Online registration coming soon!
Our upcoming conference is set for Friday–Sunday, August 3–5, when we will
convene at the eclectic and unique Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) in Boise, Idaho. JUMP
offers something for everyone, with a first-class conference room sporting floor-to-ceiling
windows overlooking the Boise skyline and “state-of-the-art projection and sound systems,” plus
a spacious deck allowing the placement of hives right outside our conference room. Still under
construction is a five-story slide from the top of the JUMP building to the ground floor. That
ought to prove entertaining. Another unique offering to be found at JUMP is the late JR
Simplot’s antique collection of 50 vintage steam engines and tractors. (Free tours are available!)
As announced in the February 2018 WAS Journal, Jennifer Berry and Randy Oliver will lead
off the weekend events—you want to be sure to catch these two. Dr. Dewey Caron will be
sharing his wealth of knowledge with a presentation on “Varroa, Forage, Pesticides: Honey
Bee Health Coalition Resources for WAS.” Following Dewey, we’ll have the “Two Jerrys of
Beekeeping” (Jerry Hayes and Jerry Bromenshenk), who will update us on Bayer/Monsanto’s
current efforts to improve beekeeping (Jerry H) and provide a personal perspective addressing
how much beekeeping has changed and is expected to continue to change over the
foreseeable future (Jerry B). Closing out our regular Friday session, Jennifer and Marc von
Heune will provide a perspective on “Beekeeping Behind Bars.”
Friday evening, Sarah Red-Laird, the Bee Girl (who recently finished a feature stint at the
Ashland Independent Film Festival), is planning another of her Next Gen sessions under the
moniker of “The Future of Beekeeping is Ours!” Word has it that within 90 minutes of convening,
the group is anticipated to embark on a Pub Swarm throughout Downtown Boise, led by the
stalwarts of the local university Bee Team. Friday night in Boise (No. 1 on Forbes Fastest Growing Cities List for 2018) and the Next Gen bunch on the loose, watch out.
Bright and early the next morning, Sarah will lead off and provide an update on current
“Education Programs, Research Projects, and University Collaboration on the Advancement of
Saving Bees.” Continuing to test the resiliency of the Next Gens to bounce back following a
night of Downtown Boise Tomfoolery, immediately after Sarah’s presentation, Melinda Jean
Stafford, the current President of the local Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club, will share insights
on helping young apiarists succeed in beekeeping.
Mid-morning on Saturday, Jennifer and Randy will don their gear and invite 20 or so young
beekeepers to join them on the outdoor JUMP patio, where a small apiary will have been set up. For
those who don’t venture outside, the entire show will be visible through the ceiling-to-floor
windows immediately nearby. To improve this experience for our indoor viewers, both Randy
and Jennifer will be equipped with wireless mics so that they can narrate the entire show. (Hint:
If you’d like to venture out with our headliners on this adventure, be sure to bring your veil and a
Following the lunch hour, we’ll open with an interesting and practical discussion, led by Dr.
Ron Bitner, providing insights on “Bee-Friendly Farming: Ground Cover for Native Bees.” Note
that our annual banquet will be held later Saturday at Bitner Vineyards, and we’ll be able to
observe how this knowledge has been put into practice.
Dr. Jamie Strange, a USDA-ARS research entomologist based in Logan, Utah, will share the
state of the art on bumble bee biology and practical aspects of bumble bee culture. Next, Dr.
Ramesh Sagili, from Oregon State University, will provide information on honey bee nutrition and
update on his activities with the Bee Informed Partnership. Ellen Topitzhofer, also with the Bee
Informed Partnership, will close out the day with observations that she has garnered over the
summer as a member of the Pacific Northwest Tech Transfer Team.
Sunday morning will open with a panel discussion focusing on various Master Beekeeper
Programs available throughout the country. Our panelists will consist of Jennifer Berry (Georgia),
Jerry Bromenshenk (Montana), Dewey Caron (Eastern Apiculture Society), and Ramesh Sagili
(Oregon). Each panelist will briefly describe his or her respective master beekeeper program in
the context of the ability to provide positive community outreach. Following the overviews will be
a question-and-answer period allowing us to delve into the specific intricacies of the programs. If
we are lucky, we will also have a panelist from California to provide insights on that new
program. [See additional conference information, pages 22–27.]
Sunday will close with our annual business meeting. You’ll all want to be present for that, as
the adoption of the new Bylaws will be on the agenda—as will an announcement on a proposed
new, simplified dues structure. This will be the time for those who desire to make the Future of
Beekeeping Yours to step up and help guide this organization successfully to our 50th