Monthly Meet Up (Speaker: Jeff Berta-President Heartland Honey Bee Breeder Coop)

Date: Monday March 26th
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Location: Penn State Center Pittsburgh
1435 Bedford Ave, Suite (Level) A
Pittsburgh PA 15219

Enjoy a great pot luck supper, socialize with fellow beekeepers, and then participate in an educational discussion topic. The mix of new and and experienced beekeepers offers many different perspectives. Bring a hot dish, salad, or dessert to share. Plates, utensils, and soft drinks are provided. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at this location. There is a large free parking lot at this facility with plenty of parking right outside the front door. Take the elevator or stairs to level A.

Guest Speaker: Jeff Berta
Topic: PA Honey Bee Queen Improvement Program

Jeff Berta launched Always Summer Herbs in Slippery Rock, PA in 1997 providing high quality, unique and fantastically huge flowers and herbs to commercial garden centers. Jeff expanded the business in 2002 with honey production and onto the web ( retailing raw honey, herb plants, and teas nationwide. Honey and bee nuclei are the fastest growing segments of our business. Mr. Berta has been awarded US Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research Experiment (SARE) grants six out seven years (2011- 2017) for his work in the Queen Bee Improvement in Pennsylvania Project. Jeff and a contingent of bee keepers across the state are breeding survivor stock crossed with VSH genetics using chemical free IPM methods to develop more resilient bee stock. In 2014 he was appointed Chairman of the Pennsylvania queen improvement project by the president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Assoc. He has recently joined forces with the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Coop and Dr. Hunt at Purdue University, helping to develop and distribute “Indiana Leg Chewers”, which is a bee that chews the legs off of varroa mites. Jeff, now the president of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Coop, which covers 6 states. During his work with the USDA field study the group discovered other types of “chewing hygienic behavior” in stocks from commercial or feral sources in the US and in Canada, which are promising. This is now locally known as the ‘Mite Mauler Project’ which is in conjunction with Purdue, the HHBBC, and many outside sources. Jeff regularly lectures at local clubs, societies, Home Shows and at the Phipps Conservatory and loves teaching others about growing herbs, and keeping happy, hardy honeybees.