The Western Apicultural Society (WAS) meeting will be held September 17-20, 2014 at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT.

The 2nd International Workshop on Hive and Bee Monitoring and the 2014 WAS conference will be held in the University Center (UC) building on the University of Montana campus in Missoula. PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS FOR MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY. Though UM will be in full session during the dates of the conference, the campus is easy to get around on and for anyone who is less agile, there is a drop-off point at the UC and an elevator to the third floor where the meetings will be held.
The August issue of the WAS Journal has just been mailed and is also posted on the WAS website. Maps and directions are contained in it. Click and then on the link at the bottom of the paragraph on the right to get to the digital version.
For a downloadable registration form, speaker agenda etc., visit the Conference Information section.
If there is other information you need, email me at or call me at 509-573-4245.
Doubletree $120 single, $130 double, triple or quadruple. All of the hotels near the campus seem to have the same policy.  It’s probably because families of students tend to fill rooms for times like graduation, football games, etc.
If you need a list of alternate accommodations, one will be in the poster packages going out this week to clubs and associations. Or drop me an email at and I’ll send you one.
Interest is high, as expected, in the announcement of G. Philip Hughes as a speaker and there have been questions about how a White House Writers Group guy has the expertise to speak to us on neonics.
No, Hughes isn’t a scientist. That’s not the point. What he will tell us is what information was originally given to the Press Corps, and what they did with it to get us to the point of pure confusion we are currently seeing. That he does know about, and how political and personal motivation can persuade a journalist to ‘bend’ the information to suit a particular purpose.
When I started as a journalist, the basic rule was, “The facts, Ma’am, just the facts.” The journalist was expected to portray both sides of a question faithfully, equally, without judgment and to maintain sound sources for his/her information. “Everybody knows” was a big red flag and we were expected to hit the research trail right now, because such a declaration meant only that someone hadn’t done their homework. One doesn’t see a lot of that attitude today. I am anticipating a stimulating presentation from Mr. Hughes.
Here’s a brand new item just added to the Conference agenda.
“To understand his expertise, what you need to focus on is the White House Writers Group for which he is the Senior Director.  They are a group of high level consultants, journalists, communications, political, economic, and policy experts.  Many have years of experience in the White House, especially under Republican Presidents Reagan and Bush.  They research topics, analyze what’s going on, know the ins and outs of national and international politics and are experts in communications.  Mr. Hughes and his Group have been researching and investigating the neonicotinic issue for some time now, doing the research needed to weigh the opinions, assess what’s going on, and follow and unravel the media coverage and the White House reactions.”
I will break the speaker list up into day-by-day groups to keep it from being completely over-whelming. This is probably the richest sweep of talent ever collected for a WAS conference, with or without the addition of the 2nd International Workshop on Monitoring of Hives and Bees. You really DON’T want to miss it!
Wednesday, September 17th – 2nd International Workshop speakers:
Especially for the technically minded -
Drs. Jerry Bromenshenk and Frank Linton will open the day-long workshop at 8:30 a.m., followed by discussion of their research and work with scale hives by Monsanto’s Jerry Hayes, Beeologics Bee Health lead (with which he was deeply involved before Monsanto acquired it) and former Chief of the Apiary Inspection Section for Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and Dick Rogers, Head of Research at Bayer’s new Bee Care Center facility in North Carolina and formerly Provincial Apiarist in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Following the morning break, Dr. Huw Evans of Arnia, a development company in the United Kingdom, will talk about their remote monitoring of the hive environment and ownership of the largest database of bee behavior of any company in the World. Dromore Beekeepers in Northern Ireland have a Journeyman Hive Monitoring project going, which Robert McCreery will be describing; and Wayne Esaias, now retired from the Goddard Space Center, will talk about NASA’s involvement in monitoring.
Note: The WAS Board of Directors will meet in Room 205 at the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning (SELL) at 11:45 Wednesday for a working lunch (early to avoid the student crush at noon).
In the early afternoon, USDA’s William Meikle will interpret continuous hive weight and temperature data being gathered at the Carl Hayden Bee Lab in Tucson, Arizona; followed by Missoula specialists Robert Seccomb of Bee Alert, who covers acoustic scanning of bee pests, diseases and pesticides; Scott Debnam and Colin Henderson with LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping of bees at the University of Montana; and Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk on RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chips and infrared imaging, again with Bee Alert.
The last segment looks to future opportunities with U of M’s Director of Technology Transfer Joe Fanguy on partnerships with universities and other companies; a “Looking to the Future” panel discussion moderated by U of M’s School of Business Administration Dr. David Firth; David McMillan of Betta Bees Research in New Zealand on stock improvement via molecular genetics for queen production; and last but far from least, Gerald Loper, formerly with the Carl Hayden Bee Lab on using radar for locating drone congregation areas.
Amazingly, the vast majority of this talent has been beating a path to Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk’s door to be allowed onto the program. It doesn’t come better than that!

1st Annual Missoula Honey Harvest Festival

Saturday Morning Workshop Schedule

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