2016 Spring Conference

(updated 03/08/16)
The 2016 MBA Spring Conference is closer than you think – it is time to register and plan to attend!

All folks interested in bees are welcomed to attend!

The conference will be held at the Kellogg Center on the Michigan State University campus during ANR week on Friday, March 11, 2016 and Saturday, March 12, 2016.  The MBA is the oldest bee association in the country.  The MBA is also the longest continually operating agricultural association in the state of Michigan and – we think, though we can’t yet prove it – also in the country.  We are very proud of this accomplishment!

The MBA board is (and has been) busy finalizing the conference plans.  As things bet settled, we will update this page with the latest information.  So stay tuned!

The keynote speakers will be Gary Reuter.  A long time hobby beekeeper and trained in technology education, Gary began working with Marla Spivak when she moved to Minnesota in 1993. Without his hard work, the program would not be what it is today. He maintains the research colonies, helps train and work with students in the field, designs and builds specialty equipment and speaks to beekeeping, student and civic groups. He plans the Extension short courses and together with Marla teaches beginning as well as experienced beekeepers. His humorous style of teaching helps the classes stay interested and enthusiastic about a sometimes challenging subject. He is a past president of both Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association and Wisconsin Honey Producers Association and director of the American Beekeeping Federation, and remains active in these groups. He still finds time to mange his own colonies, while learning to blacksmith, maintaining an orchard, and helping his wife raise sheep.

There will be break-out sessions on both days covering a wide range of topics that should be of interest for both the beginner and advanced beekeeper alike.  Many of these classes are new.  Of course, the ever-popular vendor area will be back so that you can see all of the latest beekeeping equipment in one place.  Here will be your opportunity to see what’s new in the beekeeping world and meet the folks who actually make your stuff!

Pre-registration is available on-line and we encourage all attendees to do so.  When you pre-register you get a discount too!  We encourage all conference attendees to pre-register.  If you pre-pay when you pre-register, your conference material will be available for immediate pick-up… no waiting in line.

Before you pre-register, please note that in order to get the MBA member discount you must be a current member of the MBA.  The 2015 memberships expired on December 31, 2015.  So you may need to renew your membership for 2016.  If in doubt, you can check your membership status by clicking here.

Note: Pre-registration will close Tuesday, March 8.
To pre-register on-line, click here.
(3/8/16: Pre-registration is now closed.  However, you can register at the conference.  The registration table will be open 8am till noon on Friday and Saturday.)

You can still renew or become a MBA member for 2016 and receive the member discount registration rates at the conference. To become a current member of the MBA, click here.

Registration Fees:
Pre-Registered (note: pre-registration is now closed)

MBA Member, 2-Day:  $30.00
MBA Member, 1-Day:  $20.00
MBA Guest/Spouse:  $20.00
Non-Member, 2-Day:  $50.00
Non-Member, 1-Day:  $30.00
Non-Member Spouse/Guest:  $25.00
Children under 16 (with 1 registered adult): no charge

Paid At-the-Door
MBA Member, 2-Day:  $35.00
MBA Member, 1-Day:  $25.00
MBA Member Spouse/Guest:  $25.00
Non-Member, 2-Day: $55.00
Non-Member, 1-Day:  $35.00
Non-Member Spouse/Guest:  $30.00
Children under 16 (with 1 registered adult): no charge

MBA has reserved a block of rooms at the Kellogg Center which are available on a first-come-first-served basis.  Normal rates at the Kellogg Center range from $129 to $173 per night.  Mention that you are with the MBA conference (reference group code: 1603MIBEEE) and the room is available for $102 per night (single, double or king).  Plus applicable fees, state and local taxes.  Room reservations MUST BE MADE BY FEBRUARY 4, 2016 in order to guarantee the discounted rate.  Call the Kellogg Center directly at 800-875-5090 or online at www.kelloggcenter.com.  If you are planning to stay at the Kellogg Center, then we suggest that you make your reservations early.

Update on Feb 12, 2016:  The Kellogg Center has added a few more rooms available to the MBA block.  These rooms will not last long.  Also, the MBA is working on more room blocks in nearby hotels.  Availability will be announced on this web site.

Meals can be obtained at the Kellogg Center’s State Room, but early reservations are recommended.  Also, the Brody Complex Cafeteria is available directly across the street from the Kellogg Center.  The cafeteria is definitely not what you remember it to be back in the days you were attending college.  Reliable reports have this cafeteria to be very reasonably priced, with very good food and it is certainly convenient.

Children’s Activity Room:
This year we will again have a children’s activity room open on Saturday, March 14, from 10 am to 2 pm.  We will have lots of things to engage these future beekeepers, including coloring books, hands on beekeeping equipment, games and more!

In order to make the children’s activity room a success, we need folks  to volunteer and help out.  The more volunteers we have, the easier it will be on all concerned.  If you want to help, even if for a short period of time, then please contact Sheldon Schwitek and let him know.  We are in particular need for someone to help organize this activity.  Don’t be shy!  Help us out!

