Arts & Leisure

Author presents a history of beekeeping in Vermont

A number of years ago, several literary-minded beekeepers got together to discuss how they might write the history of beekeeping in Vermont. Fast forward to 2020, and “The Land of Milk & Honey: A History of Beekeeping in Vermont” is now available.
“Land of Milk and Honey” co-author and experienced beekeeper Ross Conrad will speak about this fascinating history at Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m., outdoors (or indoors with social distancing and masks required.) Conrad will present an overview of the history of Vermont beekeeping with a special emphasis on Addison County, the epicenter of beekeeping in the state. Based on extensive research — including at Rokeby Museum — he will share how beekeeping has changed over the years in response to economic, cultural and environmental changes.
In the mid-19th century, Rokeby’s Robinson family turned from sheep farming to fruit, pork and butter production. With their apple and pear orchards came the need for bees, and as was the norm of the time, the Robinsons collected wild bees to populate hives located among fruit trees.
“The Land of Milk & Honey: A History of Beekeeping in Vermont” features the stories of ingenious beekeepers who developed valuable advances in the craft of beekeeping. The book includes art, maps, interviews, photographs and archival records. Copies will be available for sale and signing by the author. Conrad — described as a nationally recognized beekeeping legend — is also author of “Natural Beekeeeping: 2nd Edition“ (Chelsea Green, 2013) and operates Dancing Bee Gardens in Middlebury.

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