This past weekend, I made a solo trip halfway across the country back to my homeland of Minnesota where I will now be based. One of the goals of the Bee Team program is to expand and establish multiple Teams around the country. There have been requests to establish Teams in the Northeast and Southeast, which I really hope happens in the near future. But for now, the next Team will be established for Midwest beekeepers, focusing on Minnesota and North Dakota.
What we will be doing in the Midwest will be slightly different than in California, since we will be primarily working with non-queen breeders. Our focus will be helping commercial honey producers and pollinators monitor their pest populations year-round. We will be based out of the University of Minnesota with Marla Spivak and be traveling to different beekeeper locations.
Back in California, Mike and Rob will continue to do wonderfully on the CA Bee Team and in the fall they will have a third person on the team again, Elizabeth Frost. Liz will be working with me over the summer, then go back to California in September. Before leaving, we had a meeting with the participating queen breeders, who agreed to pay more for services and fund Liz’s salary. We want every Bee Team to become independent of governmental funding and grants, so paying for service is going to be necessary. This idea was (and has been) well-received by the participants.
It is exciting to be back in Minnesota and see friends and family, but I will miss the people of California. It was a wonderful experience and a real privilege to have worked with some of the best beekeepers in the world.