Colorado State Beekeepers to host summer meeting in Rifle | AspenTimes.com

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Colorado State Beekeepers to host summer meeting in Rifle

Greg Swob, president of the Kansas Honey Producers, will address the Colorado State Beekeepers Association at its summer meeting at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle on Saturday, June 10.

Swob will talk about S.A.V.E. Farm, an organization dedicated to teaching military veterans to farm and keep bees. With 40 percent of American farmers 65 or older, 63 percent of American family farms may be in the last generation.

Meanwhile, returning veterans look for a civilian career. S.A.V.E. Farm works to train vets to farm and keep bees, and to pair them with mentors.

Since 1880, the Colorado State Beekeepers Association has supported Colorado beekeepers. Other speakers at the Summer Bee College include Katie Lee from the University of Minnesota, one of the world’s foremost authorities on hygienic behavior in honeybees.

Lee will explain how bees with natural grooming instincts keep deadly Varroa mites at bay, and also clean their brood of disease-ridden material. Later, in the bee yard, she’ll demonstrate how to test honeybees for hygienic behavior.

Lee is perhaps best known for inventing the “sugar-shake” technique for testing for Varroa mite infestation in honeybees. She’ll demonstrate this simple test for backyard beekeepers wanting to improve bee health and ensure hive survival.

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Author and bee consultant Don Studinski will speak on certified natural beekeeping, which employs largely chemical-free technique.

The Summer Bee College kicks off at 8:45 a.m. The meeting, lunch, beekeeping demonstrations and other activities are open to the public.

Sign-up is available online at Coloradobeekeepers.org, or call Ed Colby at 970-984-0419.