November is a fine time of the year to step back from the daily rigors of beekeeping and get a glimpse of the big picture.
Whether meeting in small clubs or large state or national organizations, it is easy to see that beekeepers are a naturally friendly group; they like to arrange get-togethers to share notes, learn new ideas, get a feel for what’s new, and socialize with their like-minded cohorts.
Annual conventions are run by all the major beekeeping associations, such as the American Beekeeping Federation, The American Honey Producers’ Association, and, here in California, The California Beekeepers’ Association. Pictured above is a scene from last year’s California convention in Lake Tahoe, which featured over 1,000 guests and countless exhibitors.
The convention usually includes several days of industry-leading speakers, typically from the large agriculturally-minded universities, such as University of California – Davis, Washington State University and others, as well as break-out groups, special research luncheons, raffles, door prizes and of course, exhibitors.
It is always enjoyable to walk through the maze of exhibitors, which typically consist of the usual mix of beekeeping supply companies, nutrition supplement companies, “save the bees” organizations, and even insurance salespeople. All of these groups, however, are critical to the success of the beekeeping industry, and nearly all have valuable offerings.
The best part of the state and national conventions is for beekeepers like us to have the opportunity to meet many of our customers face-to-face, and to spend some very rare leisure time catching up with our beekeeping friends!