Are you captivated by the marvels of the natural world and fascinated by the delicate dance of bees? Then mark your calendars for the much-anticipated Florida State Beekeepers Association (FSBA) Annual Meeting! This buzzing gathering provides a unique opportunity for bee enthusiasts, both novices and experts, to share knowledge, gain insights, and celebrate the invaluable contributions of these remarkable creatures. Join us as we delve deeper into the world of beekeeping and its significance, all while fostering a vibrant community of beekeepers across the state.
Date: October 12-14, 2023
Venue: UF/IFAS Orange County Extension
Location: 6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando FL 32812
Unleash Your Inner Beekeeper
The FSBA Annual Meeting promises an engaging program that caters to bee lovers of all stripes. Whether you are new to beekeeping or a seasoned expert, this event offers a delightful blend of educational workshops, hands-on demonstrations, interactive sessions, and inspiring presentations. This year’s meeting aims to empower attendees with updated information, techniques, and strategies to uphold the vitality of our beloved pollinators.
We’re thrilled to announce an impressive lineup of experts who will be gracing the Annual Meeting stage, sharing their wealth of knowledge and experiences. These renowned speakers will address various topics, including colony management, sustainable beekeeping practices, honey production, and the critical role of bees in ecosystem preservation. Prepare to be amazed and inspired by their expertise:
1. Dr. Zac Lamas: Dr. Lamas is a post-doc researcher at the Evan’s Lab in Beltsville, Md, at the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory. His main focus is the study of virus transmission within honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies, approaching all of his questions from the perspective of a behavioral ecologist. His work at the Evan’s Laboratory in Beltsville revolves around functional genomics, which he hopes will link behaviors with the gene’s pathogens that regulate them. His recent study on varroa mites and their relationship with drone bees is proving to be very beneficial to beekeepers and the honey bee colonies we manage.
2. Blake Shook: Blake started his beekeeping journey as a small scale beekeeper when he was 12 years old. Over the past two decades, his business has grown significantly. He now not only runs a 10,000 hive migratory commercial beekeeping operation, but also has a bulk bee supply company (Desert Creek Bulk Bees), a honey packing company (Desert Creek Honey), a chain of hobby beekeeping stores (The Bee Supply) and a commercial bee supply store (Commercial Bee Supply). He also serves on the National Honey Board and the board of the American Beekeeping Federation. Blake married his high school sweetheart in 2011 and has two beautiful daughters.
3. Nathan Coleman: In his words, “beekeeping was supposed to be a hobby.” Nathan started “Duck River Honey” in 2020 with a few hives. In 3 short years, his business has grown to over 40 colonies with his focus being on the continued growth of his business, the education of other beekeepers through his YouTube channel and bee blog, as well as producing high quality honey and bees. Nathan holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Ag Econ from the University of Tennessee and really enjoys the business side of beekeeping. Nathan is supported by his wife Cassie and their two children, Reid (8), and Mattie Kate (4).
4. Theresa Martin: Following the guidelines laid out in Dr. Tom Seeley’s book “The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee In The Wild,” Theresa has achieved 100% survival in her five years as a beekeeper, with 23 colonies. Through the use of natural methods that emphasize bee health, she has never had a colony die or abscond. Using the model of how bees survive in the wild, integrated pest management, and high support yet low intervention, Theresa shows that healthy, alive bees are more productive than sick or dead bees. She is a Cornell Master Beekeeper, President of the Whitley County Beekeepers Association, and webmaster for the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association.
Workshops and Demonstrations
The FSBA Annual Meeting is a prime breeding ground for practical learning and hands-on experiences. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an array of workshops and demonstrations designed to enhance their beekeeping skills. See below for the tentative schedule of events.
Community Building and Networking
The FSBA Annual Meeting is not only an educational event, but also a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow beekeepers, exchange knowledge, and build lasting friendships. Engage in networking sessions, join local club meetups, and interact with experts and enthusiasts alike. Immerse yourself in a vibrant community that shares your passion for bees and their impact on agriculture. Maybe even try your hand at the Bobcat Rodeo!
No FSBA Annual Meeting would be complete without a Honey Show.
This show will be monitored and judged by Mr. Brutz English and his amazing team from the American Honey Judge Council. In an effort to avoid a crunch on Friday morning, participants can submit their entries 3-5 on Thursday afternoon, Oct 12th, at the event venue. Entries will also be accepted from 7:30-10 am on the morning of Friday the 13th.
Please review the rule document provided below.
DoubleTree by Hilton, Orlando International Airport
5555 Hazeltine National Drive,
Orlando, FL 32812
Host Hotel room reservations can be made by clicking HERE or
Enthusiasts, beekeepers, and honey lovers, don’t miss out on the Florida State Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting! This transformative event promises to deepen your understanding of bees, enable you to exchange insights with industry experts, and foster a sense of community among fellow honey bee enthusiasts. Together, let’s work towards sustaining our invaluable pollinators and our lifestyle by securing a brighter future for these industrious creatures.
Registration and more information:
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert
Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.