ASHLAND, OR., March 29, 2019 – Every year the president of the Western Apicultural Society is given the chance to host the “WAS” conference on their own turf and highlight what’s good about their region.  In July of 2019, current WAS President, Sarah Red-Laird, is honored and humbled to take on this role and will create not just a conference, but an experience that emphasizes what they are – a society.
The theme is “Hive Mind for the Greater Good,” built on the values of persistence and authenticity and celebrating community, women in leadership and, of course, bees and their keepers.
The weekend of July 12th-14th will be a mix of dynamic keynote talks, workshops built on the themes of art, beekeeping, social media and marketing, bee habitat conservation, education, native bees, and global research.
In an effort to create community, they will also provide plenty of opportunities for networking:

  • A “storytelling hour” in the theme of #beekeeperfail (all beekeepers have them)
  • The “Community Waggle Dance Tabletop Show,” where attendees can apply to show off a hive design, their research, a tech innovation, etc.
  • A “Roundtable Speed Swarm” event where guests will rotate (in groups) to speaker-hosted tables to spend some time in dialogue with a leader they have been admiring from afar.
  • Throughout the conference they will provide multiple breaks and a happ-bee hour each evening to encourage beekeepers to meet up and waggle dance with someone who’s also into beginning beekeeping, honey production, co-ops and supply chain management, bee habitat, native bees, or bee-themed travel and service opportunities, etc.

Keynote Speakers & Workshop Leaders include: Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Katrina Klett, Elevated Honey Co.; Hilary Kearney, Girl Next Door Honey; Dr. Meghan Milbrath, Michigan State University; Anna Gieselman, Bee Amour Jewelry; Sarah Red-Laird, Bee Girl; Molly Romero L.Ac., MSOM, Active Acupuncture of Ashland; the native bee team from the Logan, Utah, USDA-ARS Pollinating Insects Research Unit; a streamed opening welcome by Dr. Marla Spivak, and more.
On Sunday, July 14th, they will have a limited number of spots for hands-on beekeeping and bumble bee workshops, a bee-friendly vineyard wine tasting tour, and a collaboration with the Ashland and Medford Food Co-Ops for a self-guided “Rogue Valley Farm Tour” (map icons will guide you to all of the bee-friendly farms)!
The conference runs from July 12th – 14th, however, they recommend you arrive early to enjoy the best Ashland has to offer!  WAS attendees get discounted tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Momentum River Expeditions will take a group of WAS attendees out to raft the Rogue River on July 11th
More information and registration at

Contact: Sarah Red-Laird
Tel: 541-708-1127


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