It’s almost time- the Land of Enchantment eagerly awaits everyone for their visit to New Mexico for this year’s 2013 WAS Conference, taking place October 16-19th at the world historic site of the La Fonda Hotel on the Santa Fe plaza. Full conference registration is $125 (early bird pricing through Aug. 31st), single day registration $60 and half day $35. Banquet and Tour additional. La Fonda is extending a very special discount conference room rate of $115/night (for duration of conference and also offered for 3 days +/- the conference).

For more information on conference registration and hotel discount visit: http://ucanr.edu/sites/was2/Conference_Information/Conference_Details/

The Conference theme, “Colony Consciousness: Working Together to Preserve, Protect & Promote Our Pollinators” is inclusive; meaning, it recognizes the diversity and adversities when stewarding bees, but also, just how important and integral it is for all facets of the industry to encourage cooperation and collaboration. Beekeeping involves not only the stewardship of bugs, but it also revolves around the “api-ecosphere”: where agricultural, scientific, medical, societal and artistic realms coexist and interact.

Everyone is welcome to come to our enchanted lands here in the southern Rocky Mountains to explore what others near and far are learning from their bees, and how to keep oneself educated on the various nuances that the scientific artistry of honeybee stewardship encourages. This year’s agenda is a full one. Speakers from around the globe will be coming to share their expertise and varied experiences as they pertain to honeybee genetics and breeding, diversified management and agriculture, alternative pollinators and hive designs, apitherapy, bee products, cooperative beekeeping, and of course current research into nutrition, health, environment and pest and disease issues.

Santa Fe is the oldest capitol in the USA. This Old World “City Different” is known for its art, cuisine and historical cultural impacts which include world famous artists, the best green chile in the southwest, and the indigenous and Iberian undertones of the Pueblo Native Americans and the Spanish Conquistadors and settlers. The architecture alone in this world historic site is unparalleled and invites visitors to explore its plaza, its surrounding back country trails, and the cultures that thrive where the plains and the deserts meet the Rocky Mountains.

This year’s speaker list brings a swarm like no other to the high elevations of northern New Mexico. I have invited a diverse group of presenters who I feel are not only generous of their time, but willing to share and explore their research with those keen to learn more about who and how they are as bee stewards. This year’s line up includes several Doctors from doctrines of various and faceted studies including, Dr. Gordon Wardell of Parmount Farms (Alternative Pollinator Production- California), Dr. Eric Mussen (Honeybee Nutrition- UC Davis), Dr. Steve Sheppard (Honeybee Genetics and Importation Efforts- Washington State University), Dr. Gloria deGrandi-Hoffman (Bee Gut Flora research- University of Arizona/USDA-ARS Carl B. Hayden Bee Research Laboratory), Dr. Karen Stickler (Blue Orchard Bees- Idaho), Dr. Valerie Solheim (HealingBees.org- Colorado), Dr. Steve Rankin (NM Honey vs. MRSA trials- University of New Mexico Pediatrics), Dr. Voyce Durling-Jones (HoShinDo-Japanese Meridian Apitherapy, Santa Fe), Dr. Julie McIntyre (US Fish & Wildlife Pollinator Specialist, UNM-Albuquerque), Dr. Jay Evans (USDA Belstville, MD Bee Laboratory), and Dr. Jose Villa and Dr. Bob Danka (USDA-ARS Baton Rouge, Lousiana Bee Laboratory).

Additionally, we have respresentatives from deep in the fields as well including, Les Crowder (For the Love of Bees- Natural Top Bar Beekeeping, NM), Marygael Meister (DenverBees.org- urban community beekeeping and breeding), Liz and Terry Huxter (Terry’s Bees- VSH queen breeding- British Columbia, Canada), Kim Flottum (Catch the Buzz- Bee Culture Magazine Editor, Ohio), Sue Cobey (History of Bee Breeding, the New World Carniolan line, Washington State University), Bonnie Morse (BonnieBee, Marin Adapted Survivors, California), John Jacob (Old Sol Apiaries, Survivor Stock bees, Oregon), Jenny Bach (Bee Love Hawaii- Community Beekeeping/Education), M.E.A. McNeil (SuperOrganism.org, San Anselmo CSA, renowned journalist for American Bee Journal), Christi Heintz (Project ApisM.), and various NM and CO beekeepers including Mark Spitzig of Zia Queenbee Co. (Rotational Grazing/Breeding survivor stock), and Ed Colby (“The Bottom Board”- Bee Culture column), TJ Carr (Top Bar beekeeping/ABQ), Steve Wall (Buckin’ Bee- Santa Fe), and Lorraine Gray and Emigdio Baillon from Four Bridges Travelling Permaculture Institute and Tesuque Pueblo Permaculture Farm.

Even more names to look forward to hearing from are Jim Bach (Washington), Dr. Dewey Caron (Oregon), and keynote speaker, Dr. John Kefuss- Survivor Stock Queen Bee Breeder flying in from France! The agenda will commence October 16, 2013 on Wednesday afternoon with a pre-conference board meeting. Afterwards, we will open registration in the hotel lobby and then socialize in the hotel or mosey on down the cobble stones and socialize at the Marble Brewery- half a block down from the Hotel La Fonda.

