Beekeepers plan program on organic mite control June 23

Jun 06, 2018
Apiarist Ross Conrad tends one of his hives in Vermont.

Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers host their annual outdoor meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23, at Ridge Mist Llama Farm, 612 North Newcastle Road, Newcastle. The topic is " Organic Varroa Mite Control in Beehives," and the host is KLCB President Jane Dunstan.

Speaker Ross Conrad from Middlebury, Vt., learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz, world renowned beekeeper and promoter of apitherapy. Conrad is a former president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture - The Magazine of American Beekeeping, and author of "Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture." He has given bee related presentations and led organic beekeeping workshops and classes throughout North America for many years. His beekeeping business, Dancing Bee Gardens, supplies friends and neighbors with honey and candles, among other bee-related products, has five-frame nucleus bee colonies for sale each June, and provides bees for Vermont apple pollination in the spring.

Beekeeping was the only major agricultural endeavor in the U.S. that did not rely on toxic chemical pesticides until the late 1980s, when Varroa mites became established in America. Throughout history, pests have always developed chemical resistance, causing industry to rely on progressively higher concentrations and more toxic compounds in response. Beekeeping has followed the same path as the rest of industrial agriculture. Conrad will share the "how-to" of numerous techniques to keep bees alive in the face of Varroa while getting off the chemical treadmill. Topics covered include: genetics and breeding, trapping, screened bottom boards, essential oils, organic acids, small cell foundation, and more.

All KLCB meetings and presentations are free and open to the public. Bring a veil/protective equipment, and a lawn chair. This month's public presentation will end by 1 p.m.

For details and directions, visit the website at For more information or questions, call Jean Vose at 563-7564.

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