Parents:  please note.  This is an educational activity, not a day care facility.

Schedule of Events:
We will be organizing the classes and break-out sessions along “tracks”.  For example, there will be a track specifically oriented toward beginning beekeepers and another targeted at the intermediate and advanced beekeepers.  The content of most tracks will be repeated on both days (particularly the beginner’s track), as well as some other classes scheduled as resources permit.

Click here for the latest conference agenda 

Click here for the latest class descriptions

The list of classes  include…

The Remarkable Cape Bee – Apis Capensis   (from his recent trip to South Africa)  – Steve Tilmann
Sideliner to Commerical Beekeepers – Dave Anthony
Hive House – Joel Lantz
Raising Queens for Self-Sustaining Beekeeping – Mike Risk
Cottage Food Law  – Licensing and labeling – tbd
Bee Squad – placing bees for restaurants, etc – Francois Faloppa
Queen Rearing – Greg Willis
Alternative Hive (top bar )  – Matt Tanana
Mite Management – (vet Pharma)Phil Craft
Daring to manage your hives – David Payant
Nicot method of raising queens – David Payant
Anatomy of the bee – Microscope class – Zachary Huang (microscope classes both days)
Catching Swarms – Matt Tanana
Hive Management – Mike Risk
Bee Removal from Structures – Charlotte Hubbard
What we wished we’d known in the BEEE-ginning – Charlotte Hubbard
Apitherapy – Kristine Jacobson (need to confirm availability for both days)
Antibiotics and Mite Kit- – Walter Pett
Pests and Pathogens – Meghan Milbrath
Making splits – Nathan Snyder – Saturday only
Discecting for Nosema and tracheal mite – Microscope Class – Meghan Milbrath (classes both days)
Beginners Track – Dale Woods, Kay Barber, Cindy Dudock -(both days)

Please note:  If you want a list of classes, please print the schedule ahead of time and bring it with you.  Only a limited number of copies will be available at the conference.

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS:  We need your class description and requirements!  Click here to print the form and return to email address shown on form.

Microscope Class
Dr. Zachary Huang will again offer the “microscope” class on Friday morning and Saturday afternoon. The class will be held in the Entomology’s Department teaching lab in the Natural Science Building.  Entomology has just recently installed a state-of-the art high-defiinition projecting microscope (for group viewing).  Students will also have a microscope of their own.  Zach will take you through the “bee parts” by dissecting a honey bee.   Go where you have not gone before.  Learn and see new things.  Cost is $50.00.  Each class is limited to 23 people.

In addition, Dr. Meghan Milbrath will offer a new “microscope” class on the dissection for identification of nosema and tracheal mites.  This class will be offered on both Friday afternoon Saturday morning.  This class will be held in the Entomology’s Department teaching lab in the Natural Science Building.  Cost is $50.00.  Each class is limited to 23 people.

To sign up for either or both of the microscope class(es), include the class as an option on the on-line registration form.

Vendors will be located in the Big Ten A room, directly across from the registration room.  The vendors are always a very popular event.  You can see what’s new in beekeeping and purchase equipment and supplies for the upcoming season.  Most vendors will bring items to the conference to sell and some are accepting pre-conference orders (you save on shipping!).  Please support our vendors, as they help make the spring conference possible.

As of this posting, vendors currently committed to attend are…

AWS bees
Bee Snug
Blackmore Rowe Insurance
Blue Sky Bee Supply
Brigg’s Saginaw Valley Honey
BRW Nucs
CT Treats Custom Granola
Cutler’s Beekeeping Supply
Dadant and Sons
Full Ark Tees
Golden Harvest
Grandpa’s Tree Reading Corner
The Great Lakes Bee Company
Great Lakes Bee Supply
Green Toe Gardens
Honeytree Nursery
Huron Bee Company
International Mating Nuc, Inc
Kelley Bee Company
T.M.Klein and Sons
Mann  Lake Ltd
Napoleon Bee Supply
Lam’s Honeybees and Bee Supplies, LLC
Northern Bee Supply, LLC
Red Headed Honey (Friday Only)
S&L Honey Farm
Turtlebee and Honeytree Farms
2 Queen Bees, LLC
Wicwas Press
J.Woods Enterprises,LLC

Plan your shopping!  Click here for the vendor floor plan (not yet published)

If you are a vendor and would like a table at our conference, then… click here.

Putting on the conference is a lot of work and we can always use volunteers to help us along.  We can use help with a short setup on Thursday evening, handing out material in the classes and general session, assistance with at-the-door registration, helping out in the kid’s activity room (Saturday only) and post-conference evaluation.  Even if you only have a short time available, any help is greatly appreciated.  Contact Sheldon Schwitek.

2 comments to 2016 Spring Conference

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Vendors can start setting up on Thursday evening around 6:30 to 7:00pm. The tables are 8-feet long.

  • Stephen Tilmann

    Pennie, we should be able to take care of this at the conference. See you there!
    Steve Tilmann, Treasurer
    Michigan Beekeepers’ Associatin

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