Remembering Pat Haskell, Master Beekeeper

There is sad news to tell the bees: EAS Master Beekeeper and long time MSBA member and Board Member Pat Haskell passed away on May 17, 2021. 

Pat was a champion of beekeeping education and a symbol of beekeeper mentorship, contributing greatly to the advancement of beekeepers both locally, regionally, and nationally. Pat worked tirelessly to improve beekeeping skills within Virginia and the surrounding region. She played a major role in founding many clubs, and taught the first beginning beekeeping courses ever offered in the District of Columbia. She was a founding member of the Northern Virginia Beekeeping Teachers Consortium, a pillar of the Beekeeping Association of Northern Virginia.

Together with her husband Jim, Pat was responsible for the successful organization of the Northern Virginia Teaching Consortium, a multi-county educational effort teaching the same curriculum to beginning beekeepers that has reached thousands of new beekeepers; ran the first multi session intermediate beekeeping class in Virginia; held in house study sessions for the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) master beekeeper exam and the Virginia certification exams; presented workshops on a variety of subjects; organized several multi day queen rearing educational workshops; as led efforts to share genetic queen stock within the regional beekeeping community; and presented nationally both at EAS and the American Bee Federation (ABF) contributing important data to the discussion of colony survival based on queen stock.

Pat was devoted to providing education and preparation for the EAS Master Beekeeper certification since she herself was certified in 2003. She helped many others become master beekeepers through her open house and giving nature and Pat’s “old oak table” study group was well known. Pat was also one of the original champions of promoting the use of nucleus colonies in a sustainable apiary and encouraged local beekeepers to start rearing queens. One time she and her husband picked up an entire colony of honey bees to be able to graft from its special queen and then returned dozens of virgin queens to the community of beekeepers. 

We are especially grateful for Pat’s mentorship and leadership in beekeeping education throughout the MidAtlantic and for being such a champion of the benefits of exploring outside of the State to broaden our beekeeping education through EAS, ABF and more. Pat mentored many in the community and together with her husband Jim were role models of what education and mentorship can and should be.

She is survived by her husband Jim; daughters Heidi J. Loechler of Peculiar, MO and Heather D. Ramsey of Bellevue, NE; six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.Burial will be at the Kowanda Methodist Church, Garden County Nebraska in early July following graveside services. Time and date TBD.

[Return to June 2021 BeeLine newsletter]