator and technician University of Minnesota