The Wisconsin Honey Producers Association has historically said to have been established in 1878. However, research has shown that it was established earlier, perhaps as early as 1864. It was initially named the Wisconsin Beekeepers Association, however, the name was changed to the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association in 1965. It was initially formed to be a resource for beekeepers and be an advocate for beekeepers in Wisconsin. The organization today still embraces these goals and additionally works to educate the public about the beekeeping industry.
The first organizational newsletter, “Wisconsin Beekeeping”, was published in 1924 and continued until 1957. During that time the Wisconsin Beekeepers Association was affiliated with the Wisconsin Horticultural Society and the newsletter was published as a supplement to the “Wisconsin Horticulturalist”. When the legislature ended financial support for the Wisconsin Horticultural Society the effort was discontinued. In 1957 the Badger Bee became the official newsletter and continues today.
It is interesting to note that one of the first major actions of the organization was the preparation of a bill to be submitted to the legislature to create an apiary inspection program, the 1st such initiative in nation. This initiative was started in 1895. Being proactive in the legislative area still remains one of the association’s objectives, the most recent being working with the legislature to establish a standard of identity for honey and creation of the Wisconsin Certified Honey program. The association has for years been instrumental in promoting beekeeping research by donation funds to nationally recognized researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University of Nebraska. Recently funds have also been donated to a newly formed research group at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls.
In the 1950’s the first honey queen program in the nation was founded in Wisconsin by the association. The program, which has now grown to a nationwide program, continues to be an outstanding way of promoting and education the public about the beekeeping industry by doing promotions and public relations in schools, civic groups and the news media.
A much more detailed history of the association and beekeeping in Wisconsin is available in the publication “History of Wisconsin’s Beekeeping and Honey Industry” by Walter L. Gomjerac published in 1995.
Upcoming WHPA Events
Saturday, February 17 9:00am SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT – Location: Phoenix Center, 100 S. Orange Street (Hwy 14) Richland Center, WI 8:00am Registration – $10/person includes lunch for members/$15 for non-members. Meeting Speakers: Gunner Bernning, 2018 Wisconsin Youth Beekeeper telling us how he got started beekeeping. Lexi Gegare, WI Honey Princess. Strong Microbials will be sharing new ideas on bee health. Door prizes and silent auction. Lunch and Breakout sessions. Business meeting. Call to RSVP. Contact: Shelly Astle 608.489.2456
Saturday, March 3 10:00am CENTRAL DISTRICT – Location: McMillan Memorial Library – 490 East Grand Avenue, Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin Rapids, WI Agenda: State bee inspector Dan Ziehli will discuss mite checking and treatments, foulbrood and other diseases and working with veterinarians. There will be a report on the ABF convention, overwintering reports, spring management and short business meeting. Breakout sessions for new and experienced beekeepers. Contact: Dayton Kauth 715.886.4030 or [email protected]
Sunday, March 4 1:00pm NORTHEASTERN DISTRICT Location: Mosquito Hill Nature Center N3880 Rogers Road, New London, WI Directions: Located just off US Hwy 45 and Hwy 54 Program includes overwintering report and presentation by Slava Strogolov on Strong Microbials; Honey sampling from around the world; WHPA updates; Q & A Session. Bring snacks for break session. Contact: Dan Piechowski 920.566.4132
Friday, March 9 6:00-9:00pm WESTERN DISTRICT- 1st meeting Exploring Beekeeping no cost to attend Location: Myrick Park Center 789 Myrick Park Dr. La Crosse, WI
Saturday, March 10 9:00am-4:00pm WESTERN DISTRICT – 2nd Meeting Location: Myrick Park Center 789 Myrick Park Dr. La Crosse, WI. Guest Speaker: Michael Bush of Bush Bee Farm Topics to Include: Treatment-Free Beekeeping, Natural Cell Beekeeping, Steps to Healthier Bees Bee Colony as a Whole System Fee for Saturday—$25 INCLUDES LUNCH Contact: Tony Bowers 608.272.3998
Saturday, March 10 9:30am SOUTHEASTERN DISTRICT Location: MPTC, 2151 N. Main Street, West Bend (enter in Door L2) Doors open 8:30am Registration: $5 includes pizza lunch Speakers include Thelma Baker, conservation biocontrol specialist; State Bee Inspector Dan Ziehli; WI Honey Princess Lexi Gegare. Contact: Don Thill 262.689.2076
Saturday, March 10 9:00am NORTHERN DISTRICT Location: Saron Lutheran Church, 517 9th Ave West, Ashland Lunch: Potluck please bring a dish to pass. Approve Fall minutes; Treasurers Report; Overwintering Report; Membership; Farm & Garden Show April 14, 2018; Bee Package Ordering update; Loaner Program; Social Media; News: WHPA Summer meeting; Set fall meeting date. Guest Speaker Contact: Jackie Eid 715.209.6762
Saturday, March 17 8:30am-2:00pm SOUTHERN DISTRICT Location: Milton High School Auditorium, 114 W High Street Milton, WI Host Cub: Rock County Beekeepers Speakers/Agenda: 9:00am Awards and Recognition 9:30am–12 pm Marla Spivak, PhD., Director of the University of Minnesota Bee Lab–Dr. Spivak will be speaking about exciting honey bee research taking place at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab 12pm-12:45pm Lunch: Hot Dogs and chips lunch provided by a local group at a reasonable cost 12:45-1:30pm Dan Ziehli, Southern Wisconsin Apiary Inspector 1:30-2:00pm Open Discussion Contact: Tim Wilbanks 319.321.2494
Saturday, March 17 10:00am NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT Location: Knapp Community Center, Knapp, WI. Doors open at 9:30 am — meeting starts at 10:00 am Speakers: Matt LaForge WHPA Vice President; Hannah Sjostrom WI Honey Queen; Winter reports; Business meeting. Please bring a dish to pass and items for Queen’s Auction Contact: John Spate 715.874.6454
The Seed A Legacy program offers free, or heavily discounted pollinator seed (depending on the size of the project) to projects on private, public and corporate lands in 11 states. The program is currently accepting online application until March 31st. Learn more about the program and the BBHF and submit an application at: http://beeandbutterflyfund.org/habita…/seed-a-legacy-programread more
WHPA issues a Best Management Practices for Varroa mite control in Wisconsin. Beekeepers from hobbyist to commercial scale are challenged by controlling Varroa mite infestations in their colonies. This document is intended to educate Wisconsin beekeepers on factors to be considered when choosing methods to control mites as well as give a brief biological sketch of the mite.read more
Dr. Marla Spivak of the Univ. of Minnesota Bee Lab will speak on Saturday, March 17 at Milton High School. Learn about the latest in honey bee research from one of the nation’s premiere honey bee scientists. Doors open at 8:30amread more
The FDA is announcing the availability of a Question and Answer document about the use of medically important antimicrobials in bees to provide helpful information to beekeepers and veterinarians. The Q&A titled “Using Medically Important Antimicrobials in Bees”...read more