Spirit in Nature to honor beekeeper Ross Conrad

ROSS CONRAD, SHOWN here  relocating a honeybee swarm, will receive Spirit in Nature’s 2022 Eco Spirit Award on Sunday, March 20, at its annual meeting. Photo Alice Eckles

RIPTON — The Spirit in Nature (SpIN) annual meeting will honor Ross Conrad of Dancing Bee Gardens, Middlebury, with its Eco-Spirit Award for 2022 on Sunday, March 20, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Ripton Community House. 

The Eco-Spirit Award is presented annually to persons whose lives are illuminated by their appreciation of the beauty, mystery, and preciousness of the natural world. They are dynamic role models who engage us in debate and urge us to explore the implications of our behavior during our present global environmental crisis. They lead us to a path of hope for the future of all life and nature on earth.

Conrad was selected for this year’s award in recognition of his longtime commitment to ecological health through his own actions, and especially through his work to protect and promote a healthy ecosystem by focusing on honeybees. As a beekeeper, he advocates for ways to raise healthy bees without pesticides or antibiotics.

Conrad runs organic beekeeping workshops; his book, “Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture,” provides an accessible guide for those entering this field. He is willing go to people’s homes when requested to safely remove and re-locate unwanted swarms of honeybees. He is also the co-author of “The Land of Milk and Honey: A History of Beekeeping in Vermont.”

Conrad has been President of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, and has served on the Board of the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop and as a member of the Addison County Regional Planning Committee.

Conrad will be introduced by the 2020 Eco-Spirit Award winner, Leif Taranta, who is a climate activist now living in Burlington. Members of the interested public are welcome and encouraged to attend this event.

For more information, see the Spirit In Nature website,

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