WAS Wrap-Up

The Healthy Bee / Bee Healthy WAS conference was a wonderful success! This was by far the largest WAS conference ever held with over 160 full conference registrations and over 300 participants in some form or fashion. The first 2 days focused on Bee Health and the final day on Bees and Human (and Veterinary) Health. Just like a successful colony of bees, it takes many individuals performing many tasks to make a colony a success.

Thanks for this success goes out to a variety of folks. My core team of Leslie Ellis, Greta Olson and Josh Vaisman cannot be thanked enough or properly for the time and energy put forth in making this conference the success that it was. A more dedicated, upbeat and positive, creative and visionary team could not have been assembled. And they volunteered! I owe you!

I want to thank our Major Sponsors: The National Honey Board, People and Pollinators Action Network (PPAN) and Mann Lake. The National Honey Board sponsored Marla Spivak and PPAN sponsored Susan Kegley from Pesticide Research Institute. Mann Lake donated both the complete hive setup and the traveling tool kit for the silent auction.

All the rest of our Sponsors deserve mention, too. In alphabetical order: BBB Seed, Bee-Certain, Boulder’s Natural Animal Hospital, Brushy Mountain, Butterfly Pavilion, Carrie’s Honey N More store, Celestial Seasonings, EcoScape Environmental Design, Flower Bin, Green Ride Boulder, Harlequin’s Gardens, Hive Tracks, Hudson Gardens, Hutchison Western, Insure my Honey!, Madhava, NRCS, Pheasants Forever, PVREA, Rice’s Lucky Clover Honey, To Bee or Not to Bee, Western Bee, Western Power Group and Whole Foods.

Our Vendors also stepped up to the plate! Bee-Certain donated our grand prize of a hive monitoring system to all who successfully completed their vendor card. Thank you Bob! The lucky winner was Cathy Allen-Schinn—from right here in Colorado. Thanks you so much to all of you who traveled from near and far to showcase your product. Vendors in alphabetical order: Amber Lights Candles, BBB Seed, Beaver Plastics, Bee Care Natura, Bee Line of CO, Bee Safe Boulder, Bee-Certain, Boulder Book Store, Boulder’s Natural Animal Hospital, Brushy Mountain, Butterfly Pavilion, Carrie’s Honey N More store, Celestial Seasonings, Complete Bee, Dakota Bees, Eco Bee Box, EcoScape Environmental Design, FieldWatch, Harlequin’s Gardens, Healing Bees, Hive Tracks, Hudson Gardens, Insure my Honey!, NOD Apiary Products, NRCS, Pheasants Forever, Pollinator Stewardship Council, Strong Microbial, TGBTG Books, To Bee or Not to Bee, Tulipan Herbals and Western Bee.

The folks that support us need to be supported, too! Please spend your bee dollars with them! Show them that their support is valuable and rewarding. Thanks!

I would like to thank our Speakers. Many of our speakers traveled great lengths to come to Colorado to educate attendees on a variety of topics. Hats off to all of them for their preparation and delivery! Again in alphabetical order: Peter Loring Borst, Dr. Michael Breed (CU), Emily Brown (Arizona Queen Bees), Al Chubak (Eco Bee Box), Michele Colopy (Pollinator Stewardship Council), Steven Coy (Russian Queen Breeders Association), Dr. Whitney Cranshaw (CSU), Drs. Allen and Jane Dennison, Jim Doan, Leslie Ellis, Rachel Fahey (Bee Informed Partnership), Dr. Ron Fessenden, Julie Finley-Ridinger, Jason Goldman, Christi Heintz (Project Apis M), Gabrielle Hemesath (American Honey Queen), Kris Holthaus (CO Queen Honey Bee Testing Project), Dr. Don Hyder, Susan Kegley (Pesticide Research Institute), Melanie Kirby (ZIA Queen Bees), Sarah Red Laird, Margaret Lombard (National Honey Board), Jonathan Lundgren, Jerry Miller (Pheasants Forever), Matthew Mulica (Honey Bee Health Coalition), Elina Lastro Nino (UC-Davis), Lauren Springer Ogden, Greta Olson, Dr. Stephen Rankin, Karen Sadenwater (Backyard HIve), Tina Sebestyen (4 Corners Beekeepers), Jane Shellenberger, (CO Gardener), Dr. Dan Smeak (CSU Veterinary School), Dr. Valerie Solheim (Healing Bees), Dr. Marla Spivak (University of Minnesota), Josh Vaisman, Jamie Weiss (Audubon), David Wheeler (Bee Safe), James Wilkes (Hive Tracks) and Dr. Mark Winston (Simon Fraser University). What an all-star line-up! Thank you all for coming! (The presentations of those who agreed to share will be on the CSBA and WAS websites soon.)

There were lots of local folks who helped, too. Lucy and Joe Thies with Longmont Printing donated our banner and table cards. Rein Designs printed our T-shirts and bags. Stadia Labels donated the stickers on our swag bags. (John does a really nice job on honey labels, too.) Swag bag contents were donated by Carrie’s Honey N More store, BBB Seed, National Honey Board and David Newquist’s Honeyku.

Last but not least, pat yourself on the back if you attended the conference. It was your enthusiasm and appreciation that made it all possible. I hope that you learned a lot. I hope you met new people. I hope you share what you learned with your beekeeping friends and clubs. I hope it made you think of new ideas and new approaches to make bees and beekeeping more successful. Finally, I hope to see you at the WAS conference in Hawaii next year.

And with that, my term comes to a close. It has been a lot of work—but the work has proven to be gratifying. It has been a lot of fun. I worked with people that I profoundly enjoyed and appreciated. It has taken a lot of time—but I am going to head to sunny Mexico, to my favorite beach spot, and be fully recovered in time to start the holiday retail season! See you next year!

As always, thank you for being a member.

Beth Conrey