When beekepers from all over the Western states converge on the Western Apicultural Society (WAS) meeting in Hawaii next week, they won't be there to bask in the sun.
They'll be talking about beekeeping in Hawaii, alternatives to conventional beekeeping, new research, and colony collapse disorder and other colony losses.
The venue is nice, though: the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kamuela.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology will speak on “Current Beekeeping Problems: Disasters or Opportunities” on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
His talk will be well attended. Mussen, a five-time past president of WAS, has served as an Extension apiculturist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology since 1976. He writes the bimonthly Extension newsletter, from the UC Apiaries, considered one of the best and most informative in the industry, and Bee Briefs, both available free on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website.
His research interests include managing honey bees and wild bees for maximum field production, while minimizing pesticide damage to pollinator populations. His studies also focus on maintaining healthy bees.
Mussen, who received his doctorate in entomology from the University of Minnesota, educates the agricultural community, the beekeeping industry and the general public about honey bees.
Mussen co-founded WAS in 1978 as a non-profit, educational organization designed specifically to meet the educational needs of beekeepers from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming; the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon; and the states of northern Mexico.
As an aside--and back to the mainland--if you're into bees and honey, be sure to make reservations for the "Honey!" event set Friday, Oct. 21 in the UC Davis Conference Center. The event, co-sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, the UC Davis Department of Enotmology, and the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, will include speakers, honey tastings and a honey-focused lunch.
Among the UC Davis entomologists speaking at the "Honey!" event will be Mussen, assistant professor Brian Johnson and emeritus professor Norman Gary, the newly published author of Honey Bee Hobbyist: The Care and Keeping of Bees and the co-founder of WAS.
Three bee scientists at the same place on the same day day--that's a honey of an event.
Eric Mussen will be a key speaker at the Western Apicultural Society conference in Hawaii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A touch of Hawaii--a honey bee on a lily. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)