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Wow. I am truly blown away by the support and feedback
I’ve received in the wake of the amazing 2019 Convention. I feel
honored to be TBA President and am grateful for the supportive
executive committee I have around me. I have huge shoes to fill
in place of Blake Shook and Chris Moore who have been kind
and humble mentors to me in business and leadership. We have
an amazing team assembled that is ready to get to work!
We had record attendance at our Convention of around 400
people and raised $13,245 for the Texas Honey Bee Education
Association to use towards youth education programs. I know
THBEA has big plans for the future and these funds will help
them to take on larger projects. I saw many new vendors as well
as some of our long-time supporters and I really enjoyed learning
from our out-of-state experts as well as our Texas beekeepers.
Watching the growth of the events, the Honey Show, and the
membership over the past few years has been inspiring and we
owe it to the hardworking volunteers that have been tirelessly
devoted to improving all aspects of TBA. In fact, those teams
already have rigorous notes on how to make the next event
even better so be sure to watch for upcoming Summer Clinic
Looking back on the event, I was reflecting on some of my
favorite moments and they all had something in common. The
moments when beekeepers were laughing and sharing ideas,
experiences, and stories with one another. At one moment
on Saturday, there was even a room full of natural beekeepers
discussing the future of beekeeping with commercial beekeepers
and it gave me so much hope for our industry to see everybody
working towards a common goal of healthy bees and a
sustainable beekeeping industry. I’m hopeful and encouraged that
bringing people of different ideologies together is a great way to
accomplish big things for bees and beekeeping in the future.
On a personal note, As the beekeeping season comes to an
end it’s also a great time to take note of lessons learned and make
plans for the future. We’re still growing as a business and this
year we took more baby steps towards building our commercial
operation. The plans for the immediate future are to continue to
keep our bees growing in their boxes. With almond pollination
plans coming up, we came out of watermelons a little lighter
than we wanted so we have been getting the bees back on track.
As Blake Shook, TBA Past President, mentioned at the TBA
Conference in his industry update, consumers’ for honey bee
health is at an all-time high. This is a great thing and is apparent
in the attendance of sold-out theaters showing “The Pollinators”
movie as well as in everyday interactions with our customers.
This is a great opportunity for us to educate people about the
importance of honey bees to food production, how we care for
honey bees, how we advocate for all pollinators by promoting
forage and limited pesticide use and how we safely harvest honey
without harming the colony. These are talking points that we
can continue to use to better educate the people we interact with
every day while promoting the beekeeping industry.
Onward to 2020! We have a great executive committee filled
with passionate beekeepers who want the best for TBA, the
membership, bees, beekeepers, and the entire industry. There is
so much talent on the board and big ideas and plans to bring
even more value to all of you. I plan to attend the American
Beekeeping Federation Conference to bring back ideas for future
TBA conferences, information on the most current research
and market conditions and issues surrounding the beekeeping
industry. I look forward to sharing what I learn. Your board has
already shared countless emails and phone calls as we make plans
for the next year so be on the lookout for more updates!