October 17th and 18th (Thursday and Friday) will be full agenda days which will start with general sessions for the first half of the day and specialized block sessions in the afternoons. Specialized sessions on Thursday (Oct. 17) include: Breeding & Genetics and Planting for Pollinators. Friday (Oct. 18) specialized blocks include: Apitherapy, Bee Products & Marketing, Alternative Pollinators, Community and Urban Bee Stewardship, Reverential Agriculture, & Hive Management.

Thursday evening will include the grand opening of the art exhibit, “Tiny Heroes: Celebrating the Beauty of our Pollinators” featuring local Santa Fe artist, Kathryn Alexander and several additional regional artists of various mediums. Proceeds from this exhibit will benefit local pollinator programs such as The Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative, which focuses on establishing and breeding regional honeybee stock and promoting educational outreach and training efforts to beekeepers near and far.

Friday afternoon, there will be a kid’s block where children can come visit the art exhibit, and also learn a little about pollinators and the important role they play. There will be a final board meeting later in the afternoon and a showing of a bee film pre-banquet. The annual Western Apicultural Society banquet will be held Friday evening off-site of the hotel. Location and menu are still to be determined but no doubt it will be affordably exquisite and feature local chefs cooking with local ingredients. The conference will also include a morning general session on Saturday (Oct. 19) in the morning highlighting the new generation of beekeepers and information on how to be supportive of those willing and able to carry on the torch for protecting, preserving and promoting our pollinators.

And finally, the conference will wrap up with a tour up The High Road of the El Camino Real which will make stops at the Sanctuario de Chimayo, Zia Queenbee Co. farm, and conclude with tastings at Vivac and Black Mesa Wineries. This tour will follow a 3,000’ elevational loop which winds through and up the juniper speckled foothills to the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range of the southern Rockies then follows the canyon down and saddles up next to the northern Rio Grande.

Exhibitors at the conference include Mann Lake, Ltd., Root Candles/Bee Culture, For the Love of Bees, Buckin’ Bee, Project ApisM., The Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative, HealingBees.org, Beaver Plastics, and a handful more! There will be several authors on hand to sign their achievements as well. Additionally, for those staying a few extra days, you may want to consider attending the 6th Annual Growing Food & Justice For All Initiative Gathering, “Food is Medicine, Water is Life” being held in Taos, New Mexico.

Much will be missed if you choose not to attend this year’s Western Apicultural Society 2013 Conference; you will fail to be enchanted, and even more perplexing, is that you’ll miss one heck of an informative network from which to build a-new and upon for your own bee stewardship endeavors. The southern Rocky Mountains boast 7 out of the 8 climactic zones, fluent English and Spanish speakers and then some, AND, the warmest and most interesting of western hospitalities abound. Come experience the tri-cultural influences of the Native, Spanish and Anglo races and the woven energies they each have imparted onto the New Mexican psyche…for New Mexico is indeed not so new, and not so Mexico. 🙂

Beekeeping is extreme here in the arid high deserts and alpine mountains- hot and cold, like our day to night temperatures. Yet the people stay warm, and we welcome you with abrazos abiertas (open arms). Bienvenidos/Welcome and we hope you will join us this autumn in our beeloved Land of Enchantment.

Yours in Beekeeping- Melanie Margarita Kirby, 2013 WAS President

Email: ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

Conference information visit: http://ucanr.edu/sites/was2/Conference_Information/Conference_Details/


Whether you travel by plane into Santa Fe proper or into the SunPort- Albuquerque International Airport, we recommend contacting La Fonda Hotel (Toll Free 800.523.5002) prior as they can schedule a shuttle for you ($25) with delivery to their hotel (WAS discount $115/night). If hotel bookings are full at La Fonda, overflow will be taking place at the Hilton Santa Fe ($125/night).

If you choose not to rent a vehicle nor take the shuttle, you can opt to take the NM RailRunner which has a connecting bus from the airport terminal to the train station (times vary so check well in advance to see if timing works for your flight arrival). Visit www.nmrailrunner.com for info on their airport schedule to and from Santa Fe stations. If train is taken north to Santa Fe, you can disembark at the downtown station, which is about 7 blocks from the hotel.

If you choose to rent a vehicle, you can leave the ABQ airport and merge onto I-25 northbound towards Santa Fe (approximately 55 miles). Follow I-25 North to Santa Fe, take the St. Francis (84/285) exit towards the downtown plaza. Follow signs to plaza and look for the Basilica- hotel is right across from the tall church.

If you rent a vehicle from the Santa Fe airport, you can take Airport Road, left on Cerrillos- and follow to St. Francis…then follow signs to downtown plaza and look for church. Hotel La Fonda website: www.lafondasantafe.com, Hilton Santa Fe website: www.historicplazahotelsantafe.com/. For more information on Santa Fe and New Mexico, visit www.newmexico.org/

WAS Conference registration tables will be behind the La Plazuela restaurant which is located in the interior atrium of the hotel lobby. Signs will be posted and hotel staff can also direct you to the conference areas. If you would like to make a contribution to the silent auction, WAS welcomes entries and appreciates your support!