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Michigan Beekeepers Association

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2023 Fall Conference Agenda

8:00-8:45 am Registration

8:45-9:00 am Introduction/Welcome

9:00-9:15 am MSU Extension Resources for Beekeepers

9:15-10:15 am Keynote: Long Live the Queen?

10:15-10:45 am Break

10:45-11:20 pm Disabled WW I Vets and  Rehabilitation Through Beekeeping

11:20-12:00 pm Lessons While Expanding from Hobby to Commercial

12:30-1:30 pm Lunch - Nearby Lunch Options

1:30-2:30 pm Overwintering Nucs

2:30-3:30 pm Panel / Break

3:30-5:00 pm MBA Business Meeting

5:00 pm Door Prizes

MBA Pre-Conference Webinar Speaker Bios and Registration

MBA Fall Conference Vendor Table Registration

MBA Fall Conference Registration

MBA Fall Conference Speaker Bios

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Katie Lee

Katie Lee

Keynote title: Long Live the Queen? Economics of Queen Replacement

Pre-conference webinar title: Top Tips for Northern Beekeepers

Katie Lee is the University of Minnesota Extension Educator in Apiculture and co-coordinator for the Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant program. Katie received her master’s and doctorate in entomology from the U of MN where she specialized in honey bees and focused on improving colony health. She spent six years traveling the US assessing beekeeper colonies for a non-profit, and kept >200 colonies for a research project looking at the benefits of pollinator planting on pollinators. Working with the U of MN Bee Lab, Katie develops educational resources for beekeepers and does a bit of practical research.

Photo courtesy of Rich Wieske

Rich Wieske

Title: Opening Welcome and Updates on the MBA

Rich was a lifelong camera operator and media production company owner. He considered himself a quiet introvert who hated meetings. That all changed when he discovered mead and apis mellifera. Now Rich declares “the bees made me do it!” A self-proclaimed “tree hugger", he enjoys hunting for mushrooms and has even traveled around the world on a ship. In his spare time, Rich enjoys making candles and chocolate truffles.

Rich serves as the current president of the Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA) , the Educational Director of the Southeastern Michigan Beekeepers Association (SEMBA), and the Vice President of the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS). He loves going to conferences and talking with beekeepers: "some of the greatest people in the world!” And yes, Rich has visited all 36 bee clubs in the state of Michigan!

Photo Courtesy of Ana Heck

Ana Heck

Title: MSU Extension Resources for Beekeepers

Ana Heck is Michigan State University's apiculture extension educator. She learned beekeeping in Nicaragua while working with a nonprofit organization that led rural development projects. She later worked with the University of Minnesota Bee Squad and Michigan State University's Department of Entomology before joining Extension.

Her role engages beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, and home gardeners to improve the health of pollinators. Ana holds a master’s degree in public policy and a graduate minor in entomology from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Courtesy of Cecilia Infante

Cecilia Infante

Title: Disabled WW I Vets and  Rehabilitation Through Beekeeping

Cecilia teaches beekeeping and runs three apiaries with her husband, a retired combat veteran (OIF/OEF). They founded Bee Warriors- an organization that promotes the therapeutic power of beekeeping for individuals with PTSD, as well as the nutritional role of bee products in human and animal health. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Michigan, and currently blends her love of words and bees as MBA Historian, SEMBA Bee School teacher, and EMU writing instructor.

Photo courtesy of Nick Kaminski

Nick Kaminski

Title: The Expanding Apiary: Lessons Learned Transitioning from Hobby to Commercial Beekeeping

Nick Kaminski is a first-generation beekeeper, and the owner/operator of Hickory Tree Farm Apiaries in Kent City MI. Nick has been keeping bees for 10 years and as a Marine corps Veteran has been a participant of and now instructs for Heroes to Hives. As the operator and beekeeper for HTFA Nick manages 100 migratory colonies Between Georgia and Michigan as well as producing queen bees and nucleus colonies for sale.

Photo courtesy of Peggy Garnes

Peggy Garnes

Title: Overwintering Nucs

Overwintering Nucs is not just for seasoned beekeepers- Whether you are just starting out and want to cover any winter loses or you’re looking to increase your apiary and sell queens and nucs in the spring. We will discuss the why, the when, and the how - to successfully overwinter nucs.

Peggy Garnes is the current president of the Ohio State Beekeepers Association. Peggy started keeping honey bees over 20 years ago and now manages well over 100 hives. In recent years, her focus has been on selectively breeding and producing Ohio queen stock.

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