Bee Informed Partnership Technical Transfer Teams…and family

In 2011 when the first Bee Informed Partnership technical transfer team was formed in northern California (really, even before that, but we won’t confuse the story), no one could have ever guessed where it would take us. We had long range plans but most were vague and foggy. There was so much to do right now. So many things to learn. So many details to iron out. So many miles to put on trucks and so many samples to collect and process. But here we are…6 years later. Older. Wiser. And now those long range plans are much clearer and the pesky details are getting crossed off a little faster than new ones replace them.

It is when something happens to someone you care about that you pause and reflect. Our BIP Team is close, like family. Our lab, our IT team, our beekeepers, and our tech teams are, as we like to say, a large, happy, dysfunctional family. When something happens to this family, we close ranks and help. Rob Snyder, one of our first tech team members was severely injured in a mountain biking accident less than 2 weeks ago in California. He severed his vertebrae and broke several ribs. Doctors aren’t sure if he will walk again (we know that he will). He is in a rehabilitation unit now and they are working him hard. What really hit home was how our family responded; every tech team member offered help. The California bee breeders Rob has been serving for 6 years, jumped in and are helping Rob and his family in the 100 ways one would need help when something like this happens.  Rob was inundated with visitors, flowers, cards and well wishes. He was surrounded by his immediate and extended family.

Rob Snyder (center) in the field doing what he loves best. Photo courtesy of the Bee Informed Partnership, Inc.

If you are a visitor to our website and have read any of Rob’s blogs (he’s written >60), you know what passion he has for this industry. One of my favorites is: https://beeinformed.org/2012/11/01/whats-wrong-with-my-hive/. His photos are legendary and he is one of the best teacher/trainers we have.

We plan on having Rob back soon and he is looking forward to being back. But right now, we’re counting our blessings and are so thankful to be reminded we are all part of one big family. We may not have the same politics, world view or religion, but we are family bound not by blood but by bees and their keeping.

If you want to help Rob and his family by contributing, please mail donations to the California State Beekeepers Association (1521 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814) and mark “For Rob Snyder” on the check.

You can also visit: https://www.gofundme.com/a4kcvp-assist-family-of-robert-snyder

Rob Snyder (left) in the field with Pat Heitkam (right). Photo courtesy of the Bee Informed Partnership, Inc.

Written By: Karen Rennich

Karen Rennich has written 23 post in this blog.

As the Project Manager of the Bee Informed Partnership and the APHIS National Survey, I am based out of the University of Maryland’s Entomology Department but also have the pleasure of working with the USDA Bee Research Lab. I am fortunate to work closely with all members of our team and other organizations throughout the U.S. and I get to tackle everything from data analysis to field work and all jobs in between to keep our goals in sight and moving toward our milestones. I have a B.S. in ocean engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in ocean engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. I designed and worked on large, underwater Navy sensor systems when I was employed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for 14 years. I have been a beekeeper for 6 years and manage 10 colonies at home. Seeing the Bee Informed Partnership evolve from paper to reality is exciting and inspiring.

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