Welcome to NY Bee Wellness, your source for maintaining healthy honey bee colonies

an educational nonprofit program to teach beekeepers honey bee disease recognition & to promote honey bee health

Al Avitabile

Professor Emeritus, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University Of Connecticut, Waterbury Campus. Has collaborated with Roger Morse at the Dyce Laboratory for Honey Bee Studies at Cornell and with Rolf Boch at Canadian Central Farm, Ottawa, Canada. Co-author with Dr. Diana Sammataro of The Beekeepers Handbook now in its 4th edition(Cornell Press). Has written popular articles for The American Bee Journal and Bee Culture.

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Dr. Lawrence Connor

Dr. Larry Connor, Michigan native and graduate of Michigan State University, has many talents under his belt. He was extension apicultural entomologist at O.S.U. (Columbus) and while there, attracted attention of investors interested in moving a hybrid queen program to Florida for the world’s first mass production facility for the instrumental inseminated queen honeybee. He later moved to Connecticut where he established Beekeeping Education Service, offering educational programs for beekeepers. He later purchased Wicwas Press from Dr. Roger & Mary Lou Morse, and has published over a dozen titles dealing with bees, beekeeping, queen rearing and pollination. Dr. Connor is currently a regular contributor to Bee Culture Magazine and he has authored a number of extension publications and articles. He has also served as editor of the EAS Journal, Honey Producer Magazine, Bee Science and currently writing books of his own, called Making Increase and another called Drone and Queen Essentials.

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Les Eccles

Technology Transfer Lead, Les Eccles is the new Tech-Transfer Program Lead. Les started his agricultural career on a dairy and beef operation, managing a 125 head dairy and beef herd, which included crop management, nutrition, and a genetic program. Les's educational background includes both a Diploma in Agriculture from the Ontario Agricultural College and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Les developed his interest in beekeeping and research at the University of Guelph Apiculture Research Centre with Paul Kelly and Ernesto Guzman, and has been instrumental in various research projects and presentations. Les is returning to Ontario after spending two years in Mexico; working with beekeepers and development organizations to transfer beekeeping technology into the field, and certify beekeeping operations for honey exportation to European markets.

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Melanie Kempers

Research Technician, Melanie grew up on a dairy farm in Prince Edward County. Her love of animals and the outdoors led her to the University of Guelph in 2002 to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science. Thanks to Les Eccles and their many discussions regarding queen bees during cheese class, Melanie developed an interest in honey bees. In 2006, Melanie began working for the OBA Tech-Transfer Program as an apprentice Bee Girl. She has now attained full Bee Girl status and really enjoy the opportunities the job creates for her.

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Doug McRory

Doug McRory, retired commercial beekeeper and retired Provincial Apiculturist of Ontario . He is respected for his hard work ethic and long-time dedication to promoting best management practices for beekeeping.

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Devan Rawn

Before beginning at the TTP, Research Technician, Devan Rawn didn't have any hands-on experience with beekeeping. The idea of starting work with bees full time was exciting and a little bit nerve racking at the same time. With quite a few stings under his belt (including a couple good face ones), Devan is proud to say he's become a "Bee Boy". Now he's fully immersed in the job and enjoys it very much. In his spare time, Devan enjoys pretty much anything outside in the natural world and is an avid disc golfer. Devan ackowledges many of the courses he's taken at University of Guelph for sparking an interest in insects and our fascinating environment.

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Dr. Diana Sammataro

Dr. Diana Sammataro, co-author of the Beekeeper’s Handbook (4th ed. 2011), began keeping bees in 1972 in Litchfield, CT, setting up a colony in her maternal grandfather’s old bee hive equipment. In 1995, she worked as a post-doctoral assistant at the Ohio State University Ag. Research Center in Wooster OH, with Dr. James Tew and in 1998 at the Penn State University Bee lab, (State College, PA) with Maryann Frazier and Dr. Nancy Ostiguy. Early in 2002, she was invited to join the USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Honey Bee Research Center in Tucson AZ. In 2014 she retired from the USDA, her work at the lab included research on bee nutrition problems, Varroa, proteomics of bees and mites, and current pollination problems. She is co-editor of a collection of bee research articles: Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable Solutions that was published in 2011; she is currently working on a honey plants flip book. She has published over 40 scientific articles, and contributed to 4 other books as well as instructional videos.

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Pat Bono

Project Director for the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Grant for the Empire State Honey Producers Association, Pat Bono, started beekeeping in 1976 and even sold A.I. Root Bee Supplies in the late '70s and early '80s. She is a Registered Nurse and has a Bachelor of Science degree. Former Vice President of the Empire State Honey Producers Association. Contact: Pat@nybeewellness.org with any questions or comments.

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