The CSBA Winter Meeting is just 2 WEEKS AWAY! It will be held at Roxborough Community Center on Saturday, November 3rd, from 9-5. The final day to receive your 15% EARLY BEE DISCOUNT is October 25th. Holy Cow–that’s this Friday! Go to the CSBA website for all the details, your pre-registration form, and to pay with Paypal. Lunch is included. Please join us for this exciting all day event.
There are a lot of state-level projects in the works and the CSBA is forming committees to address and prioritize some of these issues. The following committees will be formed at the Winter Meeting: Best Practices, Data Collection, Forage, Master Beekeeper, and Pesticides. While the details are not in place, the overall idea of what the committees will be doing is as follows.
Best Practices–This committee would be responsible for drafting a set of “Best Practices” for beekeepers of different hive types in different settings. The committee would scan the internet for best practices documents to use as models for the crafting of a CO Best Practices. The committee will compile and expand that data as necessary to create a CO Best Practices series of reference documents for new and existing beekeepers as well as for the general public. Best practices would be another helpful tool in the effort to remove all bee bans. This committee will communicate by email only and estimated time needed for adequate participation is approximately 2 hours monthly. This committee’s major work will be in the next 12 months. Best Practices should be available at the CSBA 2013 Winter Meeting.
Data Collection–There is very little in the way of data being collected on the small and mid-sized beekeepers. For example, there is no data on package success nor is there any comprehensive data on overwintering losses. This committee will be responsible for embarking on a long-term data collection strategy which will aid us in the procurement of funds for further studies and, hopefully, begin or strengthen partnerships with Colorado colleges. In addition, it will provide us with a sound basis for evaluating packages, nucs, and queen stock from breeders and package providers. This committee will also be an email committee with estimated time to be 4-5 hours monthly during the off-season and none during bee season. Initial design of the questionnaires as well as determining collection methodology and interpretation of results will be fairly time-consuming this first year. Subsequent years efforts will be focused on administration and results. It would be cool to see data from 2012 at the Summer or Winter meeting of 2013.
Forage–For those of you who are reading any of the bee magazines, you know that forage is a “hot topic” right now. The long-term solution to honey production and bee health is not sugar feeding. It is increased forage. This is an absolutely universal issue–if you keep bees, this situation affects you! My vision for this committee is to begin the process of developing a long-term strategy for forage management in CO. There are numerous federal and state program opportunities to capitalize upon. We just need to figure out what they are and how to access them. In addition, there are lots of organizations that have information on forage plantings for urban, suburban and agricultural areas that need to be reviewed and compiled and centrally located (on the CSBA site) so that folks can easily use the information. I see this as an email committee with a possible face-to-face meeting or two. Thus, I see this as a 4 hour monthly commitment monthly during the off-season.
Master Beekeeper–The CSBA is lucky to have not one, but TWO, individuals who are interested in getting a formal Master Beekeeper program off the ground. They will be speaking to you at the Winter meeting about their vision and goals and will be seeking volunteers to help achieve them. There are currently several Master Beekeeping programs offered in the country–but none particularly near Colorado. Time to close the gap!
Pesticides–This committee will be responsible for ensuring that the State fairly represents its membership with respect to pesticide issues. The committee will select a representative to sit on the Colorado Pollinator Workgroup who will act as the spokesperson for the CSBA. At present, there is a document, “Guidelines for Aerial Applicators”, which will require a formal response by early next year. This committee will also be responsible for updating the insecticide section of the CSBA website with current and pertinent data. There is a lot of information currently on the site–but it needs to be updated. I can envision this committee actually acting as the primary liaison between the membership and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) with respect to member pesticide issues. The committee may also be the medium by which new in-hive miticides/pesticides are presented to the CDA for approval for use in CO. In short, this is a pretty broad issue and whomever signs on as Chair of this committee will need to determine priorities and direction. Furthermore, representation will need to be defined so that all beekeeping interests are fairly represented: i.e.: commercial/hobbyist/sideliner or urban/suburban/agriculture. This will require a time commitment of 2 hours per month except for the chairperson and the individual who sits on the CPW. That individual will need to make 2 trips to Denver annually for the CPW meetings. The CSBA will compensate for travel.
As you can see, there’s a lot to do and I, and the CSBA, need your help. We need people to chair these committees so–if one of the above strikes a chord wtih you, please step up. No time to lead? Look at these committee volunteer opportunities and consider making a commitment for the betterment of beekeeping in Colorado. Member time requirements are nominal–but integral. If you are unable to make the Meet and Greet or the meeting, please feel free to email me with your interests and I will forward them to the appropriate committee chair.
As always, please feel free to email/call me with any suggestions or concerns you may have. Thank you for being a member.
P.S. Dr. Dennison has set up a new website. I have linked it to the CSBA site. It is: Honeyointment.org.
P.S.S. Some of you may have received an email from the American Bee Federation regarding the need to register with the FDA regardless of the size and scope of your beekeeping operation. I sent an email, per the ABF’s suggestion, to the CDA Commissioner, John Salazar, requesting assistance with an exemption for CO producers who meet the proposed federal exemption of $500,000 or less in sales or who sell more than 50% of their product within 275 miles of their residence. I will keep you posted.