The Southeastern Michigan Beekeepers' Association (SEMBA) in cooperation with the Schoolcraft College Beekeepers' Club will hold its 75th Annual Beekeeping Conference on Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI.

The keynote speaker will be Thomas D. Seeley. He is Professor and Chairman in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. He will be making a presentation in the morning titled, "The Bee Hive as a Honey Factory". He will explain how a bee colony is wonderfully organized for making honey. The afternoon presentation is titled, "Honeybee Democracy". He will help us understand how a swarm democratically chooses its new home. He is a world authority on animal behavior, especially the social behavior of honey bees. At home more in the field than the laboratory, his scientific work features observational and experimental investigations of the inner workings of honey bee colonies living under natural conditions. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the recipient of numerous honors for his scientific work including a Gold Medal from Apimondia for his book, The Wisdom of the Hive. You may also be familiar with an earlier popular book, Honeybee Democracy. Currently, he is working on a new book, Swarm Intelligence in Bees.

Concurrent sessions during the day-long program are designed for all beekeepers; novice, experienced, and those seeking an understanding of the honeybee. In addition, complimentary attendee door prizes will be awarded throughout the day.

There will be several workshops including a variety of practical beekeeping management practices taught by experienced beekeepers including "Top Bar Hives," "Queen Rearing" and "Apitherapy." A specific tract of workshops will be offered for beginners that will explore Selecting Equipment and Beekeeping Essentials. Individuals will have an opportunity to enroll in one of two series of "hands-on" beekeeping courses to be held at Tollgate, a Michigan State University demonstration farm in Novi, MI. Class begins in early spring on through the summer of 2013. Check the posting at for the complete conference agenda and bee class syllabus when available.

A complete assortment of beekeeping books, manuals and related topics will be on display and available for purchase. Suppliers will be offering the latest in apitherapy information, beekeeping crafts and beekeeping equipment. As a bonus, select suppliers will be accepting prepaid orders for delivery at the conference. Go to our website for their listings.

Registration for the educational event is $10.00 for SEMBA members and $15.00 for non-members. Children under 18 accompanied by a registered member are free. Membership information is available at A potluck lunch is held at noon, with coffee and tea provided. Bring a dish to pass and your own table service.

For further information, please contact Richard Mendel, 734-660-8621 or

Printable conference agenda in PDF format here

Workshop descriptions in PDF format here


All bee-conference attendees will receive a door-prize ticket when they register.

A complete hive, donated by Dadant & Sons of Albion, Michigan and a 3 lb. package of bees donated by Shawn Shubel of Nectar Sweet Apiaries, will be raffled. Raffle tickets at $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00 may be purchased at the beekeeping conference.

A potluck lunch is held at noon. To participate, bring a food item serving six to eight persons and serving utensils labeled with your name. Also, bring your own table service including plates, silverware and cups. SEMBA provides tea and coffee. Note: No electrical outlets are available for food-heating appliances such as crock pot casseroles, etc.

If you have displays or crafts that you wish to display or sell, we encourage you to bring them. Please call Keith Lazar 248-626-2483 to reserve table space. (There is no table charge for SEMBA members.)

Conducted by well-known Michigan apitherapists, this special two-hour seminar will feature bee-venom therapy and health benefits of other products produced by the honey bee.

To save shipping charges and to be assured that a vendor has what you want, it is advisable to place your order with the vendor before attending the conference.

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