Free State beekeepers distinguished themselves as great practitioners and even better community members at the most recent conference of the largest noncommercial beekeeping organization in the United States and one of the largest in the world: EAS.
The Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) 2019 Annual Conference was held in Greensboro, South Carolina, July 15-19. Attendance was approximately 700, and that number included about 25 beekeepers from the great state of Maryland. The program included excellent speakers for every level of beekeeping, classes, hands-on seminars, bee yard, honey show, silent and live auctions, social events, vendors, and lots of time to talk bees with other beekeepers from all over the United States and the world. I believe that our friends from New Zealand won the prize for traveling the farthest.
Four beekeepers from Maryland were at EAS to test their knowledge of beekeeping by taking the EAS Master Beekeeper exams. The testing consists of four separate exams over the course of two days and they include a field exam in the bee yard, oral exam, written exam and a laboratory exam. The exams are challenging and you definitely need to “know your stuff”.
Some of our other Maryland beekeepers demonstrated their outstanding beekeeping skills in other ways for the folks at EAS:
Monica Schmitt, beekeeper from Westminster, Md., and a member of the Carroll County Beekeepers Association and the MSBA, competed in the Extracted Honey Division (280 total entries) in the EAS Honey Show and won the Best in Show Silver Plate for her locust honey.
Greg Gentry, Allen Hayes, and Fred Smith: Team Maryland [/caption]Greg Gentry, Allen Hayes, and Fred Smith made up Team Maryland and competed in the “Bee Olympics,” which was part of the entertainment at one of the dinners during EAS. As a team, they demonstrated feats of strength, visual acuity, and excellent hand-eye coordination. Actually, they guessed the weight of a super, found the queen in a series of photos, and assembled a frame with nails and a hive tool for a hammer. In the end Team Maryland came out on top and a great time was had by all.
We should be proud of our fellow beekeepers from Maryland and thank them for representing us so well.