Posts Tagged: Western Apicultural Society
Seattle will be the place to "bee" on Oct. 4-7.
That's where the Western Apicultural Society (WAS) will hold its annual meeting--and this year it's in conjunction with the Washington State Beekeepers' Association.
Bee scientists, beekeepers, and bee aficionados will gather in the Embassy Suites Hotels for the four-day conference to talk about what's troubling the bees, to learn about scientific advancements, and to discuss how to alleviate the declining bee population. Registration is under way; those who register by Aug. 31 will receive a discount.
"There will be more presentations devoted to commercial beekeeping topics, but we will honor our roots and have concurrent sessions for the small-scale interests," said WAS spokesperson Fran Bach.
Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, known for her queen bee-rearing and queen bee insemination classes at the University of California, Davis, and now affiliated with Washington State University, will speak on queen bee rearing in the Pacific Northwest.
As the project director of the Honey Bee Stock Improvement Program, Cobey continues to work closely with California beekeepers, queen bee producers and the Almond Board of California.
Cobey and her colleague Steve Sheppard, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology, Washington State University, are heavily involved in increasing genetic diversity in U.S. honey bees. They're gathering germplasm (drone sperm) in European countries and integrating it in the U.S. honey bee gene pool, aiming to build a stronger, more disease-resistant bee.
European colonists introduced the honey bee to America in 1622 but a genetic bottleneck occurred when the U. S. Honey Bee Act of 1922 restricted further importation.
"The selection, development, maintenance and adoption of highly productive European honey bee stocks that can tolerate Varroa (parasitic mites) and resist diseases offer a sustainable, long-term solution" to the ongoing declining bee population, they point out in their chapter of the newly published book, Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable Solutions.
At the Seattle conference, Sheppard will speak on "Importation and Distribution of New Genetic Stocks of Honey Bees." WSU doctoral student Megan Taylor will discuss "New Developments in Honey Bee Germplasm Preservation at WSU." Another WSU doctoral student, Brandon Hopkins, will cover "New Developments in Honey Bee Germplasm Preservation at WSU."
Other speakers will discuss "The Value of Honey Bees in Almond Production," "Wings, Bikes and Trucks--Urban Beekeeping," "Indoor Wintering of Honey Bee Colonies," and "The Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative." Still other talks range from how to prevent swarms to how to bring more bees to your garden.
WAS co-founder Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology, describes the organization as "a non-profit, educational, beekeeping organization founded in 1978 for the benefit and enjoyment of all beekeepers in western North America."
This photo of a honey bee on an almond blossom will appear on the WAS conference t-shirt. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
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)
The places to "bee" for beekeepers in September and November are the Big Island of Hawaii and the not-so-little-city of Rohnert Park, Calif.
The Western Apicultural Society, founded by UC Davis scientists in 1978, has scheduled its annual conference for Sept. 12-15 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Big Island, north of Kona.
The California State Beekeepers' Association, organized in 1889, will gather Nov. 15-17 for its 2011 convention at Sonoma/Wine Country Doubletree Inn at Rohnert Park.
Bee health, and the latest updates on colony collapse disorder (CCD), will be among the topics at each conference.
Among the UC Davis experts participating at both conferences will be Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen, member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty since 1976 and one of the founders of the Western Apicultural Society.
It's called "WAS" for short, but there's nothing past tense about it.
Meanwhile, you can get up-to-date bee news by reading Mussen's from the UC apiaries newsletters and Bee Briefs, both located on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website and downloadable for free.
Honey bee on gallardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's rare for any one person to serve five terms as president of an organization.
But such is the case with Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, who took the helm of the Western Apicultural Society for five terms.
In fact, he and professor-apiculturist Norman Gary, now retired, founded the organization back 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."
Fast forward to today.
Mussen is one of two UC Davis bee specialists who will address the group at its annual conference, set Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in the Red Lion Inn, Salem, Ore.
He wiill speak on “Hints for Successful Backyard Beekeeping” at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1 during the session on Urban/Backyard Beekeepers.”
Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, who heads the breeding program at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis and also is a researcher at Washington State University, will discuss “Why We Need Better Bees” at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 30.
Cobey also will speak on “Progress on Breeding Superior Bees” at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
Mussen, who received his doctorate in entomology from the University of Minnesota, writes the bimonthly Extension newsletter, from the UC Apiaries, considered one of the best and most informative in the industry.
Cobey, who studied with noted bee geneticist Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. at UC Davis, returned to UC Davis in 2007 after 17 years as staff apiarist at Ohio State University. She received her entomology degree from the University of Delaware.
In the early 1980s, Cobey developed the New World Carniolans stock, a dark race of honey bees by back-crossing stocks collected from throughout the United States and Canada to create a more pure strain. A current focus of her research includes selecting and enhancing this stock to show increasing levels of resistance to pests and diseases.
Those interested in attending the conference may obtain more information from the WAS website.
The Western Apicultural Society's annual conference.
Two bee specialists at the University of California, Davis, will be among the speakers when the Western Apicultural Society (WAS) meets Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Salem, Ore.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen, member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty and WAS co-founder and past president, will speak, as will bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis.
The conference takes place in Salem's Red Lion Hotel, 3301 Market Street. On Tuesday, Aug. 31. Cobey will discuss her research on building a better bee. On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Mussen will offer hints for backyard beekeepers.
The lineup of speakers includes beekeepers, a conservation specialist, a college dean, a seed grower, almond growers, an integrated pest management specialist and the editor of the Bee Culture magazine (Kim Flottum), among others.
Colony collapse disorder (CCD), the mysterious malady in which adult bees abandon the hive, leaving behind the queen, brood and food stores, will be one of the timely topics. Tim Lawrence, formerly of UC Davis and now of Washington State University (and husband of Susan Cobey), will speak on "Human Dimensions of CCD and Its Impact on the Honey Bee" on Thursday, Sept. 2.
WAS and UC Davis are closely intertwined. Mussen and fellow apiculturist Norman Gary (now an emeritus UC Davis professor) 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.
Mussen and Gary are among five UC Davis bee specialists who have received the WAS outstanding service award. Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. (now deceased) received the award in 1980; Robert Page in 1989; Norman Gary in 1990; Eric Mussen in 1991; Christine Peng in 2002; and Susan Cobey in 2009. Page (now with Arizona State University), Gary and Peng are all emeriti professors.
Meanwhile, registration is under way for the 2010 WAS conference. This is definitely the place to "bee."