The Middlesex County Beekeepers Association's annual Friday After Thanksgiving meeting will feature Dan Conlon, of Warm Color Apiaries. Dan is the newly elected president of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association, and he will be talking about this fascinating breed.

On 11/25 we will meet from 7-9pm at the First Religious Society Hall, 27 School Street, in Carlisle, MA (about a half-hour North of Boston). If you're in town visiting, and you've had your fill of turkey, shopping, and relatives, come and talk bees with us!

I'll be the guy taking notes on his laptop wearing a Hawaiian Shirt - Please stop by and say hello!

Dan Conlon says that his talk will be about genetic selection for mite tolerance and disease resistance. He recently spent time with Frank Rinkovich PhD (Bee Lab Toxicologist) and learned some very interesting findings on pesticide testing - he will give a few minutes to his research, and also new thinking on bee nutrition and bee health.

The Russian Honeybee Breeders Association has met its phase II goals. We have demonstrated that genetic purity can be maintained in open mated breeding programs, and that tolerance to Varroa mites can be amplified by the RHBA selection model. The Baton Rouge Bee Lab presented our data over 25 years (Phase I was first ten years) and there has been a steady improvement in the 17 breeding lines we are currently maintaining. Russian bees are the most genetically diverse, show the best mite tolerance, and are highly resistant to many diseases and viruses.

Dan was recently elected RHBA President at the RHBA annual meeting earlier this month at the Bee Lab and will have the responsibility of furthering outreach to the beekeeping community. This will be Dan's first attempt to educate beekeepers about what many of us see as the future of honeybees and breeding of honeybees. We are entering a time where science driven solutions will make the difference in our beekeeping.

Tony P.