This past Saturday, March 18, many beekeepers from the Midwest had the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Beekeeping Conference sponsored by the Marathon County Beekeepers Association held at the Northcentral Technical College in Wausau Wisconsin.
One of the keynote speakers was Mel Disselkoen. Mel is from Michigan and started beekeeping in 1972. Through his years of beekeeping, he has developed what is called, the OTS (on the spot) queen rearing system. Mel developed this system after studying what he calls the “pioneers of modern beekeeping” . Those pioneers would include, Miller, Doolittle, Dzierson and many others.
Mel is a published author that has recently written - OTS Queen Rearing – A survival guide for beekeepers worldwide. In his presentation he covered many of the techniques that he uses to raise quality queens with a minimal amount of steps involved. His presentation covered how to make splits, produce honey, and getting your bees ready for the winter without using miticides for the treatment of mites.
Mel questions why beekeepers are buying bees every year when you have all the resources available to increase your numbers and even have extra colonies that can be sold to local beekeepers and those that want to get started in the vocation of beekeeping.
One of the many reoccurring themes of the conference was the negative impact and experiences that many are experiencing with purchasing packages of bees. It was pointed out that over 35% of the queens in packages that are started will superceed within the first thirty days. The packages that we are buying are not climatized to our area, and what is the risk of introducing Africanized bees into our area. Survivor bees from your area are the best bees to have in your apiary.
To find more information on Mel and his techniques, go to his website www.mdasplitter.com
To watch a youtube video of a presentation that Mel did a few years ago
or just search for Mel Disselkoen on youtube.
Personally I would like to thank East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association for sponsoring my day at the convention and the Marathon County Beekeepers Association
www.marathoncountybeeassociation.com for sponsoring the day long event. Well Done !!