MSBA is pleased to once again welcome Dr. Samuel Ramsey to share his innovative and revolutionary research into the biological of two critical threats to honey bees: varroa mites and, potentially, Tropilaelaps!
Sam's enduring interest in entomology started over 20 years ago and shows no signs of waning. Having completed his PhD in 2018 with Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp's lab at the University of Maryland, College Park, Ramsey tries to maintain a focus on how insect research can benefit the public through development of IPM strategies and STEM outreach initiatives. Ramsey studied entomology at Cornell University as an undergraduate focusing on Predatory/Parasitic insect behavior. His current work focuses on the effects of honey bee parasites on individual and colony level survivorship specifically targeting Varroa destructorand Nosema ceranae.
MSBA will hear, for the first time, from Bill Sprenkle, owner of the Log Cabin Bee Farm, LLC located in York County, Pennsylvania. The farm is a micro-honeybee breeding operation with the mission to produce hygienic (VSH) queens for colony sustainability and production. The operation includes seven apiaries and 50 to 200 colonies depending on the seasonal production needs. Bill’s lifetime passion has been observing and interacting with nature with a focus on plants and wildlife.
Approximately 18 years ago, his primary interest became honeybees when his wife surprised him with two hives for a birthday gift. Bill, like all beekeepers, quickly learned the importance of the honeybee queen for colony performance and sustainability. After reading a few queen rearing books, he felt prepared to produce “quality” queens but quickly learned his new journey would be longer, more challenging, and more rewarding than anticipated. In 2010, after retiring from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Executive Deputy Secretary of Corrections, Bill expanded his breeding operation and began to ship VSH queens for beekeepers throughout the United States.
Newly relocated to our area (we can thank Cupid for that, during our February meeting!) Mark Dykes is the extension and Bee Squad coordinator for the vanEngelsdorp Bee Lab. Previous to his position at the University of Maryland, Mark was the Chief Inspector for the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS). During his tenure at TAIS Mark helped to create the Texas Master Beekeeper Program and the Texas State Honey Bee Diagnostic Lab. Mark was also a supervisor with the Florida Department of Agriculture's Apiary Inspection Service and the apiary manager for Dr. Jamie Ellis' honey bee lab at the University of Florida. Mark has a degree in natural resource conservation from the University of Florida and is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.