Reno, Chickens and Winter
By: Kathy Summers
Most of our Bee Culture staff attended the 2018 American Beekeeping Federation Conference in Reno, NV during the second week of January. Jean Newcombe, our Bee Culture advertising coordinator, attended with Kim and I. The attendance number I heard was around 500.
The best part of any of these annual meetings that we attend is bumping into friends you haven’t seen for a year or sometimes more. There are those you know for sure will be there and then there are the surprises. And of course when you’ve been around as long as Kim and I have there are those who aren’t there anymore. Still we all had a good time.
Jean gets to network with some of our regular advertisers that she would never see anywhere else. And there are always new exhibitors with new ideas and new products. Beekeepers love to talk about their new ideas.And since Jean isn’t a beekeeper this gives her a chance to continue to learn more about the industry and the people that make up our world. If you were at ABF as an exhibitor I hope you got to meet and talk with Jean. She’s delightful.
The facility certainly lived up to its name – The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. I feel like I should let you know I never left the building after we got there until it was time to go to the airport on Saturday morning. This place was huge. I always appreciate when the hotel and meeting rooms are all in the same location. That way I don’t have to wander around to much, being very directionally challenged as I am.
There were, I think, seven sit-down restaurants on the main floor, so lots of food choices. Downstairs was like a big shopping mall – candy store, bowling alley, movie theater and more places to eat. There was a spa – way out of our price range – a kid’s arcade and of course, a wedding chapel.
We had three of our regular Bee Culture writers that we were able to visit with – Phil Craft, Larry Connor and Ed Colby. Always good to get together with that part of the BC family since we are so spread out around the country.
In Northeast Ohio we have really had Winter this year. We’ve had long stretches of single digit temperatures. Not tons of snow, just a lot of cold. We’ve had to order propane for the second time this season – that’s unusual and expensive and we’re only about halfway through Winter.
Or chicken coop has once again passed the test. The coldest temp we’ve noticed inside is 20° when it’s been around zero outside. So the girls are usually nice and toasty and there are 20 of them so there’s always someone to snuggle up to. They get a little antsy though. We tend to not let them out when it’s so bitter cold.
I make oatmeal for the girls on the weekends. This is a great source of warmth and protein and it’s easy and cheap. I make a huge pot full, add a little bit of cayenne pepper and quite a bit of cinnamon. Let it cool for a bit so they don’t burn themselves. We have two big scrap bowls that we use for them, so we divide it up and in about 20 minutes or less both bowls are ‘licked’ clean. It’s amazing. They enjoy this so much. Not only is it good for them, but it relieves some of the boredom of being ‘cooped’ up. Try it.
Kim and I starting to prepare for one of our biggest adventures yet! In February we are off to New Zealand. The beekeepers over there have been kind enough to invite Kim to speak and I’m going to tag along. It’s exciting and not something I ever thought I’d get to do. It’s a very long trip and the time change will confuse us, but once we recover it should be a grand trip. We’ll be there for about 10 days.
We get back just in time to attend the Tri-County meeting in Wooster, Ohio on March 3 – just about 45 minutes south of Medina. It is one of the biggest one-day beekeeping meetings around – 1,000 people plus vendors. If you get a chance it’s a fun day. Hope to see some of you there.
Stay warm and think Spring!