Making the connection: Honeybees and you

Making the connection: Honeybees and you

Today I’m off to Reddington Memorial Home in Skowhegan to talk to the elderly folks there about bees and beekeeping.  It’s safe to say that this is one of my favorite aspects of being president of the Somerset Beekeepers.  People are naturally curious about beekeeping, it seems to hold some mystique and allure.  Perhaps it’s the idea of thousands of buzzing insects that could turn against you at any moment to cause you serious harm that intrigues people.

Whatever it is, if I can use that curiosity to inspire appreciation of bees in folks, then I’m one happy activist.

I’m especially ecstatic today, as I gear up for my first-ever beekeeper’s convention.  Tomorrow is the annual meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association.  I’ll be leaving home by 6:30 am and making my way southward to Portland, where the beekeepers will converge upon The Italian Heritage Center.

The MSBA has lined up Tony Jadczak–Maine’s state apiarist, and Lincoln Sennett of Swan’s Honey in Albion, Maine–to speak at the event.  They also have Michael Bush, author of The Practical Beekeeper (check out his website here) to talk about natural beekeeping, which should prove informative and interesting.

But they’ve also recruited Jerry Hayes to speak at the event, which I see as a conflict of interest, since Jerry works for Monsanto.  Apparently he is leading Monsanto’s research efforts in controlling bee pathogens and parasites without chemical treatments.  I was initially appalled at the idea of Jerry’s participation in the conference, but several people–Keith included–have pointed out that listening to Jerry’s presentation could be a useful fact-finding mission to learn more about Monsanto from an insider’s point of view.

And so that I will do.  I will listen to what he has to say–striving for objectivity.  I already have a few burning questions, and I don’t know that I will hold my tongue tomorrow, but I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.

What do you think about Hayes’ presence at the MSBA conference?  If you have a question you’d like me to try to address, please leave a comment below!

Share your thoughts, comments or questions!

Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm