Vermont Beekeepers Association

Who We Are and What We Do

Vermont Beekeepers AssociationSince 1886 the VBA has promoted the general welfare of Vermont's Honey Industry, while sustaining a friendly body of unity among the state's beekeepers.  

The Vermont Beekeepers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, represents hundreds of beekeepers that raise bees for the love and honey. We’re as diverse as the 246 towns in Vermont, but are unified in our fascination with and affection for bees. Most of us are hobbyists, but there are some “side liners” who try to make a bit of extra income from their 25-200 hives as well as a handful of full-time professionals. Join Today!

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Summer Meeting
The VBA Summer Meeting will be held  July 8, 2017 in Middlebury, VT.  This year's Summer Meeting is graciously being hosted by the Addison County Beekeeping Club. 

Summer Meeting Address:
Middlebury Union High School
73 Charles Avenue
Middlebury, VT 05753

Keynote Presentation
This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. Kirsten Traynor:  Two Million Blossoms: Honey for Your Health
Long before the advent of antibiotics, our ancestors used honey to treat myriad health issues. While doctors have known that honey inhibits bacterial growth since the early 1930s, it was only in the 1970s that its antibacterial nature was revealed to be due to an enzyme bees add during the nectar ripening process. Superbugs continue to evolve resistance to modern antibiotics, making normal wounds difficult to heal. In search for effective alternatives, doctors are rediscovering the benefits of honey.

Dr. Traynor received the prestigious German Chancellor Scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation in 2006-2007, annually awarded to ten American leaders in their field. She and her husband drove over 50,000 miles throughout Western Europe to study the differences between European and American beekeeping, reporting their findings through 50+ published articles in national and international magazines. At the same time she interviewed scientists and medical doctors, gathering information for her book: Two Million Blossoms: Discovering the Medicinal Benefits of Honey

Fascinated with the social complexity of a honey bee hive, Kirsten earned her PhD in biology from Arizona State University. While a grad student, she spent almost a year in Avignon, France in the lab of Dr. Yves Le Conte as a Fulbright Fellow. She currently investigates how pesticides impact honey bee health for the University of Maryland in the lab of Dr. vanEngelsdorp and is the editor of Bee World, published by the International Bee Research Association.  Kirsten was recently announced as the new editor for American Beekeeping Journal.

Continuing with our new format, this year's Summer Meeting will offer a series of afternoon workshops for members to choose from.  The idea behind these workshops, is they will be great hands on learning experiences covering a variety of topics.  The workshops will allow you to choose different topics you would like to learn about and hear from experienced beekeepers, researchers and experts in the field of beekeeping and honeybees. 

Small Scale Queen Rearing - Jack Rath
Jack will be leading a presentation on how to produce quality queens using techniques and methods suitable for small scale queen rearing.  If you  are interested to raise a few queens of your own, you won't want to miss Jack's presentation.

Home Sick: Effects of Migratory Beekeeping on Honey Bee Disease - Samantha Alger
Samantha is a NSF graduate research fellow at the University of Vermont.  She will be presenting the latest results of her research study.  In February 2017, she simulated migratory conditions by trucking North Carolina hives to California for almond pollination, then returning them, where they will reside with a control group of stationary hives. We will test both groups for pathogens and colony strength (brood, weight, pollen stores) before and after the migration. To test for disease spread from the migratory hives to their stationary counterparts, we will test both groups one month later. We will compare disease loads of the exposed stationary hives to an isolated control group of hives.

Halting the Unstoppable Swarm - Dr. Kirsten Traynor
Dr. Traynor will be teaching us that good swarm management is one of the hardest things to learn. Despite a beekeeper’s best efforts, some colonies just insist on getting ready to go. Learn how to stop the unstoppable swarm and turn all that natural energy of the bees into beautiful, new comb.

The Medicine Chest Known as The Bee Hive - Reyah Carlson
Reyah Carlson is an internationally known apitherapist has been keeping bees since age 12, and became interested in apitherapy in... the 1980's. She has conducted workshops for many beekeeping organizations throughout the US and Canada, e.g., The American Beekeeping federation, EAS, American and Alberta/Canadian Honey Producers. Reyah has taught courses to Doctors, patients and caregivers in the US, Belgium, Holland and India. Her expertise has been featured on National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, and most recently her own battle with Chronic Lyme disease and utilizing bee venom to over come the disease on the television program "THE INCURABLES." In her workshop she will talk about medicinal properties of all honeybee produced substances: raw honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, beeswax, and the venom from the sting. She will also demonstrate sting application and technique. 

The Summer Meeting will feature a potluck lunch for those individuals wanting to participate.  To help us organize the food choices and make sure there is enough diversity in the food selection we have broken down the alphabet by the first letter of your last name.

Please see the list below to determine what food category you fall within.  If you have a secret family recipe you are eager to share with everyone, by all means please bring it along.  There will be access to refrigerators for holding cold items and the ovens and outlets for slow cookers or warm items.

First Letter of Your Last Name:
A-I       Salads (vegetable/pasta)
J-R      Main Dish
S-Z      Dessert

Special considerations for everyone:
1.    Due to the increase in food allergies we ask that you bring along a food identification tag stating what the dish is.  This may help individuals with specific allergies to identify what your dish might contain.
2.    If the dish you are making requires a serving implement, we ask that you provide that as well. 
3.    Please label your dishes and serving implements to help avoid any confusion at the end of the day when people are collecting their items.
4.    Historically we have received too many bread items, please keep this in mind when thinking about the favorite dish you are planning to bring.
5.    Although water from drinking fountains will be available please bring your own drinks as there will be limited vending machines available onsite.

**Donations Needed**
In preparation for the VBA Summer Meeting being we are asking for your help.  Each year we hold a silent auction to help support the VBA. We are looking for donations to be included in this year's silent auction.

If you have beekeeping goodies or other items you would like to donate, we would be very grateful for your generosity.  All donors will be recognized during the silent auction for their wonderful contributions.  If you would like to donate an item, please contact VBA President. Michael Willard at or simply bring your goodies along with you the day of the meeting.

Certified Vermont Beekeeper Test
This summer we will offer the written test for the Certified Vermont Beekeeper program, and may be able to offer the in-hive component as well (we're still working out the details on having hives at the meeting).  You can find all of the information that you'll need here:

If you have any questions regarding the certification test, please send them to Bill Mares <> or Ross Conrad <>

We look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting!