“Organic Varroa Mite Control in Beehives” will be the topic of the Knox-Lincoln County Beekeepers’ annual outdoor meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23, at Ridge Mist Llamas Farm, 612 North Newcastle Road, in Newcastle. KLCB President Jane Dunstan will be the host.

Speaker Ross Conrad, from Middlebury, Vermont, learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz, world renowned beekeeper and promoter of apitherapy. Conrad is a former president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture — The Magazine of American Beekeeping, and author of “Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture.”

Conrad has given bee-related presentations and led organic-beekeeping workshops and classes throughout North America for many years. His beekeeping business, Dancing Bee Gardens, supplies friends, neighbors with honey and candles among other bee-related products, has five-frame nucleus bee colonies for sale each June, and provides bees for Vermont apple pollination in the spring.

Beekeeping was the only major agricultural endeavor in the U.S. that did not rely on toxic chemical pesticides until the late 1980s when Varroa mites became established in America. Throughout history, pests have always developed chemical resistance causing industry to rely on progressively higher concentrations and more toxic compounds in response. Beekeeping has followed the same path as the rest of industrial agriculture.

Conrad will share the how to of numerous techniques to keep bees alive in the face of Varroa, while getting off the chemical treadmill. Topics covered include genetics and breeding, trapping, screened bottom boards, essential oils, organic acids, small cell foundation and more.

Bring a veil/protective equipment and lawn chair. This month’s public presentation will end by 1 p.m.

For more information, visit klcbee.com or call Jean Vose at 563-7564.

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