As the Honey Bee Health Field Specialist for the Pacific Northwest, Ben works with migratory beekeepers from around the region and helps monitor diseases, pest loads, and colony health. Most of his experience with commercial beekeeping comes from his time working with BIP in Northern California (2013-2017), where he helped queen breeders select stock and test for hygienic behavior. It has been fascinating to observe and compare the different management strategies used by commercial beekeepers in the western US, and he has learned there are many different ways to run a successful commercial operation. Ben is especially interested in Varroa control, and brood disease identification and treatment. His interest in bees began much earlier working on his family’s apiary/organic vegetable farm in Wisconsin, and became further immersed while caretaking the farm for a couple years and managing the hives. Ben received a B.A. in Anthropology and Global Studies from Ripon College in 2004, and in previous lives worked as a Logistics Manager for the Naval Underwater Construction Team and an international English teacher. When not in the bees, Ben spends his time playing the tuba and trombone in a variety of musical genres, and propagating rare plants.