I just returned from the annual convention of the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS), which was held at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY during July 28 – August 1, 2014. EAS is primarily an educational entity bent on promoting and teaching beekeeping to its members using a variety of media. They also execute a very active Master Beekeepers Program, and much of the written and oral testing for this program occurs during the convention. EAS members consist of beekeepers from 25 states east of the Mississippi River, and EAS is the largest apicultural group within the U.S. and one of the largest in the world.
As usual, the speakers for the convention are researcher and extension professors and beekeepers with expertise in various aspects of apiculture from all over the eastern U.S. I was enlisted to present various aspects of queen biology, resistance to varroa mites, mite anatomy and physiology, and the instrumental insemination of queens.
Typical of these conventions, I actually benefited most from the hallway discussions with beekeepers. I probably spoke with tens of people every day in conversations ranging from a few minutes to well over an hour and a half. It is from these conversations that I get a pulse on the condition of beekeeping from various states far removed from Mississippi. Of course, I also saw old friends and acquaintances, which is almost always rewarding.
One has to be careful though, there may be folks lurking in the lobby areas just waiting to snag unwary folks into participation in an online program! This happened to me; see Hive Talk with David and Jon, episode 10 on July 31, 2014 at: http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=129777&cmd=tc
If you have never been to an EAS meeting, I highly recommend that you attend a convention. There is always plenty to do, see and learn at the meeting.