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Ross Conrad works with his bee hive.

CHESTER >> Vermont beekeeper Ross Conrad of Dancing Bee Gardens will host an Organic Beekeeping Workshop on Saturday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the NewsBank Conference Center, 352 Main Street, Chester, Vermont. The event is presented by The Nature Museum at Grafton.

This workshop includes three topics often requested by local beekeepers:

• Working with Honey Bee Queens: The queen bee, the only fertile female bee in the hive, can lay 1,500 or more eggs a day during the peak of summer. Ross Conrad will provide beekeepers with information to work productively with queens. Workshop participants will learn how to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy queens, and get tips on introducing queens into a hive and how to address queen problems. Note: This workshop is not about breeding queens and grafting.

• Working with Swarms: The swarm is an expression of the hive's vitality. Ross will talk about the intricate details of how the hive decides on a new location to build its home and its process of coordinating the movements of 10,000 bees so that they all arrive at the new location at the same time. Ross will share tips, based on research conducted at Cornell University, on understanding the swarm, how to work with the swarming impulse, and how to capture swarms.

• Organic Controls for Pests and Disease (Other than Varroa): This topic will cover everything from bears and skunks, to wax moths, small hive beetles, foulbrood, nosema, viruses, and more.


In the workshop, Ross will present a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping not often covered by conventional beekeeping lessons. He will allot time to discuss beekeeping, answer questions, and meet other beekeepers. After the workshop, he will sign copies of his book, Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, and will have bee-related products for purchase.

There will be raffles, a flow hive display, honey tasting and light refreshments, featuring special treats from Grafton Village Cheese. Participants are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch.

Register by March 1 to receive the early bird price of $30 for this four-hour workshop. The price will be $35 after March 1 and at the door. Visit or call 802.843.2111 to register.

The Nature Museum is located at 186 Townshend Road in Grafton. It offers museum admission by free-will donation, vacation camps for youth, and nature programs for adults, children, and schools. Find event information on the Nature Museum of Grafton's website: