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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2017 Summer Meeting Agenda - July 8th, 2017

Middlebury Union High School 73 Charles Avenue, Middlebury, VT 05753


8:45am            Setup, Registration
9:10am            Welcome - President Michael Willard
9:20am            Bee Inspector's Report, David Tremblay, VT Agency of Agriculture

  • Apiary Statistics report

9:35am            Presentation of Vermont Beekeeper of the Year Award

9:50am            Business Meeting

  • Membership Report – Brennan Martin
  • Secretary’s Report – Steve Silverman
  • Treasurer’s Report – Donna Pollard
  • Librarian’s Report – Marilyn Post
  • Apiary Committee Report – Bill Mares and Jeffrey Hamelman/Bill Taft
  • Fair Committee – Bill Mares (Tunbridge World’s Fair)
  • VBA Board of Director Nominations - Positions: President / Vice President / Membership Secretary

10:20am          UVM Bee Lab - UVM researchers are working to begin a Pollinator Protection and Outreach Program housed at the University of Vermont: Samantha Alger

10:30am          Certification Committee – Presentation of Certificates Bill Mares/Ross Conrad

10:45am          Key Note Presentation

  • Two Million Blossoms: Honey for Your Health:

12:00pm         Pot Luck Lunch (Hive Inspections outside w/ David Tremblay)
1:00pm           Workshops:  Session 1

                        Track A:          Small Scale Queen Rearing:  Jack Rath

                        Tack B:           Home Sick: Effects of Migratory Beekeeping on Honey Bee Disease: Samantha Alger and Alex Burnham

2:15pm           Workshops:  Session 2

                         Track A:          Halting the Unstoppable Swarm:  Dr. Kirsten Traynor

                        Track B:          The Medicine Chest Known as The Bee Hive: Reyah Carlson

3:30pm           Announce Winners of Silent Auction

3:50pm           Adjourn meeting

4:00pm           Certification testing and grading – Bill Mares and Ross Conrad

Keynote Presentation
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.

Workshops – Session 1 (1:00pm-2:00pm)
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 & Alex Burnham
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.

Workshops – Session 2  (2:15pm-3:15pm)

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 overcome 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.