“COLONY CONSCIOUSNESS: Working Together to Preserve, Protect & Promote Our Pollinators”

“COLONY CONSCIOUSNESS: Working Together to Preserve, Protect & Promote Our Pollinators”

Last week, I was fortunate enough to represent the Walter T. Kelley Co.
at the WAS 2013 Annual Conference. The conference ran October 16-19th and
was held at the historic La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The theme
this year was “COLONY CONSCIOUSNESS: Working Together to Preserve, Protect
& Promote Our Pollinators” and the forums highlighted honeybee health, man-
agement and research, alternative pollinators, and apitherapy. The list of
speakers was outstanding as well as a very diverse group. Among them were
Keynote speaker Dr. John Kefuss (Survivor Stock Queen Bee Breeder from
France), Dr. Dewey Caron (Professor, Extension Entomologist & author of
Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping), Dr. Jerry Bromenshank (Bee Alert
Technology, Inc.), Dr. Eric Mussen (Extension Apiculturist w/ UC Davis
Department of Entomology and Nematology), Dr. Gordon Wardell (Parmount
Farms (Alternative Pollinator Production- California), Christi Heintz
(Executive. Director of Project ApisM), Kim Flottum (Catch the Buzz- Bee
Culture Magazine Editor, Ohio), Mark Spitzig (Zia Queen Bees), Liz and
Terry Huxter (Terry’s Bees- VSH queen breeding- British Columbia, Canada),
Jenny Bach (Bee Love Apiaries- Community Beekeeping/Education), and Les
Crowder (For the Love of Bees- Natural Top Bar Beekeeping). Plus many more!

Thursday evening included the art exhibit, “Tiny Heroes: Celebrating
the Beauty of our Pollinators” featuring local Santa Fe artist, Kathryn
Alexander and the proceeds from the exhibit went to benefit local pollina-
tor programs such as The Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative, which
focuses on establishing and breeding regional honeybee stock and promoting
educational outreach and training efforts to beekeepers near and far. There
was also a viewing of the documentary on Karl Kehrle (Brother Adam ), a Ben-
edictine monk, beekeeper, authority on bee breeding, and developer of the
Buckfast bee. Friday afternoon, there was a kid’s block where children could
come visit the art exhibit, and also learn a little about pollinators and the
important role they play. Saturday, we wrapped up with the Enchanted Bee tour
up The High Road of the El Camino Real. We stopped at the Sanctuario de
Chimayo, Zia Queenbee Co. farm run by Melanie Kirby & Mark Spitzig, and the
Penasco Theatre for honey themed treats and news from Apimondia from Ed
Colby of Bee Culture’s “Bottom Board”monthly column.

We were also privileged to be a part of the Growing Food and Justice
Initiative for All Conference: “Food is Medicine, Water is Life”, that took
place at the Taos County Economic Development Center in Taos, New Mexico. We
were present for Melanie Kirby’s presentation “Working Together to Preserve
Protect & Promote Our Pollinators”. Melanie is the co-owner of Zia Queenbee
Co. and co-founder of the Southwest Survivor Queenbee Project. Afterwards,
Melanie took us on a guided tour through Taos, which included a visit to the
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and the Taos Pueblo. I am so grateful to have been
able to experience such a culture so steeped in history and art and to have
met some very brilliant beekeepers from all walks of life.

Paintings by Kathryn Alexander (http://kathrynalexanderfineart.com/)


Honeycomb Art by Melanie Kirby's honeybees



Penasco Theatre in Peñasco, NM (http://www.penascotheatre.org/)




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