Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mississippi State Fair

We went to the State Fair this year, the first time since I moved to MS.

We took my favorite 4-year-old, who made the day so very memorable with his excitement. He never complained or asked to be carried. On the way home he said, "We had a big day. We can go again."

Of course we stopped by the honey booth! We didn't enter anything this year, but this gave us a good idea of how it's done.

Mississippi Beekeepers Association Conference

Last Friday and Saturday we attended the annual MBA conference. For me, it was very convenient, as it was held in the conference center at my workplace -- the Bost Extension Center at Mississippi State University.

Event organizers had a stellar line-up of speakers.

Randy Oliver, whose site is a repository of all kinds of research-based information, knocked our socks off with his keynote address. He and his sons run 1,000 hives in Grass Valley, CA. He is full of energy and enthusiasm for maintaining healthy colonies. He also convinced me that raising queens isn't as hard as I think it is. ;-)

Russian bee breeder and long-time MBA leader Harry Fulton greeted everyone and taught packed sessions on beginning beekeeping. It was heartening to see so many people interested in taking up beekeeping as a hobby. (I didn't even get up and give a testimony about how they *think* it's going to be a hobby and then it takes over their lives . . .)

Walter T. Kelley Company and Dadant were both on site to sell equipment and all sorts of bee-related goodies, like these signs.

One of my favorite presentations was given by Ed Levi, a retired apiary inspector from Arkansas. He has traveled the world to help struggling beekeepers improve their practices for more financial stability. His amazing photos included traditional hives, a house with a hive kept in the wall for instant access to sweetener, and photos of honey hunters who have to avoid tiger attacks while harvesting.

Thanks, MBA, for a great conference!