Not many Californians would jump at the opportunity to spend their summer in Minnesota and North Dakota, but not many Californians work with bees either. I was glad to be given the opportunity to work with Katie Lee in the Bee Informed Partnership and pack my bags and relocate to St. Paul at the beginning of June. For the past four years I’ve worked with Sue Cobey at UC Davis, learning how to keep bees and raise queens, working my way up to a full time position taking care of the research hives and lab facilities at the Harry Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility. My time at UC Davis has been invaluable as I was given the chance to become proficient at instrumental insemination of queen bees which in turn allowed me to aid Sue in her collaborative breeding work with California queen breeders. I am excited to be able to continue working with commercial beekeepers in Minnesota and North Dakota this summer, sampling their colonies in the hopes that the resulting data is useful for their breeding programs and for reducing overwinter colony losses. In addition to being a functional member of the Bee Informed Partnership I am also excited to put names to places as Katie and I travel around to different beekeeping operations. My strongest memory of the Midwest prior to this trip is of a half-time show at South Dakota State University’s Hobo Days homecoming game during which a monkey dressed like a cowboy rode on the back of a dog across the football field. That was something. And yes SDSU beat UC Davis handily. I’m looking forward to working with beekeepers here, experiencing the Midwest at its best and then high-tailing it back to the mild California winter to join Mike and Rob on the Bee Tech Team there. Here’s to a productive summer everyone!
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