Apiculturist conference attracts industry leaders

John Schmitz/For the Capital Press Western Apicultural Society planners and presenters Ramesh Sagili, left, Carolyn Breece, Dewey Caron and Harry Vanderpool inspect bees at the Oregon State University apiary east of Corvallis, Ore.

More than 300 Western beekeepers expected to attend

By JOHN SCHMITZ

For the Capital Press

Topics of interest to beekeepers both large and small will be presented during the annual conference of the Western Apicultural Society in Salem Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

More than 300 beekeepers from 13 Western states are expected to attend the event, which will feature leading experts in honeybee research and management from as far as Virginia.

"This is a unique meeting in that it will bring together all facets of the beekeeping industry: small, medium and large beekeepers, research, extension and industry vendors," said Harry Vanderpool, Willamette Valley representative for the Oregon State Beekeepers Association.

With colony collapse disorder continuing to be the main concern of beekeepers everywhere, the conference will feature Washington State University Extension agent Tim Lawrence, who will discuss the human aspects of the mysterious plague.

"This meeting will feature the latest information on bee losses and how beekeepers large and small are seeking to mitigate against continuing losses," said Dewey Caron, the society's president and event organizer. Caron is also a University of Delaware entomology professor emeritus and an affiliate Oregon State University horticulture professor.

At the conference, Central Oregon specialty seed grower Mike Weber will discuss the important role honeybees play in the pollination of his high-value vegetable crops.

A representative of the California almond industry will also speak.

Other speakers will focus on hive health, conservation and breeding efforts.

Wednesday morning, attendees can visit nearby beekeeper operations, including the OSU apiary site, or attend beginning- and intermediate-level short courses.

Unlike other beekeeper groups, WAS is not involved with marketing or legislative matters and focuses mainly on beekeeper education, Vanderpool said.

Online

For more information and the complete schedule of talks and activities, go to www.orsba.org

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